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Bedouin Tent at Compass Rose
Bedouin Tent at Compass Rose
R. Lopez

10 D.C. Restaurants That Offer a Taste of Morocco

It's not always easy to find the flavors of Fez, but here are several options.

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Bedouin Tent at Compass Rose
| R. Lopez

It's not always easy to find Moroccan food in the D.C. area, but there's currently a pop-up Bedouin tent and a Moroccan restaurant that hosts belly dancing a few nights a week. Other than that, it takes a little hunting to find true Moroccan flavors in this town.

There aren't many restaurants solely dedicated to cooking couscous or meats in a traditional tagine (an earthen pot with a funnel on top), which is one of the most iconic images of Moroccan cuisine. For those craving the flavors of Marakkesh, Fez, or Casablanca, the best strategy is to scour the menus at Lebanese or Mediterranean restaurants. These places often have a selection of dishes from across the Mediterranean region with one (or a few) Moroccan dishes hiding in there.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Cafe Ole

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This upper Northwest restaurant serves Moroccan barbecue and a lamb tagine. There are also plenty of other Mediterranean cuisines represented so diners can sample other regional dishes, too.

Casbah Cafe

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Diners don't have to "rock the casbah" to get Moroccan food here. Besides a selection of Greek and Lebanese dishes, Casbah has chicken and lamb tagines made with a mix of spices, dates, almonds, and apricots. There's also a dessert called Moroccan chocolate— an almond cake topped with strawberry sauce. Whether it's authentic is another question entirely.

Compass Rose

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This restaurant literally has a bedouin tent with a menu that's all Moroccan. But it's only seasonal until Compass Rose transforms it to focus on foods from another country.

Dunya Restaurant and Bar

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The restaurant and bar that's right in the middle of Shaw's new developments serves a vegetarian-friendly tagine with cumin couscous. For meat eaters, there's an option to add chicken.

Fettoosh

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Fettoosh serves both Moroccan and Lebanese food – a trend on this map. The Moroccan menu has a selection of nearly 20 dishes, including tagines with lamb, fish, beef, or chicken, along with several couscous dishes.

Figs Lebanese Cafe

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Just because Figs is a Lebanese cafe doesn't mean it doesn't serve Moroccan dishes. The Palisades restaurant has a chicken tagine on the menu.

Marrakech Restaurant DC

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This is a full-fledged Moroccan restaurant with a collection of hard-to-find dishes, such as lamb with sweet prunes and couscous. There's also tfaya, which has chickpeas, raisons, and almonds. Don't miss the live belly dancing on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Mazagan Restaurant

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Mazagan does modern versions of traditional Moroccan dishes. There are dishes like mussels tagine, a catch-of-the-day tagine, and 15 kinds of kabobs, such as saffron chicken or calf liver.

While Soussi is primarily a hookah bar, there's a surprisingly large menu, including Moroccan spiced kefta (ground beef), a shrimp tagine, a steak tagine, and a few couscous dishes. It all gives hookah smokers another reason to stay for a few more puffs.

Zaytinya

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Hiding in José Andrés' extensive menu of dishes from the Mediterranean is a harissa sirloin that uses Moroccan chili paste to flavor the meat. Nearly everything else on the menu is Turkish, Greek, or Lebanese.

Cafe Ole

This upper Northwest restaurant serves Moroccan barbecue and a lamb tagine. There are also plenty of other Mediterranean cuisines represented so diners can sample other regional dishes, too.

Casbah Cafe

Diners don't have to "rock the casbah" to get Moroccan food here. Besides a selection of Greek and Lebanese dishes, Casbah has chicken and lamb tagines made with a mix of spices, dates, almonds, and apricots. There's also a dessert called Moroccan chocolate— an almond cake topped with strawberry sauce. Whether it's authentic is another question entirely.

Compass Rose

This restaurant literally has a bedouin tent with a menu that's all Moroccan. But it's only seasonal until Compass Rose transforms it to focus on foods from another country.

Dunya Restaurant and Bar

The restaurant and bar that's right in the middle of Shaw's new developments serves a vegetarian-friendly tagine with cumin couscous. For meat eaters, there's an option to add chicken.

Fettoosh

Fettoosh serves both Moroccan and Lebanese food – a trend on this map. The Moroccan menu has a selection of nearly 20 dishes, including tagines with lamb, fish, beef, or chicken, along with several couscous dishes.

Figs Lebanese Cafe

Just because Figs is a Lebanese cafe doesn't mean it doesn't serve Moroccan dishes. The Palisades restaurant has a chicken tagine on the menu.

Marrakech Restaurant DC

This is a full-fledged Moroccan restaurant with a collection of hard-to-find dishes, such as lamb with sweet prunes and couscous. There's also tfaya, which has chickpeas, raisons, and almonds. Don't miss the live belly dancing on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Mazagan Restaurant

Mazagan does modern versions of traditional Moroccan dishes. There are dishes like mussels tagine, a catch-of-the-day tagine, and 15 kinds of kabobs, such as saffron chicken or calf liver.

Soussi

While Soussi is primarily a hookah bar, there's a surprisingly large menu, including Moroccan spiced kefta (ground beef), a shrimp tagine, a steak tagine, and a few couscous dishes. It all gives hookah smokers another reason to stay for a few more puffs.

Zaytinya

Hiding in José Andrés' extensive menu of dishes from the Mediterranean is a harissa sirloin that uses Moroccan chili paste to flavor the meat. Nearly everything else on the menu is Turkish, Greek, or Lebanese.

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