Around Town

‘Dine After Dark’ Returns, but Ramadan Options Still Limited by Pandemic

A year after the pandemic severely limited Ramadan dining options, Arlingtonians preparing for iftar will likely find this year a little easier.

The Islamic holiday runs from today (April 12) through May 12 and traditionally involves fasting between sunrise and sunset.

Dine After Dark, a program that helps point local Muslims to halal options, is back this year with a new directory of options throughout the region. While some restaurants are returning to in-restaurant gatherings, the program noted in a press release that they will focus this year on carry-out and delivery options.

“As we prepare for our second celebration of Ramadan under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and protocols, we recognize the challenges still facing both our Member Businesses and our customers this holiday season,” says Dine After Dark’s President and founder, Katherine Ashworth Brandt, in a press release. “Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to modify Dine After Dark’s celebration of Ramadan for a second year in a row and forego offering extended holiday hours. Instead, we plan to support our participating restaurants and customers by offering halal carry-out and delivery options, so we can all celebrate Ramadan safely.”

There are 16 options listed throughout the region, but only two are in Arlington: Busboys and Poets in Shirlington (4251 Campbell Avenue) and City Kabob & Curry House on Columbia Pike (3007 Columbia Pike).

There are additional halal options in Arlington, however. Three locations that held out through the pandemic last year are still around and kicking.

An employee at Fettoosh (5100 Wilson Blvd) said the restaurant has its regular menu with no specials, and will be open only for takeout.

“We’re not dining in because it’s not safe yet, with coronavirus,” the employee said, “but we have take-out for everything people need for Ramadan.”

Employees at Ravi Chatkhara (303 N. Glebe Road) and Namaste Everest in Pentagon City (1201 S. Joyce Street) said the restaurants will also be open, though neither have any specials or separate menus for Ramadan. Staff at Namaste Everest noted that its full menu is halal.

Know of other iftar options? Let us know in the comment section.

Photo via City Kabob & Curry House/Facebook