03 Feb This is where you’ll want to eat in the Marrakech medina
Prepare your taste buds. Marrakech is attracting a new crop of restaurateurs and chefs, creating a diverse culinary and dining scene in Marrakech alongside some our local favourites. Much to our delight, many of the new restaurants are mere steps away from Riad 72 in the Bab Doukkala and Dar el Bacha neighbourhoods, alongside some of our favourite street and market stalls. Riad Living’s Mandy Sinclair ate her way around the neighbourhood to check out the street food, fancy cafes and trendy restaurants that will have you wondering if it’s even necessary to leave the Bab Doukkala or Dar el Bacha neighbourhoods.
Restaurant: Les Jardins du Lotus
Perfect for: Poolside brunch with a bottle of rosé
No need to head out of town for a poolside lunch in the countryside. Les Jardins du Lotus has it all – a patio shaded with orange trees and small plunge pool, millennial-pink walls and plush seating under the arcades and the DJ spinning tracks from Will Smith to the well-known tune Aicha. In the kitchen, Mexican-Canadian chef Clarisse Jolicoeur has created a Mexican inspired menu with brunch options that are perfect for grazing all afternoon. Do not miss the perfectly spiced shrimp tacos! Warning: it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon here!
Restaurant: Bacha Coffee
Perfect for: A coffee break in arguable the most beautiful space in town
In need of an afternoon pick-me-up in the most beautiful space in town? Finish up visit at the Dar el Bacha museum, an absolute treasure, just steps away from Riad 72 with a pot of coffee and a cake at Bacha Coffee. Reminiscent of a Parisian café, the cake counter here is enviably and the coffee selection seems endless. But the kind servers are on hand to help visitors select the perfect cuppa. To be honest, we’ve never turned our nose up to any of the coffees we’ve selected. And we are there often. One visit and you’ll understand why!
Perfect for: Drinks, lunch, dinner. No reasons needed
When the sunset sets, or medina fatigue sets in, we head to Kabana for a glass of rosé and soak in the views of the Koutoubia Mosque. An all-day kitchen and Sunday Funday brunch menu are on offer, while the tapas menus are perfect for sampling Moroccan flavours with a twist. Watch the Facebook page for live-music events featuring local and international DJs passing through town. But don’t just come for the food and views. The interior design by John Quinn is Instagrammable (and enviable) at every turn!
Restaurant: The donut counter at the top of the street
Perfect for: Local street-food breakfast option
To say that Morocco is a carb-lover’s paradise would be an understatement. With so many breads and biscuits available, even those who avoid gluten products tend to have a hard time resisting. And if there’s one dish we recommend trying, it’s the sfenj donut. Prepared in unassuming little stalls throughout the medina, our favourite is at the top of Arset Awzel, just to the right. Popular around breakfast and afternoon tea time, this doughy treat that’s served hot from the fryer and served on a paper napkin to enjoy as you wander in to the medina. Or stick around and grab a cup of tea for a sweet treat while watching the world go by in Bab Doukkala.
Restaurant: Terrasses des Arts
Perfect for: Moroccan or familiar international dishes with views of Bab Doukkala and beyond
An ideal restaurant for those who may be travelling with companions who want a Moroccan dish and others are looking for more familiar flavours. Lemon chicken tajine makes the cut along with Moroccan-spiced hamburgers and steak with mashed potatoes. Save room for the pastille with almonds and warm cream, it will convert even those who don’t typically indulge in a sweet treat. Beyond this, the chef prepares Moroccan spiced chocolate that is made to perfection.
Combine a meal here with a visit the museum located within Terrasses des Arts where the collection of Moroccan artifacts spread over three rooms is one of the most beautifully curated private collections in town.
Restaurant: Bab Doukkala market
Perfect for: Fresh fruits, herbs and spices
Don’t be surprised if you find chefs from nearby riads sourcing the freshest produce and meats, herbs for tea, and spices in the local markets in the Bab Doukkala district where Riad 72 is located. A bustling and exciting market from morning to evening, expect live chickens, carts with fresh herbs, fish mongers selling sardines, vegetables sold by weight, and smoky grills where locals stop for a sandwich, bowl of soup or even a sweet treat throughout the day. We recommend having a wander too and maybe grabbing some fresh fruit from the carts (just be sure to wash before consuming) or grabbing a seat at one of the local hotspots.
To book your restaurants and dining experiences in advance of your arrival at 72 Riad Living, contact Stefania at email@example.com.