Although there are a myriad of restaurants, cafes and food stalls to choose from in Marrakech, your visit won’t be complete without eating out in the central square of Jemaa El Fnaa at least once. As soon as you approach the food stands don’t be surprised to see waiters competing with one another to get your attention. Those who work at the food stalls speak a host of European languages and once they’ve figured out your nationality they’ll call out TV catchphrases and news headlines from your country in an effort to put a smile on your face and entice you onto their stall. Whenever I take a five minute stroll down to the square, it usually doesn’t take long before I’m being seated by one of the salesmen, ready to try something new. Also, much like the vendors who sell orange juice, the food stalls are numbered so that once you discover your favorite location you know where to return to.
Part of what makes eating in the square of Jemaa El Fnaa different from other districts of the city is that you are directly in the heart of it all. As you sit down and choose from couscous dishes, tajines and salads you can expect to encounter salesmen weaving in and out of the stalls selling everything from traditional Moroccan confectioneries to local artwork. Eating in the very centre of Marrakech will also only set you back on average about 50 Dirhams (£3.87) making it one of the most affordable locations in the city. So when it comes to soaking up the essence of Marrakech, it’s hard to suggest somewhere that surpasses Jemaa El Fnaa. All the food on offer is cooked before your eye’s and the atmosphere within the square becomes electric as soon as the sun starts to set. Although I know the number of my favorite open air stall, I couldn’t tell you what it is! As the best and indeed only way to experience Marrakech is just to completely immerse yourself and try something new!