two must cafes – marrakesh

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One thing for sure, you don’t have a walk around hungry in Marrakesh – there are food, restaurants and cafes everywhere and they all serve great food. Plus they sell fresh fruit on every street. Not a tea drinker, so that the coffee quality is very important to me and Marrakesh didn’t let me down.

One cafe friends told be about that they visit Marrakesh a couple of years ago – Cafe Des Epices. Right in the souks is there “little shopping centre” where the cafe is located, nice shops. Set snugly in the corner of the old spice market in the middle of the Marrakech souks, where old women gather to sell knitted woolly hats and older men sit and sell spices. 

I went straight for the roof terrace, but what I understand is the cafe at street level.

Café des Epices in the heart of the souks is now an obligatory stop for anyone in need of a light lunch (and Wi-Fi) while out shopping. It’s people watching place too .. they have some international stars as their guests.

Famous for the view over the souks and Rahba Kedima Square, the spice square, but I wasn’t that lucky. Did matter, because I sat in the pleasant shade … had great food and service. Was there for lunch and they are fairly busy. Quite a few tables were reserved.

Had goat cheese salad together with carrot, ginger & orange juice, excellent .. and perfect for a sunny lunch plus cappuccino and delightful chocolate cake Service very good and attended and all waiters had a Santa hat on. Really enjoyed my lunch, the setting and of course the fantastic weather. Sunny, but not too warm .. like a pleasant spring day, during lunch, I had my jacket off.

Café Des Épices & Terrasse des épices 
75, Derb Rahba Lakdima
phone: +212 5243-91770 & +212 5243-75904
Open hours: every day

The second cafe I passed during my guided tour, remembered the sign when I was recommended Atay Cafe by my riad owner. But I decided to go there for lunch I wasn’t able to find it – I knew where it was related to the Mosque of Ibn Yusuf on the Google map. I walked and walked .. came back to the same spot.

Then a young man asked me if he could help me, for 2€ it sounded like the best idea. We walked and we walked … in a circle because the longer it’s to walker the better tip they hope to get. The cafe was only around the corner from where we started. That is some of Marrakesh’s charm. 

Atay Cafe is a very happy and quirky little cafe .. with roof terrace, but also a terrace on the first floor and there I parked myself. I was starving after all that running around to find the place and it was just around the next corner. The day had started a bit grey but gave sunshine after only a couple of hours. 

The cafe was full of nice details … love their wall painting and on the ground floor section, they have really funny chairs covered in rags. I was glad that I didn’t give up looking for the place. The roof top terrace where packed with sun-loving guests. Where I was sitting was just another couple. Had a great view over the busy street below and rugged rooftops.

For lunch, I just had a Tabbouleh salad … mineral water and cafe au lait. Tabbouleh salad is one of my favourite salads, but I haven’t done for years until I returned home from Warsaw, where I had it for lunch a couple of times .. and after that, I eat sometimes 2 times per week.

I really enjoyed sitting there and soak in the sun and all the buzz from the area. Loads of sounds and as I sat there I thought to myself … I could get used to this.

As I left the cafe there was a young carpenter work out on the street with some draws and on the corner on his worktable was his cat laying so comfortable, I notice it from my seat at the terrace .. so when I came down I asked him if could take a photo of them both and he introduced me to Nina.

Atay Cafe (FaceBook)
62, Rue Amsefah Sidi Abdelaziz,
phone: +212 661-34424
Opening hours – every day
only cash payment

I’d much rather hang out in a cafe.
That’s where things are really happening.”
Joe Sacco

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