The halal food scene in London is the best it has ever been, and it just keeps getting better. Here’s why London is the halal food capital of the world.
1.It’s gourmet burger heaven
Gone are the days when the only halal burgers you could eat would be at a greasy local takeaway with questionable hygiene and suspicious-looking chicken fillets. In fact, the halal burger scene in London has become so advanced that it arguably leads the field of gourmet burgers.
Take Stax Diner in Soho, where you can have your beef cooked medium-rare and sandwiched in a brioche bun with blue cheese and halal bacon. At the recently-opened Burger UK in Camden, you can enjoy high quality chicken and beef without feeling guilty. All the meat is locally sourced free-range grass fed beef and free-range corn fed chicken. They also get first pick organic produce when possible, and even the drinks are ethically sourced. They also have one of the best recipes for crispy southern fried chicken batter we have ever tried!
To help you make your decision we recommend Halal Girl About Town’s list of Top 10 burger joints in London.
2.Halal Afternoon Tea
No visit to the UK is complete without indulging in the age-old treat of Afternoon Tea, complete with finger sandwiches, warm scones and clotted cream. Now you don’t even have to settle for the vegetarian-friendly cucumber sandwiches. We recommend booking your Afternoon Tea at least 3 days in advance, and when you do, request that you be served with halal meat. Most restaurants in London have set themselves up to serve halal meat when given advance notice, even at the really high-end locations such as Claridges and The Dorchester.
3.London is cheap eats heaven
Eating halal food needn’t mean you have to fork out a lot of money. In fact, you can enjoy authentic Thai, Malay, Indonesian and good old American halal food without breaking the bank. To have all of these options in one place, head over to Camden Market, which is only one train stop from Euston station. In the Pan-Asian section you will find aromatic pots simmering with a range of curries and side dishes. Prices start at £5 for your choice of any mixture of sauces and rice/noodles, and portion sizes are decent.
If you aren’t near Camden, most takeaways that serve chicken burger/fried chicken meals cook with halal meat, as most are run by Muslims in the Asian community. We highly recommend Amigos in Acton, where you can enjoy excellent grilled chicken wraps and creamy chocolate bar milkshakes.
For those special events when a juicy burger just won’t do, London does excellently on the halal fine-dining front. Visit Gymkhana for a modern take on Indian cuisine, with delicious takes on classic dishes. PF Chang’s Asian Table recently arrived in London, to a raving response. The Dynamite Shrimp is as good as ever, and the customer service (when we visited) was impeccable; we never had to flag a waiter down once, because they would be there the minute we looked as though we needed something.
For more ideas on where to fine-dine check out this list.
Be prepared to be spoilt for choice when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth in London. Enjoy dreamy ice cream cones from Milk Train, or colourful ice cream sandwiches from Yolkin. Watch your gourmet ice cream being made at Chin Chin Labs (we recommend the Tonka bean flavour), or dip into a sizeable pile of Dutch pancakes in Camden Market. Four Winters takes ice cream to a whole new level with their creative recipes, including birthday cake and even a red bell pepper flavour!
Snowflake Gelato is the place to go for a classic serving of pancakes and waffles, and their creamy white hot chocolate made from Jersey milk is to die for.
The newly opened Mamasons serve activated charcoal ice cream (which is good for your teeth and digestive system) mixed with coconut, which is absolutely delicious. Their bilog bun also comes highly recommended! Whatever your preferences, everyone is sure to enjoy indulging their sweet tooth when in London.
6.Variety of ethnic and street food
Once upon a time the only halal food you could buy were samosas and chicken burger meals from your local ethnic takeaway, or perhaps a chicken tikka curry from your slightly more upmarket restaurant. Now, however, be prepared to enjoy halal cuisine from nearly every background. Malay, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, European, Italian, American and even Caribbean restaurants cater to meet the requirements of Muslim customers. Welcome to a world of flavours, textures, sights and smells.
7.Halal English breakfast
I remember a friend telling his parents that they had eaten sausages and bacon for breakfast in a restaurant, and being treated with scepticism when telling them that it was 100% halal. A number of Muslim-owned and run restaurants offer exactly this, so you really can enjoy a full halal English breakfast. We recommend Le Croissant D’or on Holloway road for a fully -halal and 100% greasy fry-up.
8.Insta-worthy food art
If you didn’t ‘gram it, it didn’t happen right? Well no not quite, but it’s only fair to share the beauty of your meal before it disappears for eternity into the pit of your stomach. For eye-wateringly beautiful cakes (and prices to match) pay a visit to the Dominique Ansel Bakery. Think ice cream that looks and tastes like a kiwi, and cookies in the shapes of cups and filled with vanilla milk.
Head to The Urban Chocolatier for calorific freakshakes, and for colourful coffee art, check out the Farm Girl Café.
9.Halal food is available all over the city
Wherever you are in London, chances are you aren’t far away from some form of halal food. Many of the major supermarkets now sell halal meat, with some selling halal ready meals such as lasagne and chicken curry. In the supermarkets look out for brands such as Haji Baba, Haloodies, Thamina, Najma, Tahira and more. For restaurants and takeaways you only need to look for the halal sign. However, even some mainstream restaurants like Pizza Express serve halal food (chicken only), though they do not advertise this with a halal sign.
10.Delivered to your door
Having a rainy day in the big city? The probability is that you are, but who says you have to starve? Staying in doesn’t necessarily mean cheese sandwiches and crisps. Fast food delivery apps such as Just Eat and Deliveroo have jumped onto the halal food bandwagon, with many of your favourite restaurants on the list.
Take your pick from halal KFC, good old Lebanese kofta or even just a good old grilled chicken burger. Your options will depend on your location as most restaurants deliver within a 3 mile radius or so. Locations such as North-west and East London will have a number of delivery options from which you can take your pick.
Have you checked out our list of great things to do in London on a budget? We paired up with Halal Girl About Town to give you the perfect combination of things to do and where to find local halal food.