Bougainvillea (Gourmet Chick in Morocco)

I love Moroccan food I really do. The food alone was one of the main reasons I wanted to travel to Morocco. However I think there is a time in every travellers visit when they decide that they have had one tagine and plate of cous cous too many. It is times like these that you turn to a place like Bougainvillea. Located in an old Riad with a sunny central courtyard Bougainvillea is in the heart of Marrakesh’s medina. One wall of the courtyard is completely covered in a mass of bougainvillea creepers surrounding a beautiful mosaic fountain. Hot pink leather seating garishly highlights the colour of the flowers on the creeper.

The menu offers a selection of sandwiches, salads and pizza. Just the ticket for jaded taste buds. MTV boyfriend is straight onto the pizza section of the menu tossing up between the different toppings on offer. I have my suspicions about the quality of pizza that you are going to get in Marrakesh so I decide on the selection of Moroccan salads instead. Big mistake. Bougainvillea specialises in non Moroccan food. The selection of salads would be better called a selection of dips with some bread (pictured below). What’s more it is not a patch on the dips that you generally get for free in Morocco before any meal. The eggplant is oily and dull and the tomato salad is listless. How disappointing.

MTV boyfriend fares better with his pizza and fruit juice cocktail. Bougainvillea actually has a woodfired pizza oven so the pizza is not bad with a smoky flavour and plenty of gooey melted cheese, peppers and olives. The base is a little gluggy for my liking and could be thinner and crispier. MTV boyfriend’s accompanying fruit juice is freshly blended and offers an instant hit of natural sweetness and refreshment.

If you are in Marrakesh and tired of tagines try somewhere else other than Bougainvillea. Even one tagine too many would be better than Bougainvillea.

Details: 33 Rue Mouassine, 40008 Marrakesh (Ph (+212) 2444 1111)
Damage: Reasonable

If you liked reading this and you are not tagine weary you will probably enjoy Al Fassia in Marrakesh or if you want a quick, cheap bite at night time try the Djemaa el Fna markets.


  1. Lucky you travelling round Morocco! I love the look of the sassy pink chairs at this place. Shame about the ‘salads’ though…

  2. SO jealous. Looks like a beautiful place, not to mention I LOVE the flower it’s named after!

  3. Laura – I know very lucky. A bit easier to get to places from London though than from NZ! As you can probably guess I am a bit of a fan of pink as well…

    Rebekka – I love Bougainvillea as well – pity the cafe did not live up to the flower.

  4. Pity the food did not live up to expectations. I’d go for that mosaic alone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *