February will mark the 2 year anniversary of Halal Food Guru. Our goal when we first started posting was to make it easier for travelers to find and enjoy Halal restaurants in Florida. We wrote detailed reviews of these Halal restaurants so visitors would know what to expect and gain some local insight about the spots to make the most of their experience. We introduced TOP 5 Lists to make it easier to find what you crave, which was well received. Over the past 2 years, we’ve written over 50 posts about Halal restaurants in Orlando, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Miami and other great cities across North America. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
While the Philly cheesesteak has its origins in Philadelphia, it has been an anchor of the Halal fast-food scene in Orlando and Central Florida for decades. Almost every Halal fast-food restaurant has their version on the menu. With cheese, flat-top grilled slices of steak (or gyro) mixed with onions and peppers all wrapped in a bun, how can you go wrong?
Alex’s has been a household name amongst Orlando natives as the spot to go for Halal Philly Cheese Steaks. They have been serving up freshly made to order sandwiches since the late 1990s. Due to construction and road expansion, they had to move from their old location to their new location near the intersection of Colonial and Goldenrod in about 2012.
Located in the southeast corner of the greater Orlando area about 20-30 minutes away from the theme parks, Loop Gyros is a great Halal fast-food spot to hit up, especially late as they are open till midnight if not later. They have 2 locations in Kissimmee and we visited their newer location next to the large shopping complex called “The Loop”.
New Orleans is known as a culinary cuisine hot spot. However, for Muslims it can be a food desert. Many restaurants have full open bar and incorporate alcohol into many of their dishes and sauces. Furthermore, many of the signature seafood dishes involve catfish, oysters, lobster and other crustaceans which may be considered unlawful to eat. Coming across Shawarma to Go was a pleasant surprise. It opened over a year ago by an Iraqi family bringing quality, authentic Halal Middle-Eastern food to the Big Easy.
This fast-food restaurant is conveniently located on International Drive in the heart of the tourist district in Orlando. Their menu is split between classical American fast-food and traditional Middle-Eastern dishes. It makes for a great pit-stop for those enjoying a leisurely walk along I-Drive or not wanting to travel too far for a meal after a long day at the theme parks like Universal Studios or SeaWorld.
Guru’s Rapid Review: Cozee Cafe
City: Lake Mary, Fl (north of Orlando)
Located north of Orlando in the city of Lake Mary, Cozee Café provides a great spot to gather and relax with friends and family. Located in a large dining complex anchored by a movie theater, they cater to diners looking for a trendy casual dining experience.