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Dining in Morocco

ghutcher | | Jan 2, 2013 03:48 PM

As a regular user of Chowhound, I have noticed that there is very little information about where to dine in Morocco. There are often many requests, but few responses -- so I thought I would list the restaurants my family and friends tried over the last week or so as we travelled across the country.

in Rabat, we had a nice lunch at Le Dhou, a new restaurant on an antique boat docked near the harbor. The setting was beautiful and the food was good with a more modern flair than many of the other restaurants around the country. We had dinner at Le Dinajat, which is in a beautiful riad, and the menu of traditional Moroccan fare was executed well. We particularly liked being greeted by a man with a lantern who guided us from our van to the restaurant in the medina.

In Fes, we loved the restaurant in the Palais Amani Riad. The setting and food were A+. The menu was a modern take on Moroccan fare -- semolina soup with cilantro, Medfounah and banana beignets for dessert. The owner was very personable as well and his family had dinner in the restaurant next to us. The next night we had dinner in our riad, Al Kantara in the medina. The owner had friends over who entertained us and each other with some traditional and modern music before dinner The service was well intended and the food was authentic and hardy. Dinner our last night in Fes was at Maison Blanche in the Ville Nouvelle. The food was international and executed quite well in a modern setting.

In Merrekech, we really liked lunch at Catanzaro. The thin-crust pizzas were really good even when compared to our options in New York City. The restaurant had many locals and was located in the Ville Nouvelle. Our first dinner was at Dar Moha. The setting was beautiful (restored 19th century riad) particularly by the pool, and the traditional Moroccan food was good--not great. We liked Al Fassia Guetiz better. It is run by Berber ladies with wonderful traditional food from around Fes. The service is a little abrupt and the space is nothing special, but go for the food. We took a day trip the next day to the high Atlas mountains and had lunch at Kasbah Tamadot. It is a must! The food was creative and the outdoor tables surrounded by the mountains and the hotel's property were amazing. While some in my group like Dar Yacout the next night, I did not. It is billed as the best restaurant in Merrekech--don't believe it! While the riad is truly beautiful (designed by Bill Willis), the menu is fixed and formulaic and the place is full of tourists. The food was uninspired and left me feeling like a number. The wine choices are red or white... We went to Le Comptoir for New Year's Eve. What a scene. It was expensive (over $300 per person), the food was odd and the show (including the belly dancers) was low rent. We were very disappointed but to be honest others looked like they were having a good time. I highly recommend taking a cooking class at our riad, Riad El Fenn with chef Hafid. We had a great time shopping in a local market with him and cooking up fine (if I do say so myself) tagine and tangines. We were served our creations on the roof terrace with some fennel salad and lentils for lunch. We also had a nice lunch at Le Jarnin in the medina. The place was kind of groovy and the food (international fare) was pretty good too.

I hope this helps future travellers to Morocco and sparks more discussion on Chowhound from locals and others about the many dining options available.

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