April 1 marks the first day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar marked by daily fasting from sunup to sundown. Here in the Triangle, home to dozens of mosques and the state’s largest Muslim population, thousands of North Carolinians will celebrate by gathering with friends and family to break the fast each evening. Luckily they have a plethora of halal markets to choose from when shopping for their daily iftar, such as Durham’s Al Taiba Halal Market, Cary’s Baghdad Bakery, and Al-Kareem Grocery in Morrisville.
While some may break the fast at home, others choose to head out to one of the region’s many halal restaurants (halal is a religious set of dietary guidelines akin to Jewish kosher laws) for their evening meal. Even for those who don’t celebrate Ramadan, this could be a great opportunity to experience some of the Triangle’s best Middle Eastern eateries. These six restaurants run the gamut from pan-Mediterranean cuisine to Yemeni, Turkish, and even Nepalese specialties, showing that the variety of halal cuisines is as diverse as the Muslim world itself.
(Note: some restaurants may not be fully halal, but offer at least a partial halal menu.)Read More