I’ll be honest guys: I found the food in Morocco underwhelming. I know, shocking! I had such high expectations based on my experiences with Moroccan, Turkish and middle eastern cuisine in Europe. Too high apparently.
However, that doesn’t mean that the food in Morocco wasn’t good. It just means that I am hard to impress, especially when it comes to food. I actually had some really good dishes, you just have to know where to find them. I’ve explained where to get the best food in Morocco in more detail in my post: things to know before you visit Morocco.
So, which dishes should you try during your trip? Short answer, all of them. But these ones are especially delicious:
Tajine is basically the national dish of Morocco and you will see it on every menu. They are meat or vegetable dishes that have been slow cooked over a small flame in the signature tajine pan: clay pots in the shape of a cone. There are several different kinds of tajine, with chicken, lamb and vegetable as the most common. Vegetable tajine is a great vegan option, made with a variety of veggies such a courgette, aubergine, peppers and carrot. Chicken tajine is often made with preserved lemon and lamb with warm spices. They take a while to prepare, so don’t order it when you are in a rush.
Tajines in tourist restaurants tend to be bland and underseasoned, riads serve great ones. The best tajine I ate in Morocco was the one I made myself during a cooking class at the Amal centre.
The other dish most common in Morocco is couscous. In stead of cooking the couscous, it is steamed until it’s soft and fluffy. It is usually served with vegetables and can be eaten on it’s own or as a side dish. This one is also really good for vegans and vegetarians.
I have to hand in to the Moroccans, they know how to bake good bread. Moroccan breads are round loafs of different sizes, either white or wholegrain, and they are eaten as a side to every meal. There are carts everywhere selling stacks of them. They are especially good fresh, buy one with some olives and tomatoes at the market for a cheap and tasty lunch.
At the Medina in Fez you’ll also notice an array of Berber breads: couscous bread, Moroccan crepes and Berber pancake. I suggest you try a piece of all of them as they are unique and delicious. The Moroccan pizza was my favourite, it’s a flatbread with onion and tomato.
Another way to eat the Moroccan bread is as a sandwich. You can find falafel and kebab places everywhere, but also other types of meat filled sandwiches. The best sandwich I ate in Morocco, which is also vegetarian-friendly, was in Fez. At the food market near the Medina, I found a man that sold sandwiches filled with potato, egg, chickpeas and tomato salsa. It was so delicious!
Being vegan in Morocco can be difficult as eggs, yoghurt and soft cheeses are common, but there are plenty of vegetarian options. One vegan option that I loved was harira. Harira is a hearty tomato and chickpea soup, sometimes with lentils and noodles as well. It’s rich and creamy and usually eaten as a starter, but you can also get it as a main.
5. Mint tea
By the end of my trip I was so tired of mint tea! It’s served everywhere you go. The Moroccan mint tea is made in a special teapot with green tea, which is ‘washed’ twice, mint and sometimes other herbs and an ungodly amount of sugar. Once the tea cools down it turns to syrup, it’s that sweet! Luckily, they usually make it less sweet for the tourists.
The mint tea is also called Berber whiskey, which led to me being very disappointed when I was served mint tea instead of actual whiskey.
If you get tired of the mint tea, try some fresh fruit juice. In Marrakech you’ll see vendors selling delicious fresh fruit juices for just a few euros.
Note that you can’t drink the tap water in Morocco unless you use a filter bottle, like Lifestraw, as I did.