There were three places I really enjoyed lunching at during my last trip to Morocco. Topping the list is Chalet de la Plage in Essaouira, and the next two are restaurants in Marrakech: Nomad and Grand Cafe de La Poste.
On recommendation from visitors and locals, I found myself in trendy Nomad for lunch after a walking tour of the Medina. Located near the “Spice Square”, this little gem serves an amazing array of modern Moroccan food. Long story short, it’s one of those trendy new hipster-esque spots in the city.
To “replenish” my thirst, I ordered a cucumber martini. Dudes, I don’t even like cucumber but let me tell you – this drink was so refreshing and potent at the same time. A very good flavoured martini indeed.
Now, let me tell you something about Nomad. When your server says the plates are “small plates”, they’re lying. Portions are actually for people with big appetites. Which is very good on deliverables.
Here’s a “cold starter” of sardine tart (70 MAD), which was absolutely amazing and big enough for a light bite for lunch on its own. The pastry was super spot on, and in fact, possibly the best pastry/bread I’ve had in Marrakech. The sardines were very flavoursome sans the fishy aftertaste. I really enjoyed this dish.
The main course of lamb tagine (120 MAD) was as traditional as you get, except the spiced lamb shank didn’t come in a clay pot. Not to say it wasn’t fab, because it was absolutely gorgeous and I’d want it again.
Even the house salad (70 MAD) was enough for two. It’s a simple dish made of arugula, celeriac, radish, red cabbage and argan oil vinaigrette. It had “side salad” all over it on paper but holy moly did it bring the flavour. Have you ever had salad and felt super healthy? That’s how I felt when I had this.
There was definitely a need for mint tea afterwards!
The food’s really great at Nomad, but the best part?
Dining under the Moroccan sun (er, although not during proper Summer season when you’ll literally bake and boil)…
…and watching the world go by with the Atlas Mountains in the background.
It’s really a great place to seek a bit of calm with great food and great vibes in between the busyness of the souks. If I had more time, I would’ve definitely gone for another day!
1, Derb Aarjan, Place des Espices, Marrakech Medina
Ave spend pp: 300 MAD (or £25)
Grand Cafe de la Poste
Outside the Medina in trendy Gueliz, is a 1920s gem that’s reminiscent of colonial Morocco. Grand Cafe de la Poste gets its name for being set within a former post office.
It’s by far the most beautiful bistro I’ve seen in years with its classic colonial Moroccan interior; to the French bistro rattan chairs by the terrace; and its chilled out sofas outside by their pergola.
Bread is the type I’m accustomed to and definitely not as dense as the usual stuff they serve in the souks.
I’ve tried a few dishes here, my favourite being a dish of seabass fillet served with ratatouille. The fish is from Agadir and cooked rather beautifully. It was really simple, but very delcious!
The steak hache comes with fries and a fried egg – very French bistro, non? I dont’ care much for the egg (which looked like it had awesome yolkporn potential) but I loved the hache itself. Beefy sans the burger-burp aftertaste, it was quite a revelation.
French beans for the win!
If you’re up for just a light snack, dessert outside with coffee is a nice idea. I’ve not really tried a proper dessert here but I’ve ordered some fresh strawbs presented like artwork (and served with cream).
I’ve heard mixed reviews about service in this super cool bistro – from very appreciative nods to down right disturbing ones. I can only vouch for my visits and can say that I’ve not had any bad issues at all. I liked the ambience so it’s definitely a pretty place I’d recommend when you’re in Gueliz.
Grand Cafe de la Poste
Avenue Imam Malik, Marrakech
Ave spend pp: 420 MAD (or £35)
Pin for later
Have you been to Marrakech? Where’d you have lunch?