The capital of the Philippines, Manila, with a population of over 1.85 million, remains to be predominantly Roman Catholic with only 6% Muslim residents.
One would think that there will be few food options for Muslim residents and visitors who are looking for halal dishes on this side of Southeast Asia, but despite this, they would be surprised to find out that the city is home to many Halal food options.
Muslims are only allowed to eat Halal foods. Halal is an Arabic word that translates to “permitted.” Halal foods are prepared following Islamic law and faith.
Muslims and food enthusiasts alike are in for a treat with countless Halal food establishments sprawling in the nation’s capital. These restaurants are offering a variety of Halal food offerings ranging from Persian, Arabic, Lebanese, Malaysian, and many other cuisines. They are also strategically located near Manila’s famed Golden Mosque Masjid Al-Dahab in Quiapo which is considered the largest mosque in Metro Manila.
Here are 10 restaurants and eateries with Halal food options that you can try out when you visit Manila:
Image Credit: Dulang Halal Restaurant - Manila Branch on Facebook
One of the recommended restaurants guaranteed to serve all-Halal dishes is the Dulang Halal Restaurant.
Located along M. Adriatico Street corner Padre Faura in Ermita Manila, the restaurant was established in 2012, offering affordable breakfast to dinner options worth less than P100 or nearly 3 SGD.
The menu is divided into five options, namely beef, chicken, seafood, tupas (dessert), and breakfast. There is also a special order of pugot fish or grilled triggerfish, popular in Mindanao.
Aside from these tasty Halal cuisines, the restaurant is also catering to all occasions including Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha celebrations, conferences, weddings, and graduations.
Just within Quiapo, Manila’s Muslim district, in Elizondo Street, Pamanganan Halal Restaurant is offering a delectable Halal experience. It is serving Malaysian and Asian-inspired Halal food that are suitable for every taste bud.
Among the Halal Malaysian dishes available from this restaurant are Nasi Goreng Pataya, Nasi Campur Udang Spicy, Roti Telor, Martabak, Mee Bassah, Mee Goreng, and Mee Soto Ayam.
There are also a variety of chicken dishes like chicken (fried) rice, roasted chicken, chicken mango salad, apple chicken, and chicken sizzling.
The restaurant is also offering Halal Filipino dishes such as Camaron Rebosado, Sizzling or Fried Bangus (milkfish), Sinigang na Hipon (shrimp), and Sinigang na salmon.
But the highlight of the Halal menu is Pamanganan’s Halal Pizza which comes in ten flavors, suitable to pick by meat or seafood lovers and vegetarians.
The Asian halal dining experience can be capped off with its Teh Tarik and other sweet offerings like frappe and fruit shake.
Image Credit: Hannah lorelai halal carenderia masarap na mura pa on Facebook
For an authentic Filipino dining experience, one must try visiting a Carinderia or a humble roadside eatery with a small seating capacity. They are typically serving traditional local dishes.
In Arlegui Street, Quiapo, Manila, a carinderia stepped up its game and is serving Halal viands for Muslim diners.
Hannah Lorelai Halal Carinderia is Maguindanaon in origin. Maguindanaon is part of the wider political identity of Muslims of Mindanao.
This eatery carries the tagline “masarap na, mura pa” which translates to delicious but cheap in Filipino.
It does not have a fixed menu, similar to the usual carinderias across the Philippines, but it is offering a different set of halal dishes daily. It is offering grilled meats and a wide assortment of foods cooked in different styles as well as desserts.
A so-called “institution” in Manila, Shawarma Snack Center has been serving authentic Middle Eastern food since the 1980s. It is located along R. Salas Street, Ermita, Manila, and could be easily recognized for its rustic fast food and canteen look.
While it is mostly known for shawarma, this food establishment which has a large menu with Halal options is also famous for its flavorful falafel, hummus, and kebabs. It is also offering chicken tika, biryani, and lassi, among others.
The fast food restaurant is open 24 hours.
For those who want to eat authentic Indian dishes, Assad Café in Manila is offering just that.
The café with best-selling Halal food options is located at I.JK.L Midtown Executive Homes on United Nations Ave, Manila. It seeks to bring Indian food to the comfort of your home.
Among its best-sellers are the aromatic and flavorful spicy chicken; its savory chicken and rice dish, Chicken Biryani, and its soft and delicious Pita bread.
Assad is not only serving Indian food but also Filipino food like lomi, a type of noodle soup with a variety of toppings.
For desserts, the restaurant is offering Boondi Ladoo, a sweet dish made for special occasions like Diwali as well as Gulab jamun, a classic Indian sweet dish made of milk solids, sugar, rose water, and cardamom powder.
If you can’t get enough of Middle Eastern food, Al Bahr Al Ahmar Restaurant is open to serving you some of the most authentic Arabic and Mediterranean cuisine.
Whether you are eating out solo, with a partner, or with your family, the restaurant’s menu has something just for you. It is also offering breakfast options, shawarma meals, and a variety of beverages including shakes and hot drinks.
Among its best-sellers is its biryani with masala sauce on top, beef kabsa, beef kebab, and hummus with pita bread.
The restaurant is located at 1535 MH del pilar street, corner Soldado Street in Malate Manila. It also has another branch in Angeles City, Pampanga province, north of Manila.
It accepts pre-orders and delivers food to your homes.
Image Credit: Hannah lorelai halal carenderia masarap na mura pa on Facebook
For those who wanted to try out something native, Zahraa’s Halal Foods is offering Filipino Muslim street food.
Certified halal, Zahraa’s opened in 2020 and serves Satti, barbecue, and Tausug delicacies.
Tausug is one of the largest Muslim ethnic groups in the southwestern Philippines.
Meanwhile, Satti is an authentic dish in Zamboanga, also located in the south of the Philippines. It is made of beef and chicken strips and livers on skewers that are grilled. They are placed on top of sweet and spicy red sauce.
So far, Zahraa’s has two branches located on Maceda Street (corner Espana Street) and Padre Campa Street, both in Sampaloc, Manila. Their offerings are available for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.
Meat lovers would surely enjoy dining in at Ababu Persian Kitchen with its array of meat offerings.
Ababu is a budget-friendly restaurant, that opened in 2003.
With over two decades of service, it continues to delight patrons with its Persian cuisine, Halal food options are sold at student-friendly prices.
Their value meals include shawarma, beef kebab, chicken kebab, keema rice meals as well as chicken kebab salad. These are served with signature garlic yogurt sauce and hot sauce.
Ababu is visited for its kebab and entrees which include the famous ox brain.
It is located in Leon Guinto, Malate, Manila but it also has multiple branches in Xavierville, Quezon City, and Standford 3 Silang Cavite.
Another pocket-friendly food chain with Halal food choices is Beiruti Bite Express. It was established in 2015 and is offering variations of the authentic taste of Lebanese cuisine.
It is famous for its foot-long challenger shawarma and Lebanese food such as cheese saj and shawarma saj. Aside from these, patrons love its chicken biryani and falafel sandwich.
The restaurant is open for dine-in, takeaways, and delivery. From time to time, Beiruti is offering promotions with affordable delivery fees in Metro Manila areas.
It has three branches in B. Valdez, Poblacion, Makati, Pateros, and Market Mall, Taguig City, all in Metro Manila.
Image Credit: @aryapersianrestaurants on Instagram
For those who do not want to eat on a side of the streets, Arya Persian Restaurants are conveniently located inside malls.
This Persian restaurant offers Halal Mediterranean cuisines that could satisfy your cravings for kebabs.
It has an extensive menu with soup and salads, hot and cold appetizers, rice, mains, wraps and sandwiches, platters as well as desserts. There are also wide beverage offerings ranging from yogurt smoothies to fresh juices, coffee, and tea.
Patrons return for its best-sellers such as Arya, Shirazi, and Greek salads; Ghafghazi Limoo Chicken, Veggie Curry, Lamb Biryani, Arya Sini, and Beef Makhsus.
You can find Arya’s branches in Robinsons Place Manila, Robinsons Magnolia, Shangri-La Plaza, and Promenade Greenhills, all in Metro Manila.
With these extensive Halal food choices, you can now plan your “eatenirary” when visiting Manila. Share your dining experience and don’t forget to tag @halaltrip.
Cover Image Credit: Jana Ladia on Unsplash