As I’ve mentioned a few times, you won’t find much to do in the Marrakesh Medina post-dinner. Bars are few and not populated by anyone beyond trying to find free WiFi. The Jemaa El-Fna is a moshpit of humanity that dies down after 9pm. Visitors retreat to their riad to chill and the locals hangout at their doorsteps.
My research noted that the Marrakesh location of Cafe Clock is where you’ll find great food, entertainment and an international vibe, I ventured (and survived) to the Casbah to see for myself. I ended up going three times.
Sunday night is music night so you’ll bill will come with a small performance free. You can expect vibrant traditional Moroccan music sung in Arabic and spontaneous dancing. The night I went, I had to crawl over a few people to get the lone empty stool in the back, which was perfect because I think I was the only Jersey guy there. Eventually, a few young chaps who thought I was French asked where I was from and wanted to know everything about New York.
As for the food, I had to get their signature dish — the camel burger, no toe with extra slobber. I’m joking, but it is a tasty camel burger with spicy ketchup and fries. No, it doesn’t taste like chicken, but it’s a lean beef and not unusual tasting at all. I’ve had alligator, kangaroo, caribou, koala and chupacabra, so I like to go beyond the hamburger.
Here’s a little taste of the musical performance:
When I was settling my bill, the lovely waitress invited me back the next night for storytelling in English. “Let me check my social calendar … yeah, I can do that.”
Thus, I showed up the next night for some dessert and storytelling action. This time, I didn’t have a crowd surf to find a seat. On Mondays, it’s mostly French tourists, students and friends of the storytellers. When the waitress saw me return, she was ecstatic. This shows if you are invited to a foreign place, just showing up is a big deal.
As promised, it was storytelling in English. The waitress told a story about a king trying to find the best court jester in all the land. To note, it’s rare for women in Morocco to do public storytelling.
After another English-language story, it was time for famed local storyteller Haj Ahmed Ezzarghani to perform … in Arabic. I’m sitting there with an awkward smile on face fighting the urge to check my phone. In the end, he gave a little musical performance.
My third time was in the mid-afternoon to get a refreshing smoothie. I was sucking in dust and exhaust all day from my bike tour through the new city and Medina.
Cafe Clock also runs cooking classes and belly-dancing performances. There’s a rooftop terrace for those who want a quiet space away from the excitement downstairs. The original location is in Fez, but original chef Tariq Hadine is located in the Marrakesh location.
While you there, enjoy these fun movie posters.