Marrakech Food: Local Delicacies of the Red City

There’s a lot to see in Marrakech. But just as there are many wonderful sights, aromas, and tastes to explore in this wonderful city. As a Moroccan, I’m proud of the cuisine of my country, and I’m here to show you what to eat in Marrakech for the ultimate experience. 

What To Eat in Marrakech?

Before I go ahead and suggest specific places for you to experience the sensory adventure that is Morrocan food, I’d like to give you a small guide. The dishes below are what I think are a must-try for anyone visiting Marrakech.

Tagine Dishes (Chicken, Lamb, Beef, or Vegetarian)

tagine dish

Whenever anyone thinks of Marrakech cuisine, tagine is probably the first thing that comes to mind. I would go as far as to say that your trip to Marrakech isn’t complete if you didn’t dive into a steaming hot tagine.

This iconic dish features slow-cooked meat (or vegetables) in a flavorful broth. It’s cooked in a conical clay pot, which traps the heat and steam. This infuses the vibrant spices to make a flavorful dish and melts the ingredients until they’re tender. 

I love the classic lamb tagine with prunes and apricots, but you’ve also got to try a heart chicken stew with sharp olives and preserved lemons. There are also many vegetarian options and full seasonal produce. 

Couscous Variations (Served With Vegetables, Meat, or Both)

7-Veggie Moroccan Couscous

For a lighter and more sophisticated flavor, try this fluffy Moroccan concoction. Couscous is semolina that is steamed in a special ceramic pot. It’s served with multiple variations of roasted vegetables or succulent meats such as lamb or chicken.
Many Moroccans call couscous “ta’am”, which just means food in Arabic. That’s how much we love it. 

One of my favorite couscous dishes is the “seven vegetable couscous”.  This vibrant dish is full of flavor and symbolizes abundance.

This legendary creation features a symphony of textures and flavors, with classics like carrots and turnips mingling with unexpected delights like zucchini and chickpeas.  All bathed in a rich, spiced broth, it’s a true feast for the senses.

Moroccan Salads (Taktouka, Zaalouk, Carrot Salad)

Carrot salad

To complement your meals, ditch the boring tomatoes and lettuce. You’ll want to start with Moroccan salads that are a symphony of fresh flavors and textures. Here are three I highly recommend:

  • Taktouka: This is a fiery and smoky spreadable dip made from roasted peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. The result is a flavorful fip perfect for scooping up with warm Moroccan bread.  
  • Zaalouk: Transforming the humble eggplant into a smoky burst of flavor. This vegetarian dish combines fire-roasted eggplant with tomatoes, garlic, and a hint of cumin and paprika. 
  • Moroccan Carrot Salad: Thinly julienned carrots get a major flavor boost with this salad. Several versions exist, but the most popular incorporate the sweetness of raisins with a tangy vinegar-based dressing and warm spices.  

Street Food Favorites (Briouats, Msemen, Harira)


We Moroccans are known for our hospitality and warm inviting dishes that demand the respect of sitting down for a meal. But we’ve also got a lot of street food you can sample. These are my faves: 

  • Briouats: Enjoy crispy phyllo pastries stuffed with savory minced meat or sweet versions filled with sweet almond paste. 
  • Msemen: This flaky flatbread is layered with butter and semolina. You use it to dip into stews and dips, but many of us eat it plain when on the go. 
  • Harira: A hearty lentil, legume, and tomato soup packed with spices. It’s perfect for lunch on the go, especially during colder months. 

Pastilla (Sweet and Savory Pie)

Pastilla (Sweet and Savory Pie)

I would say this is the crown jewel of Moroccan layered pastries. This intricate dish blends sweet and savory flavors with a texture that’s to die for.

Traditionally, the flaky ‘warqa’ dough is wrapped around a tender filling of shredded chicken flavored with aromatic spices like ginger and cinnamon.

The pastry is then topped with toasted almonds and powdered sugar. Don’t knock it till you try it. Each bite is a delightful revelation, showcasing Morocco’s unique culinary heritage.

Mechoui (Slow-Roasted Lamb)

Mechoui (Slow-Roasted Lamb)

For a taste of pure Moroccan indulgence, look no further than Mechoui. This majestic dish features a whole lamb slow-roasted over charcoal or in a traditional clay oven.

The long cooking process imbues the meat with incredible tenderness, allowing it to fall effortlessly off the bone. Seasoned with aromatic spices, the lamb develops a deep, smoky flavor that’s simply unforgettable. 

Traditionally served at celebrations and feasts, Mechoui is a true showstopper that embodies Moroccan culinary artistry.

Moroccan Soups (Harira, Bissara)

Moroccan Soups (Harira)

Despite the hot weather, enjoying a steaming hot bowl of soup is a comforting experience everyone visiting Marrakech should try. 

  • Harira: The undisputed king of Moroccan soups, is a hearty Ramadan staple enjoyed throughout the year. This rich lentil and tomato soup is simmered with spices like ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon, creating a complex and deeply satisfying flavor profile.  
  • Bissara: For a lighter option, this is another traditional soup to explore. This creamy fava bean soup is a delightful breakfast dish, traditionally served with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of paprika, and crusty Moroccan bread for dipping. 

Moroccan Sweets and Desserts (Pastries, Cookies, and Almond-Based Treats)

Moroccan cookies

Not only is the food in Marrakech amazing, but we’ve got many sweets and desserts that are always a perfect way to end your meals.

You might prefer flaky pastries like Chebakia, drenched in sticky honey. Or better yet, bite into melt-in-your-mouth cookies bursting with orange blossom flavor (that’s ghriba). 

I also suggest trying the almond treats too, like gazelle horns (don’t worry, they’re not pointy!) or layered pastilla pastries.

Places To Eat in Marrakech for Lunch and Dinner

Now that you know what to look for when dining in Morocco, you might be curious about where to find the best food in Marrakech.

In my humble opinion, the following are restaurants and other places to eat that will truly take you on a tantalizing gastronomic journey. 

The Food Stalls in Djemaa El Fna

📍Location: Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Rating: 5 out of 5

For a foodie like me, the food stalls at Djemaa El Fna are heaven on earth. The place is already a sensory overload, so you won’t be surprised that the food is amazing. Sizzling grills and enticing aromas surround you with so many options to choose from. 

One of my favorite stalls to invite foreigners to is Chez Aicha (Stall #1) — that’s where you’ll get the best tagines in the square. The lamb melts like butter and the chicken is fragrant and delicious.

You can also find all the street food favorites such as harira, taktouka, zaalouk, and msemen in different food stalls around the square.

Bargaining here is an experience in and of itself, but remember to be polite and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere!  

Naranj, Riad Zitoun Jdid, Medina

📍Location: 84 Rue Riad Zitoun Jdid Medina, Marrakech 40000 Morocco
Rating: 4.8 out of 5

This charming restaurant offers a tranquil escape from the bustling streets.  Their menu showcases the best of Moroccan cuisine, with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

I love their seven-vegetable couscous, a vibrant celebration of local produce.  For a heartier option, their slow-roasted lamb Mechoui is melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

Don’t forget to save room for dessert – their almond-based gazelle horns are a delightful way to end your meal.  Be sure to book a reservation in advance, as this place fills up fast!

Le Trou AU Mur – Derb Fernatchi – Medina

📍Location: 39 Derb El Farnatchi Marrakech Medina, Marrakech Morocco
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

If you’re looking for a more upscale experience during your visit to Marrakech, this is the best option. Dress up and get ready for a refined take on Moroccan food.

The seating is very intimate, and every dish they serve tastes and looks amazing. I recommend their camel tagine for something exotic and the lamb shoulder Mechoui for a melt-in-your-mouth delicious plate of food.

If you get a table on the rooftop, the view will take your dining experience to another level. 

Bejghueni; 65, Rue Mohamed El Bekal | Gueliz

📍Location: 65 Rue Mohamed El Bakkal Gueliz, Marrakech 40000 Morocco
Rating: 4.0 out of 5

If you have to be near the Gueliz district, you’ve got to stop by Bejghueni. It’s the best place for an authentic and affordable lunch.

This casual spot offers a taste of everyday Marrakech life, with sidewalk seating and a focus on grilled meats. While the menu might be simple, the flavors are anything but.

Reviews rave about their chicken kebabs, marinated to perfection and bursting with juicy goodness. Bejghueni is all about getting back to basics, and that means local prices too. So grab a seat, soak up the Gueliz vibe, and savor a delicious and affordable taste of Marrakech.

Ksar Essaoussan, 3 Rue Essaoussan, Medina

📍Location: Rue des Ksour 3 Derb El Messaoudene 3 derb El messaouienne ksour, Marrakech 40000 Morocco
Rating: 4.7 out of 5

This restaurant boasts a beautiful riad setting, featuring a charming rooftop terrace with stunning views. Their menu focuses on classic Moroccan dishes, prepared with fresh ingredients and presented with a touch of elegance.

I first tried this place after reading online reviews that rave about the melt-in-your-mouth lamb and the vibrant combinations of vegetables and spices.

Looking for something a little different? Their pastilla creation, featuring a flaky pastry filled with savory or sweet options, is a tempting choice.

Be sure to check their website or call ahead for reservations, especially if you’re planning a rooftop dining experience. Ksar Essaoussan is the perfect spot for a memorable and luxurious Moroccan meal.

Cafe Clock, Derb Chatouka, Kasbah

📍Location: 224 Derb Chtouka, Marrakech 40000 Morocco
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This cafe offers a unique experience that blends Moroccan charm with international flair. Unlike some of the more traditional options, Cafe Clock boasts a menu with something for everyone.

Start your day with a steaming bowl of Berber eggs, a flavorful twist on scrambled eggs with tomato, jben cheese, and fresh herbs. Craving something lighter?

Their avocado toast with radishes and capers is a refreshing option. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a classic Moroccan dish like their chicken or lamb tagine.

Cafe Clock isn’t just about food, though. They regularly host cultural events like Moroccan cooking classes and live music nights, making it a great spot to immerse yourself in the local scene.

So whether you’re looking for a delicious breakfast, a casual lunch, or a vibrant evening experience, Cafe Clock offers a taste of Marrakech with a global twist.

Amal Women’s Training Center and Restaurant, Rue Allal Ben Ahmed Gueleiz

📍Location: Rue Allal Ben Ahmed et Rue Ibn Sina Gueliz, Marrakech 40000 Morocco
Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Gueliz offers a treasure trove of culinary options, and Amal Women’s Training Center and Restaurant stands out for its unique concept and delicious food.

Amal trains disadvantaged women in the culinary arts, giving them valuable skills and job opportunities. (It’s a cause worth supporting!) 

But let’s get to the good stuff: the food! The menu changes daily, showcasing a delightful mix of Moroccan specialties and international cuisine.

One day you might find yourself digging into a classic lamb tagine – a slow-cooked with fragrant spices and tender vegetables.

Another visit could bring a vibrant vegetarian couscous brimming with seasonal produce. No matter what the day’s menu holds, the focus is always on fresh, high-quality ingredients and bursting flavors.

The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, making it a great spot to relax and enjoy a delicious lunch. And the best part? By choosing Amal, you’re not just treating yourself to a fantastic meal, you’re contributing to a worthy cause.

Lunch is served six days a week (closed Sundays) from noon to 3:30 pm, so be sure to add Amal to your Gueliz itinerary!


From sizzling street food stalls to tranquil riad restaurants, Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Savor the aromatic tagines, dive into vibrant salads, and lose yourself in the sweetness of Moroccan pastries. But more than just a culinary adventure, your food choices can empower local communities.

So explore with an open mind and a curious palate, and discover the magic (and deliciousness) that awaits around every corner of Marrakech.