What I like most about the cafes in Marrakesh? They have so much light and air, plants, wood, and bright colors. The menus are modern-Moroccan, sometimes even organic and on the whole grain side of life. Whether in a roofgarden or a comfortable inner courtyard, you are outside breathing fresh air, surrounded by beautiful things that are both inspiring and grounding at the same time. It's almost as if your favorite Instagram account had a baby with Berlin's best interior designers. I love it!
Critical voices might utter: Well, the look is a bit arbitrary. Woven lamp shades and glasses of Chai latte can be found anywhere MacBooks are. And yet, with the flair of 1001 Arabian nights, with the typical Moroccan mix of stone floors, shaky wooden coffee tables and woven bast coasters, with the fact that the ever humming souks are just outside the door and with the service being rather Moroccan in style (i.e. not quite up to Western ideas of perfection), it does make for a very special mixture that will have any foodie succumb to its unique charm.
Here are my Top 6 Cafés and Restaurants in Marrakesh that you definitely ought to try:
Without a doubt my
all-time favourite. The overgrown courtyard, in which guests are sometimes seated with strangers, invites you to linger. The menu is short but well selected and the food is fantastic. You might want to make a reservation in advance and avoid going too late, as both starters and desserts tend to run out quickly. Take a look at the opening hours, too:
La Famille is exclusively open during the day and only serves afternoon coffee and tea after 3pm.
Just a stone throw away from La Famille, Zwin Zwin is my second choice of restaurant for lunch or dinner. Turquoise stairs lead up to a cosy roofgarden where the staff provide blankets when it gets colder in the evenings. They serve amazing whole wheat couscous and giant jugs of rooibos tea that you can easily share.
Café Kif Kif
This gorgeous little café is situated at the bottom (or top, depending on your point of view) of Djemaa El Fna. It is the only establishment on this list actually run by Moroccans and stands out due to its incredibly courteous and friendly service.
If you're very lucky you may be able to spot the peaks of the High Atlas from its roofgarden. If that's not possible, you can still watch the people in the square in front of Koutoubia-Mosque.
Along with Kosybar, NOMAD's roofgarden is a very nice location for a sundowner. That's not to say that it isn't great at noon or after dark, either. Modern interior meets Moroccan cuisine – at the ground level you can watch the chefs prepare your meal. Def try the saffron cake!
Café Des Épices
Café Des Épices is the only café where I don't head straight for the roofgarden. From the factory windows of the middle floor you can enjoy an unobstructed view onto Souk Laghzel, where traditional wickerwork is sold. The service might not be the friendliest, but the view still does make it worthwhile for a quick break from the trouble of the souks.
Neatly served dishes and good bread (yes, this is something you'll learn to appreciate), meet changing art exhibitions. Those spending the day in the Ville Nouvelle can head down to boutique lalla around the corner afterwards.
Here are an additional handful of ideas if you want to discover more restaurants:
Kosybar – classic location for a sundowner. You can watch the storks nesting on the city walls right next door.
Roti D’Or – very reasonably priced falafels and Mexican food can be found in this mini-restaurant. Waiting times are rather long in the evenings, but the wait is well worth it.
KAOWA - part of Marrakech's most famous concept store Rue 33 Majorelle - and a nice place to have a healthy smoothie after visiting the beautiful Jardin Majorelle.
© Corinna Kaempfe for NOSADE 2016