Sophie Bolich

Halal Restaurant Week Returns For Second Year

Featuring 17 restaurants, the event will take place July 7 through 17.

By - Jun 23rd, 2023 12:26 pm
Hibachi tables at Ninja MKE Japanese Steakhouse. Photo taken Feb. 1, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Hibachi tables at Ninja MKE Japanese Steakhouse. Photo taken Feb. 1, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

After a successful inaugural event in 2022, Halal Restaurant Week is slated to return next month, featuring a wide variety of global cuisine, new participants and halal dishes from some of Milwaukee’s most notable chefs.

This year’s event, sponsored by Hayat Pharmacy and Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, will run from July 7 through 17.

More than 17 Milwaukee area restaurants are slated to participate, offering fully halal menu items, discounts and specials throughout the week.

The lineup includes something for every palate, featuring pub fare, steak and sweet treats, as well as international options such as Italian, Vietnamese, Mexican, Argentinian and others.

Participating Milwaukee restaurants include Bacchus, Canela Cafe, Hue, Crafty Cow, Heaven’s Table BBQ, Ninja MKE, Top Corned Beef, Onesto and Five O’Clock Steakhouse.

Outside of Milwaukee proper, the Brookfield location of Chubby’s Cheesesteaks, Cuppa Tosa, El Gaucho Grill, Joey Gerard’s, Mr. B’s, Romero’s Tacos, Texas de Brazil and Tomken’s will also participate.

Additional establishments may be announced in the lead-up to the event.

“This is such a unique thing that Milwaukee is really kind of leading the way on and setting the bar super high, because no one else does this,” said event organizer Bushra Zaibak, who noted that last year’s event attracted attendees from all over the midwest and even beyond.

“I’m telling you, we’re people that like to eat,” Zaibak said with a laugh.

Zaibak was the catalyst for the first Halal Restaurant Week, which she put together last year after noticing a lack of diverse halal dining options in the area.

After making more than 100 phone calls to local businesses, Zaibak assembled a final lineup of 15 participating restaurants, including two James Beard-nominated establishments.

The inaugural event was a hit, and Zaibak said she hopes to continue building momentum in years to come — both for the good of the Muslim community and the city at large.

“It’s a super cool thing for the community here, but also to bring in tourism,” she said. “People are coming in and staying a couple days. They’ll also tour the city and see what kind of stuff is going on. I think that’s really nice.”

After the first Halal Restaurant Week, some participating restaurants shifted to offering halal options part or full time year-round.

Halal is an Arabic word meaning permissible. Ingredients for each dish, especially meats, must be prepared in a specific way to comply with a halal diet. Most notably, pork and alcohol are prohibited.

“You don’t have to adhere to a halal diet in order to participate,” Zaibak said.

Respite Dining Night

New this year, Halal Restaurant Week will include a respite dining event, allowing families and caregivers to take a night off and enjoy an evening of halal dining.

Volunteers, including certified caregivers and CNAs, will be on-site at the ISM Brookfield on July 8 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., offering games, pizza and a movie night.

Registration is available online and must be completed by July 5

Additional information, including restaurant description and location, menus and answers to frequently asked questions, is available on the Eat Halal Milwaukee website. Event information will also be shared via Facebook.

The website also includes a list of Milwaukee restaurants that are fully or partially halal year-round.

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Categories: Events, Food & Drink

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