Travel Food Guide: Top 5 Most Halal-Friendly Cities

Want to travel but worried about the food options available in your destination city? Keen to try the local delicacies while still observing the religious practices of your faith?

Gone are the days when halal food meant just kebabs, naan, and seafood! Here’s our roundup of Halal-friendly cities that will leave you spoilt for choice. Let your culinary adventures begin!

#1 Melbourne, Australia

halal travel

Now, why would you go all the way to Melbourne only to have kebabs and shawarmas? A melting pot of cultures, this gorgeous city is not just the home of great coffee and laid-back vibes but it also has an extensive variety of delicious international fare. Try their unique halal dishes ranging from local produce, to Armenian flavours with an Aussie twist, to East Asian dishes – you can even try smoked Wagyu beef brisket prepared Bourguignon style. Yum.

#2 Hong Kong

halal travel

Asia’s international hotspot never fails to amaze us. You really don’t need us to tell you how fun and exciting Hong Kong can be. With its wide variety of activities including shopping, sightseeing, and the great outdoors, it should come as no surprise that their food scene is (at least) of equal standing. Halal options are aplenty in this city and are available for as far as you can explore. Choose from a good range of halal dim sum, roast duck, Hainan chicken rice, wonton, and many more dishes across the island, Kowloon and Northern Territories.

#3 Xi’an, China

halal travel

Dubbed Qingzhen Cai (清真菜) in Chinese, local halal food is easy to find in China’s major cities. Chinese halal food first made its appearance over 1,000 years ago during the Tang Dynasty, when Islam was introduced to China – by Arab businessmen, travellers and missionaries travelling to China along the ancient Silk Road. Famous as the home of the Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an also boasts a plethora of local dishes that are halal. You simply must try the hand-pulled beef noodles, cold noodles, roujiamo (marinated beef or lamb stuffed inside a freshly baked bun), and yangrou paomo (pita bread soaked in lamb soup) as well as the delicious dumplings.

#4 Cape Town, South Africa

halal travel

Few can deny the beauty of Cape Town. Surrounded by miles of gorgeous safaris, natural landscapes, forests, and gardens, you’ll be spoilt for choice over what to do and where to eat in this city. Contributing to the rich heritage of this place is the Cape Malay community, people who arrived in South Africa from Southeast Asia via the Spice Route in 1652 and settling in the colourful district now known as Bo-Kaap. Enrich your visit by taking advantage of some authentic Cape Malay dishes. You can also spice up your holiday with the drool-worthy Ethiopian, Indian, Turkish, Kurdish and Western favourites offered.

#5 Seoul, South Korea

halal travel

Nobody does authentic, local yet halal food better than the restaurants all over Korea, especially Seoul. Muslim travellers can now enjoy halal versions of samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup), kimchi bokkeumbap (kimchi fried rice), bulgogi (marinated grilled beef), and kimchi jeon (kimchi pancake), authentically prepared.

There are four official categories of Muslim-friendly restaurants in Korea. ‘Halal Certified’ means these restaurants are certified by the Korean Muslim Federation (KMF). ‘Self Certified’ means all foods are halal, certified by the restaurant’s Muslim owner or chef. ‘Muslim Friendly’ means that a halal menu is available, but that alcohol is sold. Finally, ‘Pork Free’ means that dishes may contain meat, but no pork. Show this to the restaurant: “이 요리에 돼지고기 들어가있나요?” or ask ‘Ee Yo-ri-e Doe-ji-go-ggi du-rouh-ga-innayo?’, which means ‘does this dish contain pork?’

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