5 cosy cafes in Marrakech’s old Medina

Warm, inviting and intimately comfortable, a Marrakech café is quite unlike the cold and impersonal sandwich shops you may have experienced elsewhere in the world. Instead, in Marrakech, expect to be swept inside to a world layered with history and culture, replete with sumptuous cushions, panoramic views and the rich, pungent scent of spices filling the air. Here are 5 of the very best cafés in Marrakech, where you can enjoy the ultimate experience.

Dar Cherifa

Evoking the architectural splendour of the Ali Ben Youssef Madrasa, the Dar Cherifa is a step back in time, into the city’s fascinating Saadian history. The building itself is tucked away amongst the bustle of the souks, but for the lucky traveller who discovers its secretive entrance, a fantastic experience awaits.

Dar Cherifa

Restored in 2000 to its 16th century glory, the refined and delicate stucco and carved wood décor of the café provides an aesthetically pleasing and relaxing environment to enjoy everything from a refreshing breakfast to start the day, to casual drinks or a light snack. The menu reflects the institution’s rich sense of culture – with a blend of Berber, Jewish and Arab-Andalucian influences integrated with traditional Moroccan cuisine. More than just a place to have a quick bite, at the Dar Cherifa you’ll want to linger long and soak up every second of your stay.

Café des Epices

Providing a much-needed refuge from the clamour of the markets below, the Café des Epices is perfectly located for a quick escape and a soothing refreshment or two. The clean and contemporary ochre, red and brown décor fits alongside the dust coloured streets – but step inside and you will soon be a world away from the hawkers, hagglers and vendors.

Serving up a variety of traditional Moroccan snacks, including Moroccan mint tea, pastries and sandwiches, there is plenty on offer to enjoy and refresh yourself with. It’s well worth heading up to the roof terrace, from where you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Atlas Mountains or spy the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in the distance. Head early to experience the warm glow of the sun washing over the landscape, or enjoy a reprieve during the day, and watch over the spice vendors bustling with the fragrant trade below.

Café Arabe

For a more refined experience, the Café Arabe serves up a pleasurable and contemporary take on Moroccan café culture. Located in the heart of the Medina, the Café Arabe blends contemporary and traditional elements to provide a chic and stylish getaway from the souks.

Cafe Arabe

With a menu that combines Italian and traditional Moroccan flavours, you can enjoy a more unique culinary experience here – whether you’re popping in for a simple aperitif, or want to enjoy a slow and delicious lunch. Head to the terrace for the best seats and views in the place – as the refreshing breeze passes through, you can take in the breath-taking scenery that surrounds Marrakech, making it the ideal place for a romantic tryst in the city.

Un Déjeuner a Marrakech

This family-friendly café is exceptionally popular with guests, and for good reason. Serving up a small selection of dishes that are infused with fresh, local flavours, it is a wonderful spot for a satisfying lunch, and a restorative break from shopping in the souks.

Decorated in a contemporary take on traditional Moroccan architecture, you are given a choice of the ground floor tables or the terraced rooftops above. While the terrace inevitably involves a longer wait for your meal, the stunning views, refreshing breeze and soothing ambiance more than compensate. Enjoy freshly prepared salads, delicious tarts or rich tagine stews, and watch the world pass by below.

La Perle de Sud

A short 100m away from the Jemaa El Fna Square, La Perle de Sud offers a relaxing and enjoyable space to take in a traditional Moroccan meal or snack. With great value dishes, fresh flavours and charming service, this café serves up an enjoyable experience at all times.

Dine al fresco on the Panoramique Terrasse and come with a good appetite – the café serves up generous portions to its diners, and with such wonderfully prepared food to choose from, you will not want to waste a single morsel.

Stéphane Abtan is Director at Dar Ayniwen.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Anna says:

    It’s been a couple of years I visited Morocco last time. Would be time to go back – have a few good friends there. I don’t remember any of these cafés in Marrakesh – are they new or did I just miss them?
    The interior of Dar Cherifa looks cool.

  2. Stéphane Abtan says:

    Hi Anna. Most of these cafés have been around for somme time now. You might have missed them because most of them are listed in guides and review websites as restaurants. Dar Cherifa is quite incredible. The house it is located is une of the oldest of the medina.

  3. Thanks for the tips Stephane! I’m a big fan of Marrakech! I also like Le Jardin in Marrakech.. a peaceful place to eat!

  4. This is so useful as I’ll be travelling to Marrakech next March!! I’ve bookmarked it and will use it as a reference. Thanks!

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