After spending the morning at Yves Saint Laurent’s infamous Jardin Majorelle, my motley crew of five ladies – hailing from all corners of the globe – hopped in a cab to make our 1pm reservation at a Marrakech restaurant that tops all the must-visit lists. Interrupting our discussion (debating what to do with the 3,000 camel dowry Kelly was being offered for my hand in marriage), the taxi driver dropped us in front of a grand archway and informed us that we had to proceed the rest of the way by foot.
Not wanting to miss our reservation, our group hurried into the narrow, twisting alleys of Souk Semmarine. We stopped on every corner, not only to confirm with local shopkeepers that we were on the right path but to collect members of our party who inevitably became distracted by some shiny or embroidered souk treasure or another.
Wandering in the maze of the souks, I had just begun to despair that we’d never find Nomad when we turned a bend and it appeared as if it had been waiting patiently for our arrival.
1, Derb Aajrane, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  +212 5243-81609
12pm - 11pm   |   Modern Moroccan   |   $$ - $$$$   |  Wifi: Yes
Website: https://nomadmarrakech.com/   |   Instagram: @nomadmarrakech
WORD ON THE STREET
Opened by entrepreneur Kamal Laftimi (in partnership with Sebastian de Gzell), Nomad is one of many restaurants in Marrakech that are frequented for the trendy, unpretentious vibe as much as the contemporary Moroccan cuisine. This spot, in addition to his other establishments – Café Des Épices (right across the spice square), Terrasse des Épices, and Le Jardin (pictured below) – is popular in Instagram feeds and tops must-eat lists across the internet.
Transformed from an old carpet store off of Rahba Lakdima spice square, the 4 floors that make up Nomad was crafted by interior designer Romain Meniere to reflect the traditional yet innovative menu. Chevron patterned tables, yellow trimming, foreign movie posters and classic Moroccan doorways frame intimate dining areas that make up the first 2 floors but the upper terraces provide stunning views of the medina below and the expansive Atlas Mountain in the distance.
If you have time, visit for both lunch and dinner. Lunch you can enjoy the view of the Atlas Mountains (visible between November and May) and the warm sun rays on the rooftop. Alternatively, you can work up an appetite by perusing souk treasures and enjoy a romantic dinner with magical lanterns hanging around your table.
I definitely recommend making reservations. While they may be able to squeeze you in if you drop by, you most likely won’t get one of the coveted terrace spots.
WHAT I ATE
• Courgette & Feta fritters served with a minted yoghurt sauce (80 dhs)
• Sardine tart with green olive tapenade and caramelized onions (70 dhs)
• Calamari from Agadir in a cumin infused anchovy ginger & harissa sauce, served with braised fennel (120 dhs)
• Saffron scented Moroccan Date cake with fresh whipped cream and salted caramel sauce (70 dhs)
I love anything with sardines so the tart was definitely a standout – light yet satisfying. Based on the scads of reviews online, the lamb burger is also a popular item.
A romantic dinner for two, illuminated by hanging lanterns. Festive group celebrations. Family bonding over local cuisine. The in-the-know instagrammer looking to get the perfect photo. Dishes for all: vegetarians, pescatarians, AND carnivores.
Like all the Moroccans I encountered, the service was not only polite and unhurried but they went above and beyond when asking anything of them.
That view though! I could not get over the sight of the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountain, a contrast to the sunny terrace, lined with wooden cage lanterns and embroidered straw hats.
Situated off the Rahba Lakdima Spice Square, walk off your meal by exploring this large, bustling souk from personalized woven baskets to colourful and fragrant spices to live baby turtles.
Haggling for carpets can work up an appetite so if you’re hankering for an afternoon snack visit the sister establishment, Café Des Épices for a spiced coffee, and sardine egg sandwich on a fresh khobtz bun.