What does it mean to be a New Yorker? Believe it or not, a huge part of it is knowing your Halal food.

That’s right, when it comes down to it, people, graffiti, and skyscrapers aren’t the only things that fill the Big Apple. You’ll also find stands and street carts of Halal food heavily scattered across this metropolis city.

Halal is the Arabic word for “lawful”, food allowed to be eaten under Islamic dietary guidelines and consists of various meats, grains, and starches. Commonly known as “The Platter”, a Halal plate usually consists of shredded chicken, lamb, or gyro served with rice, flat pita bread, and drenched in special Halal sauce.


Basically, Halal food is to New York as city lights is to Times Square, you can’t really call yourself a New Yorker until you’ve tried this stuff. Thanks to friends and locals, I learned that lesson quickly during my past college days in the Big Apple. But keep in mind, not just any Halal, because you’ll literally find tons of these carts on every street corner, but only the real authentic Halal cart is considered official.

Which one is that you ask? Say hello to the forever popular “Halal Guys”.

Located on 53rd Street and 6th Ave. by Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, this Halal trademark has got people seriously addicted. The location’s great for both tourists and locals, located right in the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s just a short walk from the Rockefeller Center subway station.


 If you have trouble finding it, just look for yellow. The Halal Guys have a reputation of standing out from the crowd. Their bright yellow shirts and strong savory aroma of Halal food surely makes it quite hard to miss.


Although tiny, don’t be fooled by its size, this little cart has busy New Yorkers lining up daily just for a bite.


That’s exactly what I ran into during my latest visit, tons of hungry people waiting in line, holding bright yellow plastic bags, and a bunch of feisty pigeons lurking on the side, hoping that someone would drop their Halal onto the ground (scarily, wasn’t kidding about the pigeons.)


Luckily though, these guys are fast, it’s like going through a revolving door, ordering and having your food shoved to you within minutes.


So what’s so magical about a Styrofoam box of chicken over rice? What exactly makes Halal Guys different from the other hundreds of stands out there?

Maybe it’s the white sauce that miraculously goes well with everything, although honestly nobody even really knows what’s in it. Just know that it’s an absolute necessity to pour tons of it on your plate.

Or maybe it’s the generous portions that has got people coming back for more, or possibly it’s the unique yellow rice that only the Halal Guys seem to serve?

Maybe it will forever be a mystery why Halal Guys remain top of the list but it’s no doubt that these guys definitely deserve their title of being ‘’The Best Meal in the City”, it’s honestly affordable, huge, and delicious, simple enough.

So the next time you’re in the Big Apple, make sure to spare a New York minute to find out why these guys have been deemed the kings of Halal food, you won’t regret it.



Halal Guys                                                                                                       
53rd St. & 6th Ave/ 7th Ave.
East Village
New York City

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A writer and photographer who's in love with new experiences, visual art, and the written word. Born and raised in Chicago, I've also spent time living in New York City, Hong Kong, and traveled throughout various places. A travel enthusiast by heart, I love roaming new places and exploring the people & food that comes with it. As an avid story teller, I love sharing my discoveries, whether it be my latest travel experience or newest food adventure. I truly believe that food is the universal factor that connects all of us, no matter how different we may be in other ways, we cannot deny that there’s at least one thing that we love to eat and that one favorite food magically and unconditionally gives us comfort and pleasure. That feeling is one of the purest forms of happiness and I’d love to share that feeling through my work

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