Visiting Marrakech you are never stuck on where to eat, there are so many places to try and new experiences to be had. As I am a regular traveller to Morocco and especially Marrakech, I like to try new places each time I visit as well as eat at some old favourites!! I normally do a little research before my trips to see what’s opening or where other people have recommended and if I can pre book a table. The riad I stay at, Riad Tizwa, are also brilliant at offering their own recommendations on where is good to eat. Before my September travels I had pre planned a couple of meals due to it being my husband’s birthday and our wedding anniversary whilst in Marrakech, the other nights I left for a little spontaneity!
This blog is all about where I ate and what I would recommend to you all, incase you are off to Marrakech soon or thinking about a trip…
Al Fassia have two restaurants and a luxury boutique hotel, Al Fassia Aguedal has a restaurant alongside the hotel and Al Fassia Gueliz is a restaurant in the new town of Marrakech. Both offer different ‘ambiences’ with one traditional Moroccan cuisine. It is a family ran business, owned by the Chab family, 2 sisters and 2 women. They were brought up in the hotel business. Myra is the Operations Manager and Saida is the General Manager and all their staff are mainly female. The idea came about from their father and mother, Mohammed and Fatima Chab, as the ‘Woman’ is in charge in this house. Guests are welcomed by women and served by them too. The very name Al Fassia is translated to “The Women of Fes”, which is known as the spiritual capital of Morocco and it’s ‘refined cuisine’.
Al Fassia is a “tribute to all Moroccan women that have thrived to master the Moroccan cuisine to satisfy their families and especially their husbands”.
We ate at Al Fassia Aguedal which is located on the Route de l’Ourika and near Bo Zin restaurant where I previously ate. My main reason for booking Al Fassia was due to our driver who took us to the Ourika Valley in February of this year, he said you must eat here it is very good and he was right it is!!
When we were dropped off my our taxi, we were greeted by staff from the restaurant and guided through the grounds. On entering you enter a very traditional looking room, that is large in size and has many areas within the one space. We were seated and perused the menu deciding what to eat. We ordered the Selection of Fine Salads and the Chicken Pastilla to share, when they came I could not believe it… the salads came on 15, yes 15 different plates scattered around the table with breads and our plate of pastilla that was delicious. Then I had the Chicken Tagine with Almonds and Shallots which was lovely with great flavour and a good sized portion and my husband had the Couscous with Vegetables and Mixed Kebabs, it was enormous and he is a big eater, but the couscous beat him! We ended the meal with Ice cream Selection due to being so full! Al Fassia should definitely be on your list, great food and good service with value for money. I throughly enjoyed our night there and would happily return on another trip.
Le Jardin is situated within the Medina at 32 Souk Jeld Sidi Abdelaziz and it isn’t too hard to find, we came across it after wandering around the souks and shops one afternoon, top tip is it is not too far from Max & Jan my favourite clothes store, and wanted to take a breather from the blazing heat of the day, it was 40 degrees in early September!! It was created by Kamal Laftimi, who brought Marrakech ‘Cafe Des Epices’ and Anne Favier an interior designer, with the idea of having a ‘true magical oasis located within a 16th Century building’. We were quickly offered a table in their lovely shaded courtyard, they even have their own tortoise that slowly wanders around coming to greet you. We ordered a Moroccan Salad Selection with bread and Ice-cream as I was in need of the icy treat to cool down and some drinks. Le Jardin is perfect for a lunch time stop off, a quiet escape from the souks, or casual early evening meal, with a nice atmosphere and cool vibe I would certainly recommend it to try!
La Maison Arabe
La Maison Arabe opened as a hotel in 1946 and is known as the legendary ‘place to be’ in Marrakech, with the likes of Winston Churchill being a regular diner here. Located in the medina the hotel offers 26 rooms and suites with 3 restaurants, a piano bar and a spa. Le Restaurant at La Maison Arabe is open to everyone and the menu is ‘exclusively’ Moroccan, you can also do cooking workshops at this hotel that are world famous! It has always been somewhere I had wanted to dine but had not had the chance too. Whilst staying in our riad, Mohammad who manages Riad Tizwa had suggested we eat here one evening and kindly booked us a table. From our riad it was walking distance, however it is quite easy to get lost so Abdo walked us there and it looked so easy… We got a taxi back as we were going to the Royal Mansour for drinks afterwards.
Once inside it was the most beautifully elegant setting, we were sat by the pool and everything was lit up, it was very romantic! The ambience was lovely, relaxed yet refined and the staff were first class and very helpful when deciding on what to eat and wine suggestions. The food was simply delicious and melt in your mouth, it is perfect for a special occasion or a holiday treat.
I had the Scallops to start on a bed of Green vegetables with a butter sauce then the Entrecôte beef that I had cooked medium it was divine, my husband had Cheese Filo pastry dish with tomatoes and pesto dressing followed by a Thai curry. We both ordered the Chocolate creme brûlée and wished we had shared as it was so delicious and rich but the portions were huge!! We drank a bottle of Gris wine with dinner and it was a first for me and it was superb.
La Maison Arabe was a real treat and I can see why it is so popular. A must visit…
Pepe Nero is located at 17 Derb Cherkaoui and is best found by walking into Jemaa El Fna square and looking for the Cafe de France, you then walk up the street to the left of here and follow the signs for Pepe Nero. As you will know from past blog posts on Marrakech this restaurant is a firm favourite!! For many reasons, the value for money, the friendly staff who remember you as if you were an old friend, the palatial setting and last but by no means least the food. Everyone I meet in Marrakech or at home I tell everyone to eat here, no one has ever said anything other than amazing comments about this place and I will keep returning time and time again. Try it for yourself and let me know!
With an amuse bouche to start and a welcome drink, Pepe Nero know how to start the night off well. Their menu comes in two parts, Moroccan “La Ville Rouge” and Italian “II Bel Paese” fusion. We chose off the Italian menu, opting for the King Prawns with Diced Tomatoes and Cocktail Sauce and my partner the Caprese Salad followed by the Homemade Tagliatelle Bolognese Ragu and the Carnaroli Risotto with King Prawns, again due to having eyes bigger than my belly Ice Cream was for dessert! All that is left to say is go and enjoy a meal here, you ll thank me for it later.
Ling Ling is located within the Mandarin Oriental Hotel by the Route du Golf and is part of the Hakkasan Group, this is another favoured place to eat when I am in Marrakech. This was pre booked for our wedding anniversary as we spent the whole day at the hotel. I have written previously on Ling Ling and would urge you to book a table here for a great experience, whether it be like myself an anniversary or a special birthday then this is for you!
As we have previously eaten here, we opted for a bottle of wine after some amazing pre dinner cocktails at the bar and one of their set menus. The Ling Ling Experience gives you three courses that you share with each other, it included a Supreme Dim Sum Platter, Jasmine Beef Puffs, Seafood Toban in an Assam Sauce with Fried Buns, Egg Fried Rice, Chicken Satay Skewers and Asparagus with Garlic and to finish Hazelnut and Milk Chocolate Parfait. All consumed on the outdoor terrace overlooking the pool and olive groves. The idea of Ling Ling is to enjoy cuisine in a different way, smaller plates to share food with friends alongside great drinks.
Ling Ling offers you a cool, casual experience within the grounds of luxury! If you haven’t been you should try it out…
Gueliz is the new town of Marrakech and it has a lot to offer, good shopping, rooftop bars and some great new restaurants opening all the time. I predict Gueliz will be a popular hotspot very soon indeed as it is already catching plenty of attention and for good reason. These next two restaurants we ate at whilst in Marrakech on our last trip were recommendations off social media… Barometre and Le Petite Cornichon. I am always on the lookout to try new places and was not disappointed with these two!
Barometre is quite simply brilliant. Newly opened this year. I never expected what I got and even had to return for drinks the following night. We ate here with friends from England that we had met last year on holiday in Marrakech and they said they would be back again at the very same time as us, so we decided to meet for dinner. I told them about this place I had heard about and they agreed we should go to eat there! They actually loved it that much that they returned to eat here their second week of their holiday and messaged me saying it was an amazing recommendation.
It is located in Gueliz on Rue Moulay Ali and you cant miss it as there is a giant B, which is made out of scrap metal, outside it’s sliding door entrance. Barometre is a cocktail bar and restaurant like no other, it’s all about the Mixology and the Mediterranean cuisine, it gives the vibes of a speakeasy and is certainly what you call ‘too cool for school’ and I love it! It is Morocco’s first bar dedicated to Mixology and is set back in the time of prohibition, owned by the Hadni Brothers who are the nicest people you could meet and are very hospitable to all their customers and love to give you the background to this place. Passion for their business, it is so nice and refreshing to see!! All I can sum Barometre up as is creative in every aspect and a joy to visit. It should be on everyone’s go to list.
We firstly enjoyed drinks in the bar and I had a large Mojito Royal it was perfect! Watching the staff make the drinks and create such a fun and enjoyable atmosphere felt like I was watching a great show in itself. Dinner was eaten in the room next door, however it could be eaten in the bar area if you prefer, as some people did!
After devouring the bread basket, we ordered wine for the table and our meals. I had the Pave de Loup-Bar, which was Seabass with my friend and the guys had Saumon Deguise and we followed with the Citron for dessert which was the lemon pie reviewed the Barometer it was fabulous and the Tiramisu. Complimentary shots were sent over with the bill. We all wowed at our food and the only disappointment was leaving too soon, we should have stayed there longer for drinks. Hence why I returned again the next night for cocktails with Adam.
Le Petite Cornichon
This restaurant has popped up on my instagram many times and I had seen people I know eat here, again it is new to Gueliz and I chose to book table here for our last night in Marrakech. It is on the same street as Barometre and is just a few metres away from each other. This street, Rue Moulay Ali will soon be the hottest street in Gueliz if not Marrakech.
Le Petite Cornichon offers a casual and relaxed dining with lovely staff who are very attentive to your needs, even offering the ladies handbag stands to rest their bags during dinner! The menu changes quite regularly, a weekly menu is displayed on my instagram at the start of each week. The chef here is Erwann Lance, he has travelled the world working with many top chefs and this is his first restaurant. It is a “Bistronomic restaurant and is the first of it’s kind in Marrakech and offers dishes according to the seasons” and to what has inspired the chef himself. All of the food offered is based on fresh produce and this shines through in the food here.
To start we shared a Legumes Grilles & Feta it was super tasty and fresh, as well as being given some delicious pastry treats. To follow we both had the Calamars a la Chermoula which was Calamari which was recommended by the chef on a bed of basmati rice in an exquisite tomato sauce. Ending the meal with a Lemon Meringue Pie and I especially liked being offered a freshly baked French Madeleine by the staff after my meal and I thought it was a nice touch. Le Petite Cornichon is destined for great things! If you want to enjoy a relaxing meal of good quality, at a reasonable price then this is for you.
When I next return to Marrakech, which will be in February next year I will go back to Gueliz as it is certainly worth a trip out of the medina. Marrakech should be experienced fully by seeing the old and the new, as it gives you different experiences from one great place! The Red City has much to offer and people need to realise this. I hope you enjoy your travels to Marrakech and try one or two of these great places to eat at.
Check out my previous articles on Marrakech-