Food in Morroco


One of the great things that we were looking forward to was the food in Morroco and we had some great food while we were there! Juice vendor Yet, we were slightly disappointed by some of the traditional Morrocan food – especially couscous and tajines. On the other hand, we had some great breakfasts at two of our riads and greatly enjoyed all of the fresh juice that we were able to drink. The juice carts on the Djemaa el Fna are a great source for juice, but be sure to ask for fresh and the normal price is 3dh per glass. Two pieces of advice when dealing with the vendors: 1) always ask the price first and 2) make sure that you have small change when you go to get juice because the vendors will claim to not have change.

While traveling, since it was Ramadan, we tried to eat out of the way in generally tourist-y places. In Marrakesh, we had a good lunch at the Bougainvillea Cafe (33 Rue Mouassine), but the best lunch that we had during the whole trip was in Essaouira. The day that we arrived in Essaouira, after an okay bus ride and a damp morning, we visited the port and decided to have lunch at the fish grille-cafes. Lunch at fish-grill cafe These are just outside of the fishing port (just a few metres from the fish market), and provide some of the freshest fish that you could have! After an initial hustle for custom, it is a relaxing and interesting place to eat. When you arrive at the grills, you pick your fresh fish out from the display, it is weighed, you find a seat, and it is cooked immediately. We paid 280dh for 2 sea-bass, a few prawns, some scampi, couple pieces of calamari, salad, bread, and cokes … there are menus on large boards posted near the entrance. The fish was wonderful and the only thing that would have made the meal better could have been some nicer weather, but don’t miss the fish grills when you go to Essaouira!

Our two best dinners were the most expensive and the cheapest! In Marrakesh, after two nights of traditional Moroccan food, we wanted something a little different. Me at the Kozy Bar That came in the form of Le Kosybar (47 Place des Ferblantiers, Kasbah – Ph 024380324 – email:kosybar{at}yahoo.com). They call themselves an International/Morrocan restaurant, including sushi! It has several things going for it:

  • A great roof terrace with views of the ruins of El Badi Palace.
  • Wine, including some from Morroco for 130dh/bottle.
  • Great desserts at 65dh each.

Overall, it was about 300dh per person including wine for a main course plus two courses. To be honest, this was a place that we stumbled into! We were planning on going to the Restaurant el Bahia (also just around the corner from Riad Bayti), but when we showed up they were just opening. So, they showed us into the dining room, turned on the lights, and tuned the radio to some strange station … they then left us alone in the beautiful but empty dining room. After a few minutes of discussion because we were hungry and were not sure when we would be able to eat, we decided to leave (with the promise that we would return). The Kosybar was the next closest place to eat and, much to Jill’s delight, they were open!

On the complete other end of the spectrum was the Restaurant Ahlen (8 Rue des Postes) in Tangier. The owner was very nice, it was not a tourist-y place, and it was great food. Nothing fancy, just simple Morrocan food, like harira and kebabs! Our total meal (including soup and main) was about 20dh. Harira

Speaking of harira, it was the traditional Morrocan food that we really enjoyed! It is traditionally enjoyed during Ramadan to break the feast, accompanied by sweetmeats, and we had several bowls of it while in Morroco. Since we make a lot of soup, especially during the winter, and so we may make some this winter!