|Posted by Alecia Cohen on April 18, 2019 at 9:20 AM|
With over nine types of bread gracing Morocco’s kitchen tables and bread serving as the main staple of the Moroccan diet, gluten free travelers may feel overwhelmed. Bread is eaten in every meal whether it is to scoop up a Moroccan tagine, a tangia or vegetable salads. The good news is that Morocco now has many new, gluten-free options of where to eat and shop. Green markets, vegetarian and bio restaurants along with gluten-free pastry bakeries can be found in the trend-setting city of Marrakech and on the Coast of Casablanca and Essaouira. Travelers who are gluten and plan on visiting Morocco can use our trusted Gluten Free Morocco Guide.
How to Dine Gluten Free in Morocco One way to be certain that you can eat gluten-free in Morocco is to choose a self-catering option for your trip. Travelers can stay in a riad where you have access to a private chef or the kitchen staff to prepare a gluten free meal. The classics such as Moroccan harira soup often along with bastille (pigeon pie) contain wheat flour however riads have chefs who are well trained and can make almost any dish without wheat or gluten. Moroccan cuisine that is suitable or travelers on a gluten free diet includes lentil (aâdis) or bean (loubia)hotpots (often found at workers cafes and truck stops), and roasted or grilled meats or fish. The latter is typically served with sautéed vegetables and rice (with meats) or a classic Moroccan salad (diced tomato, onion, and cucumber) with fish. In the larger Imperial Cities gluten, free travelers will be able to access gluten free bread in French Style bakeries as well as gluten-free staples such as oat flakes (porridge), corn chips, rice crackers and other imported goods that are sold in most large supermarkets. If you are in search of gluten-free grains such as quinoa or buckwheat we recommend a visit to one of the local green markets. Part of the excitement of traveling in Morocco is shopping in the souks, where you will find an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, meats and fish for a fraction of the price in the United States or Europe. Since Morocco has a long Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline fresh seafood in small cities such as Essaouira, Agadir and Oualidia is available. Many of the smaller restaurants owned and run by chefs tend to be more accommodating to gluten free travelers. In the larger cities such as Marrakech and Casablanca, you will find more international cuisine options such as Asian food with its basis in rice, and crêpes from Brittany made from gluten-free, buckwheat flour. With the rise of diabetes and weight in Morocco, many people today are choosing to eat gluten-free or reduce bread consumption altogether. Consumer trends in health and wellness are on the rise in Morocco. Gluten free, vegetarian, bio, socially conscious and health-minded shops, bakeries and cafes have burst onto the dining scene offering gluten-free travelers more options than ever before.
luten Free in Marrakech: Restaurants, Cafes & Green Markets Ayaso Ayaso is a bio store that serves 100% organic farm to table vegetarian cuisine. Their menu includes juices, herbal teas, soups, and gluten-free options. Diners eat surrounded by their African art inspired concept store. This bio store has everything for the gluten-free traveler ranging from a wide array of grains, cereals and snacks. Ayaso also has an open door policy to anyone who would like to host health or community building workshops. Ayaso’s owner, Monika El Baroudi carries and ethos and says, “Ayaso offers a clean menu using simple ingredients because that is what we believe is best for the body and mind. Our aim is to make our food and products accessible to as many people as possible.” Ayaso works with local farms and is highly selective in sourcing ingredients. They are particularly proud of their thyme and argan oil products, which come from Kasbah Demante Cooperative in the Atlas Mountains and Toudarte Cooperative. Address: 6 Boulevard Mohamed Zerktouni
Gaia Located in the heart of Art Deco, Gueliz, Gaia is a vegetarian restaurant that serves delightful French and Moroccan inspired cuisine. They offer an assortment of gluten-free and vegan dining options with extensive revitalizing juice and tea menu. Gaia takes great pride in presentation. Their dishes are served on ecological kitchenware and the décor is tastefully donned in eco style. All details are considered when ingredients grace the plates at Gaia. They are currently working on expanding their location to a farm in the nearby outskirts of Marrakech. Address: 100 Rue Mohammed el Beqal
Slow Concept Store Around the corner from the famous Grand Cafe de Le Poste, the Slow Concept Store is an undiscovered gem. The two-story villa hosts six elegantly curated rooms showcasing a collection of beldi crockery, ceramics, and furniture made by local artisans. Downstairs you will find a lovely garden cafe offering vegetarian and gluten-free options. Address:76 Boulevard el Mansour Eddahbi
Earth Cafe Located inside an old riad in the Medina, Earth cafe was the first vegan, vegetarian, and organic cafe to open in Morocco. The seasonal ingredients on the rotating menu all come from the restaurant’s personal farm in the Haouz Valley, near the Atlas Mountains. Cafe-goers generally rave about how simple yet innovative the menu is; Earth Cafe’s chef is Mr. Barakut Naim who incorporates into the menu his years working as a chef in Australia and South East Asia. The space is very cozy and charming. Address:ue Riad Zitoun el Kdim
Green Village Bio Shop Recently opened in January 2019, Green Village bio market is the new kid on the block in Marrakech’s Gueliz neighborhood. Green Village has two other successful locations, one in Casablanca and the other in Rabat. All three bio markets sell farm, fresh vegetables, meat, cheeses, and gluten-free foods. They also have a well-stocked assortment of grains, teas, and nutritional supplements and skincare products. Address: 13, Capitaine Arrigui, Gueliz
Bazar Gourmand Bazar Gourmand is a gourmet food store located in the heart of Guéliz, Bazar Gourmand offers a wide selection of products for gourmets. Gourmand was designed to cater to locals. It offers a variety of cheeses, cold meats, fresh pasta, soups, sauces, salads, sandwiches. The delicatessen has homemade jams, organic chocolates, pastries, spices, honey, olive oils, and gluten-free couscous. Bazar Gourmand offers a rotating menu and has a full pastry bakery corner with organic and gluten-free products along with a dining area to taste the good dishes of Chef Antoine! The bakery and cafe serve seasonal items. All the breads are made on the premise. “Our eggs and produce both come from local farms in Marrakech”, says Yann, Bazar’s manager. Gluten conscious travelers will also be happy to hear their chocolate chip cookies, fanciers, brownies, and some bread loaves are gluten-free. They also sell duck breast, foie gras, smoked salmon, local honey and argan oil, homemade pesto, and blends of fresh herbal and lemon detox juices.Bazar Gourmand’s décor is a keen mix of both traditional and contemporary architecture. Diners can enjoy the café’s Art Deco-inspired sea green and African yellow colored sofas while sipping tea from their fully stocked Tchaba tea bar or on their patio. Address:24 rue Moulay Ali
Pharmacie l’Unité Situated footsteps near the main flower market in Gueliz, Pharmacy L’Unite is the leading homeopathic pharmacy in the city and region. Although slightly on the pricey side, they are boutique and a very reliable source for high-quality homeopathic medicine and hard-to-find superfoods, skincare products and therapeutic grade essential oils. The owner, Dr. Raj offers homeopathic consultations. Book in advance. Address:Avenue Hassan II
Marrakech Organics Located in the lush Ourika Valley in the outskirts of Marrakech, this organic farm is host to an ecological training center as well as permaculture and sustainability workshops. The owner Omar Hajji and his wife Kenza Isnasni run the farm and supply their produce to many of the biological shops in Marrakech. You can visit the farm in person to purchase some of their high-quality products like cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, black olives, organic fruits and vegetables, and medicinal plants. Address: Route de l’Ourika, Km 25
Farmer’s Market There are multiple farmer’s markets happening during different days of the week in and around Marrakech. On early Tuesday mornings, you will find some organic farmer’s stands in front of Gueliz’s Trattoria and on Saturdays both Terre d Eveil in Targa and the Bio Farm in Mokhtar along route de Amzmiz.
Holistic Center Terre de Eveil This holistic center, located 6 kilometers outside of Marrakech is dedicated to all things involving healthy and well-being. Terre de Eveil has a tearoom, a bookstore and menu includes a juice bar and a vegetarian, raw, and sprouted health food corner. Throughout the week you can also enjoy workshops, conferences, meditations, and other mind holistic activities.
Gluten Free in Essaouira: Restaurants, Cafes & Green Markets Triskala Café Restaurant Located footsteps from the Essaouira seawall in the historic medina, Triskala is a cozy cafe serving a 100% natural and organic menu. This cozy restaurant is perfect for vegetarians and pescatarians alike. In the mornings, homemade fresh fruit juices are available to start the day and in the evenings, dinner near a warm fireplace accompanied by jazz music soundtracks in the background. Address:58 Rue Touahen
La Fromagerie For travelers who like to go off the beaten track and enjoy the feeling of French countryside, La Fromagerie is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch or an afternoon lunch soiree with friends. Set in a charming, beldi style garden surrounded by flowers, outdoor picnic tables, and camels used for cheese making, La Frommagerie is an ideal place to get away for some self-indulgence. Either come alone with a good book, enjoy a glass of wine and a cheese board with 5 types of goat, camel and other exotic cheeses. The three-course menu at La Frommagerie is inclusive of a salad, tagine, méchoui, and cheese. Address: Douar Larabe Costal Road to Safi
Little Breizh Little Breizh is a Brittany inspired creperie located in the Ville nouvelle (new town) of Essaouria. It is co-owned by a husband and wife team whose story began in Paris and took them back to Morocco. All ingredients are carefully selected, gluten-free and many are organic. The menu offers an extensive range of savory and sweet buckwheat crepes that could easily rival any of the best creperies in France. Breizinis also great spot to enjoy a high-quality burger or a delicious smoothie. Address: 260 Boulevard du 11 Janvier Yoo
Healthy Food Juice Bar Yoo is a charming little cafe that has a sleek and clean atmosphere and serves your health in a glass or on a platter. It was the first restaurant in Essaouria to offer fresh, natural, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Their menu is famous for its fresh, local, and organic ingredients, which they use in their colorful veggie juices, smoothies, healthy salads, paninis, frozen yogurts, and breakfast dishes. The owners are French and friendly and most people who visit once usually return for more! Address: 8A Rue Ibn Roch, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Lalla Abouch Arganic Farm Located in the countryside of Essaouira Lalla Abouch Arganic Farm hosts a beautiful garden filled with a variety of herbs, vegetables, and grains used in their couscous and homemade bread. All ingredients are sourced from neighboring villages and local cooperatives. All the foods you will taste at the farm are organic with plenty of gluten-free options.Lalla Abouch Arganic Farm is also the ideal place to learn about the manual extracting process of Argan oil and how to shop for only the purest quality. Address: 1 Douar Ait Ahmed
Bbio Organic Farm Bbio Organic Farm is an organic farm where you can shop for homemade organic seasonal veggies, fruits and eggs along with free range, beldi corn-fed chicken. Also on offer is the local catch of the day, argan oil and honey. The owner, Khaled has a special option of a Berber style picnic basket which includes everything you need for a Moroccan Berber brunch. “ All the work is done by hand. No chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used; only manure, algae, and other natural and local products, says Khaled Address: Rue Ibn Khaldoun Essaouira
Sunday Farmers Market, The Souk of Had Draa The Sunday Farmer’s market at Had Draa is the largest in the Essaouira region. Anticipate having an insider, one-of-a-kind experience meeting local traders, butchers and livestock farmers from the surrounding countryside and region. They come to sell their produce in the small stalls. A range of food and local products are offered such as Berber home-baked bread, argan oils, cheese, camel meat, teas, kitchenware, and other artisan products.
Pharmacie Mellah Kdim Located adjacent to the market within the medina, Mellah Kdim Pharmacie is one of the best in Morocco. The pharmacists are knowledgeable in homeopathic medicine and can recommend one of the store’s whole food supplements to match your needs. They also stock a great supply of therapeutic grade essential oils. Other products of interest here are the local honey and organic cosmetic and skincare products. Address: 122 avenue sidi Mohammed ben abdellah
Tamouziga Organic Shop medina Right in the center of the Ben Youssef and La Kasbah medina mosques is the Tamouziga Organic Shop. This boutique specializes in argan oil and other natural products like homemade jams, honey, gourmet soaps, natural perfumes, and aromatherapy. Address: 12 Rue Attarine
Gluten Free in Casablanca: Restaurants, Cafes & Green Markets Veggie A bio and natural fast food chain highly recommended by travelers for the best falafels in Morocco. Veggie is a vegetarian cafe offering a relaxing and celiac friendly place that offers a short break from the medina. All ingredients in the salads, fresh juices, and veggie burgers are rigorously selected and come from local farms in the region. Address: 2 Rue Theophile
Organic Kitchen Organic Kitchen is a beautiful bio café with a Mediterranean Moroccan fusion kitchen. Quickly the location has turned into a hotspot for those who are gluten free conscious. All ingredients come from organic or sustainable farming. They select their preferred suppliers and cook their vegan and gluten-free dishes with respect and love. Address: 6-8 Rue Ahmed El Mokri
Lily’s Voted best new Asian restaurant in 2005 by Food and Wine Magazine, Lily’s with its three large interior spaces and harmonious zen influences is thought of as a scenography where architecture and landscape mix. The Vietnamese and Asian fusion menu offers delicious gluten-free options such as Vietnamese spring rolls, dim sum, fish, and edamame. Lunch is accompanied by some of the best ocean views that are sought after in the city of Casablanca. Address: 92, boulevard de la Corniche - El Hank lighthouse
Grand Marché Bio Green Village Triangle d'Or Green Village is one of the largest markets for food in Morocco. It is a small chain with sister stores in both Rabat and Marrakech. Green Village carries gluten-free products, farm fresh items, and other local goods. Guaranteed to always be well stocked their wide range of produce and goods are nothing less than impressive. Address: Boulevard Aïn Taoujtate
Bioshop Casablanca Bioshop Casablanca, is just around the corner from Villa des Arts. IT is one of the best-stocked bio shops in Morocco. They sell top quality spices, teas, farm fresh yogurts, gluten-free snacks, and local products from Casablanca’s farms, Bioshop is a clean, sleek, and popular organic market gem. Address:4, rue Aknoul (Derrière Lycée Lyautey)
Epicerie Verte Located near the port of Casablanca is Epicerie Verte. This grocery green marketplace is the perfect place to shop for gluten-free snacks and other organic products. They specialize in teas, coffees, drinks, pickled veggies, superfoods, supplements, and skincare products for face and hair. Their marketplace model and products are focused on sustainable development. Address: Casa Marina Business Center, Tour Crystal 1, 10ème étage.