Marrakesh has arguably the largest selection of restaurants in Morocco, which serve equal parts Moroccan and international cuisine at varying price points. Restaurant dining, once reserved mainly for the wealthy or very special occasions, is now part of the norm for virtually all Marrakshis. Options vary from inexpensive snack bars, cafés, and fast-food restaurants to the more pricey French bistros, sushi bars, and sophisticated Moroccan fine-dining options. In restaurants where alcohol is served, meal prices tend to be high as licenses are expensive. Home entertaining, however, with lavish meals to impress visitors, is still very much part and parcel of the old Marrakshi way of life. To get an idea (albeit a rather expensive one) of traditional yet sumptuous Moroccan entertaining, treat yourself to an evening at one of Marrakesh’s popular riad gastronomique restaurants in the medina. Morocco is a Muslim country, so don't assume that all restaurants will serve alcohol. Licenses are expensive and, inside the medina especially, are very hard to come by.
You can also eat well at inexpensive sidewalk cafés in both the medina and Guéliz. Here, don't miss out on a famous local dish called tanjia, made popular by workers who slow-cook lamb or beef in an earthenware pot left in hot ashes for the whole day. Food is cooked and served from an outdoor street-kitchen with shared tables, but it's a hearty meal with locals for around 30 DH.
Most restaurants in Marrakesh tend to fall into two categories. They're either fashionable, flashy affairs, mostly in Guéliz and the outlying areas of Marrakesh, which serve à la carte European, Asian, and Moroccan cuisine, or they're more traditional places, often tucked inconspicuously into riads and old palaces in the medina. Both types can be fairly pricey, and, to avoid disappointment, are best booked in advance. They also tend to open quite late, usually not before 7:30 in Guéliz and 8 in the medina, although most people don't sit down to eat until 9 or 9:30. In recent years a third dining category, the dinner-cabaret, has become a popular format, attracting tourists, expats, and well-heeled Moroccans for their entertainment value, if not necessarily for their cuisine.
There's no set system for tipping. Your check will indicate that service has been included in the charge; if not, tip 10% or 15% for excellent service.