Restaurants in Marrakesh

Moroccan food is a sumptuous delight, from tagines of roasted lamb falling of the bone to roasted chicken with apricots and couscous. Marrakesh restaurants have some of the best Moroccan food in the country, but they also serve international cuisines for variety. You won’t find yourself rubbing elbows with too many locals at dinner though; even the wealthiest Marrakshis prefer to host parties at home rather than eat out. There are plenty of beautiful settings for your meals, like the many rooftops terraces lit by candle lanterns or inside the opulent riads, which house some of the best restaurants in Marrakesh.

Stop into Al Fassia for traditional Moroccan tagines and pastillas in an opulent setting, unique because it is run entirely by women. Another excellent choice is Les Trois Saveurs in La Maison Arabe. Poolside service under palms and sweeping archways; diners will be just as delighted by the food as the setting. Visitors looking for a taste of Moroccan exotica must try Dar Yacout, a medina institution. Follow winding alleyways to the restaurants courtyard, strewn with petals. The typical Moroccan menu is less impressive than the flourish of the presentation.

For less traditional restaurants in Marrakesh, Le Jardin is excellent for a French lunch stop. This shabby-chic garden café opened a few years ago and has already become a hotspot. Guests sit at vintage tables and feast on casual staples, from salade niçoise to crisp, tangy Moroccan briouates (stuffed phyllo triangles). Crystal offers a high-end, white tablecloth dinner paired with live music and dancing. The famous Pourcel twins designed this refined menu with a Mediterranean flair. Next door to the Pacha nightclub, you can kick off your heels after dinner for some hip shaking and maybe a shot at belly dancing if you’re feeling local.

The brainchild of Marrakshi restaurateur Nourredine Fakir, this multilevel restaurant pays homage to its location with antique menorahs and historic photographs of the area.

Franco-Italian aristocrat Fabrizio Ruspoli has added 10 rooms to his sybaritic riad on the medina’s edge. The cooking school remains stellar, with small class sizes for a total immersion into the fragrant North African cuisine.

Owner Christine Rio offers a prix fixe feast of Moroccan dishes, including moist pastilla (pigeon pie), lamb or chicken tagine (stew), couscous, and dessert, all served at candlelit tables in an arcaded riad, with Gnaoua musicians playing softly in the background.

You could almost be in Indochina, circa 1950, sitting under slow-turning ceiling fans on a vast bamboo-shaded veranda. It is popular with French expats, who treat it as their own private club.

Every visitor to Marrakesh has to try Dar Yacout, a medina institution. Follow winding alleyways to the restaurants courtyard, strewn with petals.

For a light lunch, stop at this cool new restaurant with an attractive staff on the Riad Zitoun Jdid street, a buzzing shopping strip.

The décor—gigantic spindly chandeliers; metal sconces—outshines the menu of Moroccan, French, and Thai dishes.

To reach this  fabulous Italian restaurant, located at the Four Seasons Hotel, you’ll get to stroll through the hotel’s beautiful grounds, replete with fountains.  Just be sure to reserve in advance, because it’s almost always booked.

Run by a French couple, this is the very best place to have fish and seafood in Marrakesh.  Start with delicious Moroccan oysters, then move on to the lobster, or the catch of the day.  For dessert, the crème caramel is big enough for two—and excellent.  There’s a very nice wine l

This is where I go when I want a really good steak.  But there’s plenty more on the menu, from foie gras to lobster pasta.  Le Studio is always mobbed by the French expat crowd, so don’t be surprised to find smokers on your left and your right.