Is Marrakesh a vegan-friendly city? Of course, it is! We spent one week there and had no trouble finding tasty vegan Moroccan cuisine thanks to the abundance of vegan-friendly restaurants and cafes.
When planning a trip, I’ll often search for restaurants and cafes on HappyCow before we arrive. Then I’ll check photos and reviews for each location on TripAdvisor and Google, often searching for keywords like vegan, soy milk, plant milk, etc. That way I’ll have a better idea about the vegan options available at each place.
In this guide, I share reviews of all the places we tried and offer some tips for first-time travellers to Marrakesh.
This was our favourite restaurant in Marrakesh. It isn’t fully vegan but they have lots of vegan options on their menu. Check out my full review of Cafe Clock for all the delicious details.
Café des Épices
Is this the best cafe in Marrakesh? We say, YES. Check out my full review of CDE to find out why.
You’ll want to try this cafe if you’re visiting Badii Palace since it’s right around the corner. The espresso wasn’t special (and it’s twice the price of espresso at Café des Épices) but the views are definitely worth checking out.
We also tried:
- Green Vegetarian – We ate here twice. The first time, we had a delicious vegan couscous dish. (You can see me drooling over it in this episode. It was so good!) Even though the menu stated couscous was only available on Fridays, the waiter assured us we could still order it even though it wasn’t Friday. The waiter was super friendly and accommodating. Good service plus delicious food made us return the next day. Unfortunately, the service and quality of the food were much worse than our previous experience. We felt like we were in a completely different restaurant. We couldn’t order the same couscous because a different waiter wouldn’t allow it so we tried a veggie rice noodle dish. It was very oily, heavily seasoned with garlic, and lacked veggies (apart from a few shreds). Not satisfying at all. We never went back because of it. After trying Cafe Clock (and eating there several times) I wouldn’t recommend Green Vegetarian. Skip it and head to Cafe Clock instead.
- Starbucks – This location doesn’t have real ceramic cups for some reason so unless you bring your own, you can’t avoid disposable single-use cups. Starbucks isn’t centrally located and drinks are more expensive than the local cafes. Bring your own cup or skip it.
- Earth Cafe – This cafe might be fully vegan (or at least vegetarian). We didn’t try any food since the cafe reeked of burnt oil. This was one of the few cafes to offer soy milk (other than Starbucks) so I tried their soy latte and Kuba tried their mint tea. Both were tasty but we didn’t go back. The cafe is pretty closed off (I didn’t notice any windows) and dark. Compared to the bright open ambience of Café des Épices, Earth Cafe isn’t worth trying.
- Henna Cafe – This cafe has rave reviews online but unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend it. We wanted to try this cafe because it’s not-for-profit and all of the money it earns supports the local community. The woman applying the henna was friendly and I was satisfied with the design but that doesn’t make up for the cold service and terrible coffee. I hoped for some explanation of henna from the women working there but it never happened. Sadly, it was a huge disappointment. I had high hopes for this cafe (they also have vegan options on the menu) but because the cafe wasn’t welcoming at all, I wouldn’t recommend it.
If you want to cook your own food:
Buy your groceries from Carrefour. This is one of our favourite supermarket chains so we were happy to find it in Marrakesh. I recommend the Carrefour located at Boulevard Al Yarmouk because it’s only a 15-minute walk from the city centre. They offer paper bags for produce and even have a small bulk section for pasta and spices. If you’re looking for freshly baked bread, buy it from the little hole in the wall shops in the Medina. Vendors stack flatbreads and baguettes on their countertops. You can’t miss them!
Animal cruelty in Marrakesh
Jemaa al-Fnaa, the city’s main square, is a popular tourist attraction because it’s the largest marketplace in Africa. You should definitely walk by it to check it out but be warned that animals are mistreated here for the amusement of tourists. Chained monkeys are forced to perform tricks and snakes have their mouths crudely sewn shut. We avoided this square during the day because we didn’t want to witness the inhumane treatment of animals used for entertainment. If you walk along the perimeter of the square, you will most likely avoid them. Besides animals used for entertainment in the square, horse-drawn carriages are popular all throughout the city and donkeys and mules haul heavy loads on tiny carts through the alleys. On the plus side, cats living on the streets seemed to be healthy and well-fed.
Thanks for reading!
Don’t forget to check out my 12 travel tips for Marrakesh before your trip.