Last year, I wrote about how difficult it was for me, a Muslim, to find halal food here in America, specifically in Madison, WI. Now, I'm back with good news. After almost five months of occasional meals out, I've found the six best halal restaurants and other alternatives in Madison that will definitely satisfy your taste buds.

The Halal Restaurants

1. Maharani Indian Restaurant

Maharani is an authentic Indian restaurant located on W Washington Ave and is my go-to place when I'm in the mood for some spicy, halal Indian food. My favorite dish here has got to be their lamb saag (Google it!). It's served with aromatic basmati rice and if you're dining in, some papadam too.

2. Palmyra Mediterranean Grill 

Directly opposite of Insomnia Cookies on State, Palmyra Mediterranean Grill serves amazing Mediterranean food and a variety of Western dishes. I usually get my cheeseburger fix here, just because it's the only halal restaurant that serves it, but their gyro sandwich is pretty awesome too.

3. Gyros Express

If you're planning on taking a trip over to the West Towne Mall, head over to the food court and grab a decent Philly cheesesteak sandwich from this stall. It's not the best I've tasted, but I can't complain. They also have fried chicken, if you're into that.

The Alternatives

When you're bored of curry from Maharani, hummus from Palmyra, or gyros from Gyros Express, these following restaurants' got you covered. They don't serve halal food per se, but they have several dishes on the menu that can surely pass the "halal test". These are dishes that contain seafood, veggies, or are alcohol-free. 

1. Glaze Teriyaki

This sophisticated restaurant situated near Mooyah on State serves fairly sized portions of salmon and tofu teriyaki dishes that I personally love. The salad that goes with it is fresh and you can choose your own dressing (sesame's my favorite!) Also, for those of you who have doubts, their staff told me – twice – that there is no alcohol in their teriyaki sauce, so you're good to go!

2. Colectivo

You heard me! Colectivo serves more than just good coffee. They have a range of baked goods that you can choose from: muffins, bars, pastries, you name it. But the show stealer is their falafel burger. Made of chickpeas, the patty is 100% meat-free but tastes amazing. You'll also get a bag of Miss Vickie's chips along with it.

3. Sunroom Cafe

This timeless classic just above Campus Street Sportswear serves hearty meals that make me feel warm and good inside. I had the cajun shrimp sandwich and I savoured every bite of it even though I have mild shellfish allergies. For me to put my life at risk like that just means it's extremely worth it. They also have a decent brunch menu on Sundays.

Madison's best halal eateries and best alternatives sound pretty awesome, don't you think? It kind of makes up for the lack of options we Muslims have around here. Muslim or not, give these restaurants a try and spread the word from one foodie to another. Bon appétite!