One of the biggest concerns when travelling is being able to find food that you know, without a doubt, is Halal. Of course, one can adapt to either being a vegetarian or on a seafood diet for a few days, but there is nothing more relaxing during a holiday than the assurance that when you get hungry, you don’t have to think twice about what you put in your mouth.
While travelling in a Muslim country undoubtedly has that satisfaction, the idea of an island holiday conjures up images of cocktails and bars on the beach, plenty of tourists in their swimwear, and thus, a questionably sourced meat dish.
What if it didn’t have to be like that though? What if you could have the comfort of knowing that while you are enjoying an incredible island vacation, you didn’t have to worry about your meals because they are all Halal? This is not just a myth or a fantasy, but a reality.
Here are 5 islands around the world with plenty of Halal food:
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In this island with a Muslim majority, finding nearby Halal food is not a problem. The cuisine of Zanzibar reflects its history as the countries that colonised it played a major role in influencing the food present on the island today. Imprints of the Portuguese can be seen with their use of maize and pineapple in their cuisine; Indian influences are greatly visible in biryani, samosas, pakoras, chutneys and so on; and Oman brought in the spices and nuts. Zanzibar is the perfect spot for a Muslim-friendly honeymoon, with beautiful private villas and beaches, and quaint traditional places to dine in.
The House of Spices started as exactly that – a distinguished house in Zanzibar Stone Town, where spices were collected and exported – and is a charming rooftop restaurant today where you can enjoy their delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Tea and coffee are served on the ground floor, along with spices and a gift shop. The House of Spices is not to be confused with Spice Town in Meliá Zanzibar, an hour’s drive from Stone Town, which serves a mix of international cuisine with palatable Arab and African influences.
If you are looking for a more adventurous lunch experience, look no further than The Rock, aptly named as it is located on a rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Originally a fisherman’s post, it can be found on Michanvi Pingwe beach on the southeast coast of the island. Your journey to savouring their seafood specials begins with a short boat ride to your destination.
While Maldives is definitely an island for an unforgettable Muslim Honeymoon, who says it can’t also be one of the best beach vacations for Muslims? Move over honeymooners, we all want a piece of those incredible azure waters!
Maldives are a group of Muslim-friendly islands since the majority of the population is Muslim, and while that can work in your favour, it is also important to realise that as a major tourist destination, they might serve pork and alcohol in some resorts and hotels. So it’s worth checking beforehand or simply informing the hotel of your preferences.
Here are some resorts that do have halal meals available though, and either no alcohol on the premises or will remove the minibar on your request:
Conrad Rangali, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Six Senses Laamu, Jumeirah Vittaveli, Shangri La Villingili, Cheval Blanc Randheli, The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, The Residence Maldives, Soneva Fushi Maldives, Ayada Maldives, Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru Resorts & Spa, Amilla Fushi, Viceroy Maldives, The Naladhu Anantara Resorts, and Cocoa Island by COMO
Of course with over 60 islands to its name, it’s possible that we may have missed a few! The best part about these resorts is not just freedom with food and drink, but also complete privacy at the villa and pool – which of course makes it the perfect Halal honeymoon packages or as one of the best holiday destinations for Muslims.
If it is regular restaurants that you seek, try Bombay Darbaar or Tandoori Flames in Hulhumale for Indian or Pakistani cuisine; The Sea House – Maldives or Lemongrass Fifth in Male for delicious seafood or local cuisine, Family Room Café in Hulhumale for a great coffee shop; or Pizza Mia in Male for some scrumptious pizza for some of the Halal food in Maldives.
Langkawi itself is an archipelago of around 99 islands off the west coast of Malaysia. With stunning scenic beauty, powder-fine sandy beaches, and some of the most flavoursome food in the world, here is a beautiful island for an unforgettable Muslim holiday! Imagine your delight when you can stuff your face with absolutely anything and not have to worry about it being Halal.
You can find great hummus, kebab, grilled meat and more at Yasmin Restaurant, where they serve authentic Arab cuisine. Since good Arabic food is hard to come by outside Arab countries, make the most of this! Hit up Nasi Dagang Pak Malau for credible Malaysian cuisine – food you can enjoy with a view of the paddy fields even if it is pouring with rain (which it would since it rains for about 9 months of the year here).
Nasi Kandar Tomato has some of the best food at the cheapest prices and can be dined at 3 times a day if necessary! MY French Factory is the place to seek for something different – delicious fluffy crepes and waffles – and is a must-try before you leave. Don’t forget that you can also locate Halal food by using your mobile, and be sure to leave a Halal food review so that others can enjoy too.
Lombok is one of the most Muslim-oriented islands for tourism, unlike its counterpart Bali, not too far away. With the call to prayer that can be heard all around the island due to the number of mosques (Lombok is called the island of a 1000 mosques for this purpose), Qur’ans available in every hotel room, and MTV removed from the list of channels, you can’t get it better than this.
Lombok also has some of the best coral reefs, being untouched by man, which makes it one of the islands for an unforgettable Muslim honeymoon – if you’re looking for a little adventure. Whether you are on a Halal honeymoon package or not, Muslim couples, families and vacationers can enjoy one of their best beach holidays, sipping mocktails – the non-alcoholic version of a cocktail – and savouring delectable delights.
Since Indonesian cuisine must not be missed out on, try Taliwang Alam Nyaman, Roemah Langko, and Taliwang Irama for incredible food and service. El Bazar Café and Restaurant is great if you’re looking to change things up a bit with Mediterranean food. You can find more Halal food online, and don’t forget to use the HalalTrip app to share your finds.
Even though Sri Lanka’s population is primarily Buddhist, many of the areas along the island that are Muslim-majorities have Halal food freely available, and the capital city of Colombo are hosts to a great number of Halal-certified restaurants. The Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka – namely Batticaloa and Trincomalee – are predominantly Muslim areas, and thus have a plenty of Halal food.
The seafood found here is also excellent, and incomparable to what you would find otherwise on the island. Many of the cities on the west coast – like Colombo, Kalutara, Beruwala, Puttalam, Jaffna and Mannar – also have large populations of Muslims, and so eating out is a fairly easy task. Look for Halal-certified restaurants, or the next best thing – women in headcover (Hijab) dining at a restaurant.
If you on the food scene in Colombo, you will notice that Muslims swarm eateries in hoards, so take that as your certification of what’s Halal! Almost all the beef in Sri Lanka are only undertaken by Muslims so you know it comes from the right source, and most fast food joints especially in Colombo are Halal.
Hotels, too, serve pork separately out of respect to the requests of their Muslim guests. Join the crowd at the newly opened Taco Bell in Colombo 7, dive into delectable seafood cuisine at Lagoon Restaurant at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, satisfy your local food cravings at 12am at the most popular joint in Colombo – Pilawoos, or settle for Indo-Chinese food from Elite. The world is your oyster.
Island vacations are prefect for honeymooners but are not limited to them. So take this guide into consideration before you plan your next Halal travel or book your Halal tour with Halal Trip. There is nothing better than the beach, sun, and Halal food on holiday!