Searching for Halal


Are you Muslim and sick of forcibly being a vegetarian in Vancouver? If you observe halal food rules in Vancouver, chances are you are not spoilt for dining choices. Which is probably why you’re not sharing the enthusiasm your friends have for a new eatery they’ve found in Gastown because you know you’ll inevitably be stuck with ordering either French fries or the dry vegan sandwich. Our handy guide helps give you a few  options you could try out the next time you go into town.





Dhaka Fish & Briyani
5750 Fraser Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 327-4800


Open all week from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. except Tuesdays
The lunch special can only be ordered from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.


There are many Indian eateries that can be found on Fraser Street, but this is the place to go if you want some really good chicken biryani. The restaurant, opened in 2010 by a Bangladeshi couple, is not much to look at. Don’t go here expecting Indian music playing in the background or express customer service.


Dhaka Briyani serves a good fare of basic halal desi food, and their biryani is a favourite with the regulars. It is also reasonably priced, so students will appreciate this find. The briyani’s serving size is quite generous, and tastes just like something you’d find in South Asia. You can even ask the chef to make it extra spicy?if you can handle it, that is.


If you’re on a tight budget, their lunch special is a great option: you get six items including freshly made naan, chicken curry, tandoori chicken, mixed vegetables, dhal, and rice along with some raita (yogurt).


Bonus Tip: There are a number of halal butcheries along Fraser Street too, if you want to buy not only fresh meat, but also frozen halal sausages, nuggets or pepperoni pizza.


-Abeer Yusuf





Anatolia Express


1055 Canada Place, behind Vancouver Convention Centre
Vancouver, BC


Mondays to Fridays 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sundays 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Anatolia is a quiet little gem tucked away in Coal Harbour, with another branch in Burnaby (though the downtown location is our favourite). Run by Hakki Cakal, a magnanimous Turkish man, it only has a few things on its menu?but they are all done really well.


Take the beef kebab for example. You’ll get two kebabs, rice, bread, a green salad, two small sides that are either vegetables or cooked lentils in yogurt along with vinegar-infused beet. The meat is really well cooked and the food is always extremely flavourful, so make sure you take your best appetite. Portion sizes are good and the bread is baked fresh everyday, so if at the end of your meal you want to buy some to take home, do so!


The best part about this restaurant isn’t just its food though?it’s the “million dollar view” as the menu suggests. The eatery overlooks the Burrard Inlet and North Shore mountains, so you will often find planes landing and taking off in the blue waters. If that sounds about right to you, you can even enjoy Middle Eastern tea while taking in the view.


-Abeer Yusuf



Dosa House_web


Madras Dosa House


5656 Fraser Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 327-1233


Tuesdays to Fridays 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturdays 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Sundays 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays


Madras Dosa House is not a halal restaurant per se, but I’ve included it in the list because it offers good vegetarian food. Few people in Vancouver know about South Indian food, and fewer know good South Indian food.


Located on Fraser, this restaurant has bright orange walls and a quiet ambience, and the best food you can get here is its simple, vegetarian fare. I had a crack at the masala dosa to see if it really was as good as back in India, and it was surprisingly delicious. Masala dosa, a savoury pancake of sorts served with stuffed potatoes, dhal curry, tomato chutney and coconut chutney is part of the staple South Indian diet. Here in Vancouver, it will offer your tastebuds a new experience.


And don’t worry, even though it is Indian food, the owners never make their food spicy (upon request, they will add green chillies though), so you won’t be making emergency trips to the loo at night. Their food is made fresh and I would especially recommend their coconut chutney, because they make it fresh everyday (a novelty even in India) and it provides the perfect pairing for your dosa.


Note: Alcohol is served at this restaurant.


-Abeer Yusuf