More than Marrakech: a foodie's guide to Morocco
The cities of Tangier and Fez should be high on your hitlist, and of course no trip to Morocco would be complete without experiencing Marrakech. Here are my favourite places to stay, eat and drink in all three destinations.
Tangier is the entry point to Morocco from Spain if you cross the Mediterranean by ferry. Go straight past the gaudy beachfront and get to the Kasbah, which is perched high above the ocean and is a labyrinth of times past.
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Stay: Le Maison Blanche, a beautifully restored eight-room Riad owned by Aziz, a local Moroccan fluent in Arabic, Spanish, French and English, and his Spanish wife, Pilar. The breakfast alone is reason to stay. Moroccan crepes, homemade jams and Argan oil peanut butter, croissants, coffee and juice while the sun rises over the crescent beachfront of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Drink: We got lost in the Medina only to stumble upon a lone menu stuck on a wall. While we were trying to find any sign of life, a bright blue door down an alleyway opened to reveal Dar Nour, a rooftop bar and restaurant. Mojitos are the drink of choice and two land in front of us while we take in the spectacular white buildings and rooftops of this amazing city.
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Eat: Le Saveur de Poisson. A hand-drawn map from Aziz and the parting words "nowhere else like it in Morocco" has us arriving in a restaurant full of local families, no menus and just fish. Marinated olives and bread hits the table as soon as you sit down, then a mini tagine of spinach, fish and baby octopus follows before the showstopping whole fish covered in cumin, stuffed to the brim with herbs and cooked on the charcoal grill. A huge bowl of ripe figs arrives for dessert. Contentment be thy name.
Stay: La Maison L'Arabe is a hotel in the medina. The rooms are beautiful and there's a pool surrounded by lush gardens and restaurant dining.
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Drink: Nomad - We had to check out our local namesake! Head up to the rooftop terrace that overlooks a small square where traders come to sell and barter and settle in with a bottle of local rosé.
Eat: in the Main Square. Go to the spice markets and try the pigeon pastilla. The famous tagines are everywhere and definitely worth sampling, and you're surrounded by various marinated meats on skewers - beef, lamb, chicken and seafood, all cooked over deliciously smoky charcoal.
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Take a day trip to Essaouria, which is two hours by car from Marrakech on the coast. Follow the locals past the tourist beach shacks and head to the grill right next to the fish markets - just look for the smoke. Using a charcoal pit, they grill sardines, octopus, skate, lobster, crab and local ruby red prawns - cooked with just a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon - perfection! An absolute must if you find yourself in this part of the world.
Stay: Dar Seffarine. When husband and wife foreigners, in this case an Iraqi husband and a Norwegian wife, fall in love with a city and its architecture, this is what happens. Every inch of this gorgeous riad has been masterfully restored.
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Drink: Cafe Clock. Famous for their camel burger, we were here for their other drawcard: the mint lemonade over crushed ice, which makes a welcome respite from the heat.
Eat: Restaurant numero 7 - international chefs do three-month stints here, focusing on local ingredients and Moroccan cooking techniques.
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection