(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you use one to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of this blog!)
Morocco blog post number NINE: this time it's all about the FOOD! If you've been following my adventures so far, you've seen a couple of meals (here and here), but this post is ALL about the restaurants where we ate. I started out trying to put them in order of how much I loved them, but it turns out I'm terrible at choosing favorites, so they're in chronological order after all.
Our Lonely Planet Guide called this place "a Beirut lounge teleported to Marrakesh via Mars," and it really was THAT exotic! We quickly learned that dinner time in Morocco is a lot later than we're used to, so we enjoyed a cocktail on the patio before the place opened for dinner. My drink was tasty, but I was even more obsessed with the colorful lanterns hanging all around.
Azar was our introduction to both mezze (Middle Eastern small plates meant to be shared as appetizers) and tagines (Maghrebi main dishes named after the earthenware pots in which they're cooked.) We ate quite a variety of foods here, and they were all delicious.
And there was impressive entertainment to boot! Belly dancing looks hard enough, but can you imagine busting those moves with a whole tray of lit candles on your head?! It was quite a spectacle!
I think Alex found this one via TripAdvisor while we were in the neighborhood, and it took us a few wrong turns in the crowded streets of the medina before we finally found it, but it was worth it!
The Moroccan mint tea was especially good here.
And the food was excellent, too. This happened to be Thanksgiving Day, and it was odd to have a chicken tagine instead of turkey and dressing, but we certainly took a moment to recognize how grateful we were (and are) for the opportunity to be exploring on the other side of the world.
Limoni wasn't too crowded for lunch, so I wandered around a little after our meal to take in all the lovely decor!
3. Bella Italia
Obviously the least Moroccan meal we had--ha! We had to get up super early for our hot air balloon ride, so the night before, we wanted an early dinner close to our hotel so we could go to bed early, and this spot right down the road from Movenpick fit the bill. Since it was earlier than people usually eat dinner in Marrakech, we were the only people in the restaurant, but we enjoyed the view of Ville Nouvelle from the balcony, and our pizza was surprisingly yummy!
This restaurant was another recommendation from our Lonely Planet Guide. I had to convince Alex that a French meal was a good idea and totally legit given the French cultural influence in Morocco, and I'm sorry to say that his skepticism turned out to be on point in this case. The food was delicious, but the portions were small, the prices were high, and the ambience of the place left something to be desired (partly because we were seated right next to the front door.) Tasty, but not our favorite meal overall.
5. La Sultana
Speaking of convincing each other of things, Alex convinced me to go to a hammam (spa), and he chose the one at this beautiful riad. I'm glad I had a new cultural experience, but I was right all along that spas just aren't really my thing. During our time getting "pampered," I was wishing I could just wander around and take pictures instead. Can you see why?
I was glad we got to stick around after our fancy spa treatments for dinner (and photo-taking.) Like I said, dinner time is late in Morocco, so we had to wait around on this rooftop bar with a few snacks while we waited for the restaurant to open. Definitely worth it for this lovely view!
I was starving by the time we ate dinner, and the food was very good, but the ambience of the place was the real highlight.
6. Riad Kaiss
Our lunch here was a very fortunate accident! We were planning to eat at the highly-rated Riad Dar Anika, but found that it was closed when we arrived. The kind staff there not only recommended an alternative, but actually walked us there! We didn't see anybody else eating at Riad Kaiss either, but since we were escorted by their friends, they sat us at our choice of rooftop table and gave us the royal treatment! It was so peaceful being up on this rooftop all alone, and there was so much beauty to take in all around!
Including fabulous tile...
I didn't even care what the food tasted like after how much I enjoyed this place, but it was SO DELICIOUS! I said I'm bad at picking favorites, but this chicken seffa was our favorite thing we ate on this trip. IT WAS SOOO GOOOOD.
This was our last dinner before leaving Marrakech, and it turned out to be the perfect way to soak up every last drop of Moroccan culture. The exterior was absolutely gorgeous.
But the inside was even more breathtaking! This ancient home was just as beautiful as some of the palaces we toured!
The food was plentiful and delicious, and the service was impeccable. It made us sad to leave but so glad to have experienced Morocco.
I'm still not quite finished telling you about Morocco, so stay tuned or sign up below to stay in touch! If you've been to Marrakech and have another restaurant recommendation, leave it in the comments!