Is there such thing as a vegan Marrakech? You’ll be pleased to know that there’s a generous handful of places to eat as a vegan in the red city, and I’m here to share some of my favourite options. I’ve always enjoyed exotic foods and Moroccan flavours but visiting Marrakech allowed me to learn and appreciate it like never before.
You’ll indeed find a lot of meat – mostly lamb, fish, beef and chicken due to the majority of the city’s population being Muslim. However, Muslims also believe that meat is not a life necessity and enjoy a predominantly vegetarian diet, which means there are tonnes of vegetarian and vegan foods for you to enjoy as well.
Moroccan cuisine has been highly influenced by neighbouring countries over the years and offers a mouther-watering combination of flavour with inviting aromas and spices. I’m so excited for you to experience it too – you will love it.
Haven’t got time to read my vegan Marrakech guide? PIN IT for later:
Traditional Moroccan foods that are vegan
Apart from obvious vegan staples such as fresh fruit, herbal teas and juices, here are a handful of traditional Moroccan meals that are suitable for a healthy vegan diet.
Tagine is the noun for a Moroccan clay pot, traditionally used to slow-cook the well-known Moroccan dish, ‘Tagine’, which is vegan. It’s a stew-like meal full of flavour, and vegetable combinations vary from chef to chef. Common ingredients include potatoes, carrots, parsnips and courgette with tomato, fresh herbs and lemon. They’re gorgeous.
There are plenty of vegetarian soup options. One of my favourites being the Harira soup which is made from chickpeas, tomato, beans and warm spices. A nice option if you’re looking for a protein boost ey?
Couscous dishes are another famous staple of Morocco, made with similar vegetables you see in Tagines. If you’re gluten-free, you can always ask for rice instead of couscous. You’d think this type of dish would be quite bland. However, they’re infused with lovely spice combos and sweet apricot and prune jams – two indigenous fruits of North Africa.
Moroccan salads contain all kinds of vegetables such as courgette, aubergine, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, cucumber, peppers and beans. Sometimes these ingredients are used alone or with others in combination. Seasoned with an assortment of spice and fresh herbs, they’re delightful. Tabbouleh is one of my faves.
Moroccan Breads & Dips
If you haven’t got a problem with gluten, then you’ll be in carb heaven, because homemade Moroccan bread is an absolute must-have. Moroccon “khobz” are served with most meals and are typically made without egg and milk. They’re great for scooping up soups, dips and the last juices of your tagine.
The Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Marrakech:
Below I have recommended a list of vegan-friendly restaurants which I think you’ll love. I’ve categorised the list into easy lunch and casual dinner spots along with options for special occasions.
You won’t find much alcohol in the medina as not many eateries are licensed to sell alcohol due to religious reasons. Therefore, I’ve noted whether each offer it or not.
Another tip for eating in Marrakech is ALWAYS to wash your hands before eating. With plenty of stray cats on the streets to dote over and tonnes of market trinkets to admire, this is often the most likely way you could pick up germs and get poorly.
Now, sit back, relax, enjoy and try not to get hungry.
For easy lunchtimes:
Café Kif Kif
Cafe Kif Kif is a fab choice for a casual lunch or dinner, as it boasts lovely views of Koutoubia Mosque, and sits conveniently on the Medina’s edge.
It boasts quaint Moroccan décor along with the charm and comfort of a traditional European café. They offer a Franco-Moroccan menu which incorporates traditional Moroccan dishes with a French culinary approach, and all the food gets prepared on-site using local and seasonal produce.
Their foods are fresh and healthy with plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. I tucked into an Harira soup to start (my favourite one in Marrakech), along with a vegetable tagine for main.
Marrakech Henna Art Café
Henna Art Café was on the same street as our Riad, so it was one of the first places we ate at on our trip. It’s roughly a 5-minute walk from Jemma El Fna, so it’s quite a convenient place to stop for lunch.
There are lots of vegetarian and vegan options. I reckon they offer some of the best hummus in Marrakech – it was delicious. They also offer guests an array of refreshing drinks, fine art, and you guessed it, henna!
It’s a really cute little place with indoor and outdoor seating options. It’s a collaboration between Rachid Karkouch (a Moroccan Berber) and Lori K. Gordon (American artist and writer). Both individuals work closely with local organisations to ensure Henna Art Café is committed to supporting the local community by employing Moroccan nationals only and, developing key skills for community development.
Earth Café Marrakech
Featured on the Happy Cow app, Earth Café is one of Marrakech’s renowned vegan go-to’s. It’s situated a 2-minute walk from Bahia Palace, and a 10-minute walk from Jemma El Fna so would make a good lunch option if you’re visiting either of those attractions.
The branch offers predominantly vegetarian and vegan foods with some fish dishes too. The food gets made using seasonal and local ingredients from the owner’s farm, which is a lovely sentiment. Example dishes include vegetable spring rolls, rice noodle with vegetables, and pastilla.
Kui-Zin is walking distance from Ben Youssef Madrassa, Maison de la Photographie and the Tanneries, so this would be a good lunch option for day 4 of my 4-day guide to Marrakech. It offers stunning rooftop views with humble prices.
They serve a mixed menu of traditional Moroccan food to a high standard with freshly baked bread every day. Vegan options include tagines, vegetable soups and an array of sides. They have menus in English so you can easily check the ingredients.
It sits in the heart of the Medina, with some wonderful souks nearby to explore. It’s neighbours with a beautiful boutique fashion shop called Max & Jan. Though a bit expensive, it’s nice to pop in and have a browse.
Casual dinner options:
Zeitoun Café sits on the edge of Jemma El Fna Square and offers roof terrace seating which overlooks the chaos of the square below. It’s a great spot to take in the madness, and people watch.
We only stopped here for homemade juice, but the menu looked lovely and reasonably priced. It had loads of fresh and fragrant salads, vegetable and bean soups, tagines, couscous dishes and sides. Plus it comes written in English which outlines the ingredients.
They have a second Zeitoun Café which is located near the Saadians Tombs if you’re wandering in that direction on your trip.
Jemma El Fna Square
Jemma El Fna Square is the main square situated in the centre of the Medina. On my 4-day travel guide, I advise that this is the best place to find your bearings and use as a meeting point. The day time sees it as a sunspot and gathering square to wander through, but nightfall begins the daily set up of the infamous Marrakech outdoor street food market.
You can’t miss it.
It’s a sensory experience with lots of surrounding entertainment. There are loads of food stalls to explore. Many of which have been handed down through the generations with some having worked there for many years. However, it’s important to note the price and food quality can vary greatly from stall to stall.
Almost every food stall in the square will try to attract your attention which is quite amusing at first. However, some stalls have ‘touts’ whose only job is to get you to eat at their stall. Be mindful of this, and remember it’s ok to say no. Find your own way around and pick a stall of your choice.
When it comes to choosing a stall, every stall has a number, and some have better reviews than others. Stall 14 tends to be well-reputed. Mainly for its fried fish, but it offers traditional Moroccan dips and bread along with cooked salads too. We noticed it was one of the busiest stalls, and the locals love it, which is always a good sign!
Address: Passage Prince Moulay Rachid, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Corner Café or BlackChich Café
Corner Café and BlackChich Café are both on the same street exit from Jemma El Fna Square, hence why I’ve listed them together.
Corner café is smaller, cosier and I enjoyed a lovely falafel dish with fries and a homemade smoothie juice – the presentation of which was fab! Despite the long waiting time, they offered good wifi and background music to keep the good vibes flowing.
In contrast, BlackChich Café was bigger and offered a rooftop dining area which is popular at night. However, remember to take a coat as night times in Marrakech get quite cold, and this restaurant doesn’t have any outdoor heaters.
The food we enjoyed was INSANE! My favourite being their Arabic Mezze, which was an array of tapenades like hummus, baba ghanoush sprinkled with pomegranate. Their hummus was so good with peppery, smoky and nutty flavours. I had to thank the chef and see if he would share the recipe (haha) – definitely up there with the best I’ve had. Be mindful there is cream cheese on the side of this meal, so just ask for it without that or don’t eat that bit if you’re vegan like me.
When I spoke to the staff, they told me about their brand NEW restaurant chain called Kabana, which opened days before we arrived, but more on that in a minute!
Options for a special occasion or last supper:
Little sister to the Fez original, Cafe Clock is housed in an old school with sunset views over the Kasbah from its rooftop. Not going to lie, this place is a bit of a bitch to find if you’re not used to following maps, but worth it if you can! MAPS.Me got me there no problem.
They market themselves as a vegan-friendly restaurant, and all staff understand what vegan means, and can point out suitable options on the menu. I even enjoyed a vegan cooking lesson with them which I’ll tell you about in a bit.
Its popularity rests on its packed calendar of cultural performances, which attract locals and tourists alike. With artsy evenings of storytelling, art exhibits, oud lessons, and calligraphy lessons, it’s an all-round great place if you’re a passionate creative.
What about that brand NEW rooftop bar that staff at Black Chich café recommended? I am SO pleased we found this place. It was that new, that it wasn’t listed on Google, but luckily we were given directions before attempting to find it.
It’s a stunning high-end rooftop bar – a Bali paradise with tropical Cabana vibes. With views overlooking Koutoubia mosque, it’s one of the best places to eat and enjoy the sunset. You’ll be in awe of the sky as it turns to gorgeous hues of purple. Live music and beautiful food make it the perfect date night spot or last supper to end your trip.
The menu would offer an array of tapas, cocktails, fish and meat dishes along with breakfast if you fancied brunch one morning. I enjoyed the vegan option from their sushi menu (listed as vegetarian). The cost was comparable to Western prices, so quite expensive for Marrakech but worth it.
One thing that is great about their menu is that it has a thorough allergen count of each meal with animal products like dairy clearly labelled.
What a place! Kosybar was one of my favourite places to embrace the evenings – I think we ended up here twice on our trip as it was a short walk from our Riad!
Kosybar operates as a bar and restaurant which is tucked away in the corner of the Place des Ferblantiers. Its dark, seductive hallways and elegant interiors create an urban welcome. However, head up to eat in either their middle-floor saloons or top floor roof terraces if the weather’s good. The latter being a fantastic choice that overlooks the square below.
Despite being a good option for lunch, the evening menu is more diverse, offering assorted Moroccan food that includes vegan options, lamb and fish tajines, alongside Asian fusion, sushi and other meals.
It gets popular with tourists at night as the place comes alive with music and entertainment. Their weekend live singer gets the party going with his crowd-pleasing set of sing-along favourites. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the sunset after a long day of touring.
Terrasse Des Epices
Not far from Ben Youssef Madrassa, Maison de la Photographie and The Tanneries, this would be a good option for ending day 4 of my Marrakech travel guide.
This airy rooftop restaurant is an exclusive option for a night of fine dining, chilled beats and sunset soaking. Be sure to book a table if you want dinner, otherwise they can offer bar tables for drinks. The airy terrace overlooks the Cherifia Souk and serves up a light, simple and delicious Moroccan fare with a hazy Mediterranean ambience. Vegan options include tasty grilled vegetables, tagine, and Moroccan salads.
The food is expensive compared to other choices on the list, but it’s a nice change and a great option for date night or a special occasion. Note, maps will direct you into a small shopping market, and the entrance to the restaurant is situated above it and to your right.
Can you do a vegan cooking class?
Simple answer – YES!
As I mentioned earlier, Café Clock is where we did our cooking class. I was gifted this experience by Mohammed and the team but wasn’t sure what to expect. Safe to say I LOVED it, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. I was sure to tip them at the end. You get to learn how to make four emblematic Moroccan dishes over the course of 5 hours – salad, soup, main and dessert – chosen together with Mohammed (head chef) on the day of the workshop.
Vegan and vegetarian options are available, alongside standard meat dishes so you can completely personalise your experience depending on your diet.
One of my favourite dishes we learnt to make was tomato and aubergine Zaalouk – a warm Moroccan salad – which I’ve re-created since returning home so you can try it too.
There are also vegetarian and vegan food tours available to book onto if you fancy dedicating a whole day to learning and enjoying the tastes of Morocco with English speaking guides. Perhaps a magical desert dinner under the stars sounds more appealing? Either way, I would highly recommend pre-booking to avoid disappointment or unavailability when you get there as they are VERY popular.
Are Moroccan Riads Vegan-Friendly?
Finding somewhere to stay in Marrakech is relatively easy, and many will accommodate your diet as a vegan.
Marrakech is home to hundreds of stunning Riads. Riads are guesthouses which are converted from family homes and in my opinion, are the most authentic way to stay in the city.
You will find plenty within and surrounding the Medina. It’s traditional for them to have courtyards in the centre embellished with stunning decor, and there are some extremely beautiful options as you could imagine.
If you’re not feeling the Riad vibe, then there are plenty of hotels too. Whichever option you choose, I would always send an email before your arrival explaining that you’re vegan. That way, staff will feel more prepared and able to ensure your stay is satisfactory.
Where did we stay?
We stayed at Riad Dar El Souk, which was affordable and a convenient 10-minute walk from Jemma El Fna Square. Therefore, apart from breakfast in the mornings, it was easy enough for us to eat out, which we did for other meal times.
Most Riads get managed by an in-house team and are on hand to help at any time and let you in at night. Abdul was the manager of our Riad and was so friendly and helpful. He spoke great English and therefore understood what a vegan diet was. He was able to communicate this with the kitchen for breakfast times.
Apart from it being vegan-friendly, it was also stunning, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
Address: 56 Derb Jdid, Rue Riad Zitoun el Kdim, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco