Sunday, 1 February 2015

Insiders Guide II - Our favorite places to eat and drink

The food in Marrakech is an amazing blend of the North African and French kitchens. The bars and clubs are sometimes (always?) more vibrant than what you find in New York or on Ibiza. We keep discovering new favorites all the time.

Below we list our current favorite spots in town, check them out next time you visit!


Maison MK, fine dining in a beautiful riad, where you start with cocktails on the roof terrace and continue with an impressive menu in the courtyard. Great wine, good service and very high ambitions in the kitchen.

 Maison MK at night

Dar Zellij, If you want to have Moroccan food, avoid the set-menu tourist traps and head for Dar Zellij. Great food and ambiance.

Le Foundouk, a modern and trendy restaurant that combines Moroccan and French food with a very good result. Cool bar and nice crowd.

Bo Zin, perhaps the coolest spot in town. Excellent Asian fusion food, fantastic bar and garden. World class DJ:s turn Bo Zin into a vibrant night club when the sun sets. Great place to look at the "it crowd" of Marrakech. Go there!

El Fenn, Vanessa Bransons stylish Riad is worth a visit just for the art and ambience. Very chic but perhapes the initial glow is starting to fade (as with most trendy spots on the planet). OK food and amazing art.

A lot of great art at El Fenn

El Fenn, perhapes more for the ambience than the food...

The Loft, this is an American bistro type of place. Basic and easy going with very attentive staff and good value for money.

Comptoir Darna This is a another hot-spot where you find beautiful guests, local and international celebrities as well as a decadent decor and great food. Live performance, great bar and later it turns into a night club. The Marrakech spin-off of Comptoir in Paris is a fine establishment that delivers every time.

Amaia is a very nice restaurant with high quality in food and service while having a laid back and relaxed atmosphere. Easy going and a solid kitchen that delivers high quality every time.

 The outdoor bar at Bo Zin


Palais Dar Donab, A beautiful palace where you can have lunch (or dinner) under the orange trees by the pool, very friendly and laid back.

Palais Dar Donab

La Sultana, Absolutely amazing place to enjoy a (pricy) lunch on the roof terrace with great views. Try the camel kebab - world class!

La Sultana

Palais Lamrani is an amazing palace with exceptional food. This old 16th century palace has been carefully restored for 3 years by a Moroccan/French family and is a fabulous place with an tropical garden and ambitious (and good) menu.  Open for lunch for non residents. We love, love, love this new addition to the medina that is just around the corner from our Riad.

Palais Lamrani

Villa Flore, trendy and stylish little riad with French cusine run by a very elegant French owner who likes to socialize with her guests.

Le  Jardin, set in a lush garden this place serves good food and you find birds in the trees and turtles on the ground.

Le Bagatelle
A real French bistro with excellent food, friendly service and beautiful interiors. Go there for a long lunch with French wines!

Beldi Country Club, Escape the city, relax by the beautiful pool and have a fantastic 3 course lunch at Beldi (10 minutes by car from the medina).

Beldi Country Club - great for lunch and a swim!


Bo Zin and Comptoir mentioned above under restaurants also feature excellent bars so you could visit them for that reason alone. Other options are:

Grand Cafe de la Poste, This place is a fantastic colonial-styled restaurant that is good, but we suggest you head straight for the upstairs bar which is like stepping back in time. A lot of effort have gone into the design of this place that used to be the old postal office back in the 19th century.

Cafe Arabe, this is one of the few bars (except luxury hotels) that serves alcohol in the medina. It has a very nice roof terrace where you can enjoy beer, wine, cocktails or champagne. An institution in Marrakech, nice basic restaurant on the ground floor.

Cafe Arabe

Grab a cigar (yes you can smoke inside) and a cocktail in the bar where Winston Churchill used to hang out. Beautiful safari style bar located in legendary Mamounia Hotel.

Riad Elisa
Disco bar in a modern riad with a twist

  Riad Elisa

La Renaissance, roof top bar
This boring hotel has a roof top bar with the best view in Marrakech. In the twilight hours it is divine.

The roof top bar of La Renaissance, both pictures above

Kosy Bar, restaurant with OK Asian food and a nice roof terrace here as well. Located in the medina.

The perfect day
Start off with breakfast at luxurious La Mamounia by the pool, perhaps with a glas of champagne? Go for a swim, get a spa treatment. Walk through the souks, check out the photographic museum. Enjoy a 3 course lunch at Palais Lamrani or La Sultana with a bottle of Medallion rosé wine. Chill out at your riad and listen to the birds and calls to prayer. Take a taxi to Guelize and get the pulse of the new town. Enjoy a cocktail with a view at La Renaissance. Go back to the medina for a gastro dinner att Maison MK and then continue for drinks at cool Riad Elisa and the classical spot Cafe Arabe. Then its either a glas of wine at the the roof terrace of your riad or off to Hivernage for clubs and nightlife, Teatro and Diamond Noir are the night clubs to go to.

Bon Apetit and Cheers!