I need to access the raw menu data in a menu block, but $content only stores the rendered markup. How can I gain access to this object from within the block--sidebar_second.tpl.php file?

I've looked into creating a View but I couldn't figure out how to select menu nodes. Either solution will work for me...

Here is the output of the $block object:

stdClass Object
    [bid] => 196
    [module] => menu_block
    [delta] => 7
    [theme] => theme-name
    [status] => 1
    [weight] => 0
    [region] => sidebar_second
    [custom] => 0
    [visibility] => 0
    [pages] => 
    [title] => Services Menu
    [cache] => -1
    [subject_array] => Array
            [#markup] => Services

    [subject] => Services
    [last_in_region] => 1

2 Answers 2


If you need the menu array structure in your block theme template, you need to implement a template_preprocess_block() in your theme's template.php:

//@TODO: replace MYTHEME with your theme name
function MYTHEME_preprocess_block(&$variables) {
  //Only add on sidebar_second region
  if($variables['block']->region == 'sidebar_second') {
    //Replace "my-menu" with the machine name of your menu
    $variables['menu'] = menu_tree_all_data('my-menu');
//after flushing caches $menu should be available in your block template.

It sounds like you are using Menu block module, and you would have already successfully placed the menu-tree in your region. If your desire is to access raw menu data from a menu block, just use TEMPLATE_preprocess_block(&$variables).

$variables['content'] is rendered.
$variables['elements']['#content'] is raw.

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