Al Fassia Gueliz
Located in the Medina just steps away from Avenue Mohamad V, Al Fassia serves some of Marrakech’s most authentic food in a cozy and welcoming environment. For a taste of traditional items such as tagines, lamb dishes, pastillas and desserts, eating at Al Fassia is a must. The restaurant is a family affair originally opened by the Chab family and is still led by chef Halima Chab. It is also run as a cooperative employing only women, many of whom have a financial stake in the restaurant and their passion is seen in the service as well as in the cooking itself. Make sure not to miss the lamb shoulder for two or the pigeon Pastilla!
Note: There are two branches of the restaurant. The one in Gueliz is the original while the location in Aguedal caters to large groups.
French designer Pierre Balmain spent many years in Marrakech and his former riad in the medina is now one of the toughest reservations to get in the city. Set in a beautifully restored 19th century riad in the medina, which was built for a secretary of the Pacha of Morocco, the restaurant reveals a hidden oasis of refinement. The Swiss-trained chef, Moha Fedal, brings a lighter touch to Moroccan cuisine than you might find at Dar Yacout or Le Tobsil. Tip: Request a table in the garden. Open for lunch and dinner. Reservations highly recommended.
Dar Yacout & Le Tobsil
These two restaurants are Marrakech’s most famous. They’re also among the most touristy. Some diners embrace their Disneyfied version of Marrakech: buzzing, mobbed restaurants set in beautiful old riads with ornate decoration (once upon a time New York magazine food critic Gael Greene proclaimed Yacout one of the most romantic dinner spots in the world). Others leave horrified, describing the experience as akin to dining at Tavern on the Green. Come prepared with a reservation, or choose to stay away, but know that everyone will ask you about these, so it’s good to make a mental note.
Editor’s Note: I found Le Tobsil to be a more intimate version of Yacout. It’s considerably smaller, but it still has rooms with fireplaces and pillowed banquettes with Moroccan music and food. Just as the decor is a little lighter on ornamentation, the food a bit lighter, too. Yacout has the ultimate Arabian Nights atmosphere, but if you can’t get in there, this would be a nice alternative for the same magical medina experience. —M.B.B.
Le Tobsil: 22 Derb Moullay Abdullah ben Hessaien, Bab Ksour; 212 (0) 524-444-052
Dar Yacout: 79 Rue Sidi Ahmed Soussi, Arset Ihiri; 212 (0) 524-382-929
Search By Keyword
The country's most stunning landscapes and exhilarating outdoor activities center...
Beautiful and not overrun with tourists, this island off the...
New on Indagare
Give the Gift of Indagare The perfect present for travelers: a membership to Indagare. Buy now
Indagare Insider Trips: Cuba, Myanmar and India: We’re planning trips throughout the year. Contact Indagare (212-988-2611) to be added to the wait list.
- Community: Share advice with fellow members asking about your favorite travel discoveries.
- Indagare Insiders: Three-day itineraries for families in London and art lovers in Vienna. Plus, fashion insider Chiara Ferragamo’s picks on what not to miss in Florence, Bonnie Gokson, owner of Hong Kong’s lofty Sevva on Hong Kong, Culinary Insider: Budapest.
- Rant & Rave: Indagare members can share their advice with the community by logging in first, then clicking here: Rants & Raves.
- Give the Gift: Indagare: Give the gift of travel intelligence with a membership to Indagare. For details or to order, call us at 212-988-2611 or click here: Gift Membership.
- Indagare Plus: Remember that hotels marked by an Indagare Plus symbol offer preferential rates and benefits to members.
- Indagare Share Feature: Share articles, postcards and reviews with family and friends on such networking sites as Twitter, Facebook and Delicious. Simply click on the three small dots that symbolize our connect icon, at the end of every article, and follow the link to the networking site of your preference.
- Sample Indagare: With free bi-weekly email blasts on new hot spots and insider tips when you sign up for our mailing list.
- Profile feature: Members share your profiles, comments, favorite articles and IQs. Just click on the Profile tab on the upper right of your screen and look for the Edit My Profile blue tab.
- Indagare means to discover, explore, seek, scout in Latin.