Plenty of tourists say they find Moroccan cuisine slightly underwhelming.
But this is mainly because they tend to frequent touristy restaurants and cafes.
Here’s the thing:
If you’re wondering what to eat in Marrakech…
…skip the places where the tourists hang out and instead, indulge in some good ‘ol street food.
Because trust me, it tastes a heckuva lot better!
Plus, it’s where the locals go to grab their meals.
So you know you’re getting authentic food.
Speaking of which…
This guide reveals some of the best street food in Marrakech you’ve gotta try.
They’re all delicious and won’t cost you much either.
Alright, let’s dive right in…
What To Eat In Marrakech – 10 Dishes You Shouldn’t Miss
- Beans, luverly beans
Now you’re probably thinking…
‘Wait, I’m supposed to visit Marrakech and try beans?
Yeah, no thanks.
I already have ’em at home.’
Trust me, that was my reaction as well when the staff at Hotel Belleville first recommended it.
Once you’ve tried some of the Moroccan bean dishes, you’ll understand why it’s so popular among the locals.
You can choose from Besarra soup (very delicious), Lentils (extremely tasty) and Loubia (the most traditional of the three). They are all wholesome and very filling!
And while you’ll find many vendors serving beans or soup from massive pots throughout the medina, head over to the Talaa area inside the souks for a better version.
Btw, these meals are usually had in the morning, so head out as early as possible.
It’s definitely the best breakfast in the Marrakech medina!
- Sardine sandwich
Image copyright: MarocMama.com
Yeah, yeah, I know.
How is the simple ‘ol sardine sandwich included in a list of must-try Marrakech street food?
Well, you’ve gotta try the Moroccan version.
In a nutshell, it’s insanely good.
For starters, the sardine used aren’t the tinned version we’re used to buying.
Nope, these are fresh sardines that are first rolled into balls, then mixed with sheep fat and fried.
Next, the balls are tossed in a savory stuffing containing spices, olives and tomato sauce and served in fresh sandwich pockets ready to be gobbled down.
Definitely give this a go, it’s absolutely yummy!
If you’re coming over for a holiday in Morocco, don’t leave without having this dish.
It’s a crispy, flakey, super buttery flatbread eaten with golden honey in the morning and sometimes with savory condiments later in the day.
A favorite with both locals and tourists, you’ll see ladies making m’smen by hand throughout the medina.
Make sure to stop by and sample one of these buttery sheets of delight!
Vegetarians will love this.
Non-vegetarians will also love this.
It’s that yummy!
These deep fried potato patties are not only moreish, they’re the perfect carb snack for a quick boost of energy.
And while Ma’qooda can be enjoyed on its own, a popular option is to stuff them into a sandwich and top it with a fried egg or a dash of spicy harissa sauce.
- Cow brains + chicken liver buns
Oh boy, if you’re a fan of offal, you’re in a for a treat.
These buns are a massive hit among the local population and after eating them ourselves, it’s easy to see why.
They’re crammed with a delicious curry (you can choose between cow brains or chicken liver) which is mixed with various spices, coriander leaves and melted cheese and then topped with some chilli sauce.
Ooh la la.
You’ll find plenty of vendors selling these buns of goodness, but our favorite place to get them is from a little nameless eatery found in Rue Riad Zitoun el Kdim, close to Hotel Belleville.
Go ahead and give this a try because it’s cheap, really tasty and one of the more under-rated street foods in Marrakech.
- Snail soup
If you don’t fancy offal, how about some snail soup? 🙂
There are many vendors at Jemaa El-Fnaa selling snail stew from big pots to hungry customers.
You pick out the flesh with a tooth pick and then dig into the soup, which, while not very appetizing, is definitely worth tasting at least once in your life.
- Sheep heads anyone?
Photo credit: Ronald Woan
Ok, I know what you’re thinking right now…
‘No way am I gonna try that!’
And at first, most people are reluctant to give this a go.
But this is an extremely popular delicacy in the city and if you want to eat like a local in Marrakech, there’s no better way to do it by sampling some sheep head!
After tackling this, you can also dig into a plate consisting of other parts of the sheep including offal and tongue.
- Mechoui Alley lamb
Photo credit: LexnGer
Are you a lover of lamb?.
If so, you’ll want to pop over to Mechoui Alley located near the North End of the main square.
Each morning, whole lambs are roasted for hours in underground pits and then carved up and served with cumin salt and bread for lunch.
Now let’s talk about the meat.
First off, it’s so juicy and tender, it practically falls off the bone.
And the flavor?
Yes, this is a fairly simple dish.
After all, it’s just roasted lamb with some cumin salt.
But it’s so darn flavorful, it keeps folks coming back for more and more.
Basically, this dish consists of a variety of fish, meat, veggies and spices either eaten on a plate with a serving of fries or stuffed in bread and eaten like a sandwich.
Again, it’s a pretty simple dish that tastes delicious.
To get your fill, head over to Dar el Bacha (you’ll find it up the side street right next to the main square, roughly 100m across from the pink mural) and order a plate (or a sandwich)!
This is a delightfully sweet Moroccan sesame cookie that’s shaped like a rose, deep fried and then dunked in a bowl of thick of honey or syrup.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re going to love this!
But be warned – it can be extremely addictive. 🙂
By the way, when talking about the food in Marrakech, you simply can’t forget the wonderful fruit juice here.
With that said, here are the Top 3 drinks you’ll want to try out:
- Orange juice
Morocco is well known for their great tasting oranges, so it’s no surprise that the best orange juice is freely available here.
You’ll see loads of stalls and carts in the square and along alleyways selling freshly squeezed orange juice for cheap.
Make sure you stop by and grab yourself a glass or two, especially if you’re doing a bit of exploring.
It’s the perfect thirst quencher on a hot day and will leave you feeling rejuvenated.
- Pomegranate juice
Ah, pommy juice.
Just as good as orange juice, if not better (at least for me).
During our stay in Marrakech, we came across a guy selling fresh pomegranate juice close to our riad.
And boy, was it good.
Sweet, thirst-quenching and oh so refreshing!
- Hodangal tea
What’s tea doing in a list like this, you ask?
Trust me, this is pretty good stuff!
This almost medicinal tea is both sugary and spicy at the same time and is made with tons of spices and herbs.
Perfect for when you need a good kick!
Go To These Stalls For The Best Street Food In Marrakech
First off, there are a dizzying number of stalls to pick from and they’ll all be doing their best to attract you by smiling, waving, cajoling and even trying to take you by the arm.
But if you’re not interested, simply look straight ahead and walk past swiftly or firmly but politely turn them down.
Now on to some recommendations…
What To Avoid – Tips To Make Your Marrakech Street Food Experience Better
- Go where the locals go
If you see plenty of Moroccans buying from a particular stall, it’s most likely a good choice.
If all you see is tourists, stay away!
- Skip buying cookies from carts in the square
Stick to patisseries instead. Patisserie des Princes for example, is located just off Jemaa El-Fnaa and sells a wide range of high quality cookies, pastries and cakes at fairly reasonable rates.
- Avoid coucous or tagines being sold in the main square
Simply put, they aren’t that great.
A better choice would be to have these dishes at the riad where you’re staying at (especially if they offer in-house dining like ours did).
- Stick to fried or grilled foods and avoid salads and fresh veggies
Due to the lack of running water in many stalls, the sanitation of these dishes are questionable, so it’s a good idea to skip them altogether and only eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked.
Final Words On Eating The Best Street Food In Marrakech
When it comes to sampling street food in Marrakech, try to be open-minded and adventurous (although it helps to be a little cautious as well).
Don’t hesitate to ask vendors any questions you may have and feel free to express appreciation for their food. Most times, words aren’t even really necessary – pointing and hand gestures work just fine.