Rabat isn’t as well known for its dining scene as tourist hotspots like Marrakech and Fez, but there are still plenty of places where you can give your tastebuds a treat. And many of the restaurants are arguably more authentic as well, as Rabat caters less to tourists than other cities. Of course, not all restaurants in Rabat are Moroccan (residents appreciate plenty of other cuisines), but the following are some of the best places to get authentic Moroccan cuisine in Rabat.
This restaurant is a wonderful oasis on the northern end of the Medina. You’ll have to walk pretty far through the Medina to get there, but the trek is well worth it. The restaurant has traditional decor, complete with decorated tilework, large wooden doors, colorful furniture, intricate gates and brass lamps throughout. The cuisine is also top-notch, and the bang for your buck here is fantastic — the portions are rather large. Make sure to load up on Moroccan spreads like tomato and eggplant before ordering, to accompany the large amount of bread that will come to your table. Some of the most flavorful dishes include the chicken with apricots, and the kefta meatballs in tomato sauce. The restaurant is also known for its fresh-caught seafood — try the sardine and olive tagine (pictured) if you want something especially potent.
Ch’hiwates du terroir
For a slightly more contemporary take on Moroccan food (but still authentic), head to Ch’hiwates du terroir. The restaurant is elegantly decorated inside, but its cozy outdoor seating is a favorite of patrons. You’ll find local, organic ingredients on the menu, and you can taste the quality in the abundance of fresh herbs and spices. Some of the more interesting menu items include fresh sardines over a bed of lentils, artichoke and citrus confit, and the gourmet calamari platter. The restaurant decor borrows from a natural theme with brown and green elements throughout, along with plenty of plants to help set the mood. It’s out of the way from the Medina and CBD, but can easily be paired with a visit to the famous Tour Hassan if you’re visiting sites around the city.
This lovely restaurant is just west of the Bab El Had of the Medina and offers possibly the best combination of Moroccan cuisine and stellar views of the city. The large menu has plenty of exotic Moroccan dishes that you probably haven’t heard of, along with many staples like tagines and couscous. If you’re dining with a few people, go for the salade dada, which comes with all of the spreads on the menu, including zaalouk, takfouka and bakala. One of the more adventurous items on the menu is the koraine sur charbon, which is mostly cartilage and fatty meat, but has a rich earthy taste that’s worth trying and unlike anything you’ll have elsewhere. Whatever you order here, it’s sure to be loaded with flavor and spices.
Tajine Wa Tanjia
If you’re looking for fantastic tagines, look no further than Tajine Wa Tanjia. From marinated beef to succulent chicken to Berber specialties, this restaurant has just about every type of tagine you’d want to try. Musicians typically play next to your table in the evening, and the restaurant often hosts local bands on the weekends. Go on a Friday for the restaurant’s couscous specialty, which is definitely one of the best in town. And if you still have room after a hearty meal, go for the Moroccan-style crepes. The restaurant is also conveniently located near the train station, making it easy to stop and eat at even if you’re transferring through to Casablanca or Marrakech.
Wandering the Medina
The medina (which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is absolutely loaded with delicious food, much of it for the truly adventurous eater. If you want to experience what many people in Rabat eat on a daily basis, this is the place to go. It’s also one of the cheapest places to eat in the city. While wandering through the streets, you can stop in at patisseries and cafes to sample some fantastic nibbles, or stop at an olive or bread stand and load up with some stuff to take back to your hotel. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can easily go for a bag of snails, cows cheeks, or other local delicacies. After you’re done, be sure to stop by one of the numerous juice stands for a refreshing drink to wash it all down.