Moroccan cuisine is widely known for being incredible, and there are too many unique dishes to count. While you can never go wrong winging it with the street food, and Rabat is also full of amazing places to grab a drink, if you’re in the mood for a traditional sit down meal, check out these four of our favorite restaurants in the Rabat medina:
For cheap, authentic cuisine, go to Dar Naji
This one is right outside of the Medina walls along the tram line. It’s an excellent first stop if you’re just arriving in the country and want to find some authentic Moroccan food. The restaurant is very affordable and the food is high quality. It’s a favorite among actual medina locals and tourists alike for a reason.
Don’t miss out on ordering the mint tea, as many of the servers know how to pour tea with style. The desserts are also very good, although you can’t go wrong going there to get a full meal either. Don’t miss destination as you wonder where to eat in Rabat.
Another benefit of Dar Naji is the atmosphere. Don’t settle for being seated inside. Instead, ask to sit outside on the terrace. You’ll find beautiful cushioned booths underneath a tent-like terrace covering. The atmosphere is excellent, and a great novelty if you’re looking for an ideal tourist experience.
It’s also one of the better places to eat in the medina if you’re an English speaker, as many of the servers tend to be students who have studied English.
Note: there are two restaurants called Dar Naji if you’re searching maps. Go to the one to the West of the medina.
For cheap, real Middle Eastern cuisine, go to Al Shami
If you’re looking for another medina resident favorite, this Syrian eatery comes on recommendation from many locals. You’re not going to find the classic Moroccan dishes like tagine here, but if you’re looking for something a bit different without going full Western, it’s an incredible restaurant.
Order the falafel.
I repeat: order the falafel. It’s melt in your mouth goodness, and at around US$2, it’s one of the cheapest meals you’ll ever eat, even in the medina. While many of the dishes come as small plates, so you should be ready to order lots and share, there really aren’t any bad dishes on the menu and all are very affordable.
If you’re looking to treat yourself, order a mint lemonade. It comes as a slushee and is served in a big glass with a fun straw. Definitely a nice surprise! Don’t skimp out on dessert either, the baklava is truly incredible.
A word of warning—Don’t expect much English to be spoken here. French and classical Arabic as well as Moroccan Arabic will be fine, so bring your bilingual friends!
For something upscale and French, go to the Dhow
I’ve mentioned the Dhow before as a good place to dance and drink, but the above deck restaurant is also worth checking out. This is another good place to go when you’re a bit tired of tagine.
The Dhow will first catch your eye with its atmosphere, since it’s an authentic 17th century boat with some interesting history. It usually has live music playing on deck, and visitors can choose to eat on the lounge cushions outside or aim for the captain’s table below deck.
Aside from atmosphere, it’s one of the only restaurants in the city that will serve you cocktails, and very well made ones at that.
It’s pricier than the other restaurants on the list, but for a classical French meal served with entertainment and atmosphere, it’s a very good deal.
The boat is parked permanently behind the Kasbah just outside the city walls and is pretty easy to find, being a literal pirate ship. Expect your servers to speak some English, although if you have a French speaker with you you’ll have a much easier time.
For something traditional and upscale, go to Dinarjat
This restaurant can be a bit difficult to find, since it’s in the middle of the maze-like medina, and the entrance looks like the door to a house, but if you can find it, it’s worth eating here.
Dinarjat specializes in traditional Moroccan cuisine and is perfect if you want authentic food served inside an authentic Riyadh. This is the place to go if you’re looking for the classic Moroccan delicacies like Bastilla, served in a more upscale setting.
The restaurant also has live music and serves a limited selection of beer and wine.
There are many incredible places to eat in the Rabat medina, and you may feel hard pressed to experience them all during your stay. My last piece of advice though is this: don’t get too caught up in eating out to hit the markets and street food stalls.
From snail soup to paninis, the street food scene in the Rabat medina is bustling, and much of it is absolutely delicious. The markets will offer you a wide selection of fresh ingredients and tasty snacks as well.
So get out there and start eating your way through the medina! The incredible food there will definitely make your trip unforgettable. Now check out some of the medina’s other hidden gems!