If you’ve ever had to entertain Muslim guests and take them out to eat, you know that finding restaurants that serve halal food can be quite challenging. Despite having a sizable Muslim population in Metro Manila and the desire to attract international tourists from different countries, there aren’t a lot of halal-certified places yet in the metro outside Quiapo.
Halal is an Arabic word meaning “lawful” or “permitted.” It’s the dietary standard that adheres to Islamic law as prescribed in the Koran or Muslim scripture.
While there are a number of upscale Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern restaurants in malls, sometimes diners just want something a little more budget-friendly and accessible. If you’re a practicing Muslim looking for a quick meal or a non-Muslim interested in trying something new, here are a few affordable restaurants serving halal food in Manila.
Ababu Persian Kitchen
Ababu is famous for its Persian cuisine, especially its shawarma and salads. This hole-in-the-wall eatery is a well-loved institution among students along the University belt of Katipunan because of their value meals.
Must-tries include the Beef Kebab, Chicken Kebab, Keema Motabal Rice Meal and Chelo Kabab Ghafghazi served with egg, sweet corn, and chopped tomatoes and onions, rice topped with butter and bottomless drinks.
First established in 2003, Ababu currently has several branches around Metro Manila including Xavierville, Ground Central, Leon Guinto, Gelinos, Sucat and Kiosk Moonwalk, making them an easy choice for a quick shawarma fix.
- Business name: Ababu Persian Kitchen
- Address: 75 Xavierville Avenue, Quezon City, 1108, Metro Manila (original branch)
- Contact number: (02) 3436 0000
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ababupersiankitchen/
- Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/3SYRNhuTzfFdFJa37
Meshwe is best-known for their Lebanese Shawarma, prepared just like how it’s made in the Middle East. Originally a small take-out kiosk in a food park in Malingap Street run by a Lebanese chef, Meshwe has since moved their main operations further to the North in Fairview.
This restaurant dishes out affordable and flavorful Lebanese cuisine including their bestselling Beef and Chicken Shawarma or Falafel that you can order in wraps, rice plates and platters.
Be sure to try their mezze appetizers of hummus, falafel, beef sambousak, Arabic fries and extra garlic sauce. Wash down those strong flavors with some mango or strawberry lassi and muhallabia (rose flavored milk pudding) for dessert.
- Business name: Meshwe
- Address: 26 Regalado Hwy, Novaliches, Quezon City, 1121 Regalado Hwy, Novaliches, Quezon City, 1121 Metro Manila
- Contact number: 0927-6638764
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Meshwe/
- Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/Dn3EpHENmEpGHd3p7
The Halal Guys
What started out as a hotdog cart in New York City in 1990 has grown into a fast casual restaurant with branches all over the U.S. and different parts of the world, including kiosks in SM Megamall in Ortigas and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. The Halal Guys PH is known for dishing out the same bestsellers famous abroad including rice platters (with chicken, beef or a combination of both), sandwiches and falafels. The gyro beef over rice paired with their famous white sauce and spicy hot red sauce is a must-try.
- Business name: The Halal Guys
- Address: 5th level SM Mega Food Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong / B6 Bonifacio High Street, 11th Ave. cor. 28th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
- Contact number: +632 858-7080
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheHalalGuys/
- Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/ciAxNHmWHkgxxnva7
With several branches all around Manila, including their West Avenue in Quezon City branch open 24/7, Mister Kabab is known as a value-for-money spot especially for those who want to nurse a hangover after a late night out.
Mister Kabab dishes out Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialties like kebabs, shawarma wraps, falafel, yogurt shake, ox brains, and more at affordable prices. For a filling meal, order their Kabab Platter, which comes with two sticks each of chicken, beef, and lamb.
- Business name: Mister Kabab
- Address: 31 West Ave., Del Monte, Quezon City
- Contact number: (02) 351-2647
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MisterKabab/
- Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/FH7vpp9y26q5JP1B7