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Overhead view of two Somali dishes on a pale peach tablecloth with white accents. One dish is chapati strips cooked in a tomato sauce with chunks of beef; the other is a beef biryani with multi-colored rice in shades of yellow and orange.
Tawakal plate (left) and beef biryani at Tawakal Halal Cafe.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

14 Excellent Halal-Friendly Restaurants in Greater Boston

Offering partially or fully halal menus, these restaurants serve the cuisines of Pakistan, Somalia, Turkey, and beyond

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Tawakal plate (left) and beef biryani at Tawakal Halal Cafe.
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Greater Boston area is home to a bounty of restaurants that cater to halal dietary restrictions while covering a broad range of cuisines from the Middle East, Mediterranean, Africa, and beyond. One might eat rotisserie chicken from a casual Indian restaurant in Medford Square, the best kebabs in town from a Pakistani counter hidden inside a Somerville convenience store, big plate chicken from one of the only Uyghur restaurants in the region, and Somali food in Roxbury and East Boston.

Here’s a look at 14 excellent local restaurants with halal-friendly menus (either partially or fully halal). Note that halal restaurants in the United States may seek certification from one of several organizations — or may decide against certification but self-report the use of only, or some, halal ingredients — so it’s best to check directly with a restaurant to confirm whether its menu meets your needs.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Hot Chix Halal

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Not to be confused with the Nashville hot chicken pop-up (and eventually Cambridge restaurant) Hot Chix, Hot Chix Halal is an Indian restaurant in Medford Square; its fish, poultry, and meats are all halal. The menu features rotisserie chicken, a variety of tandoori dishes, and lots more.

Zam Zam Restaurant

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Another solid halal-friendly option in Medford Square is Zam Zam, an Indian and Pakistani restaurant. The slow-cooked nihari dishes are a must, as are the flavor-packed biryani dishes.

Takeout containers feature a thin brown beef stew, a seasoned biryani dish, and a sesame seed-studded flatbread.
Lamb biryani (left), beef nihari (center), and til wala naan from Zam Zam.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Kushari & Grill

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Egyptian restaurant Kushari & Grill features a fully halal and scratch-made menu, owner Mohamed Hassanein told Eater in late 2021 upon opening the restaurant in Medford. A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Hassanein previously ran the Mr. Kushari food truck in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Located right by Tufts, Kushari & Grill serves the namesake koshari, a popular street food in Egypt; hawawshi, dough stuffed with a spiced mix of ground beef, onions, bell peppers, and parsley; shawarma; kebabs; and more. Try the spicy falafel roll-up.

Overhead view of takeout Egyptian food — a pita stuffed with ground meat sits in a pizza box, and there’s a container of grape leaves.
Hawawshi and grape leaves from Kushari & Grill.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Man-O-Salwa Kabob & Grill

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Pakistani restaurant Man-O-Salwa, a counter hidden inside a Union Square convenience store called S&S Market, has erratic hours, very little seating, and not much in the way of an up-to-date web presence. Still, it’s worth the effort the venture in; its kebabs, in particular, are among the best around.

Two kebabs, each made of a single long piece of ground meat, sit aside a big piece of naan.
Kebabs and naan from Man-O-Salwa in Somerville.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine

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One of the only Uyghur restaurants in the region, Silk Road — with locations in Cambridge and Brookline — is the place to go for big plate chicken, dry fried hand-pulled noodles, and lamb-stuffed naan.

A white plate holds a tangled pile of long, medium-thick noodles with beef, bell pepper strips, sesame seeds, and a bit of a brownish sauce clinging to the noodles.
Dry-fried noodles at Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine’s original Cambridge location.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Tawakal Halal Cafe

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East Boston’s acclaimed Tawakal Halal Cafe highlights Somali food with influences from other East African cuisines, as well as Middle Eastern and Mediterranean. The beef or vegetable sambusas are a must, as is the Tawakal plate — strips of chapati cooked in a spiced tomato sauce with beef, chicken, or spinach and chickpea stew. Try the shaah, the sweet and spiced house tea, hot or iced, and be sure to grab a bottle of the popular house hot sauce.

Overhead view of two Somali dishes on a pale peach tablecloth with white accents. One dish is chapati strips cooked in a tomato sauce with chunks of beef; the other is a beef biryani with multi-colored rice in shades of yellow and orange.
Tawakal plate (left) and beef biryani at Tawakal Halal Cafe.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Chicken & Rice Guys

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“We knew our halal grub would be a hit,” says the Chicken & Rice Guys team, which launched the food-truck-and-restaurant-and-catering mini empire back in 2012. As the name suggests, the rice plates are the highlight — seasoned rice topped with seasoned and grilled halal chicken or several other protein options, along with lettuce, toasted pita, and sauces. (The creamy garlic sauce is a fan favorite.) Currently, there are two restaurants in downtown Boston and one in Everett, as well as a busy food truck schedule in and beyond Boston.

A round aluminum takeout container is full of yellow rice, lettuce, chicken, and pita, drizzled with red and white sauces. It’s sitting in the middle of the road.
A Chicken & Rice Guys plate.
The Chicken & Rice Guys

This Brighton favorite for Pakistani and Indian food, over a decade old, serves dishes such as magaz masala, haleem, and nihari; all meats are halal.

The Halal Guys

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Around since 1990, the extraordinarily popular Halal Guys chain started in New York City, originally focused on selling halal food to Muslim taxi drivers. The menu highlights gyro and rice plates, chicken and rice plates, and more, drizzled with the company’s popular white sauce and hot sauce. Locally, there are outposts in Boston’s Theatre District and in Porter Square, Cambridge.

Three round aluminum takeout plates of gyro, rice, and pita drizzled with white and red sauces, with sides of rice and tabbouleh nearby.
A variety of plates from the Halal Guys.
The Halal Guys

Shah's Halal Food

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This casual chain, which got its start as a food cart in Queens, is a reliable option, especially convenient for Berklee and Northeastern students. The menu features gyros such as lamb, platters such as falafel with rice, sandwiches such as a Philly cheesesteak, and more.

An aluminum container of chicken and rice, topped with white sauce, sits on a bright red tray on a bright red table. A plastic fork and can of Coca-Cola are visible in the background.
Chicken over rice platter at Shah’s Halal Food.
Noah Fecks

Ali Baba

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Ali Baba, sibling and neighbor to Mexican restaurant El Triunfo, is a popular spot for Turkish in the South End, and it offers late-night hours. (A newer Charlestown location under the Ali Baba name serves both Turkish and Mexican cuisine.) Diners will find dishes such as adana kebabs, doner, pide, and more.

Sufra Mediterranean Food

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Sufra, a casual Mediterranean spot in Fenway, offers a fully halal menu from lunch through late-night every day — shawarma wraps, falafel plates, manousheh, and more. Watch for daily specials, like mansaf and rice on Fridays. There are fresh juices, too.

A cheesy flatbread cut into quarters sits in a pizza box on a casual restaurant patio on a sunny day.
Manousheh from Sufra.
Karen Wilber/Eater

Nachlo Mexican & Pakistani Cuisine

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This Mission Hill restaurant serves an unlikely combination of Pakistani and Mexican food. The menu leans more in the Pakistani direction, but on the Mexican side, there are tacos, nachos, burritos, and more — with Pakistani fillings among the options. Have a chana masala quesadilla, for example, or an aloo gobi taco. The restaurant describes its food as “100% halal.”

Ashur Restaurant

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Located steps from the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury, Ashur Restaurant — open for over a decade — is a popular spot for halal Somali and Middle Eastern food, served in heaping portions of meat and rice. “It really feels like you’re in a city in Somalia sometimes,” manager Ali Ashur told Eater. Lamb dishes, such as a cumin-spiced braised lamb and a lamb shank, are the bestsellers here; the Somali chai is also popular, made with clove, cinnamon, cardamon, and optional sweetened condensed milk.

A single lamb shank sits on a white plate with a floral border next to a big pile of yellow rice and a small side salad.
Lamb shank at Ashur Restaurant.
Korsha Wilson/Eater

Hot Chix Halal

Not to be confused with the Nashville hot chicken pop-up (and eventually Cambridge restaurant) Hot Chix, Hot Chix Halal is an Indian restaurant in Medford Square; its fish, poultry, and meats are all halal. The menu features rotisserie chicken, a variety of tandoori dishes, and lots more.

Zam Zam Restaurant

Takeout containers feature a thin brown beef stew, a seasoned biryani dish, and a sesame seed-studded flatbread.
Lamb biryani (left), beef nihari (center), and til wala naan from Zam Zam.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Another solid halal-friendly option in Medford Square is Zam Zam, an Indian and Pakistani restaurant. The slow-cooked nihari dishes are a must, as are the flavor-packed biryani dishes.

Takeout containers feature a thin brown beef stew, a seasoned biryani dish, and a sesame seed-studded flatbread.
Lamb biryani (left), beef nihari (center), and til wala naan from Zam Zam.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Kushari & Grill

Overhead view of takeout Egyptian food — a pita stuffed with ground meat sits in a pizza box, and there’s a container of grape leaves.
Hawawshi and grape leaves from Kushari & Grill.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Egyptian restaurant Kushari & Grill features a fully halal and scratch-made menu, owner Mohamed Hassanein told Eater in late 2021 upon opening the restaurant in Medford. A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Hassanein previously ran the Mr. Kushari food truck in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Located right by Tufts, Kushari & Grill serves the namesake koshari, a popular street food in Egypt; hawawshi, dough stuffed with a spiced mix of ground beef, onions, bell peppers, and parsley; shawarma; kebabs; and more. Try the spicy falafel roll-up.

Overhead view of takeout Egyptian food — a pita stuffed with ground meat sits in a pizza box, and there’s a container of grape leaves.
Hawawshi and grape leaves from Kushari & Grill.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Man-O-Salwa Kabob & Grill

Two kebabs, each made of a single long piece of ground meat, sit aside a big piece of naan.
Kebabs and naan from Man-O-Salwa in Somerville.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Pakistani restaurant Man-O-Salwa, a counter hidden inside a Union Square convenience store called S&S Market, has erratic hours, very little seating, and not much in the way of an up-to-date web presence. Still, it’s worth the effort the venture in; its kebabs, in particular, are among the best around.

Two kebabs, each made of a single long piece of ground meat, sit aside a big piece of naan.
Kebabs and naan from Man-O-Salwa in Somerville.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine

A white plate holds a tangled pile of long, medium-thick noodles with beef, bell pepper strips, sesame seeds, and a bit of a brownish sauce clinging to the noodles.
Dry-fried noodles at Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine’s original Cambridge location.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

One of the only Uyghur restaurants in the region, Silk Road — with locations in Cambridge and Brookline — is the place to go for big plate chicken, dry fried hand-pulled noodles, and lamb-stuffed naan.

A white plate holds a tangled pile of long, medium-thick noodles with beef, bell pepper strips, sesame seeds, and a bit of a brownish sauce clinging to the noodles.
Dry-fried noodles at Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine’s original Cambridge location.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Tawakal Halal Cafe

Overhead view of two Somali dishes on a pale peach tablecloth with white accents. One dish is chapati strips cooked in a tomato sauce with chunks of beef; the other is a beef biryani with multi-colored rice in shades of yellow and orange.
Tawakal plate (left) and beef biryani at Tawakal Halal Cafe.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

East Boston’s acclaimed Tawakal Halal Cafe highlights Somali food with influences from other East African cuisines, as well as Middle Eastern and Mediterranean. The beef or vegetable sambusas are a must, as is the Tawakal plate — strips of chapati cooked in a spiced tomato sauce with beef, chicken, or spinach and chickpea stew. Try the shaah, the sweet and spiced house tea, hot or iced, and be sure to grab a bottle of the popular house hot sauce.

Overhead view of two Somali dishes on a pale peach tablecloth with white accents. One dish is chapati strips cooked in a tomato sauce with chunks of beef; the other is a beef biryani with multi-colored rice in shades of yellow and orange.
Tawakal plate (left) and beef biryani at Tawakal Halal Cafe.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Chicken & Rice Guys

A round aluminum takeout container is full of yellow rice, lettuce, chicken, and pita, drizzled with red and white sauces. It’s sitting in the middle of the road.
A Chicken & Rice Guys plate.
The Chicken & Rice Guys

“We knew our halal grub would be a hit,” says the Chicken & Rice Guys team, which launched the food-truck-and-restaurant-and-catering mini empire back in 2012. As the name suggests, the rice plates are the highlight — seasoned rice topped with seasoned and grilled halal chicken or several other protein options, along with lettuce, toasted pita, and sauces. (The creamy garlic sauce is a fan favorite.) Currently, there are two restaurants in downtown Boston and one in Everett, as well as a busy food truck schedule in and beyond Boston.

A round aluminum takeout container is full of yellow rice, lettuce, chicken, and pita, drizzled with red and white sauces. It’s sitting in the middle of the road.
A Chicken & Rice Guys plate.
The Chicken & Rice Guys

Darbar

This Brighton favorite for Pakistani and Indian food, over a decade old, serves dishes such as magaz masala, haleem, and nihari; all meats are halal.

The Halal Guys

Three round aluminum takeout plates of gyro, rice, and pita drizzled with white and red sauces, with sides of rice and tabbouleh nearby.
A variety of plates from the Halal Guys.
The Halal Guys

Around since 1990, the extraordinarily popular Halal Guys chain started in New York City, originally focused on selling halal food to Muslim taxi drivers. The menu highlights gyro and rice plates, chicken and rice plates, and more, drizzled with the company’s popular white sauce and hot sauce. Locally, there are outposts in Boston’s Theatre District and in Porter Square, Cambridge.

Three round aluminum takeout plates of gyro, rice, and pita drizzled with white and red sauces, with sides of rice and tabbouleh nearby.
A variety of plates from the Halal Guys.
The Halal Guys

Shah's Halal Food

An aluminum container of chicken and rice, topped with white sauce, sits on a bright red tray on a bright red table. A plastic fork and can of Coca-Cola are visible in the background.
Chicken over rice platter at Shah’s Halal Food.
Noah Fecks

This casual chain, which got its start as a food cart in Queens, is a reliable option, especially convenient for Berklee and Northeastern students. The menu features gyros such as lamb, platters such as falafel with rice, sandwiches such as a Philly cheesesteak, and more.

An aluminum container of chicken and rice, topped with white sauce, sits on a bright red tray on a bright red table. A plastic fork and can of Coca-Cola are visible in the background.
Chicken over rice platter at Shah’s Halal Food.
Noah Fecks

Ali Baba

Ali Baba, sibling and neighbor to Mexican restaurant El Triunfo, is a popular spot for Turkish in the South End, and it offers late-night hours. (A newer Charlestown location under the Ali Baba name serves both Turkish and Mexican cuisine.) Diners will find dishes such as adana kebabs, doner, pide, and more.

Sufra Mediterranean Food

A cheesy flatbread cut into quarters sits in a pizza box on a casual restaurant patio on a sunny day.
Manousheh from Sufra.
Karen Wilber/Eater

Sufra, a casual Mediterranean spot in Fenway, offers a fully halal menu from lunch through late-night every day — shawarma wraps, falafel plates, manousheh, and more. Watch for daily specials, like mansaf and rice on Fridays. There are fresh juices, too.

A cheesy flatbread cut into quarters sits in a pizza box on a casual restaurant patio on a sunny day.
Manousheh from Sufra.
Karen Wilber/Eater

Nachlo Mexican & Pakistani Cuisine

This Mission Hill restaurant serves an unlikely combination of Pakistani and Mexican food. The menu leans more in the Pakistani direction, but on the Mexican side, there are tacos, nachos, burritos, and more — with Pakistani fillings among the options. Have a chana masala quesadilla, for example, or an aloo gobi taco. The restaurant describes its food as “100% halal.”

Ashur Restaurant

A single lamb shank sits on a white plate with a floral border next to a big pile of yellow rice and a small side salad.
Lamb shank at Ashur Restaurant.
Korsha Wilson/Eater

Located steps from the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury, Ashur Restaurant — open for over a decade — is a popular spot for halal Somali and Middle Eastern food, served in heaping portions of meat and rice. “It really feels like you’re in a city in Somalia sometimes,” manager Ali Ashur told Eater. Lamb dishes, such as a cumin-spiced braised lamb and a lamb shank, are the bestsellers here; the Somali chai is also popular, made with clove, cinnamon, cardamon, and optional sweetened condensed milk.

A single lamb shank sits on a white plate with a floral border next to a big pile of yellow rice and a small side salad.
Lamb shank at Ashur Restaurant.
Korsha Wilson/Eater

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