One of the best and worst parts of Marrakech is Jemaa el-Fna square, right at the very center of the city. It’s chaotic and crazy. In the daytime it’s practically a barren wasteland of wide open space with only the juice stands and herb sellers to keep you company. But come late afternoon, the carts start wheeling in, the grills get fired up and the tables and chairs come out along with the crowds of tourists and locals alike looking for a good meal.
Yes, there are monkey wranglers and snake charmers and every sort of charlatan in between hoping to pry the money from your pocket.
But there’s also the wafting smoke from grilling meat and and the enticing smell of frying seafood beckoning you to sit and eat.
There’s a guy who pulls teeth for a dollar and a gorgeous boy who sells orange juice by the cup.
Story tellers and henna artists may grab you by the hand and the souk is there at one end, tempting you with anything and everything you’d ever want to buy.
Musicians play, loud and raucous, all drums and horns, and then the call to prayer echos through the square and everything gets quieter for a moment.
Come along for a little tour, day into night…
The guy with the hat sells drinks of water in those cups.
Less than US $.50 for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice….
…and this view is free with the OJ.
Stay away from the guys with the monkeys. Seriously. They don’t treat them right and the guys will hassle you for money. It’s wrong.
Musicians, taking a break.
Boys, listening to a story teller.
Story telling; only men seem to participate.
This was one of the best, and busiest, fried seafood stalls in the square.
It’s called Chez Haj Mohamed El Krita, stall #N14.
From the stall above; eggplant dip, fried squid, and fried fish. Perfection!
Snail soup, a Marrakech classic dish.
Eat the snails with the toothpick and then slurp up the fragrant, well spiced broth.
This was one of our favorite stalls for grilled meat and we went back several times. Right on the edge of the stalls on the square, it has a bright red sign which reads “no. 32 * 114 Hassan” on it.
Grilled lamb sausage, fresh bread and the typical tomato sauce from Hassan’s (above). We also had fantastic grilled liver and lamb skewers here.
Good seafood here too. We ate here on our last night with Margaret and John from LostAndFoundTravel.