While the Michelin Star hasn’t been awarded in the areas most people visit when they go to Morocco, there are some noteworthy restaurants which may be on their way to earning a Michelin Star in the near future. These three restaurants in Marrakech are worth a visit.
Photo: Al Fassia
Experience the cuisine locals eat in their homes at Al Fassia. While most restaurants in Morocco lean toward more exotic menus – as demanded by Moroccans, Al Fassia offers options for classic Moroccan dishes. They also offer the option of an a la carte menu while most restaurants serve a pre-set menu. One of the locals’ favorites is the leg of lamb which they’ll order in advance; or the pigeon bstilla. You’ll find the atmosphere fresh, yet relaxing for either lunch or dinner.
For a modern twist, you’ll want to visit Crystal which is attached to the Ibiza-themed Pacha nightclub. This is a new attempt by the Pourcel twins who’ve won three Michelin stars for Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier. They embarked on this new venture after their La Plage Rouge fell flat. While they’re not in the kitchen at Crystal, a Montpellier-trained chef leads the charge. This Mediterranean yet primarily Italian menu is considered innovative by local standards and offers everything from ravioli with prawns and spinach to polenta with dried fruit. Have lunch by the pool amid the palms or for an enchanting experience, book dinner.
Photo: La Grande Table Marocaine
La Grande Table Marocaine
Located at the Royal Mansour, La Grande Table Marocaine offers a fresh and somewhat different take on traditional Moroccan food. Led by Head Chef Yannick Alléno whose CV includes top hotel restaurants including One&Only The Palm, Dubai as well as Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, the clever menu is well-matched with the restaurant’s white-gloved silver service. Dining in a room that elicits every fantasy of Moroccan design, the small plates, salads, lamb couscous, and seafood options come from a kitchen willing to accommodate each guest’s needs.
Beyond Marrakech, you can venture to Ceuta (an area in a long-standing dispute over ownership by both Morocco and Spain) and try two restaurants which have earned Michelin Star status.
Photo: El Refectorio
El Refectorio is described by its Michelin guide inspectors as “well-managed by two brothers in an area that imitates a fishing village. It has a public bar, a rustic dining area, a glass-fronted cellar and a pleasant patio.” The Spanish-centric menu offering everything from superb seafood and fish of the area to the extraordinary meat from different points of the Spanish geography also boasts a wine cellar stocked with 2,000 bottles for perfect pairings. The staff of El Refectorio will welcome you to make their home your own.
Under the direction of Chef Hugo Ruiz Aguilar, Restaurant Bugao, with its contemporary decor, overlooks La Ribera Beach and provides an updated take on traditional Spanish cuisine. Seafood is the specialty of the house and the dining room has a full view of the wine collection. Start your meal with the tapas – perhaps the hedgehog croquettes and carabineros; before trying one of their not-to-be-missed specialties such as the Chicken Mellow Rice with tiger shrimp, mushrooms, and aioli. Perfect for everything from a romantic getaway to a business meeting, Restaurant Bugao earns their Michelin star status.
Looking for places to stay while you are in Morocco? See our list of luxury hotels here.