Marrakech – After Dark – The Best Restaurants and Bars
The Style Traveller’s Top 5 restaurants in Marrakech
As the last post from my epic trip to Marrakech, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite bars and restaurants in the city. There’s a huge range of choice, varying in price and style, sit with the locals and enjoy the street food in the main square of Djema El Fna, specifically at Terrace des Epices, or opt for a formal, fine dining experience at the atmospheric, traditional, Dar Moha. For trendier, hip venues try Le Comptoir Darna or the restaurant at The Beldi Country Club. One thing they all have in common is stunning decor and excellent food. The standard of restaurants in Marrakech is very high, if you know the right places to go.
Here’s The Style Traveller’s edit of my Top 5 restaurants in Marrakech….
Above: The Style Traveller (moi, third from left) and my friends having dinner at Le Comptoir Darna and top image: the exotic entertainment at Le Comptoir Darna.Flower accented cocktails at Le Comptoir Darna – lets get the party started
Le Comptoir Darna (The Party Place)
In at number 1 of my favourite hang outs in Marrakech, is the super fun restaurant and club, Le Comptoir Darna. Located in the chic Gueliz area of the city, it is THE place to see and be seen. The clientele is a mix of ‘in the know’ tourists, with the Moroccan ‘it’ crowd. Enjoy outdoor aperitifs in the bamboo filled courtyard, followed by a superb meal from the Middle Eastern and Asian fusion menu.
The interiors are seductively lit, with metal and dark wood ornate furniture. Terracotta walls and the incense filled air adds to the boudoir effect of this stunning venue. Book a table in the centre of the restaurant to make sure you are in prime position for the decadent floor shows, which start at 10pm. After dinner the first floor turns into a night club, open till late with pumping house and dance music.
For those who still want to party on after Le Comptoir closes, you can catch the restaurants ‘horse drawn carriage’ to Marrakech super club, du jour, Theatro. Expect world class DJ’s and Ferrari’s cruising round the extravagant water fountain entrance. If you want to party with the jet set, Theatro is your place.
Above: The outdoor terrace at Le Comptoir Darna and below: Me at the BeldiThe Beldi Country Club – The Chic One
The restaurant at the elegantly understated, Beldi Country Club serves up a fusion of classic Moroccan dishes with a French inspired twist. Think ceviche of sea bass followed by a delicate tubot tagine. All rather healthy, with delicious melt in your mouth portions.
The grounds are as elegant and stylish as the food. Walk through intricate mosaic paths, amidst floating tulle, day beds, to reach the al fresco restaurant. A bamboo canopy and candlelit lanterns provide a romantic backdrop for the retro tones of a 1930’s jazz sound track. This is a great place to while away the day by the glittering, sun kissed pool, perhaps indulge in a spa treatment, then chow down with your trendy counterparts in the chic, bohemian restaurant.
Above and below: The Style Traveller (me, front right) with friends, having supper at The Beldi Country Club.
Above: Tagine earthenware at The Beldi and below: the classic Moroccan experience at Dar Moha.
Dar Moha – The Traditional One
Set in a spectacular house, once owned by fashion designer Pierre Balmain, Dar Moha is the quintessential, Moroccan, gastronomic experience. Indulge in some of Marrakech’s finest food, slow roasted tagines and a smorgasbord of perfectly created mezzes, followed by fragrant, pistachio and almond laced pastries. Each plate is exquisitely prepared and comes in colourful, rustic, earthenware pots. Guests wait in anticipation as the enthusiastic waiters lift the lids off the courses, as though they are a proud magician performing their finale trick. Ta da!!!
The setting? Sit beside the candle lit, turquoise, mosaic pool, surrounded by azure blue walls and rose petals delicately strewn across the tables. It’s hard to imagine a more classically romantic interior. The seductive experience is made all the more heady, with music and entertainment provided by the fantastic, musical dervishes, playing their hypnotic tunes on traditional instruments.
The restaurant is one of Marrakech’s most revered establishments and a must for first time visitors to Morocco.Above and below: The traditional dishes at Dar Moha
Nawarma – The Pretty One
Located on the edge of the Medina down a labyrinth of secret passage way, lies one of Marrakech’s prettiest restaurants. Nawarma (pictured above) is a Morrocan/Thai fusion restaurant set in a magnificent al fresco court yard. Every corner of this stylish establishment is aesthetically beautiful.
Wavering flame topped water features, twinkling candle lit corners and reeds blowing in the warm breeze, cast a beautiful shadow on the painted, carved walls. The lighting, the music, the ambience and the food, all add to the decadent mood of this vey special and hauntingly, atmospheric place.Me posing under the intricate carved archways at Nawarma.Palais Namaskar – The Swanky One
For those who want to venture out of central marrakech for an evening, I highly recommend booking a table for dinner at Palais Namaskar. Without doubt one of the most fantastic meals I had in Marrakech, was actually at the hotel we were staying in. A more stunning setting for a hotel and restaurant is hard to imagine. Take an afternoon stroll in the exotic Balinese gardens, followed by a glass of champagne watching the sunset at the rooftop bar.
After dark head to the magnificent restaurant, lit by the turquoise waters of the decadent swimming pool. Languish in the candle lit serenity of your table, surrounded by magical views of the main water feature and the palace villa. The menu is a mixture of Moroccan, French and Asian gourmet classics. You must try the lobster in squid ink pasta and all the desserts are to die for (yes I did try most of them!) To see my full review on Palais Namaskar click here.Sunset cocktails on the roof terrace at Palais Namaskar.
Above: Looks like someone’s had a few too many drinks at Le Comptoir Darna.
And below: I do believe his carriage awaits to take him to the night club, Theatro!
For more on my Marrakech adventures click here.