Ramadan, the holy month observed by millions of Muslims worldwide, is a time of fasting, reflection, and community. From dawn until sunset, those observing abstain from food and drink, culminating each day in iftar, the meal that breaks the fast. Iftar is more than just a daily ritual; it’s a cherished tradition that brings family and friends together in a spirit of gratitude and fellowship. The meal is a celebration of the day’s patience and spiritual reflection, often shared with loved ones in homes and restaurants alike.

Finding the perfect spot for iftar is crucial, as it adds to the joy and communal spirit of Ramadan. It’s about combining delicious, nourishing food with a warm, welcoming atmosphere where all can feel at home. With this in mind, the aim of this blog post is to shine a light on the top 10 best restaurants for iftar near Jersey City, New Jersey in 2024. Among these culinary gems, we will pay special attention to La Braise African Grill, a restaurant that stands out for its exceptional offerings and the unique experience it provides to those breaking their fast. Join us as we explore these iftar havens, each promising to elevate your Ramadan evenings with their delectable cuisines and inviting ambiance.

Understanding Iftar

Iftar, the meal that marks the end of the daily Ramadan fast, holds deep cultural and religious significance for Muslims around the world. As the sun sets and the day’s fast is broken, iftar becomes a moment of joy and gratitude, reflecting the discipline and devotion of those who observe Ramadan. This meal is not just about nourishment; it’s a time for community, family, and spiritual reflection, embodying the principles of generosity and sharing that are central to the Muslim faith.

The foods and dishes served during iftar vary greatly across the Muslim world, showcasing a rich tapestry of culinary traditions and flavors. In many cultures, the meal begins with the consumption of dates and water, a practice rooted in the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s teachings, which is believed to bring blessings. Following this, a diverse array of dishes may be presented, ranging from savory soups and stews to rich, meaty entrees and an assortment of sweets and desserts.

In the Middle East, for example, iftar might include lentil soup, fattoush (a Levantine bread salad), and main dishes like lamb kofta or chicken shawarma, accompanied by sweet treats such as baklava. In South Asia, the iftar table is often adorned with samosas, fruit chaats, and biryani, followed by desserts like gulab jamun or kheer. Meanwhile, in parts of Africa, including near New Jersey’s La Braise African Grill, iftar could feature dishes like harira (a Moroccan soup), jollof rice, and succulent grilled meats, reflecting the continent’s diverse culinary heritage.

This diversity in iftar meals underscores the vast cultural richness within the Muslim community and the universal joy of breaking the fast together. Each dish, with its unique flavors and ingredients, tells a story of its people’s history, geography, and traditions, making iftar a truly global celebration of faith, culture, and culinary artistry.

Why New Jersey?

Why New Jersey

New Jersey stands as a mosaic of cultural diversity, a melting pot where various ethnic backgrounds and traditions blend harmoniously. This richness is particularly evident in its vibrant Muslim community, which is an integral part of the city’s social fabric. From mosques that serve as community hubs to cultural festivals that light up the streets, the presence and influence of the Muslim community are palpable, adding depth and vibrancy to the city’s identity.

This diversity is nowhere more reflected than in New Jersey’s culinary scene. The city boasts an array of restaurants offering cuisines from every corner of the Muslim world, making it a prime destination for those seeking authentic iftar experiences. Whether it’s Middle Eastern, South Asian, African, or a fusion of culinary traditions, Jersey City’s restaurants cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences, embodying the spirit of Ramadan through their diverse menus and warm hospitality.

During Ramadan, the city transforms, with many of its eateries offering special iftar menus designed to bring people together in celebration and reflection. From traditional dishes that have been prepared in Muslim households for generations to contemporary interpretations that blend different culinary traditions, the iftar dining options in New Jersey are as varied as the community itself. This not only makes New Jersey an ideal location for breaking the fast but also offers a unique opportunity to explore the culinary diversity of the Muslim world right in the heart of New Jersey. Whether you’re observing Ramadan or simply wish to partake in the iftar experience, New Jersey’s dynamic dining scene offers something for everyone, making it a beloved destination for both locals and visitors alike.

La Braise African Grill: A Premier Choice for Iftar

La Braise African Grill: A Premier Choice for Iftar

La Braise African Grill emerges as a premier choice for iftar, distinguishing itself with an exceptional culinary journey that perfectly complements the spirit of Ramadan. Nestled in the heart of Jersey City’s tapestry of cultures, La Braise offers a warm, inviting atmosphere where friends and families can gather to break their fast in an environment that feels both comforting and celebratory. The restaurant’s ambiance, adorned with African art and soft lighting, sets a serene backdrop for the evening’s iftar, creating a space where the day’s reflections and connections can be savored alongside the meal.

The menu at La Braise African Grill is a testament to the rich and diverse culinary traditions of Africa, thoughtfully curated to cater to the iftar experience. Specializing in dishes that are not only delicious but also nourishing, the restaurant ensures that each offering is ideal for those breaking their fast. Highlights include succulent lamb tagine, richly flavored with spices and dried fruits, and savory jollof rice, a West African staple that combines rice, tomatoes, and a variety of spices and vegetables, offering a hearty and fulfilling dish to start the meal. Also popular is their sambusas, a perfect appetizer filled with a choice of spiced meats or vegetables, and their grilled chicken marinated in a blend of herbs and spices, embodying the essence of home-cooked comfort food ideal for iftar.

La Braise African Grill stands out as a top choice for iftar in Jersey City, offering not just a meal, but an experience that resonates with the values and essence of Ramadan. Through its delectable cuisine, inviting atmosphere, and heartfelt hospitality, La Braise is a place where the fast is broken, and the spirit of the season is truly celebrated.

Top Restaurants for Iftar Near Jersey City

Jersey City, known for its cultural diversity, offers a plethora of dining options that cater to the iftar experience during Ramadan. From traditional Middle Eastern eateries to South Asian bistros, the city’s culinary scene is rich with choices for those observing the fast. Here’s a look at nine other restaurants near Jersey City, each offering unique iftar experiences that blend culinary excellence with cultural authenticity.

1. Oasis Middle Eastern Restaurant: Specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine, Oasis provides a traditional iftar with dishes like hummus, falafel, and lamb kebabs. Its warm ambiance and authentic flavors make it a favored spot for breaking the fast.

2. Bombay Bistro: This Indian restaurant offers a special iftar buffet featuring an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, including biryani, tandoori chicken, and various curries, perfect for those craving flavors from the Indian subcontinent.

3. Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant: Offering a taste of North Africa, Casablanca serves up Moroccan favorites such as harira soup and chicken tagine. The restaurant’s unique decor and traditional Moroccan mint tea provide a truly authentic iftar experience.

4. Istanbul Grill & Deli: Focused on Turkish cuisine, this grill and deli offer iftar specials like stuffed grape leaves, kebabs, and the ever-popular baklava. Its friendly atmosphere and hearty dishes make it an excellent choice for iftar.

5. Kabul Afghan Cuisine: Highlighting the flavors of Afghanistan, Kabul serves dishes ideal for iftar, such as mantu (dumplings) and kabuli palaw. The restaurant’s use of aromatic spices and traditional cooking methods offers a unique dining experience.

6. Aladdin’s Lebanese Cuisine: With a focus on Lebanese dishes, Aladdin’s is known for its meze platters, grilled meats, and lentil soup, providing a balanced iftar meal in a cozy setting.

7. Saffron Indian Cuisine: This restaurant offers a special iftar menu with a variety of Indian dishes, including samosas, butter chicken, and naan bread. Saffron’s rich spices and flavorful dishes are ideal for breaking the fast.

8. Zaytoon Mediterranean Grill: Zaytoon provides a casual dining experience with dishes such as shawarma, tabbouleh, and baba ganoush. It’s a great place for those looking to break their fast with fresh, healthy Mediterranean options.


Each of these restaurants near Jersey City brings something special to the iftar table, offering a variety of cuisines and dishes to satisfy every palate. Their commitment to providing a memorable iftar experience makes them standout choices for those observing Ramadan in the Jersey City area.

Tips for Enjoying Iftar Out

Enjoying iftar out at a restaurant can be a delightful experience that combines culinary exploration with the spirit of Ramadan. To make the most out of your iftar dining, consider these tips: Firstly, making reservations is crucial, especially during Ramadan, when many people are looking to break their fast outside. This ensures you have a spot at your preferred restaurant without long waits. Secondly, use this time as an opportunity to explore different cuisines. Trying various iftar menus can expand your palate and introduce you to new culinary traditions. Finally, remember the importance of communal dining during Ramadan. Sharing a meal with family and friends not only enhances the iftar experience but also strengthens bonds and embraces the communal spirit of the month. Enjoying iftar out is about more than just the food; it’s about the shared experience and the memories you create together.

Iftar, the meal that breaks the fast during Ramadan, is more than just a daily ritual; it is a profound expression of gratitude, community, and spiritual reflection. Dining out for iftar presents a unique opportunity for cultural exchange and community building, allowing individuals to come together in a shared space of appreciation and understanding. It offers a window into the diverse culinary traditions of the Muslim world, enriching the Ramadan experience by exploring new flavors and stories.

As we look forward to Ramadan 2024, let us embrace the spirit of inclusivity and curiosity. Venturing into Jersey City’s diverse culinary scene for iftar can open doors to new understandings and friendships. We encourage you to explore La Braise African Grill and the other wonderful restaurants mentioned, as a way to celebrate the richness of our community. May this Ramadan season bring you joy, peace, and delightful culinary discoveries.

FAQs about best restaurants for Iftar in New Jersey

Iftar is the meal consumed by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan to break their daily fast. It holds great religious significance as it follows the sunnah (practice) of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and is a time for community, reflection, and gratitude.

Yes, New Jersey boasts a rich and diverse culinary scene, offering a wide range of iftar options that cater to various tastes and preferences, including traditional Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African cuisines, among others.

La Braise African Grill is highly recommended for iftar because of its authentic African dishes, warm ambiance, and the special halal menu curated by the owner, Miss Karen Koblan. The restaurant’s commitment to quality and hospitality makes it a top choice for breaking your fast.

Yes, making reservations is highly recommended, especially during Ramadan, when many people are looking to dine out for iftar. Reservations help ensure you have a seamless dining experience without the wait, particularly at popular spots like La Braise African Grill.

Dining out for iftar offers a unique opportunity for people of different backgrounds to come together and share a meal, fostering a sense of community and mutual respect. It allows for cultural exchange as individuals learn about and appreciate the culinary traditions and practices associated with Ramadan, enhancing understanding and inclusivity within the community.