Strings of yellow and red beads sway back and forth from a belly dancer’s bodice as her torso effortlessly swivels around the room. Though her colorful garb commands the attention of diners sitting around golden tables, it isn’t the only eye-catching sight in the restaurant. Silhouettes of dangling lanterns and bunny shadow puppets dance along gold and red drapery hung from the ceiling, and pastel-colored cushions for sitting rest atop maroon banquettes. Menara Moroccan Restaurant’s aesthetic touches set a uniquely picturesque scene for guests to take in aromatic platters of vegetable couscous, meat tajines, and baklava, while feasting their ears on live music. After meals, patrons can retreat to the hookah lounge for slow puffs of flavored tobacco, capping off a dining experience that earned the eatery a Diners’ Choice Award for Best Ambiance from OpenTable.
Morocco's Restaurant's chefs and owners have created a menu that embraces more than 200 years of Morocco's multicultural history. Boasting influences from across the Mediterranean Coast, the chefs craft dishes with flavors from countries as far away as India. Appetizers such as shrimp pil-pil or Moroccan-spiced roasted peppers simmer in zesty sauces, and entrees such as chicken kebabs, lamb and vegetable cous cous, and fresh fish filet all come covered in cilantro with sides of jasmine rice and vegetables.
However, food isn't the only tradition they brought from Morocco. The calendar of events features nightly live Moroccan music and belly dancing throughout the restaurant, and live acoustic guitar plays while servers freely pour the house sangria. Even blues music finds its place in the restaurant, with most songs inspired by a singer who dropped his kebab on the floor.
Flavorful, five-star sauces fill the menu at Abigail Cafe and Deli, and visitors will say it serves the best Italian fare in town.
Low-fat and gluten-free options are featured on the menu.
Go ahead and bring your rug rats with you — this restaurant has kid-friendly food and seating.
Sunny day plus appetite equals the perfect time to head to Abigail Cafe and Deli.
Seating is readily available at Abigail Cafe and Deli for those with large parties.
Stay connected at no cost thanks to Abigail Cafe and Deli's wifi.
Bring your furry friend to the restaurant — Abigail Cafe and Deli allows dogs to dine, too.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Abigail Cafe and Deli offers catering.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your meal or snack to go.
If you prefer to drive to the restaurant, go right ahead. Parking is abundant in the area.
Abigail Cafe and Deli offers various parking options, including bike parking.
For a decently-priced meal that s not too fancy, Abigail Cafe and Deli hits the nail on the head.
Highly regarded, the Italian food at Abigail Cafe and Deli is perfect for diners looking for a nice meal out.
You don't need to fly to Rome to try all wonderful flavors of Italy. They're all under one roof at Abigail Cafe and Deli.
Cafe Zitouna: A User’s Guide
Heavenly B’Stilla Pie | Housemade Merguez | Tunisian Breakfast | Post-Mosque Crowd |
Soup: harira lentil
Sandwich: Super Falafel
For the table: chicken b’stilla pie, a melange of chicken, egg, and herbs in cinnamon-sugar-dusted dough
Dessert: harissa cake
To drink: mint tea
Named Best Halal Restaurant in San Francisco, 2012, SF Weekly
Made SFoodie’s 50 Favorite Dishes in 2012 for the kufta tagine, a “meatball stew as vivid and soothing as the sunlight that floods the cafe most days”
While You’re Waiting: Play “find the French influence” on the menu, a product of France’s historical presence in the area—it pops up especially in baguette sandwiches and crepes.
Inside Tip: They may not seem particularly North African, but go ahead and order fries with your sandwich. They’re hot and crisp, and, best of all, you can splash them with hot sauce at the table.
Harira: a traditional lentil soup of the Maghreb region of North Africa, typically served after sundown during Ramadan to break the day’s fast.
Merguez: a spicy sausage originating in North Africa. The meat—usually lamb or beef—is seasoned with chilies or harissa to impart it with a bright red hue.
Tagine: a covered clay pot that lends its name to a slow-cooked Moroccan stew, often including meat and vegetables along with dates, dried fruits, nuts, and olives.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Stop and be mesmerized by the exotic beta fish at Ocean Aquarium (120 Cedar Street).
After: Grab a beer from a 375-strong selection at Amsterdam Café (937 Geary Street).
Five Things to Know About Aziza
Helmed by Moroccan-born chef Mourad Lahlou, Aziza serves up hyperlocal, innovative Moroccan fusion cuisine from its romantic dining room in Outer Richmond. Read on for more about this Michelin-starred spot.
The food is Moroccan-Californian fusion, with a heavy helping of originality. Aside from a few Moroccan mainstays like the duck confit basteeya—a mix of duck, almonds, and raisins in phyllo dough—you may not recognize the dishes you order by sight. Some are deconstructed into their individual parts, and some are made in nontraditional ways, but each one arrives looking like a work of art.
It all starts at the local farmers’ market. Chef Mourad Lahlou makes his way to the market three times a week to pick his edible muses. It’s a habit he picked up from spending time with his grandfather in Morocco as a kid.
Chef Lahlou has only ever cooked in his own kitchen. For an award-winning chef who is constantly innovating his menu, he’s also entirely self-taught. His mother and grandfather paved the path for him in Morocco, but California and its rich produce options have inspired the rest of the way.
How winning is the food? Let us count the ways. Chef Lahlou beat Iron Chef Cat Cora on the Food Network show that gave her that title. But it’s hard to mess with a Michelin star, one that diners agree the restaurant has certainly earned.
The cocktails are just as serious as the plates. Many of the herbs, fruits, and vegetables used in the craft cocktails also come straight from the farmers’ market. Depending on what’s in season, you might sip a sugar snap pea cocktail made with apple brandy or enjoy a bourbon- and absinthe-based concoction mixed up with fresh grapefruit juice.
Five Things to Know About Marrakech Moroccan Restaurant
Marrakech Moroccan Restaurant opened its doors more than 30 years ago, and there’s hardly been a dull moment since, thanks to its combination of savory Middle Eastern cuisine and lively entertainment. Here are a few things to know about this Bay-area favorite.
It’s one of the first Moroccan restaurants in California.
The cuisine is traditional. Spices such as saffron, cinnamon, and paprika accent dishes like braised chicken tagine and lamb with roasted eggplant.
Meals are all-inclusive. Diners enjoy five-course spreads that include salads, soup, a choice of entree, dessert, and mint tea, all served with home-baked bread that doubles as a tasty utensil. (Items are also available à la carte.)
It’s a feast for the eyes, too. The dining room is draped with colorful tapestries, and guests recline on plush pillows and low couches.
Expect tableside entertainment. Belly dancers perform nightly, and comedian and magician Peter Morrison headlines evenings in the adjoining Marrakech Magic Theater.