Kaliningrad has risen in popularity as a tourist destination in recent years, thanks largely to the 2018 World Cup. As a result, the city has seen an influx of fantastic international bars, cosy cafés and gourmet restaurants. This includes vegan, vegetarian and halal joints all earning a good trade and ensuring the city has some truly gastronomic appeal. This list of halal-focused restaurants is perfect for those who keep their diets within the laws of Islam.
No doubt, kebabs will feature a lot on this list, as many of the kebab places are owned by Muslims living in Kaliningrad, and they adhere strictly to the halal guidelines. For a great halal kebab in Kaliningrad, try Kebab King, located on Ulitsa Generala Sommera, about half way from the Upper Pond and the city centre. Here, they have the usual selection of döner kebabs from the vertical grill plus barbecued kebabs. The barbecue kebabs are on metal sticks, cooked in shashlik style. It is a small and cosy fast food outlet, which is open 24 hours a day. The price of the kebabs here are also very cheap, starting at 120 rubles (£1.50). It can get busy late on Friday and Saturday evenings when the pubs empty.
Shark is an Uzbek restaurant in the heart of Kaliningrad, bringing a unique halal taste from the streets of Tashkent to Russia’s European enclave. Food is always fresh, tasty and well priced. All items are genuine halal products, including the lamb shashliks, the genuine Uzbek-style plov (a meat, rice and vegetable dish) or the thick lamb soup with pelmeni inside. Prices are reasonable, and the menu is in Russian only. The venue also serves up coffee, tea and soft drinks and is one of the finest Central Asian restaurants in the city.
With a clever pun in its name, Pita Bull is a perfect place for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. There are halal products included on the menu, but be sure to confirm with staff which products are halal before ordering. Try the bull (beef) inside pita, which gives the restaurant its title. Pita Bull is a typical kebab joint that specialises in quick service, cheap prices and tasty food. From shashlik to burgers to kebabs, it’s a mix of Greek, Russian and Turkish food all in one. Freshly sourced and sliced vegetables are added on the side, and Pita Bull also has some sweet treats such as muffins and cookies. There are soft drinks available to accompany your kebab. Pita Bull is located on Ulitsa Oktyabr’skaya, right in the heart of central Kaliningrad and is one of the most well-known kebab houses in the city.
Döner Khit is a 24-hour kebab shop situated on Frunze Street in Kaliningrad. Here you can expect to get a Turkish-style halal kebab packed full to suit the Russian market. Kebabs range from a rolled kebab with lamb, beef or chicken to the open kebab with spicy sauce and fries on the side. This is a fast food takeaway venue with limited seating inside. However, the food is served fast and to the halal guidelines, as well as being very good value. There is a fridge full of drinks, and this is part of a chain. There are a few other outlets from the Döner Khit chain in the city, but the Frunze Street one remains the most central.
Teahouse Tashkent is another super restaurant in Kaliningrad that takes its inspiration from Central Asian food dishes, again with a focus on Uzbekistan. As well as a fine blend of Asian teas, served in a pot, the food menu ensures that it remains within the guidelines of authentic halal dishes. Meat dishes such as the beef plov or the lamb shashlik are all assured by staff to be halal, and this is backed up by numerous halal websites that have included this place in their guides. It’s a chilled out and casual restaurant, too – you can relax and stay a while, and it’s a lot more than just its ‘teahouse’ title suggests. In fact, at weekends, the Teahouse Tashkent stays open until 2am.
Joining the influx of standout kebab joints in Kaliningrad city is FES Döner, which features some excellent halal choices on their menu. The restaurant is located centrally on Port Street down by the river, and opposite the Ibis Hotel. By staying open until the early morning, FES Döner caters toward late-night eaters. The lamb döner kebabs are typically Turkish and Iranian-style, adhering to strict halal laws. All kebabs can be accompanied with fresh, crisp salads and a range of sauces including garlic and chilli. The kebab skewers/shashlik are served with onion, tomato and herbs.