The halal industry makes up a major part of the UK economy, with the restaurant industry being a major contributor. Halal industry stats tell us that the big names in the grocery store game like Tesco have all begun to note the importance of halal produce, but what about the restaurant industry of big cities like Birmingham?
Is Birmingham A Halal-Friendly City?
The UK is known for its vast variety of cultures, ethnicities and religions, with Birmingham being no exception. Birmingham is proud of its Muslim community, which makes up around 21% of the city population. This means that restaurants all over the city will be halal certified, not just big chains or restaurants serving Indian or Middle Eastern cuisine. The halal restaurants London offers have become home to a myriad of halal food choices, and Birmingham is following in their footsteps.
These 10 best halal restaurants in Birmingham highlight the fact that there’s something for every foodie, no matter what they prefer:
Birmingham Halal Restaurants You Need To Try
Best chain restaurant: Chaiwalla
Chaiiwalla is a well known Desi cuisine fast-food chain that is quickly becoming a favourite among locals in all the major cities of the UK. They currently boast 32 stores and plan to open 40 more by 2023, proving its success and popularity among the locals. Although it’s considered a chain, Chaiiwalla stays true to its Dheli routes and keeps things cosy and atmospheric, so sit-downs are more than welcome.
Chaiiwalla has become a staple choice because of the pungent South Asian flavour influence, in addition to their speciality of chai tea. You’ll be hit with warm, spiced aromas when entering one of their stores for a quick bite or takeaway. Ideal for work lunch or a satisfying meal on the road, it’ll be easy to find one of their many branches in big cities such as Birmingham, Leicester and London.
Best Thai restaurant: Chaophraya
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If you’re looking for a sophisticated ambience with food adhering to the fragrant punch of flavour found in South East Asian cuisine, Chaophraya is the place to be. In keeping with its authentic Thai theme, Chaophraya is also one of Birmingham’s finest halal eateries. The service and food quality and ambience will have you feeling like you were transported to a luxury hotel in Bangkok.
On the menu, you’ll find modern Thai- inspired cuisine, in addition to the authentic moreish curries and stir-fries we know and love like Phad Thai or Green Curry. Chaophraya is suited to large parties and events, as their menus are designed for sharing – the best way to get a taste of every one of their items.
If you’ve come for the dragon fruit and pomegranate sweet and sour crispy fried chicken, the tender lamb Massman curry or any one of their many veg, chicken or lamb dishes – you’ll be happy to know that these are all halal friendly. The restaurant does serve alcohol though, and it’s always best to double-check with the branch you’re at if it’s adhering to your halal preference, as this may vary.
Best outdoor seating: Marco Pierre White, Birmingham
What better way to enjoy a top-quality meal inspired by the classic pub food of Britain, than with a panoramic view of the urban landscapes of Birmingham. Marco Pierre White is a master in British and French cuisine, and indulging in a Sunday roast at his restaurant is a sure way to impress your date.
Upon entering the Cube building in the Mailbox district, take the elevator to the top floor. You’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of the city, and seated in a comfy yet swanky outdoor area.
The MPW restaurant not only has an elegant menu and atmosphere, but is also renowned for its grilled meats that’ll melt in your mouth, and have you feeling like you’re on cloud 9.
Calling 48 hours in advance will ensure any meat of your choice will be halal, but they also often have it on hand if your visit is more spontaneous, it’s just not promised that all the meat will be halal. It’s also important to note that this establishment does serve alcohol.
Best steakhouse: Gaucho
Some may say it’s no easy feat to find a place that heroes their meat but is also halal friendly. That’s why Gaucho steakhouse is a must-try for all the halal foodies looking to enjoy a gourmet steak, served with an Argentinian flair. Expect incredible South American accompaniments and flavours, served in a cosy and smart casual atmosphere – perfect for work lunches or dinner dates.
Gaucho really is all about the meat, and their spiral cut rump marinated with simple yet satisfying flavours like garlic and parsley will have your mouth watering before it even gets to the table. Calling ahead will put your mind at ease before sitting down to ensure all the delicious meat is halal, but they also often have it ready and waiting for you to tuck in.
Best Halal Restaurants In Birmingham City Centre
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If you’re looking to kick it up a notch on the dining scale, why not try Michelan star awarded Opheem restaurant in the Birmingham city centre? This fine dining experience has been noted for its incredible value and superb quality, and if you call 48 hours in advance, they’d be more than happy to cater to your halal needs.
Started by TV- chef Aktar Islam, Opheem aimed to introduce Brummies to a fine dining, modern take on Indian cuisine. Recommended by world-famous chefs like Gordan Ramsay, Opheem is said to incorporate genius cooking methods with traditional flavours. The tasting menu is constantly updated to ensure only seasonal ingredients are used – with the current spring tasting menu featuring ingredients like scallop, coconut and smoked aubergine.
A restaurant like Pulperia may have caught the eye of the acquired critic and won itself a Michelin star – yet it stays true to its Argentinian roots and basic philosophy of good meat prepared beautifully. Another one of Aktar Islam’s creations – everything from the menu to the decor, is curated with a subtle flair, that makes fine dining look approachable and fun.
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Looking for something a bit more casual, that packs the same amount of flavour in generous portions of delectable share foods? Then you need to try Damascena in Birmingham city centre. They describe the Damascena experience as “a journey to a new land through aromas, colours, and flavours”, which isn’t far off.
All the food is middle eastern inspired, and sharing is encouraged. You’ll find all the classics here like crispy falafel, warm and toasty flatbreads, and rich and tangy dips. Enjoy their Caffe style, casual yet quirky locations filled with colour and magic. Damascena is fully halal and does not sell alcohol on the premises, so expect a variety of tea, coffee and juice to choose from.
Yakinori at grand central is another eatery with a more casual setting. There is a vast variety of halal-friendly options, which is unique for a Japanese establishment. Sushi, chicken dishes, ramen and bento boxes are all on the table for halal foodies. Yakinori is best known for its bento boxes, which feature elements like sticky teriyaki chicken and hand-rolled sushi. You get a bit of everything, which is perfect if you’re indecisive.
Dishoom has restaurants all over the UK and they’ve finally blessed Broomies with their incredible Bombay delicacies. The breakfast menu does have pork, but all cooking utensils are changed at 12 pm, to prepare for the halal-friendly lunch and dinner time menu. The first thing you’ll notice about Dishoom is the generosity in their cooking, They don’t hold back on ingredients, flavour or colour.
A true feast awaits you at their gorgeous establishments. Dishoom is all about family gathering, so the seating and dining experience is set up to prioritize this. You’ll get to choose from platters and spreads that feature something delicious for everyone to enjoy. The seating is cosy yet spaced out, with a touch of sophistication, and a theme taking inspiration from Bombay and Birmingham storefronts from the 1800s.
Indo- Persian has been proven to be a match made in heaven by Qavali. This halal friendly paradise doesn’t just hone its expertise in one country and culture but has decided to mix and master cuisines from countries all over the Middle East such as Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. From the emerald leather loungers to the velvet ropes and golden statues, Qavali will have you feeling like royalty while enjoying a feast from the east.
If all of these incredible and diverse restaurants don’t do it for you, you can’t go wrong with a Nandos quarter chicken and spicy rice, which still stands to be the most popular halal takeaway in the UK.
Otherwise, get out there and enjoy the best halal restaurants in Birmingham!
Sebastian is a former hedge fund trader who worked only to indulge his true passion – food.
He has dined at over 240 Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, savoring culinary masterpieces and understanding the stories behind them. He now advises restaurants on menu design, decor and holistic diner experience.
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