Places to eat for iftar in Austin this Ramadan

Hanaa Irfan

With a sweet and wrinkly date in hand, a Muslim student counts down the seconds until they can finally break their day-long fast. After abstaining from food and water from sunrise to sunset, millions of Muslims across the country sit down to enjoy a meal known as iftar, filled with delicious food, good friends and engaging conversation. 

Many Muslims follow a halal diet, which means the meat is blessed by the slaughterman and requires an incision on the neck of the animal to cut the jugular vein. The practice is meant to be less painful for the animal, and it produces tender meat that stays fresh longer. 

For Longhorns participating in Ramadan this year and looking for some delicious halal food, The Daily Texan has compiled a list of five halal restaurants near or on campus. 

1. Food trucks near campus

If you need to grab a quick bite before iftar, check out one of the halal food trucks close to campus.

To satisfy those late night cravings, Abu Omar is a great option. The food truck conveniently located on the intersection of Guadalupe and 28th Street offers Mediterranean-style street food and sandwiches until 3 a.m. 

For those who crave Southern comfort food but struggle to find halal options, Longhorn Chicken & Waffles on the corner of Rio Grande and 26th Street offers chicken and waffles, wings, and sandwiches.  

“Longhorn Chicken was always a really great option because they were so close by and would sometimes donate part of their profits to nonprofit organizations,” UT alumna Safa Zia said.

2. Kismet Cafe

Located on 41st Street, Kismet Cafe provides the Austin community with Greek and Middle Eastern food ranging from meze to falafel. Rated as one of the best Middle Eastern cuisines in Austin, the menu offers large, affordable meals. 

“Definitely check out the chicken zinger wrap and the jalapeno sauce,” Zia said. “ All my friends rave about those two dishes!” 

3. Biryani Pot 

Biryani Pot describes itself as a traditional Hyderabadi food house. With a massive 95-item a la carte menu, it is certainly worth the drive down Mopac. 

The restaurant specializes in Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, a spicy rice dish native to many South Asian cultures. They also offer other traditional iftar dishes, such as crunchy samosas, spicy chicken tikka and, of course, biryani. 

4. Arpeggio Grill

Established in 2005, Arpeggio Grill is family owned and operated. The restaurant aspires to highlight the art of authentic Mediterranean food through high quality halal meats and fresh produce. 

The menu boasts a variety of sandwiches, burgers, chicken wings and kebabs. Arpeggio Grill is best known for their pizza, and many Muslims frequent the restaurant to finally enjoy meat toppings. 

“It’s really nice that they use halal meat, because they have some really interesting toppings that I never would have gotten to try otherwise,” business freshman Fatima Raja said.

5. Halal Bros

Cherished by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Halal Bros’ convenient location and reasonable prices are hard to beat. 

“Since moving to UT, Halal Bros has definitely become my most frequented halal restaurant,” said Maryam Khan, an international relations and global studies sophomore. “I really love the gyro over rice and the gyro wraps.” 

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the April 27 issue of The Daily Texan.