The best food tour in Marrakech: from mechoui to avocado juice

“ I hope you are hungry?” Youssef asks me. We meet on the main square, Djema el Fna, where, together with 8 other food enthusiasts, I’ll be taken on an evening food tour in Marrakech.

The Djema isn’t the best place to find good quality food, so we start off at the entrance of the medina, where a family business has set up a few stalls, booming with local customers. On the menu: mechoui (slowly roasted lamb in an underground clay oven) and sheep head. Yes, you read that correctly, sheep head!  I’m not brave enough to try it and instead concentrate on a less adventurous option: tanjia. It consists of seasoned lamb, preserved lemon and various spices, served in a crock-pot and cooked in the ashes of a hammam.  Very tender, but I personally prefer the mechoui, simply served with some salt and cumin.

We venture further into the medina and after munching on a few tasty olives, Youssef introduces us to another local dish:  “Hout Quari” or “sardine ball sandwiches”: grinded sardine flesh, raw onions, olives, tomato sauce, harissa and a mix of spices served in a sandwich.  It might not sound very inviting, but as a group we unanimously decide that this will be our future snack for the rest of our stay in Marrakech!

food tour in Marrakech

I’m already pretty full by now, but more than happy to make place for the “pièce de résistance” of the evening:  vegetarian couscous with caramelized onions and prunes.
In a city where you can find mediocre couscous on every corner of the street, Youssef wanted to make sure he chose the perfect place to include in the food tour. Together with his wife Amanda, he stumbled upon a tiny place where grandma was behind the pots. They knew straight away they were on to a winner!  I ate a fair amount of couscous in my life, but this is truly something else! The sweetness of the prunes and caramelized onions mixes perfectly with the salty vegetables!

food tour in Marrakech food tour in Marrakech

The great thing about Marrakech Food Tours is, not only do you get to taste dishes you would probably not have found on your own, but the tour also gives you an insight in the cooking traditions of the country.  We crawl into the dark corridors underneath a local hammam to see how tanjia is cooked and descend into a century-old bakery where amidst flour, yeast and sugar we find out the traditional way of baking bread.

For those who think that Moroccan cuisine is all about tajine and couscous, think again! There’s so much to try and taste in Marrakech: from snails to cactus fruit, from stuffed spleen to dates, … my stomach truly has been stretched to its limit! We finish the tour with one of my favourite Moroccan drinks: avocado and date juice, with Moroccan pastries.

food tour in Marrakech

I can recommend anyone on a visit to Marrakech to try this tour! Marrakech Food Tours has plenty of other tours available and if you want to try some of the recipes at home, I truly recommend Amanda’s blog: Marocmama

Marrakech Food Tours provided me with a complimentary ticket to attend this food tour, as always all opinions are my own! 

Have you been on a food tour in Marrakech? Or maybe in another city? I want to hear all about it!

10 Replies to “The best food tour in Marrakech: from mechoui to avocado juice”

  1. Sara Broers

    I love foodie tours! Foodie tours are always a great way to experience authentic foods to the are you are in, which it appears you did. The Moroccan foods you found look interesting and delicious.I’m not a fan of sardines, but I would possibly try a sardine sandwich while visiting another country.

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  2. shere

    I think the idea of a food tour with a local is so great!! I love to try the local dishes and sometimes I get so disappointed when it’s just “touristy”. I would for sure book a food tour, if we go to marrakech

    Reply
  3. Shiloh

    Food tours are such an amazing way to really get to know a city – how wonderful to do it in such an exotic location! I’m definitely pinning this!

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  4. Karen

    I love food tours, though I’ve never been on one quite so exotic. I would have had to try the sheep’s head, but only because I used to be so timid I missed out on some wonderful foods and experiences in the past. Thanks for the tip on marocmama, too. We enjoy trying new dishes — and I’m always looking for good sources of recipes. Happy travels!

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  5. mark

    I love north African food and some of this looks amazing. I would love to try the lamb. Being Australian lamb is like our national dish here and eaten in our house regularly. Sounds like a great tour
    cheers
    Mark

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  6. Samantha

    Moroccan and Lebanese are two of my favorite cuisines. Would love to visit the countries one day to eat the real stuff! I’ve only ever done one food tour and that was in Prague. There was a lot I learnt about Czech cuisine that before hand I thought was very boring!

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