moroccan sahara · World Foods

What to Eat in the Moroccan Sahara

I had a lot of questions about our trip to the Moroccan Sahara, and at the top of the list was, “What is there to eat out there?” Well, I’m here to let you know! We stayed with Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp, and they served us some of the best food we ate in all of Morocco! Take a look and tell me what you’d want to eat!

Day 1

Day 1 of our desert excursion started in Ouarzazate but mostly took place in the car! There are a surprising amount of villages on the way to the Sahara, and even in the Sahara, so the drive was much more bearable than we expected, as a couple who doesn’t like a road trip! Our driver was great (thank goodness we didn’t have to drive ourselves!), and we made it to our camp in time for supper at sunset.

Lunch: Reda Restaurant Cafe in Alnif, Morocco

We stopped for lunch about two and a half hours out of camp at a little restaurant right off the road. The food was pretty good!

Bread and Olives, a Typical Complimentary Moroccan Appetizer
Coke Zero Sugar and Fresh-squeezed Orange Juice
Steve’s Lentil Soup
My Berber Salad: Tomatoes, Onions, and Olives, with Orange Garnish
Ready for our tajines!
Chicken Tajine with Lemon and Olives
Meatball and Egg Tajine
Napoleon, Steve’s favorite dessert!
Moroccan Pastries (or Cookies)
Welcome Snacks: Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp

Moroccan hospitality is a lot like Southern hospitality… it involves sweet beverages and food!

Fresh-squeezed Cucumber and Orange Juice
Carrot and Orange Juice
Cookies
Supper: Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp

Our first full meal at the camp was as close to a fine dining experience as we could have gotten in the desert!

The people at the next table mistook us for honeymooners!
Appetizer Bruschetta: Cheese with Olive, and Tomato
Cheese with Strawberry Jam; I asked what kind of cheese, but the servers either didn’t know what I was asking, or they didn’t know what kind of cheese and could not ask the chef!
Bread with Olives and Lemon, Argan Oil, Olive Oil, Salt, Cumin, and Pepper
Moroccan Vegetable Soup
Eggplant with Caramelized Tomato Sauce
Time for the Main Course Speciality Tajines
Zucchini and Tomato with Cheese
Beef with Sesame-roasted Prunes
Dessert: Fruit Bowl and Pomegranate Seeds

Day 2

This was our one full day of adventure in the desert. Again, I was surprised at the number of restaurants and accommodations in the desert! I really thought the only way to stay in the desert was to camp, but that is not the case!

Breakfast: Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp

Moroccan breakfasts have one very important thing in common, even in the desert: you’ll be given far more food than you could possibly finish all at once!

Coffee and Fresh-squeezed Orange Juice
Bread in the Foreground; Toast with Tomatoes in the Background
Variety of Bread, Pastries, and Moroccan Crepes
Outer Circle: Watermelon, Fig Jam, Olives, Strawberry Jam, Honey, Cheese, Apricot Jam
Inner Plate: Walnuts, Dried Figs, Pistachios, Almonds, Cashews, Dried Apricots, Golden Raisins in the center
Egg Omelette (insider info: each person gets one egg, and an omelette is simply a stirred egg that’s been pan-fried, not filled with anything)
Sweetened Yogurt
Corn Flakes
Coco Puffs
Milk

Pro Tip: All the food comes out at different times. So pace yourself! In America, we usually expect all the entree food to come out at once, but not so with a Moroccan breakfast! We thought we were finished, but then out came more food! And then we thought, “Surely that’s all!” And then came more food! So, again, pace yourself!

Lunch: Maison Acacias Cafe and Restaurant in Tisserdmine, Moroccan Sahara

Tisserdmine doesn’t come up on the map, but it’s close to the Algerian border. Fun times!

Welcome to Maison Acacias Cafe
Olives, Peanuts, and Pistachios
Green mush at the bottom is Pumpkin (so we were told!), there are also Lentils, Carrots, Olives, Boiled Egg, Corn, Potatoes (with green flecks of herbs), and Rice in the middle. It actually tasted much better than it looked! And also, bread as usual!
Beef Kabobs, Roasted Chicken, Chicken Kabobs, and French Fries
Fruity Dessert: Apples, Bananas, and Plums!

Fun fact! The restaurant didn’t have an address, but it did have GPS coordinates!

Check out the GPS Coordinates
Supper: Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp

We were the only people during our stay who chose to stay two nights. When we heard the staff telling the table of newcomers next to us what they would be having (the same thing we had the previous night), we thought for sure we’d be having the same thing again, but that was not so! The appetizers and dessert were almost exactly the same, but we got a few different things than anyone else!

Ready for Dinnertime at Camp
Bruschetta with Cheese and Olives, and Tomato
Bread with Oil, Spices, Olives, and Lemon
Orange and Zucchini Soup
Tomato and Avocado Salad
Chicken and Beef Steak (quite possibly the best steak I have ever had!), Green Beans, Potatoes, and Carrots
Fruit Plate for Dessert

Day 3

The drive back to Ouarzazate took a little over five hours, so we savored our last meal in the desert.

Breakfast: Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp

There were a few things offered the first day that were not offered the second day, and while I’m not sure why, I can definitely say we did not leave hungry—there was still plenty of food!

Breakfast with a View
Sweet Breads, Pastries, and Moroccan Crepes
Coffee and… Strawberry Juice!
Olives, Sugar Cubes (for coffee), Strawberry Jam, Cheese, Butter, Honey, Apricot Jam, and Egg Omelette with Tomatoes in the middle
Tons of Bread, of course
Moroccan Mint Tea
Lunch: Les Jardins Restaurant and Hotel in Ouarzazate, Morocco

We made it back to Ouarzazate in record time and had a late lunch there after our 5.5-hour drive from the desert.

Bread with Green Bell Pepper, Olives, and Hot Red Pepper Paste
Moroccan Couscous with Veggies and Chicken
Mixed Vegetable Tajine

Hungry for more? Check out my World Foods and Morocco Pages!

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