How to eat healthy and halal on your next visit to Orlando, Florida

While Orlando is well known for their halal cheese-steaks, it’s not all about fast-food and the heartburn that follows.

While Orlando is well known for their halal cheese-steaks, it’s not all about fast-food and the heartburn that follows.

Traveling can be fun and exciting. But making healthy meal choices on your vacation consistently can be hard. It’s easy to pick the first halal spot you find and be happy, but it may throw your diet goals out the window. While Orlando is well known for their halal cheese-steaks, it’s not all about fast-food and the heartburn that follows. Thankfully, Orlando has more to offer from a healthy halal dining perspective. Many halal restaurants have adopted healthier, fresh options to suit their customer desires.   

If you’re looking to stay on track with your healthy diet while visiting the City Beautiful, this TOP 5 list should give you a running start. I’ve also focused on halal restaurants near the theme park hub of Disney, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld to make it more convenient for visitors who are already in the area. However, if you are like me and feel Vacation Calories don’t count, not to worry, I got lots of TOP 5 lists for you for cheat-day foods too on the blog. Be sure to check those out after. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.  

1) Melt’d Subs and Grill

Opened in early 2017, this halal restaurant has employed the Subway model to build their brand. They provide fresh, made-to-order meals for you to enjoy. They offer sandwiches, rice bowls, and salads which you can customize to your heart’s desire. They are located near SeaWorld and cater mostly to the office and business lunch crowd as reflected in their hours of operation. There is plenty of free parking and dine in space. 

2) Hot Krust

This family-owned panini shop has been open for over 4 years and is near I-Drive and Universal Studios. They offer fresh, made to order sandwiches (made on white or whole wheat paninis) and salads. They offer vegan and gluten-free options, and also have a plant based burger (the Impossible Burger).

Of note, the chili is the only item on the menu that is not halal and halal turkey needs to be specified at the time of ordering, while all other meats including beef, chicken and lamb are available as halal only. It may be difficult to see the shop, but it’s in the Whole Foods plaza next to the Dunkin Donuts with plenty of free parking. They are open 7 days a week so be sure to check out their daily specials. 

3) The Mexican Camel

This fusion restaurant is the first of its kind for Orlando, combining both halal Mexican and Middle-Eastern culinary classics. They have adopted a Chipotle-style model using fresh ingredients that can be combined to create customized dishes. They offer wraps (including burritos and tacos), salads, and rice bowls. The open space, vibrant colours and décor of the restaurant welcomes you in and leaves you ready for some bold flavors.

All the ingredients are on display for you to pick and choose as staff encourage and guide you to create your custom meal. Located off I-Drive near Universal Studios and the I-Drive Premium Outlet Mall, it is tucked away in the back side of a large strip plaza. Use the Boot Barn as your landmark. There’s plenty of free parking. My tip: Always say yes to the fresh guacamole.

4) B and B Express

This halal fast-food joint is an unlikely candidate on this list, but it’s the way they prepare their burgers and fries which have earned them a spot. They don’t grill and fry their burger and fries in the typical manner. Rather, they use an air fryer to reduce the oils and fats. While you are still eating a burger and fries, it’s slightly healthier. They are located in front of a mosque near Disney and are open late, making it a convenient spot to eat and pray. Parking can be limited, especially around prayer times. 

5) Jerusalem

This Middle-Eastern restaurant with its primarily grilled menu is sure to satisfy the health conscious consumer and delight the taste buds. Located near the entrance of Disney World, this family-owned halal restaurant is open late on most nights so families can enjoy the day at the theme park and then have a nice formal dining experience to finish off the night. The internal décor takes you away to the sands of the Sahara with their North-African theme. The value for the experience and food portions balance out the higher price point given the tourist location. It is located in a strip plaza with ample free parking.

While I’m definitely not a calorie counter, especially on vacation, I see the trends towards healthier options and meal choices. The halal restaurants in Orlando are also noting this trend and adapting to cater to all customers. 

Looking for other halal options in the Orlando area? Let me be your guide to the Orlando halal food scene. Follow me, the Halal Food Guru, here, as I highlight the best halal restaurants that Orlando and other great cities in Florida have to offer.  Also, don’t forget to share this post with friends and family that may be traveling to Orlando or Florida!