You don’t have to venture far to eat like a king in Marrakech. Moroccan cuisine is one of the most diverse in the region, combining centuries of influences — from the Arab, Berber and Moorish people who have called Morocco home — into something distinctive and uniquely toothsome.
Morocco dishes are made from a wide choice of Mediterranean fruits and vegetables, as well meats such as lamb, beef, mutton, chicken, rabbit, seafood and even camel. Popular flavorings include lemon and sweet, dried fruits. The dishes tend to be much spicier than their counterparts in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, with liberal use of ingredients such as turmeric, ginger, cumin and paprika.
Holidays to Marrakech inevitably have a strong food theme to them. The colors and smells permeate the streets of the city, wafting up from the street stalls that line the Djemaa El-Fna square every night. With menus printed in French, Arabic and English, it’s easy to choose from a seemingly endless spread of dishes, including tajine, couscous, soups, brochette and sweets.
Many people incorrectly assume that the food stalls and cafes in the central square are purely there to entice the tourists, but these white tented stalls served hungry locals for several decades before the city became a tourist hotspot. The street stalls adhere to strict government rules on food health and safety, so it’s perfectly safe to eat wherever takes your fancy. Prices vary from stall to stall, and tend to be written on the menu to avoid confusion, but it’s possible to pick up a small snack for around 10 to 15 dirhams.
Look out also for the stalls selling fresh teas, such as mint and ginger, and sweet, sticky cakes. There are a limited number of restaurants that sell alcohol — most offer non-alcoholic drinks such as mint tea and fresh orange juice.