The iconic dish of Morocco, the tajine, merely refers to the vessel in which the ingredients are cooked, although it has become synonymous with the contents as well. With a wide variety available – and found essentially in every restaurant in Marrakech along the tourist trail – we’ve searched for the best spots serving tajines or unique dishes you won’t easily find on menus in more typical tourist haunts. Though locals tend to believe that the best kind of cooking is that which is prepared in the home, we’ve rounded up our favorite restaurants for a mouth-watering tajine.
A modern restaurant serving home-cooked Moroccan food, at L’ibzar dishes are prepared with love by owner and operator Assia, who is on site to ensure guests enjoy her cooking. With options such as mrouzia (lamb tajine with almonds and dried raisins), tajine kedra (lamb in tajine with almonds and shallots) and even Djaj M’DerbeI chicken with cinnamon and jelled tomatoes (or pumpkin), you’re sure to find tajine options not typically offered elsewhere.
While the kefta and egg tajine is quite well known, and often a pleasant surprise to travelers, it is a dish often prepared with ground beef. Here at Taj’in Darna, where the ambiance is simple and local, the chefs prepare a ground lamb tajine that is slow-cooked to perfection and served with views of Jemaa el Fna.
This chic riad opens its doors to a select number of diners at its in-house restaurant, La Table du Riad by Riad 72, where modern and traditional Moroccan dishes are created. Head here for the rabbit tajine topped with raisins, candied lemon, and green olives; it’s a unique menu item rarely served at other riads or restaurants.
The unique architecture and traditional crafts on display complete the ambiance at the restaurant inside La Maison Arabe where dadas –meaning traditional Moroccan female chefs who learn their trade informally, with recipes orally passed down from their mothers and grandmothers – prepare some of the finest tajines.
This street-side café in Marrakech serves some of the best street food and quick eats, including their lemon chicken tajine and kefta and egg tajine. During the week, locals flock here at lunchtime for the quick service and cheap eats, while weekends see out-of-towners linger a bit longer, making it one of the hottest cafés in the neighborhood.
The do-good restaurant at the Amal Women’s Training Centre serves up some of the best home cooking in a garden setting. Located in the heart of Gueliz, the choice of tajine varies each day. However, don’t go on a Friday expecting to order a tajine – this is the go-to place for Friday couscous, so locals and travelers alike flock here.
Dar Cherifa is a literary café by day that turns into a chic and romantic dining room by night, serving up some of the most authentic and unique dishes – seffa with chicken gizzards served with cinnamon and icing sugar, and even calf’s foot with nuts and dates. For the less adventurous, head here for a Berber tajine (vegetarian) while admiring the original architecture of this centuries-old, traditional riad in the Mouassine district of the Marrakech medina.
Grab a table under the umbrellas on the rooftop terrace and prepare for an unexpected culinary journey. With main dishes priced from approximately 70 Dirhams, you can’t go wrong when ordering one of their salads to accompany your meat-heavy tajine. Succulent meats, perfectly roasted vegetables and perhaps the odd preserved lemon, added for spice, make up the essential ingredients of the reasonably priced tajines on offer here.
It may sound rather bizarre to head to a petrol station for a tajine, but don’t be fooled. At Afriquia Petrol Station travelers can expect to eat one of the finest goat tajines around. Washed down with a mint tea and scooped up with fresh bread from the local bakery, the goat tajine is as delicious as the meat is tender.