November 1st is World Halal Day, a day dedicated to the celebration of Halal food.
To celebrate World Halal Day here in the Bay Area, I spoke with Irfan Rydhan and Ali Malik of Halal Fest. As the organizers of America’s largest Halal festival, they know a thing or two about great Halal food in the Bay Area.
“The term “Halal” is no longer just about meat that meets the dietary requirements for Muslims but has evolved into a dynamic and flourishing global industry which includes a wide range of products and services from health and beauty as well as halal financial investments with almost $3 trillion USD in global business and revenues. As per our mission at HalalFest, we are thrilled to help foster and promote halal awareness on the Annual World Halal Day,” said Malik.
Here are their top 10 picks for the best Halal restaurants in the Bay Area. Some are big and fancy, and some are tiny and informal.
The Top 3 Bay Area Halal Restaurants
The Bay Area has so many great Halal places that Rydhan and Malik were able to name at least ten of the best. Within the group, though, I asked them to select their top three. Here are their picks.
The Angry Hot Chicken (San Jose)
“The Angry Hot Chicken in San Jose serves its own version of the Nashville style favorite featuring Sandwiches, Tenders and Angry Fries that comes with chopped up Hot Tenders over fries and topped with Mac N Cheese!” said Rydhan and Malik.
World Halal Day Special: A portion of all proceeds from Sales on Tues Nov 1st (World Halal Day) will be donated to the local relief organization, Rahima Foundation (https://www.rahima.org/) which helps to feed those in need across the SF Bay Area. Please mention Halal Fest/ World Halal Day with your order.
iJava Cafe (2 locations in San Jose)
“iJAVA Cafe has an awesome atmosphere, drinks, & Halal food. Their specialties are Pistachio Lattes, Tiger Spiced Chai Tea, Short Rib Burritos, Gourmet Avocado Toasts, Mediterranean Chicken Paninis, Benedicts, Caesar Salads, and many Vegetarian and Vegan options! They use the freshest ingredients from local providers and both of their locations in San Jose serve a full Halal menu,” said Rydhan and Malik.
Special Offer for “World Halal Day”: Mention HalalFest / World Halal Day and get 50% off one meal with a purchase of another meal at full price for Tuesday November 1st (World Halal Day) only at both locations of iJAVA Cafe!
Mirchi Cafe (2 locations in Fremont & Dublin)
Rydhan and Malik say “Mirchi Cafe & Masala Pizza is a staple in the Bay Area Halal Food Scene and recently celebrated their 18th year in business this past October! Chef Lisa Ahmad has brought her family’s history in the Italian Restaurant business and fused it with her husband’s Pakistani heritage to bring a unique flavor palette to the Bay Area. With two locations in the East Bay (Fremont and Dublin), Mirchi’s is sure to hit the spot with a variety of comfort foods from Italian, Pakistani and American cuisines!”
Special for World Halal Day: A portion of all proceeds on World Halal Day (Nov 1st, 2022) will be going to help the relief efforts for the devastating floods that happened in Pakistan a few months ago. Mirchi Cafe sent a GoFundMe for their relief efforts as well: https://gofund.me/2b60beb9
These restaurants weren’t the top three, but Rydhan and Malik say that they’re among the Bay Area’s 10 best Halal places, and all of them have amazing food.
- Crave Subs (Berkeley)
- Mehran Restaurant (Newark)
- Chicken G’s (Mountain View)
- Teriyaki Madness (Santa Clara)
- Greens N Grills (Union City)
- El Halal Amigos (San Jose)
- Zareen’s (3 locations in Palo Alto, Mountain View and Redwood City)
I shared a story about El Halal Amigos in October, which is combining World Halal Day and Taco Tuesday for a unique Mexican cuisine and Halal food fusion.
You can check out these restaurants for World Halal Day, or any time of the year. If you do visit on World Halal Day, make sure to mention Halal Fest for discounts at many of the places, as mentioned above.
You can learn more about Halal Fest on their website, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok @halalfest.