Tips for eating in Morocco
Where to eat in Morocco? We will try to answer this question in a quick and direct way. These are the most typical dishes on the menus of restaurants in Morocco.
Couscous, of Romanian origin, it was popularized with the Alaouite dynasty, as a very common semolina dish.
The Tajine, with fish or meat, is a typical dish prepared in earthenware dishes, in the interior, they are with mutton. On the coast, they are with anchovies, sardines, and shrimps.
The Méchoui or roasted sheep are typical of the breeding areas of the interior and the Atlas.
Soups, the most typical are the Harira with tomatoes and the Bissara of beans.
Salads seasoned with different vegetables and fruits, of French influence.
The paella seasoned with spices is a dish that accompanies meat and fish, of Spanish influence.
The pastilla, mille-feuille stuffed with meat or fish.
Fried fish, typical of the coast by the influence of Spain.
Charred mutton, chops, brochettes, Kefta, steamed meat, etc... Typical dishes can be found in the roadside shacks and souks.
Fast-food restaurants are the best options because of their good quality-price ratio and the speed of service. Although they do not have the same standards of hygiene and quality that we are used to in Europe.
To note, the popular sandwiches are composed of vegetables, fries, tuna ... To which we can add chicken, Kefta (minced meat) or skewers (on the coast of Keftas with fish). Good quality, reliable and they are eaten with a refreshment or a tea at a table usually located in the street. The average cost is about 2 Euros. Choose the establishment where you see movement.
Another kind of fast food is the traditional burgers or pizzerias such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut, etc... which are usually in the center of the big cities, very frequented by the youth.
In all the cities we can find Churrerias where to buy the typical big and round fritters or pancakes called Rghaifs, to be taken with coffee or tea, in a nearby bar.
In the street, we can find street vendors selling food with snails, roasted corn cobs, cooked chickpeas, dried fruits, cakes, orange juice or sugar cane, etc...
Breakfasts consist of coffee or tea with toast with oil, butter or fresh cheese, and a variety of pancakes called Rghaif or Msemen, to which we add honey, butter, etc... That we complete with juices or seasonal fruits.
And let's not forget the famous Camel Burger (Kefta Sandwich)
Yes, camel burger! The camel meat was not mixed with any kind of bread or binding agent. Instead, it was mixed with coriander, cumin, and harissa. It was served on a semolina roll with a little red bell pepper. It didn't taste a bit gamey. Instead, it was tender and moist.
I was a little hesitant to try it, but our camel burger was one of the best things we ate on the trip! Camel is most commonly found in Fez and Meknes. It is less common in Marrakech or Casablanca. We ate it in a family home in Meknes as part of our gastronomic tour.
Last and not least another famous street food not to be missed is the Maakouda: I just loved saying that word. The maakouda is a potato pancake with coriander and a bit of spice, which is fried. They are quite small, so feel free to order a bunch as a great afternoon or late-night snack.
The popular restaurants are the ones that the local population goes to and where you can eat for a modest price (6-15 Euros).
The most common menus are fried or grilled fish, seafood cocktails, etc... It depends on the city. The salads are varied and well presented.
The meat is offered in skewers, chops or Kefta (minced) to the embers, steamed, cooked in a tagine, or stuffed as for the Méchoui of the Atlas, (typical of road restaurants or the interior of the country), you can choose your meat in a butcher shop adjacent to the restaurant and see how it is prepared the embers.
On the coast, they often have Tagine with fish. Normally, there are always the traditional Harira, Bissara, or fish soups.
Couscous is eaten on Fridays, but you can find them every day. They can be with chicken or mutton (ask for the sauce). In addition, you can have paella-style rice, French fries, or different tomato and hot sauces. For dessert, you can ask for orange juice, seasonal fruits, dates, and tea.
In the cities on the coast, near the beach, or in the ports, you can frequently find sardine Chiringuitos.
European-style luxury or tourist restaurants have a worse price-quality ratio, although they allow you to eat on clean premises with good service. They normally allow alcohol consumption, but at a higher price. They are often located in large hotels and tourist areas. Some specialize in Moroccan cuisine.
Other restaurants specialize in European cuisine: Italian, American, and Spanish with traditional tapas and French restaurants abound. Fish and seafood restaurants are sought after, with beautiful grilled fish and seafood. In the major tourist areas, there are Asian restaurants.
In Morocco, they are more common than restaurants. For them, it is more common to have coffee, tea, toast, or cakes on the street than traditional food. It is an alternative way to eat, in fact, they often have sandwiches and salty snacks, like Briouats or pastillas, accompanied by tea, coffee, or refreshments.