When people think of Moroccan cuisine, they may think of some pretty exotic dishes – such as, say, deep fried lamb testicles. As someone with Moroccan roots I can testify that there are some out-of-the-ordinary Moroccan foods, such as pastilla filled with pigeon meat and lamb tongue, but the Moroccan kitchen is also filled with plenty of vegetable-based and vegetarian-friendly foods as well.
On a recent trip to Morocco (during which I had mentally prepared myself that I’d settle for eating vegetable tagines and vegetarian couscous the whole time), I was pleasantly surprised to discover a farm-to-table organic vegetarian/vegan cafe with two locations in Marrakech and one in Essaouira. And after visiting two of the three locations, I was even happier to discover that they were delicious.
Earth Cafe Marrakech has been open since 2007 and claims to be the first vegan, vegetarian and organic cafe in all of Morocco.
The cafe is strongly committed to environmentally friendly foods, and most of the restaurant’s ingredients are delivered fresh daily from Earth Cafe’s farm. The farm is located in the Marrakech region, just outside the city. When certain items are not available from the farm, local suppliers are chosen.
At the Marrakech Earth Cafe, located a very short distance from the popular Place Jmaa el Fnaa (where escargot, lamb’s brains, and other carnivorous delicacies can be easily found) I ordered the vegetarian pastilla (pictured at the top of this post). My pastilla, which is traditionally stuffed with meat, was filled with seasonal vegetables and goat cheese.
Other traditional delicacies included amlou – a yummy paste made from ground roasted almonds, honey and argan oil.
Earth Cafe is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also offers vegetarian cooking classes.
:: Earth Cafe
Read more about vegetarian Moroccan cuisine (with recipes):
RECIPE: Moroccan Carrot Salad
RECIPE: Easy Moroccan Orange Salad
RECIPE: Moroccan Fish Stew, Perfect for the Heat of Summer
Moroccan Fekka Cookies RECIPE
RECIPE: Moroccan Anise Flatbread