Vegan Morocco Travel
To start with is better to keep in mind that not everybody understands what vegan means so make sure they get it. I did struggle a bit when I was there in the beginning, mostly because my French is very poor and let’s not talk about my Arabic that is non-existent 🙂
Keep in mind that sometimes for some strange reason hummus can have milk, they sometimes add chicken stock to veggie tagine, and beef broth will be used to flavour the couscous. Well, it can be hard and unfortunately, sometimes we can’t really be sure if what you are eating is 100% vegan.
When ordering you need to be clear that it is a vegetarian dish you are ordering, because from my experience no one was really familiarized with the word vegan.
I had some screenshots from google translate in Arabic and French of what I wanted to say and ask. I also used my vegan passport.
Vegan Moroccan Food – Some options for vegan meals
How to eat Vegan in Morocco
The vegetarian tagine is probably the easiest and safest choice while in Marroco.
Tagine is a traditional Moroccan meal cooked inside a clay pot, with potatoes, carrots, turnips and zucchini topped tomato, preserved lemon and olives.
Couscous with veggies is also quite common and easy to find. If you want a break from couscous you can ask for vegetables and rice, that is literally the same dish but with rice instead of couscous.
For breakfast is common to have bread with jam or “msemmen” that is a thin, fried bread. These crepes ingredients are all vegan (sugar, salt, yeast oil, flour), but occasionally is cooked with butter. So just check how they are cooked.
The bread is known as “khobz” is served at every meal, and is absolutely divine with olive oil and olives.
It’s easy to find “Zalook” a dish made of roasted mashed eggplant with spices, or even dishes made of lentils (3eids) and beans (loubia).
Dishes with lentils and beans are easy to find in the majority of Moroccan restaurants all over the country.
You can also ask restaurants to grill some vegetables for you and have it with rice or potatoes.
The harira soup is also delicious, but some people add meat or cook harira in the broth. You should ask prior to ordering how it was prepared.
Salads are delicious in Morocco, they have a great variety of them. They make the salads mostly with zucchini, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers and beans.
Are you a fruit lover?
Morocco’s fruit markets are unbeatable for both price and quality. You have a massive range of fresh fruit to chose from but also wonderful dried fruit options, from dates to figs, and apricots.
Olives are another highlight of travelling to Morocco. I LOVE olives so I couldn’t be in a better place. They have a great variety of olives with different seasoning, they are just delicious and high quality. Just be careful they are addictive 🙂
If you want something on the go
It’s easy to find small stalls selling food on the street, and many of the food that is served is vegan.
You can buy things like corn, roasted chickpeas, bread with chickpeas, fried potato cakes on bread and also dried and fresh fruit and nuts.
If you are on a diet just stay home, because you will love all the cookies they have.
Mostly made from nuts, seeds and of course sugar… they are really tasty and also quite beautifully designed. (just double check if they have used honey if you don’t eat it).
Other kinds of desserts are unfortunately not vegan (they add butter and dairy). But you always have fresh fruit as a safe dessert option.
Moroccan doughnuts are called Sfenjs and are basically fried dough rolled in sugar.
Drinks: mint tea, fresh-squeezed juices and coffee
I highly recommend trying the Moroccan mint tea or like the locals like to call it “Moroccan whisky”. However, sometimes it will be extremely sweet. Order it sugar-free to be safe and add your own sugar if you want it!
If tea is not your thing the coffee is also delicious.
You can also get freshly squeezed juices – I would recommend taking your own cup to avoid disposable plastic. Freshly squeezed fruit juices are common and are not to be missed. The orange juice and pomegranate are my favourites.
You can’t miss
You can’t miss wandering around the markets where they sell fresh produce and spices.
I recommend using the app HappyCow and make some research about vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurants that are on the rise now in Morocco.
As you can see there are options and they are easy to find, but if you are spending a long time travelling through the country it can get repetitive.
So foodwise you will be fine but get ready to have your heart broken because there is a lot of animal exploitation, and can get quite hard to see some things.
Moroccans treat animals differently for western standards. Snake charmers and monkeys on leads are common in touristic areas.
While there isn’t a large variety of local Moroccan foods that are vegan, it is definitely possible to travel in Morocco as a vegan. You might find it more difficult in rural areas compared to the larger Moroccan cities.
I hope this is helpful if you’re planning to travel to Morocco?
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha