Restaurant Marrakesh Review


Restaurant Marrakesh is a table service restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase at Walt Disney World. This Restaurant Marrakesh review covers lunch at the Moroccan restaurant, which seems fairly similar to dinner. Just compare the menus for yourself–the Morocco Pavilion actually has great menu pages with photos of each entree to help you decide what you might like before you visit. As you can see, there are a lot of similarities and only a few differences between the lunch and dinner menus. The biggest difference seems to be that lunch is significantly less expensive.

Restaurant Marrakesh participates in the Disney Dining Plan, and accepts Tables in Wonderland for a 20% discount. It can be a good use of a Disney Dining Plan table service credit if you’re trying to maximize your value on the Disney Dining Plan, but only at dinner and only if you order one of the few expensive menu items. At lunch, it’s an incredible value when paying out of pocket, with a few items that are only slightly above counter service prices. 

Before our recent visit, we had never given this Moroccan restaurant much thought because it doesn’t really seem to be on anyone’s radar. It’s not that we have ever really come across memorable negative reviews of this restaurant…we just have never really come across many reviews of it, period, and most we have encountered have only been vaguely positive. This was easy to understand when we stepped inside, as the restaurant was 50% full, at most. The reason it’s not on anyone’s radar is because very few guests are eating there!

Since Restaurant Marrakesh is probably one of the least popular restaurants at Walt Disney World in terms of guest demand, it is a great last minute ADR of walk-up place to eat. We think it’s low popularity can probably be attributed to two factors: 1) Restaurant Marrakesh is located deep in the Morocco pavilion, which is a pretty deep pavilion; and, 2) the cuisine at Restaurant Marrakesh, while mild enough for most palates, is probably the most ostensibly adventurous restaurant in World Showcase. This much is clear when you see the photo-heavy menu on display on a table in front of the restaurant that tries to entice the limited foot-traffic inside. Given the World Showcase shift towards more dining that is “accessible” to families in the last several years, it’s actually a bit surprising that Restaurant Marrakesh still exists as it does.

“Restaurant Marrakesh is my favorite restaurant in Epcot.” I don’t think that’s a sentence I’ve ever heard spoken or seen written by anyone. Well… Restaurant Marrakesh is my favorite restaurant in Epcot.

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Let me qualify that a bit, as I know bold, “OMG IT’S THE BEST EVAR” or “ZOMG IT’S TEH LAMEZOR” proclamations seem to be the modus operandi of internet reviews, and my intent here is not simple shock value. In general, we do not think that World Showcase dining is all “amazing” or “lamezor.” In fact, with the exception of the once-excellent Bistro de Paris (R.I.P.), I would say that I think most World Showcase dining is on the upper side of good, with many restaurants that do a good-but-not-great job of balancing exotic cuisine with flavors reasonably Americanized to appeal to most tourists.

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The bold proclamation that most be most apt and what I really want to get at is this: “Restaurant Marrakesh is a better restaurant than Le Cellier.” Obviously, Le Cellier has absolutely nothing to do with this Restaurant Marrakesh review, but please humor me with a brief rant of sorts. Regular readers of this blog may know that I have a bit of an ax to grind with Le Cellier. For years, if you read Disney fan sites, you might come to the conclusion that Le Cellier is Disney’s gift to the culinary world. For years, I’ve been essentially saying, “yeah, it’s good, but not all it’s cracked up to be.”

As its popularity snowballed and demand justified price increases and an elevation to “Signature” status, it seems many have pulled back from their undying love for Le Cellier, but I still think it’s not as good as the consensus of the internet suggests. This isn’t too surprising, as Le Cellier is the “safest” restaurant in World Showcase, and it is a steakhouse. Anyone with any sense loves steak, giving Le Cellier a bit of a natural advantage. I won’t fixate on Le Cellier, but consider this review me imploring anyone who thinks Le Cellier is the end-all, be-all of World Showcase dining to venture away from the steakhouse and try this superior restaurant.

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Anyway, moving on to the part of the review actually relevant to the substance of the review, the design and ambiance at Restaurant Marrakesh are unparalleled in World Showcase. In general, I think most World Showcase restaurants are detailed and well-done, but Restaurant Marrakesh takes this to the next level.

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I think the photos of the detail in the restaurant speak for themselves. From tile work to the tea dispensers to the ceilings and (especially) the light fixtures, Restaurant Marrakesh is stunning. I cannot believe I had never been inside this great Walt Disney World restaurant previously.

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Then, of course, there’s the Moroccan belly dancer. A scantily-clad female dancing seductively in a restaurant…uh…ok? Although we were not seated anywhere near the belly dancer, the show did not strike either of us as being ‘family-unfriendly’ and was very tame. I don’t really know how to describe a belly dancing show, other than to say it was neat, I guess?

More interesting to us was the Moroccan musicians that performed traditional Moroccan music on instruments that looked pretty Moroccan (my musical skills are admittedly quite limited, so me not recognizing an instrument doesn’t mean a whole lot, but these looked “exotic” to me!). These musicians were excellent, and really added another dimension to the ambiance of the restaurant. Equally as important, their music wasn’t so loud as to stifle conversation, nor was it so faint that it could not be heard. Exactly what I like out of music in a restaurant.

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As great as the ambiance was in Restaurant Marrakesh, the food was the real highlight. Since we wanted to sample as much of the menu as possible, we opted to order the Sultan Sampler and Taste of Morocco – Berber Feast, each of which contain a variety of small portions of other items from the menu.

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Lunch started with bread service. We went fairly light on this as we had a lot of food coming…

The Sultan Sampler was the less expensive of the two samplers, coming in at just over $20 for an entree platter that could possibly be split among two people (probably with smaller appetites).

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This includes a grilled brochette of beef (or chicken), beef brewat roll, chicken bastilla and was served with vegetable couscous. I’m not normally much of a couscous man (I basically consider it ‘filler’ to combine with whatever else is on the plate), so really the best I can ever say about that is that it didn’t stifle the rest of the plate, and that was the case here.

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What we found really interesting were the brewat roll and chicken bastilla. The brewat roll was basically like beef pastry. Up until now, I never thought science had been able to combine two of my favorite things: meat and desserts, but the great people of Morocco had cracked that nut years ago! It was everything I ever imagined it would be and more.

Same goes for the chicken bastilla. Each of these dessert-entrees were juxtaposed contrasting flavors really well. They were sweet and slightly rich, yet spiced and savory. I don’t know how you combine flavors of almond and powdered sugar with spiced meats and have the end result actually be something edible, let alone delicious, but that’s probably why I am not a chef. To me, the very concept of these flaky pastries sounds like something that would come out of the test kitchen of Cheech and Chong. Yet, these turned out to be the highlight of the samplers.

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As for the Berber Feast, it started with the Jasmina Salad, and there’s only one way to describe that: FRESH!!! So fresh(!!!) it was actually refreshing. An excellent way to start the meal.

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On the main platter itself, we had Chicken Kebab and Couscous With Seven Vegetables. The chicken kebab was flavorful and mixed well with the couscous.

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Then there was the star of the Berber Feast, the Roast Lamb Meshoui, which is billed as “a Moroccan tradition, roasted lamb shank in natural juices,” was excellent. This was fall-off-the-bone, cut-with-your-fork tender, and so juicy you could squeeze it and make lamb-onade (patent pending) out of it. While the flavor was nuanced and interesting, one thing that caught me off guard was the lack of intense spice to this.

Actually, this lack of intensity was true of just about everything we tried. As I later learned from Fes Cooking, just because Moroccan dishes feature a wide variety of spices and herbs does not mean that every authentic Moroccan dish has an intense flavor. (I’m trying to avoid the word “spicy” even though I think you’ll know what I mean in this context because these dishes did have plenty of spices, they just weren’t “hot” spicy, if you know what I mean.)

I really liked this about Restaurant Marrakesh–I do like spicy foods but some Mediterranean, MENA, and Moroccan foods I’ve had at hole-in-the-wall real world places have been a bit much for me. Everything at Restaurant Marrakesh that we tried had a complex flavor through its spices, while still being entirely approachable. This is actually why I am encouraging everyone to try Marrakesh, as even those with sensitive palates should have no issues.

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Then came dessert, which is also included in the price of the Berber Feast (seriously, appetizer, large entree, and dessert for <$30 at Walt Disney World?!). The Berber Feast is supposed to come with Baklava, but our server brought us the Moroccan Symphony. We previously were underwhelmed with the baklava at Tangierine Cafe (about the only thing disappointing about that great restaurant!), but this totally redeemed the Morocco pavilion in terms of dessert. light and airy, somehow packed with amazing flavor. Each one of these was beyond excellent.

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Overall, Restaurant Marrakesh does not get nearly enough appreciation. It’s a beautiful setting with enjoyable entertainment offering excellent cuisine at affordable prices. To us, it really harkens back to EPCOT Center in a way unlike anywhere else in the park. For a total of less than $50 for the two samplers we ordered (plus tax and tip), we felt that these were the types of ‘small plate’ values that Spice Road Table should have offered. We are confident in saying that Restaurant Marrakesh will appeal to most Walt Disney World guests, and we highly recommend it. If guests could find the place and get past their preconceptions, this would be the most popular restaurant in Epcot!

If you are planning a Walt Disney World trip, make sure to also read our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide to make the most of your experience!

Overall Score: 10/10

To read other Disney restaurant reviews from Walt Disney World and dining resources, check out our Walt Disney Dining Reviews Index.

Your Thoughts…

Have you tried this Walt Disney World hidden gem? What did you think? Any specific dishes you’d recommend? If you haven’t dined at Restaurant Marrakesh, does this review make you want to try it? If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please post them in the comments. We love hearing from readers!

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36 Responses to “Restaurant Marrakesh Review”

  1. Shannon says:

    I LOVE this restaurant. We’d never tried it before our last trip, even though we’re fans of Mediterranean cuisine. Only ADR we could get that looked interesting for the first night of our trip. Absolutely fabulous. It’s now on our radar for a must do when we go to EPCOT.

  2. Mark says:

    This is our favorite restaurant in Epcot. We always eat there when at Epcot. The service and food are always excellent. We like interesting food, and this isn’t boring or bland. The belly dancer doesn’t hurt :-), but as indicated it is a very mild, family friendly show. The dancer usually gets the kids to get on stage and dance with her, at least when we’ve been there.

  3. Emily says:

    The Jasmina Salad is AMAZING. I ate almost all of it and it didn’t even come with my meal (oops ha). Thanks, Dad for sharing!

    Couldn’t agree more with this review. Our waiter told us the menu has been the same since the restaurant opened with minor additions. I believe he also said they were working on a new menu but it has to be approved by a bunch of people.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Normally I get excited at the prospect of new menus in Walt Disney World, but not in World Showcase. It seems that the trend is to make the restaurants more generic and appealing to “everyone,” to increase their popularity, which I think spoils them. Bistro de Paris was victim of this, hopefully Restaurant Marrakesh will not be!

  4. Edgardo says:

    First dined there as a teen in the early nineties and again as an adult about a decade ago. Still one of my favorite restaurant memories from those trips. Looking at Epsot WS dining for a possible future trip and it still seems like the most interesting and ‘unique’ restaurant of the bunch. Thanks for the great review and beautiful images.

  5. Kelli says:

    Best restaurant ever! A must for sure, we’ve extent there ¾ times and it’s hard for us to eat anywhere else because we have loved there for so long. If you are in the DC area ever eat at a truly authentic morrocan Marakesh (same name, 5-7 courses all for $30 and the chicken bastilla…..out of this world!)

  6. Lauren says:

    Came here a few years ago because last minute ADRs were available and it sounded interesting. Everyone in our familiy liked it from the adventerous to the ultra picky. Coming from NYC, we can get really good versions of everything else in World Showcase, this is the one that is not represented at home. I’ve been telling people ever since, this is a great option for table service with no wait, even if you have less adventerous eater in the group. I love the details in this pavillion, and Restaurant Marrakesh work perfectly here.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      If you’re from New York City and you think a World Showcase restaurant is a good representation of foreign cuisine, that’s about the ultimate seal of approval. NYC food is awesome. So much variety…so much everything!

  7. Jason G says:

    Agreed! One of the best meals I have ever had at WDW. The staff is super friendly and quick. The food is amazing! Love it!

  8. Mi Mi 5 says:

    So good to know! We have been tempted all these years, but turn away in fear of heavy curry, raisiny, overly rich stuff…So thanks…we will keep a time open during our Sept. visit.

  9. Laura says:

    This restaurant is definitely a favorite of ours. We live in Siuth Florida, a pretty cosmopolitan area, and can’t get anything like this nearby. The flavors are so unique.

    Did you notice the strict division of labor? It’s always interesting to us to watch. The women are hostesses, and men are servers– no exceptions. Very traditional. We also found the wait staff very solicitous, more so than we’ve come to expect even in WDW.

    They are traditional Middle Eastern instruments, and the music really does add to the ambiance. I’m glad the place is getting the love it deserves.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Yes, we noticed the division of labor, but I didn’t want to comment on it in the body of the review and have that spawn any sort of debate in the comments.

      We also had incredible service at Restaurant Marrakesh. I almost did mention that in the review, but our standard policy is to not mention good or poor service unless we have reason to believe either is the norm for that restaurant. In my opinion, too many reviews are skewed by service, which is so highly variable that it’s not even useful to mention most of the time. It’s appearing that great service here is the norm, though, based on other comments I’ve read.

  10. Teresa says:

    We are going to WDW at Christmas and I love trying new foods. This sounds like a wonderful place to eat! Going on my schedule now!

  11. @ says:

    Thanks for an excellent review of one of our favorite restaurants at WDW. We also go to their outside quick food location, Tangerine Café every trip. There are times tho when the outside music has been a little too loud for conversation. The food is so good that we adapt. (and isn’t the mint tea service fun!)

  12. Marci says:

    We have eaten there many years ago and loved it and have already set up a dinner for our visit next week! Can’t wait!

  13. Mary says:

    So torn! I’d love to try this out, but I’ve also been dying to try San Angel Inn b/c of the location. We already have ADRs for San Angel but I just checked and Marrakesh is available the same night. I read a lot of mixed reviews on San Angel. I’m traveling with my Mom who has a very sensitive tummy and my in-laws who have never eaten any kind of ethnic food except for the Chinese food you can get at the food court in the mall, plus my picky kids and meat-loving husband. Which restaurant would be a better bet?

    • Lauren says:

      My husband and I ate at San Angel a few months ago and we thought it was great. He always wanted to eat by the water. I read a lot of mixed reviews too and was hesitant, but I think I read somewhere that it changed management in the past year or two and improved since then. Love the atmosphere too.
      These are two of my top table service picks in Wold Showcase, so I’d say you can’t go wrong either way.

      • Tom Bricker says:

        San Angel Inn has improved in the last couple of years (we ate there last year and enjoyed it–sorry, haven’t reviewed it yet), but I would still give a significant edge to Restaurant Marrakesh. San Angel Inn is probably an 8.5/10 restaurant.

  14. Lynette says:

    You MUST try the mussels! They are the best I’ve ever eaten and I order mussels pretty much everywhere I go.

  15. Denise says:

    Thanks for this review! I’m definitely booking ADRs for my 2015 trip now.

  16. Tim says:

    We love Marrakesh, as well as the food in general that is served in Morocco (and I’m from Oklahoma and my wife is from Michigan). We haven’t been in a while as we have been trying other places but we do plan on going back soon. I will say that while the lunch platter is much cheaper, based on your pictures it didn’t seem that the portions were near as big as the dinner portions that we got for more money (but it has been a while). Overall, I think this is a great restaurant with great food for the price (in relative Disney terms).

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I think the common Disney tip to “go for lunch and save money on the same thing” isn’t entirely accurate. You definitely save money, and I think overall lunch most places is a better *value*, but quite often there are portion size differences, among other things, even when the menu items have the same names.

      In the case of Restaurant Marrakesh, though, the dinner platters are actually different than the lunch platters. Some overlap, but they have different names and are definitely different.

  17. Kevin says:

    In spite of enjoying middle-eastern cuisine, we have somehow not made it to this resteraunt yet. We will have to rectify that. (Some freiends are eating there in a couple months, I’ll see if their review is as glowing!)

  18. Daffystardust says:

    I’d definitely put Restaurant Marrakesh near the top of the WDW “underrated” list.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Agreed. Off the top of my head, that list consists of this, Sanaa, The Wave, and Kona Cafe for me. I’m sure there are others that I’m forgetting.

  19. Chris M says:

    You should add this to the EPCOT section of your Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews!

  20. mike kelliher says:

    it offers a great dining experience. food is top notch, service and atmosphere outstanding; one of the overall best spots
    in WDW.

  21. Tommy says:

    I spent two weeks in Morocco at the end of last year. I loved the food there and ate everything that I could. I even took a cooking class in Fes to learn how to make these dishes.

    I’ll be hitting this restaurant in November and I’m really excited about it. Thanks for doing a review! I’m now even more excited. Online reviews have been very bipolar so I’m glad to get a decent and intelligent review.

    In Morocco chicken bastilla is an entrée item. And they are delicious! Couscous is the national dish and therefore is served everywhere. After two weeks, I was tired of couscous. Haha

    As a small side note, that salad looks very American and not at all Moroccan. Haha

  22. Liz says:

    We are trying to decide whether to eat dinner at Teppan Edo or Marrakesh on our upcoming trip to WDW. We have ‘free’ dining so cost is not an issue for this meal (lunch vs dinner). Which would you recommend?

  23. Sarah says:

    I have to disagree with you on this one. My husband and I are passionate about Middle Eastern food and are spoiled by easy access to good cheap Middle Eastern food in Chicago. We went to Restaurant Marrakesh in April of this year. We had fantastic service and enjoyed the atmosphere but found the Middle Eastern food to be of poor quality in comparison to the Middle Eastern food outside of the park. In particular I remember the lamb shank to be bland and fatty, and the couscous to be unpleasantly mushy and flavorless, not at all like tangines I’ve had in the past. We also had two of the appetizer samplers, a copious amount of delicious mint tea. We were disappointed by our desserts as well, again being spoiled by easy access to great baklava in out neighborhood. I really wanted to like it especially given how much we enjoyed chatting with our waiters but because of the quality of the food we gave it a 4/10.

    • Sarah says:

      My husband adds that he remembers the falafel to be really dry. This may be an issue is some food on the menu being better than others though.

  24. Tom says:

    Ate here for lunch yesterday and almost ruined dinner we ate so much. The goat cheese appetizer for two was hands down the best app we’ve had this week and that includes Msr Paul and Flying Fish. Our server offered hot sauce, made on site, with the entres – unless you just can’t take heat…get it. The hot sauce has very deep flavor to go with the heat and completely transformed the lamb from something already really good to amazing. The restaurant was very empty and this was actually sad because this is one place where I think the extra noise and bustle of a larger crowd would have added to the ambience. Highly recommend.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Thanks for the tip on the hot sauce. The reason the lack of crowds makes me sad is because I fear that means they will make changes to the restaurants to cater more towards “average” tourist tastes…and that usually means bad things for the menu.

  25. Wesley says:

    My husband and I are both from California and have a wide variety of excellent ethnic cuisine readily available. On our first trip to WDW, about a year ago, we ate at Marrakesh against the recommendations of several people. I am a pretty big fan of Middle Eastern culture, food, and art. We found the ambiance of the restaurant to be incredible and the food to be enjoyable but definitely tamer than the standard Middle Eastern fare we’re used to (we thought this was true of most of the “exotic” cuisine at WDW). I wouldn’t say it was bad at all, the food was great, but for anyone familiar with the cuisine you might be a little underwhelmed. Several guests complained about the band being too loud, which I found silly. You’re coming into these ethnically themed restaurants for an experience not to just choke down a burger. Which brings me around to the belly dancer. The belly dancer is completely family friendly. A lot of Middle Eastern weddings include a belly dancer. It seems in western cultures we find belly dancing to be risqué but for Middle Eastern cultures it’s just dancing.

    From what I recall of the band they were playing an oud or qanun (can’t remember) and a tablah, instruments common to most Middle Eastern countries and not specifically Moroccan.

    I definitely think Marrakech is a must do for anyone looking for truly unique dining.

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