Restaurant Marrakesh Review
Restaurant Marrakesh is a table service restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase at Walt Disney World. This WDW dining review covers the lunch & dinner menu. We cover our experience and share food photos, plus thoughts on atmosphere, entertainment, and theme at the Moroccan restaurant.
For starters, 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.
Restaurant Marrakesh doesn’t really seem to be on anyone’s radar and it frankly wasn’t on ours until we tried it for the first time. 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. 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 is probably perceived as too adventurous.
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.
Most World Showcase dining is on the upper side of good, with many restaurants that do a good job of balancing exotic cuisine with flavors reasonably Americanized to appeal to most tourists.
Restaurant Marrakesh can be included among these. The menu is ostensibly adventurous and exotic, but the reality is that the cuisine as served is mild enough for most palates of Walt Disney World guests.
Without question, 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.
Le Cellier is a popular steakhouse, and also the safest restaurant in World Showcase. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, each of which contain a variety of small portions of other items from the menu.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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!
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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!
The lamb-onade is some of the best wordsmithery i’ve seen in a VERY long time – very happy about reading this sentence, bravo mr bricker.
We are visiting wdw in December and plan to eat here for dinner on our World Showcase day and watch the fireworks afterward. This is the restaurant we are most excited to visit and I was shocked to see it has so little popularity. While I don’t care for “hot” foods, we like Mediterranean flavors and love lamb. I was a little worried about the belly dancing bc we have a 9 year old son, but from all photos, videos, and reviews I have seen it is very good taistful and not inappropriate for kids.
This might be a weird question but do the belly dancers travel around or stay at the stage area? I’d love to go to the restaurant but would like to keep away from the belly dancers for religious reasons. Thanks!
Just ate here about 10 minutes ago. It was alright, I should have went with my gut and ordered the lamb. The highlight of that dinner was definitely the mint tea! Delicious and refreshing!
Dined here on our recent Epcot visit sans older children on your recommendation. We walked in without ADRs. It was a date plus baby. There were only 3 other families dining and I have to agree we had our best, most adventurous meal at Disney to date. Loved the instrumentalists. We also got to view some belly dancing. It was fun, but also not distracting. Our servers happily entertained and doted on our baby, allowing us to eat and really feel like we were on a couples only date. Our service was so amazing that even if our food had only been mediocre (fortunately not the case), I’d still recommend this place. We’ll definitely be back. Just hope that the lack of popularity doesn’t mean this place will soon be offering your standard theme park fare.
Restaurant Marrakesh is my favorite restaurant at WDW, hands-down. We go at least twice every time we visit.
The service here is also great….I had a really bad cold during my trip and went here with my family for lunch. The server noticed that I wasn’t feeling well and brought me free cups of their delicious morrocan mint tea which I highly recommend for anyone needing something soothing!
Best restaurant in Epcot…Hands Down!
While most every place in WDW customer service is great, the service and friendliness of Marrakesh staff makes you feel like you’ve been a regular at the restaurant for the last 20 years.
In Feb. 2015 my then 12 yr old son picked this place to have dinner. Boy, were my wife and I happy that he did. Nick had purchased a souvenir fez before we went in and when one of the waiters saw that, they gave him a real one to wear during dinner. he was so happy. He continued to wear his fez for the last 4 days of the trip.
We decided on the Taste of Morocco – Royal Feast
Jasmina Salad: Lettuce, Tomato, Olives, and Feta Cheese in Mustard Vinaigrette • Seafood Bastilla: Layers of thin Pastry filled with Grouper, Shrimp, and Mushrooms • Lemon Chicken: Braised Chicken seasoned with Green Olives and preserved Lemon • Roast Lamb Meshoui: A Moroccan tradition – Roasted Lamb Shank in Natural Juices • Couscous with Seven Vegetables: Moroccan National dish – Steamed Tiny Semolina Pasta served with seasoned Vegetables • Assorted Moroccan Pastries
Taste of Morocco – Marrakesh Feast
Harira Soup: A hearty soup with Tomatoes, Eggs, Lentils, and Beef • Beef Brewat Roll: Layers of thin Pastry stuffed with seasoned minced Beef, fried and sprinkled with Cinnamon • Marrakesh Mix Grill: Tenderloin of Beef Shish Kebab, Lamb Merguez Sausage, Marinated Chicken Kebab, served with fresh Herb-roasted Potatoes • Assorted Moroccan Pastries
The cost for each was 1 table service + up-charge of about $6 . Best deal (food wise) and best food (food wise) we ever had in WDW!
We have been back 2 times since then and MUST EAT THERE. All of the food is truly amazing. The 2 feasts are more than enough food for 3 adults. The decor is like no other.
The music and show are very entertaining. Again, the service is just outstanding!!!!!
We are going back to WDW in Sept. and you can be damn sure that we can’t wait to go back to MARRAKESH.
If you haven’t heard it yet –without a doubt–“Restaurant Marrakesh is my favorite restaurant in Epcot,” and it has been since my first meal there in the early 90s (when I was in my early teens). I adore the food, but it is also the authentic theming and welcoming atmosphere that keeps me going back.
Question: The menu for lunch and dinner looks the same to me, except that lunch is significantly cheaper. Are the portion sizes different? Or are there any other reasons why it’s so much cheaper at lunch? I ate here 6 or 7 years ago and it’s the only food I remember from trip. I’ve even had plenty of authentic Moroccan food so it’s not like it was a new, exciting experience or anything.
I’m so glad someone else is praising Restaurant Marrakesh! I discovered this back in 2009. I went to WDW with my family the week between Christmas and New Years (never again) and I was in charge of ADRs for some reason (always a good idea to let a 22 year old who’s not paying dictate your dinner choices) and I was going through the restaurants in World Showcase looking for something new and fun. I love Mediterranean food and as soon as I saw this restaurant’s menu I was like “yes please!” When we got there, it was half empty (during one of the busiest weeks in the year!). We’ve gone back every trip since.
I am glad your experience mirrors mine. Hands down this is my MUST EAT AT restaurant at WDW. My husband is from Puerto Rico, and he loves it, too.
Thank you for this review! We visit Disney every 2 years or so. I have a 14 year old boy and 6 year old girl and try hard to provide the experiences they both request. My teenager requested an interesting dinner at Epcot that he can’t get at home. Moroccan seems to fit that bill and I thought the photos, music and dancing looked so wonderful. I booked, and am now seeing so many negative reviews that don’t really explain why — in fact, service and friendliness, and food all seem well rated. I am so glad to get your detailed take on it! I think I made the right choice.
We are similarly every couple of years with three kids, and each person gets to pick one restaurant (that everyone else then must go to without complaint) in addition to some that are jointly chosen.
In 2013 this was my choice, and although everyone agreed that they would never have wanted to eat here if I hadn’t chosen it, it was also unanimous that this is now on our list of “every visit” restaurants.
I hope your experience is similar. 🙂
Having lived in the Middle East for four years I am a HUGE fan of the cuisine. It is hard to find delicious, authentic Middle Eastern food in the USA, but EPCOT’S Marrakesh is WONDERFUL! It is our MUST EAT restaurant every trip we take to WDW. And, we haven’t even talked about the atmosphere. It is beautifully decorated with Persian rugs, brass, and ornamental tile work. Don’t forget the entertainment! German Octoberfest is fun in a corny unsophisticated way, if your main focus is beer. However, it can’t even begin to compare with the rythmic sounds of the music and the graceful belly dancers at Marrakesh! Even the children are entranced….. Not to mention there is a point where they invite the diners to come and learn a few steps and dance with them. The kids (not to mention the men in the group) LOVE this part of the show. One other fun aspect is just like any other belly dancing show it is part of the fun to put a “tip” in the waistband of the dancer’s skirt. Makes a unique souvenir photo, too. For my money, this is my FAVORITE WDW restaurant, none of the others even come close!
Definitely high praise coming from someone who has actually lived in the Middle East and sampled *real* Middle Eastern cuisine. Thanks for your review and tips!
does anyone know if you have the DDP if you order feast of morocco – how many credits will that count?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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