When catching up with friends or colleagues, I usually choose a restaurant as our location of choice, as opposed to a café. I have been to quick stop resturants after a long day of shopping, and I have also been to resturants where my jacket is hung up for me and my napkin placed on my lap.
I have compiled a list of Halal resturants in London that I love and have been to repeatedly (when I say repeatedly, I mean to the point where I’m friends with the waiter/waitresses and automatically sign in to the wifi, ha).
Guanabana, Camden : Rating: 5/5
Guanabana is my favourite restaurant of them all! Located in Camden, and serving Latin and Caribbean dishes, Guanabana is a family-friendly rustic wooden cafe. The menu is completely halal, and also does not serve alcohol (BYO only). The atmosphere is amazing, featuring classic songs that I just sing along to as I eat (and talk). There is also a reasonably spacious prayer room downstairs, allowing you to pray when the time necessitates.
I always go for the spicy chicken pesto burger, hand-cut cassava chips, crispy calamari and halloumi. These cassava chips have CHANGED my life – after eating them here I went and bought some cassava and tried to replicate (to no success). It was also here that I first tried calamari, and ever since, I have only ever ordered calamari for starters at resturants.
The staff here are extremely friendly (I have since befriended them), and the atmosphere in the summer is particularly exciting. I highly recommend Guanabana for any occasion; there is no-one that I have introduced Guanabana to that hasn’t returned, multiple times. Also, 2-for-1 on burgers on Wednesday!!
YumYum, Dalston : Rating: 4/5
YumYum is another one of my favourite resturants that I have returned to multiple times. They serve authentic Thai cuisine, and the decor here is stunning featuring fish tanks and ground floor seating. Again, YumYum serves halal meat but do serve alcohol. I usually go for the prawn or chicken pad thai with prawn crackers and a mocktail (mostly a virgin pina colada). The food is delicious but also cheap and cheerful. I rarely spend over £10 excluding drinks, and I believe before a certain time, they offer 2-for-1 on drinks.
I don’t know whether or not there is a prayer room here but when I have needed to pray, I have simply entered a mosque a mere 10/15 min walk away from the restaurant. The mosque next to YumYum is absolutely GORGEOUS, and deserves an independent trip for itself.
Killis, Islington : Rating 4.5/5
Killis Kitchen was my restaurant of choice for my friend’s birthday last Ramadan in July. It’s a snug bistro hung with lamps and pictures, serving Turkish and Lebanese mezes and chargrilled dishes. I was fasting Ramadan on the day I visited Killis for dinner, and the staff were kind enough to provide our table with a plate of delicious mejool dates and olives. They also made sure to bring our food out after sunset.
Another perk is that they DO have a prayer room. Well, I say prayer room but it was the attic lined with varieties of alcohol with a small space allowing us to pray. It was definitely an interesting experience prostrating flanked by alcohol – but heyho, got to do what you got to do!
The food here was amazing! We ordered a variety of chicken/meat dishes with rice. They were even kind enough to sing happy birthday to my friend and give her a cowboy hat to wear as they brought out the cake lit with candles.
Stax Diner, Carnaby : Rating 4/5
Stax Diner is another one of my favourites that I have repeatedly visited. Their burgers are delicious – the meat is free-range, organic and British sourced (only one of three in the UK). I usually go for the ‘Chickadee’ chicken burger and Stax fries. I always leave Stax feeling wholly satisfied with my meal. I have also tried the chicken and waffle meal, which is definitely an interesting combination!
Although there isn’t a prayer room inside the restaurant, there is a prayer room close-by inside Selfridges (4th floor), and the Goodge Street Mosque also about a 15 mins walk away. The only downside to Stax is that reservations aren’t possible due to it being a very small venue. There are seats for about 20 people (if that), and so the waiting time is usually an hour or more.
Amaya, Belgravia : Rating 4/5
Amaya serves tapas-style Indian dishes, grilled or tandoor baked, in an elegant, airy space with an open kitchen. It is situated in the heart of Belgravia and impressively is a Michelin starred restaurant. I really enjoy the weekend lunch set menu featuring 6 items and dessert. The decor and atmosphere for Amaya is gorgeous and definitely somewhere that you can go for a nice dressed-up meal.
Mayfair Islamic Centre is about a 10 min walk away, making it close enough to enjoy a meal at Amaya and fulfil prayers when needed.
Do leave me a comment with any other restaurants that you love in London.
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