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Review: Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

Speaking of Morocco…which we’ve been doing a LOT this past week…let’s check out an old favorite today –  Restaurant Marrakesh.

With its interesting food, the beautiful surroundings, and lively entertainment, I have always enjoyed my trips to this hidden treasure. Time to see if it lived up to the test of time and my fond memories.

Let’s meander to the back of the Morocco Pavilion, shall we?

Atmosphere

And meander is exactly right. Wind your way through the shops, alleys, museum, and other delightful nooks and crannies of the Morocco Pavilion to make your way to Restaurant Marrakesh.

Restaurant Marrakesh — Outside View

Trust me — you will enjoy the journey. I personally have long considered this pavilion to be one of World Showcase’s most beautiful spots.

Marrakesh Sign

As you enter, you’ll notice a couple of things straightaway. First, you’re surrounded by palace-like opulence. Secondly, much like another popular Epcot table service spot, Le Cellier, there’s no discernible natural light.

The interior of Marrakesh is decorated with the same hand-laid, zellige tile work that you see throughout the Morocco Pavilion. Tables are covered with white tablecloths, contributing to the formal feel to the restaurant.

Dining Room of Restaurant Marrakesh

The tile work even covers the ceilings! And the ornate chandeliers, characterized by filigree, lend a beautiful soft light to the enclosed restaurant.

Beautiful Lighting

Here’s a picture that shows you the detail of that tile work, as well as the rich, bright red velvet finish on the booths.

And if you haven’t heard the story, this is a good time to mention it. There’s a reason why the Morocco Pavilion in general, and Marrakesh in particular, are so immersive and accurate in detail. The King of Morocco took a personal interest in the pavilion, sending artisans to design and create many of the mosaics. The pavilion itself is sponsored by the government of Morocco, unlike the other World Showcase countries, which are sponsored by corporations.

Intricate Zellige Tile Work

But the beautiful decor is only half the story here! There’s another exotic surprise awaiting you at Restaurant Marrakesh: traditional music by Moroccan musicians…and bellydancing!

Bellydancing

One of the best aspects of the entertainment is the family-friendly nature. Kids are encouraged to come up and learn a bit of bellydancing of their own! It’s fun, and a great way to work off some of that pent up Disney energy!

More Bellydancing

Beyond the entertainment and lavish surroundings, though, the food of Marrakesh is exotic, too. Let’s check it out.

Eats

As with other restaurants in World Showcase, Restaurant Marrakesh strives to give guests an authentic taste of the country it represents. To that end, there are some Moroccan wines featured here. It’s a great touch, since these wines aren’t commonly available in the United States.

Wines of Morocco Menu — Click to Enlarge

Of course, there’s also a good selection of the wines that are commonly available at Disney.

Additional Wines Menu — Click to Enlarge

Regarding the menu, you can order your selections a la carte, of course. There’s a wide selection of really fun appetizers, and we were excited to see some options that were new since our last visit.

Appetizer Menu — Click to Enlarge

In addition to other dishes, the entree section includes Couscous with your choice of meat; or you can choose the vegetarian version.

Entrees Menu — Click to Enlarge

If it’s your first visit to Marrakesh, you may want to go with one of the two “Taste of Morocco” options. This is the route I took during my first visit to the restaurant a while back, and it’s a great way to begin your introduction to Moroccan food if you’re a novice, since many of the featured dishes are among the restaurant’s most popular options.

Taste of Morocco Feasts Menu — Click to Enlarge

Now, whenever you speak to someone about your advance dining reservation here, the first thing they’re likely to say is, “You MUST try the mint tea! It’s awesome!”

Not only do fans find it to be refreshing (and we hear it’s quite an authentic touch), but it’s also served in a slightly theatrical, fun way. So of course, we couldn’t resist taking part in this welcoming tradition.

Watching our server pour the tea from the beautiful silver pot was a treat! And the combination of Green Tea and Fresh Mint were delicious and the perfect antidote to a long Disney day.

Pouring the Mint Tea

While we were still enjoying our refreshing tea, our bread came. While it wasn’t anything particularly interesting, it was served warm and fresh.

Bread

I had tried the Beef Brewat Roll on my last visit. This time, I decided to go with the Chicken Bastilla. The savory pastry is made with a combination of minced chicken and almonds, wrapped in thin layers of pastry, and fried. Topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar, the combination may be a bit unexpected, but it’s a winner.

Chicken Bastilla

We decided not to spend too much of our hunger on appetizers. :-) Soon, our entrees arrived.

First, we went for one of the most popular dishes, the Shish Kebab. The featured meat in the dish is beef tenderloin, and it’s paired with mixed vegetables on a bed of yellow rice. While kebabs are pretty mainstream in the U.S. these days, they were excellent, with a really nice depth of flavor. The marinade on the meat offered a bright note, too, with lots of fresh herbs.

Shish Kebab with Beef

We also sampled the Chicken Kebabs. The plate was gorgeous! While I’m not a big fan of olives, I thought the offerings here were a little more interesting than the beef accompaniments. The olive salad was fresh, and the dried fruit sweet couscous was delicious!

This dish was a hit.

Chicken Kebabs

I had heard nothing but praise for the Couscous, so we decided to try this super traditional dish on this visit. We chose the Chicken Couscous. Served with roasted vegetables and preserved lemons, the flavors were intense and delicious! I really enjoyed the tender chicken and fluffy couscous.

Lemon Chicken

The kiddos at our table both got the Hamburger and French Fries! This is one of the best features to note about Disney restaurants; even if you don’t see anything on the menu that interests you, you can bet that the kitchen will have something for you to eat!

Hamburger and French Fries

After our satisfying meal, I was interested in trying an after-dinner coffee and a dessert. I had tried the Baklava on a previous visit, and I loved it! But I was after something new this time around.

I’d heard a LOT of good things about the specialty, spiked coffees here and at Tangierine Cafe.

Beverage Menu — Click to Enlarge

Dessert Menu — Click to Enlarge

We tried the Kasbah Coffee. Mocha coffee gets an extra shot of flavor from Godiva Chocolate Liqueur. No whipped cream on this serving for some reason?

Kasbah Coffee

For dessert, some friends at the table next to ours tried the Bastilla, and we were smitten. The dish is a simple one, consisting of paper-thin sheets of dough, fried and sprinkled with cinnamon, powdered sugar, and almonds. The whole thing is accompanied by a cream sauce!

Crisp and delicious, it’s a little messy, but a great light dessert if you’re looking for something sweet to nibble at the end of your meal.

Bastilla for Dessert, Too!

And with that, it was a wrap on another delicious meal at Restaurant Marrakesh.

Overall

I highly recommended Restaurant Marrakesh after my first visit here, and nothing has changed. The restaurant itself is gorgeous and timeless in its traditional decor. You really feel like you’re visiting an exotic corner of this North African kingdom. The food is interesting, but familiar enough that most people are bound to find something they’d like to try. And the staff is always friendly and accommodating. They make dining here a pleasure.

Since Restaurant Marrakesh isn’t as busy as some of the other spots in Epcot, it’s possible oftentimes to get a last minute reservation here, or even to score a walk up table. So if you find yourself famished and ADR-less, be sure to give it a try. And while you’re there, brush up on your bellydancing. Who knows? It could come in handy someday!

Is Restaurant Marrakesh a top World Showcase pick for you? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

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9 Comments

  1. Gene Munson says:

    We have eaten here 4 or 5 times. Always enjoyed the experience. I too am a fan of the mint tea. I have even cut a rug with the belly dancer a couple of times.

  2. John says:

    I come from an area of the US that has a very large Arab-American population, so I grew up on foods and flavors like this. I can say that Restaurant Marrakesh is very authentic, which I think scares many “non adventurous” American guests (especially those I know from the Southern states, that have never heard of many of these dishes). I can only echo what AJ says – give this place a try ! It has never disappointed. Though the dishes might seem unusual, the flavors are mild (as ethnic dishes go), and I have yet to find anyone who didn’t enjoy at least something they tried here (the Bastilla, in particular, shock everyone with how good they are). This place is a must visit every couple trips.

    The only knock I have on Restaurant Marrakesh is that I find their prices to be somewhat on the high end and, on many visits, the service has left a little to be desired. Not in enthusiam or hospitality (both of which are always great), but just that the servers we’ve had (most of whom were from Morrocco) did not seem used to the pace of a “resort” meal. One of our favorite memories involved a brand new server who took each drink order and then left to bring each drink, one by one, as soon as ordered. It was quite funny, but as we were a table of 15, you can imagine how long that meal lasted :)

  3. Anna says:

    Restaurant Marrakesh is amazing! Healthy, fresh dishes that, unlike the food at most World Showcase restaurants, I can’t get in my hometown. Shish kabobs are totally mainstream, as you say, AJ, but a lot of the other items are much harder to come by. I agree with John’s assessment, the prices are a bit high and the pace of the meal can be slow. However, Restaurant Marrakesh succeeds in really transporting you to North Africa, and that’s honestly what makes it so special.

  4. Essie says:

    I love the tile work in Morocco. I’ve never eaten here, but with the DDP I think I’m going to try it on a future trip. I loved the Y&Y food in AK, but I think what I enjoyed most about the Y&Y, was the fact that I truly felt that I had traveled to exotic SE Asia. The Moroccan Pavilion’s restaurant looks beautiful and I think it would give me the same exotic ‘World Traveling’ experience. Thanks for the review and photos; you’ve opened up the idea of a new restaurant ‘adventure’ for me.

  5. Ashley says:

    I talked my family into eating there a number of years ago. We all enjoyed the food and soothing atmosphere on a busy day in the parks. The beef brewet rolls & chicken bastilla were fantastic!

  6. Jan says:

    We’ve eaten at Restaurant Marrakesh several times and always enjoyed the food and the experience. We tend to be adventurous diners, but I think even the more timid will find something to enjoy here. I can’t recommend anything in particular because it’s all good.

    And of course the menfolk always enjoy watching the belly dancer.

  7. Vicky says:

    We ate here on new years eve and while the wait for our table was a little lengthy, once we got inside, everything was actually very efficient. Our food was delicious (I had the chicken kebabs, which were awesome and i loved the couscous that came with them), and they did a pretty good job handling my nut allergy, apart from a random almond in my boyfriend’s dessert. It was also kinda cool coming on new years eve because all the waiters and restaurant staff did a big countdown to midnight in Morocco and sang and handed out party hats!

  8. Eeyore says:

    I’ve always wanted to try this restaurant, but those prices are way too high. I know they’re all high at Disney restaurants, but spending over $20.00 for a plate of couscous and peppers, onions, perhaps zucchini? That’s not viable for us when there are MANY more restaurants here that are great and seem a bit more reasonable. I do appreciate the review though. I can live vicariously now – maybe one day I’ll give in!

  9. Kristen says:

    This was our favorite restaurant at Disney. The waiter was so friendly with our family. The food was incredible. The belly dancer and sitar players all added to a completely great dining experience.

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