To be honest, halal restaurants are hard to find in Samara, but there are a few scattered around town. Alternatively, some of the cafés should be able to rustle up something if you’re stuck sightseeing and feeling hungry. However, make sure you check out these halal restaurants first if you are in the mood for a feast.
Valley Halal Teahouse
Restaurant, Russian, Middle Eastern, $$$
A fairly unassuming place, Valley Teahouse is a no-frills café offering halal food all day long, served up by a friendly staff. Valley serves up chunky shashlik skewers and Central Asian-style salads. It is centrally located, so it is not a bad option if you are out and about sightseeing.
Probably the best bet for a tasty halal meal in Samara, Al Halal’s menu is filled with shashliks, grilled vegetables and Central Asian broths and manti, which are large juicy dumplings. Another no-frills affair, the restaurant is simple but efficient. It also makes fresh coffee, so you can also get a caffeine fix here, whether you want a latte, cappuccino or a strong espresso. Also, the restaurant delivers as well.
An Uzbek restaurant in the heart of the city. While the restaurant is still fairly casual, the décor is a little nicer than some of the other halal restaurants in Samara. It is a family-friendly restaurant, and the service is fast. The portions of pilaf, shashlik and other national dishes are large, and the prices are cheap, so the place gets busy – especially during the lunchtime rush.
The Puri chain has an excellent selection of Georgian wine, so the cafés and bakeries are definitely not halal. However, these well-loved institutions serve up Georgian food, including a selection of stuffed breads, so any one of the Cafe Puris should be your best bet in finding a halal meal if you’re are in pinch. Eat khachapuri (fresh stuffed bread) and khinkali (dumplings) in a modern but relaxed environment, or try a light pastry or dessert with a cup of sweet tea or coffee.
On the grounds of the Samara Cathedral Mosque is a small little teahouse in a yurt that fits 20 people at a time. It is affordable, and ideal for grabbing a snack and a cup of tea on the go. However, it does prepare larger meals if you are feeling peckish. The mosque itself was designed by local architect Rasim Walshin and built in the late 1990s, and it is one of the largest in Russia.