The Muslim community in the United States has grown significantly over the years, and it is estimated that there are over 3.5 million Muslims in the country. In every city I have been to the US has been very easy to find halal food and mosques to pray in. So I thought I would do a guide of the most muslim friendly cities in the US to visit.
I love the United States because it is so diverse considering how vast the country is you can easily take years to explore it all. I love the diversity, the nature and the fact that most cities are welcoming to Muslim visitors.
What I mean by Muslim Friendly Cities
With 3.5 million Muslims in the country and thousands of others visiting every year, you are bound to find a halal food shop or a mosque, especially in the most popular places. Did you know that even Last Vegas for most is considered a non-go has a large Muslim community?
A Muslim-friendly city for me first and foremost is a place where you can easily feel welcome and safe as a Muslim traveler. Then it is how easy it is to find halal restaurants in the city, which in the US you don’t have a problem and finally the places you can pray. Since Muslims can shorten and pray in their hotel rooms this is my last point.
Of course, this is my opinion and you can have your own, but after travelling to so many places my first and foremost is safety, then the food and prayer. I am not even bothered a lot by halal as I am happy with fish and veggies but I know for most people halal food is very important.
The Muslim population in the US
The Muslim community in the US has been growing steadily over the years. According to a report by Pew Research Center, there were about 3.45 million Muslims of all ages living in the US in 2017, and Muslims made up about 1.1% of the total US population. The report also states that the US Muslim community is made up heavily of immigrants and the children of immigrants from around the world, including the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Turkey.
The Muslim population in the US has been growing due to various factors, including immigration, birth rates, and conversion. Immigration has been the primary driver of the growth of the Muslim community in the US. The US has been a popular destination for Muslim immigrants from around the world, including the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Another factor contributing to the growth of the Muslim community in the US is conversion. While conversion rates are difficult to measure, some estimates suggest that thousands of Americans convert to Islam each year. Many of these converts are attracted to Islam’s emphasis on social justice, equality, and community.
Overall, the growth of the Muslim population in the US is a reflection of the country’s diversity and openness to people of different cultures and religions. The Muslim community in the US is a vibrant and diverse community that has made significant contributions to American society and culture.
1. New York
New York City is one of the most Muslim-friendly cities in the USA, with a large Muslim population and plenty of halal food options. Most of Muslims in the United States live in the states of New York and New Jersey, making it an ideal destination for Muslim travelers.
New York City has many mosques, including the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, which is located in Manhattan. The mosque is open to visitors and offers tours to non-Muslims.
When it comes to halal food, New York City has no shortage of options. From halal street food vendors to high-end halal restaurants, Muslim travelers will have plenty of choices. Some popular halal restaurants include The Halal Guys, Mamouns Falafel, and Kebab Empire. Queens and the Bronx are particularly known for their halal food scene.
New York City is a bustling metropolis, and there is no shortage of things to do and see. From the iconic Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building, there are plenty of famous landmarks to visit. Muslim travelers can also enjoy the city’s rich cultural offerings, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art.
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2. San Franscico, California
California is a popular destination for Muslims in the United States due to its diverse population and numerous attractions. In addition, the state has several cities that are considered Muslim-friendly, including San Francisco.
San Francisco combines stunning natural scenery with a thriving multicultural scene, making it an ideal destination for cultural exploration and outdoor adventures.
The city is home to a large Muslim community, and there are several halal restaurants in the city that offer a variety of cuisines. Some of the most popular halal restaurants in San Francisco include Alhamra Restaurant, which serves Pakistani and Indian cuisine, and The Halal Guys, which offers Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.
In addition to halal restaurants, California also has several mosques and Islamic centers such as the Islamic Society of San Francisco.
Overall, California is a great destination for Muslims in the United States, with plenty of halal food options and Islamic centers available.
3. Los Angeles
While it may not be the first place that comes to mind for Muslim travelers, Los Angeles offers a plethora of Muslim-friendly amenities and experiences that make it an exceptional destination. It is also one of the cities with the largest Muslim community in the United States with over 170,000 Muslims calling it home.
The Islamic Center of Southern California, located in downtown LA, and other prominent mosques include the King Fahad Mosque and the Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley. Los Angeles is home to a thriving Muslim community, and you’ll find a variety of mosques and Islamic centers spread throughout the city.
LA boasts an impressive array of halal restaurant options from mouthwatering shawarmas at restaurants to Food trucks, like the renowned The Halal Guys.
Michigan is a state located in the Great Lakes region of the United States. It has a diverse population with a significant number of Muslims living in the state. One of the cities in Michigan with a large Muslim population is Dearborn. According to Zip Atlas, Dearborn has a 44.93% Arab population, making it the city with the highest percentage of Arab population in Michigan.
Another city with a significant Muslim population is Hamtramck. In fact, Hamtramck has become the first known city in the US with a government made up entirely of Muslims, according to the Muslim Public Affairs Council. The city council in Hamtramck is entirely Muslim, which is a significant milestone for the Muslim community in the United States.
Detroit is another city in Michigan with a significant Muslim population. The city has several mosques, including the Islamic Center of Detroit, which is one of the oldest mosques in the United States. The mosque has a rich history and has been a hub for the Muslim community in Detroit for over a century.
Michigan is a Muslim-friendly state with several halal restaurants, grocery stores, and mosques. The state has a diverse population, and Muslims are an integral part of the community.
As one of the largest cities in the United States, Chicago is a hub of cultural diversity and inclusivity. A large and vibrant Muslim community, with many mosques, halal restaurants, and cultural events. Muslim travelers can feel comfortable and welcome in Chicago, and can easily find resources and support within the community. Muslims in Chicago have a rich history, dating back to the late 1800s when the first Muslim immigrants arrived in the city. Over time, the Muslim community has grown and flourished, contributing to the cultural fabric of the city.
Halal food is widely available in Chicago, with numerous restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, from Middle Eastern to South Asian, African, and more.
Chicago is also home to several Islamic educational institutions, such as the American Islamic College and the Islamic Foundation School, as well as numerous non-profit organizations that provide social services, advocacy, and support for the Muslim community.
I visited Chicago solo earlier this year and felt safe as a solo Muslim woman without an issue and I loved my time there. Would happily go back and explore more outside the city limits.
Read more: Review of LondonHouse Chicago
5. Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas, a sprawling metropolis known for its diverse culture and warm hospitality, stands out as an exceptional destination for Muslim travelers. With a thriving Muslim community, a wealth of cultural attractions, and a plethora of Muslim-friendly options, Houston offers an enriching and welcoming experience for visitors of all backgrounds.
Houston is home to The Museum of Fine Arts, one of the largest art museums in America, which houses pieces from Islamic and Arab artists. Also, the annual Houston Palestine Film Festival celebrates Palestine’s narrative and culture through film.
Texas is renowned for its breathtaking natural landscapes, from the rugged beauty of Big Bend National Park to the Gulf Coast’s serene beaches. These natural wonders provide opportunities for outdoor activities, reflection, and relaxation, allowing Muslims to reconnect with nature and find spiritual inspiration.
Overall Texas has a great community with many prominent Islamic scholars residing in the state, such as Yasir Qadhi and Omar Suleiman among many.
There is no shortage of halal food or mosques to pray in the state.
6. Washington DC
One of my favourite cities in the US that I find very muslim friendly is Washington. I have been to the US capital twice now and I would happily visit again.
The nation’s capital is renowned for its world-class cultural attractions that appeal to travelers of all interests. Museums, galleries, and historical sites abound, allowing visitors to delve into the country’s history, art, and culture. The National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Smithsonian museums, such as the National Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art, provide opportunities to explore the diverse heritage and contributions of Americans from various backgrounds, including Muslim-Americans.
The city but as a whole the state of Virginia has a very large and thriving Muslim community, a wealth of Islamic centers, halal dining options, and a strong commitment to cultural diversity, Washington, D.C. offers a welcoming and enriching experience for Muslim visitors.
7. Miami, Florida
Florida is a popular tourist destination known for its sunny beaches, theme parks, and warm weather. It is also home to a growing Muslim population, with an estimated 70,000 Muslims in the South Florida area alone.
Muslim tourists visiting Florida can find several Halal food options in Miami, including Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine. Many restaurants in the area are certified Halal, ensuring that Muslim visitors can enjoy their meals with peace of mind.
In addition to Halal food options, Miami also has several mosques and prayer facilities for Muslim visitors. The Islamic Center of Greater Miami is one of the largest mosques in the area and offers daily prayers, Jummah prayer, and Islamic classes.
Boston, Massachusetts, might not be the first city that comes to mind when one thinks of Muslim-friendly destinations, but it certainly deserves a spot on the list. The city is home to a growing and diverse Muslim community, with mosques, Islamic centers, and cultural organizations catering to the needs of residents and visitors alike.
Places like the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center provide a welcoming environment for spiritual growth and community engagement. Furthermore, Boston’s world-renowned educational institutions offer numerous opportunities for Muslim students, fostering an atmosphere of intellectual growth and cultural exchange.
The city’s rich history, iconic landmarks, and commitment to inclusivity make it an ideal destination for those looking to explore both their faith and the cultural heritage of the United States. With a variety of halal dining options and a welcoming atmosphere, Boston invites Muslim travelers to discover its unique blend of tradition and modernity.
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9. New Jersey
New Jersey is home to a significant Muslim population, with an estimated 85,956 Arab Americans living in the state, according to the 2005-2009 American Community Survey. The state ranks fifth among the Arab American population, behind states such as California, Michigan, and New York. Muslims in New Jersey live throughout all of the state’s counties, with the highest concentration in the northeastern part of the state, particularly in the cities of Paterson and Jersey City.
Paterson, located in Passaic County, has a rich Islamic history and is known as the “Silk City” due to its history as a major center for silk production in the late 19th century. The city is home to a significant Muslim population, with over 25 mosques and Islamic centers, making it one of the largest Muslim communities in the United States. The Islamic Center of Passaic County, located in Paterson, is one of the largest mosques in the country and hosts numerous events and programs for the local Muslim community.
If you are looking to visit New York but want to immerse yourself in the local community then staying in New Jersey and commuting for sightseeing to New York City can make a great option for you.
10. Las Vegas
Believe it or not, the first city I ever visited in the US was Las Vegas for a conference. You might not consider the “Sin City” Muslim-friendly however there is so much to do in and around the city that it is a destination not to be missed. There are approximately 24,000 Muslims living the the city with mosques, halal food restaurants and family-friendly experiences that don’t include casinos.
Muslims should consider visiting Las Vegas and its surrounding areas for a unique blend of experiences. Beyond the famous Las Vegas Strip, the region offers stunning natural beauty, including the nearby Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead. These areas provide opportunities for outdoor activities, hiking, and relaxation, allowing Muslims to connect with nature and find tranquillity amidst the city’s vibrancy.
We rented a car and drove to the Grand Canyon which even today is one of my favourite memories of the trip.
I have visited the United States on numerous occasions over the years and I have come to enjoy my exploration and also the country as a whole. There are so many Muslim-friendly options that cater to the needs and preferences of Muslim visitors. Safety, accessibility to halal food, and the availability of prayer spaces are key factors that make a city Muslim-friendly.
Ultimately, the United States offers a multitude of Muslim-friendly cities to explore, each with its own unique charm and attractions. As the Muslim community continues to grow and thrive in the United States, the number of Muslim-friendly cities and resources for Muslim travelers will undoubtedly expand, making the country an even more appealing destination. So, whether you’re a history buff, a food enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, there’s a Muslim-friendly city in the US waiting for you to explore and enjoy.