How Do I Choose the Best Halal Seafood Restaurant?

Mark Wollacott

Finding a good halal seafood restaurant is easier than you might think. This is because all fish meat is considered halal by the majority of Muslims. The best halal seafood restaurant will be the restaurant that best matches your personal tastes while keeping to Islamic law regarding the use of pig products and alcohol. As most budgets are limited, finding the best one for you might mean finding one that is less expensive than others.

A plate of raw oysters.
A plate of raw oysters.

In order to be considered halal, all meat has to be slaughtered according to Islamic Law. In the case of seafood from oysters to fish, all meat caught in the sea counts as halal regardless of how the animal dies. What marks a seafood restaurant as halal are the oils and other products it uses to prepare and cook the fish, plus other products. These must not be made from pigs or pig gelatin, from products from other animals that are not slaughtered in line with Islamic law and they must not contain alcohol.

In a general sense, "halal" means "lawful" in Arabic, and refers to that which is permitted under the rules of Islam.
In a general sense, "halal" means "lawful" in Arabic, and refers to that which is permitted under the rules of Islam.

Make a list of all the halal seafood restaurants in your local area. Many restaurants are making the decision to name themselves as halal-friendly. These restaurants are easy to identify and add to a general list of seafood restaurants. In order to make a complete list, you might have to make inquiries with seafood restaurants about their cooking practices.

All fish meat is approved for consumption by Islamic law.
All fish meat is approved for consumption by Islamic law.

When making the long list, take into consideration factors such as prices and distances. Consider only restaurants within a reasonable driving distance of your house or from wherever you are staying if on vacation. A halal seafood restaurant is more likely to exist in areas with larger Muslim populations and on the coast, which have better access to fresh seafood. Ask yourself what is a reasonable traveling distance and cross out those that are too far away.

Once you have a shortlist of restaurants, you have three major ways of narrowing down the field to find the best halal seafood restaurant in your area. First, ask friends, family and colleagues for their recommendations or read restaurant reviews in newspapers and magazines. Second, ask the seafood restaurants for copies of their menus or check their websites for information about what they serve. This will rule out the ones that are too expensive or do not offer your favorite foods.

The third way to narrow down the list is to try each and everyone. This is necessarily going to be expensive and entail eating a lot of seafood. It is also the surefire way of finding the best halal seafood restaurant for you. If you do not like the food, then you do not have to go back, but if you find something you like, then you have struck culinary gold.

In the case of seafood, all meat caught in the sea is considered to be halal.
In the case of seafood, all meat caught in the sea is considered to be halal.

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