Halal Food in La Paz

Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Bolivia, Countries | 8 comments

We arrived in Bolivia two weeks ago as part of our round-the-world journey. Prior to Bolivia we were at my uncle’s house in Los Angles, and worrying about halal food wasn’t really an issue. The trip to Bolivia, however, made us question if we would be able to find halal food while traveling.

In an attempt to answer this question, we did a search online and Google searched to find proper places for halal food. We found nothing, which was a bit depressing, since we planned to spend around three months in this country! But on our second or third day we went to extend our visas, and from there we wandered around downtown La Paz. While we were walking, we saw a big sign for a Masjid, and this was the most exciting part of the day (along with the renewal of our visas).

As Muslims, we were so relieved—finally a place where we could pray and also ask all the questions we had about Islam in Bolivia. We went and had a short but interesting discussion with the Masjid keeper. He also drew a map of the other three Masjids in La Paz, and answered all our questions with a smile. Unfortunately, he also mentioned that we would not be able to find halal food in La Paz, and that we should stick to our vegetarian diet & fish. He also mentioned that As Salam Masjid might sell some halal products, but we needed to check with them.

With the Masjid keeper in La Paz

We then went to visit As Salam Masjid and met the nice women who were there at the time of Maghreb prayers. After the prayers we asked them about the halal products they had, and they answered that the only meat they had was chicken.

Since we didn’t have a place to cook, it seemed pointless to buy the halal chicken! And also because we were planning to travel the next day to another city in Bolivia (Cochabamba), it was very difficult to make any further arrangements. They also confirmed that there were no Masjids in Cochabamba, and therefore we would not be able to find halal food.

As Salam Masjid, Salat Place

In conclusion, the only halal food you can find in Bolivia is at As Salam Masjid in La Paz, and it consist of raw Chicken. You might stick to a vegetarian diet, and also eat fish!

Depressing?

8 Comments

  1. Al 7amdullah 3la kol shey! The most important is to eat something !

  2. I have not seen it yet but liked ur post

  3. Dears,

    Thanks a lot for your very helpful article.
    Please do you have contact for As Salam Masjid keeper?
    Are you sure not Arab restaurants there at all?
    What about local transportation “like Taxi”? what you recommend?

    • We’re happy you liked our post 🙂 Unfortunately we don’t have the contacts of the masjed but we believe it can be found online. The only arab restaurants we found in La Paz ‘not halal’ were lebanese restaurant chain and one moroccan restaurant.

      • Restaurant Jalal: 392 Sagarnaga | Esquina Illampu, La Paz, Bolivia
      • Cafe Beirut: Av. Montenegro esq. Calle 18, San Miguel, La Paz
      • Marrakech: Calle Jimenez 774, La Paz, Bolivia

      There are plenty of taxis in La Paz, the radio taxis with a prominent telephone number on the roof are the most reliable according to Lonely Planet forums. Make sure that the driver reports by radio to his office that he has a fare. If he doesn´t in reasonable time after picking you up, say “module, por favor”. He should not pick up any more passengers. If he tries to, get out.

      Enjoy your visit, Bolivia is a lovely beautiful place.

  4. Thanks a lot for the detailed answer
    Hope Arab restaurants take in their considerations to provide Halal food 🙁

    • Happy to be able to help!

      The demand for halal food is not that big in Bolivia/South America, the masjed would be your only resource for halal chicken and you need to speak Spanish as English is not very common there. The chicken is raw not cooked, you need to arrange for cooking as well. The other option would be to become vegetarian LOL.

  5. Sorry Bassel, in your first posted photo inside Masjied, I noticed photo at background for imam Khomeini
    is this for shiite

    • Yes this photo (the first one with the masjed keeper) was taken in a Shia masjid while the other photo which is for the As Salam masjid is a sunni one.

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