Vegan in Morocco

Eating vegan in Morocco is actually not very difficult for the most part. Moroccans don’t tend to use much cheese or dairy in lunches or dinners, and they tend to cook things in olive oil, since they grow SO MANY OLIVES. Seriously, fresh olives and bread come with almost every meal. Bread also sometimes comes with Harissa, which is flavorful and can be a variety of different spice levels, so start with a tiny amount first in case its the super spicy variety.

Breakfast is actually the most difficult meal of the day to eat vegan, as Moroccans indulge their sweet tooth for this meal, and a traditional Moroccan breakfast contained mostly an array of cookies and cakes. That said, their traditional bread – Khobz – is generally found at every meal, including breakfast, and it is vegan. Fresh squeezed orange juice is also available everywhere, including gas stations. I must also note, gas stations contain really good coffee, just order a cafe noir to get a black espresso-like coffee, and they’ll give you a bunch of sugar on the side for it, because they do love sugar. So do I, so this worked out nicely.

Moroccans serve a bunch of different salads, and these are not your traditional lettuce salads. Generally they are what we’d consider a vegetable side dish. There are many different ones, including carrots with garlic, beets, eggplant, and fava beans. These, plus the bread and olives, could easily be an entire meal. Definitely do not skip the salads. I made the following carrot salad a few months after our trip, and it was delicious.

Harira, the Moroccan soup, is often vegan, you just need to check what kind of broth they used first.

I found vegetable tagines on most Moroccan menus, and they are delicious – onions and garlic and spices cooked in olive oil, with vegetables layered on top, cooked over a flame til everything is tender. It tends to be presented with the lid on, and then the lid is lifted to reveal the food to you once it is on the table. Its lovely and smells amazing.

You never really know which vegetables you’re going to get, but I didn’t mind that at all, since I did not receive any mushrooms, and I find most other veggies tolerable.

I also saw vegetable couscous on quite a few menus, which is also tasty. Sometimes this is made with chicken stock so if you want to order it and it says vegetable couscous and not vegetarian couscous, its good to double check, or get something else. This was one of the nice things about travelling with a tour group and a guide – he was excellent about making sure everything was actually vegetarian.

Moroccans also tend to eat fresh fruit for dessert, so dessert was usually vegan for everyone, which was really nice. Often it was orange slices with cinnamon. Fresh oranges are everywhere, and you can buy them by the side of the road while driving through groves of orange trees.

There are a ton of French restaurants in Morocco, but those are harder to eat at. Really as long as you stick to an actual Moroccan restaurant, you should be able to find something.

Many menus are written in both Arabic and French, so I’d recommend downloading French with google translate, and then you can use it on your smartphone’s camera to translate menus directly on your screen. Google translate currently does not work with Arabic this way.

Another thing to mention, many places sell avocado smoothies, and I believe by default they come with milk but our guide suggested we try it with orange juice instead, as he preferred this. Of course I did not try the milk version but I did really enjoy the orange version. Even if it is a rather gross looking color.

Their mint tea is also vegan, sweet, and delicious.


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