• Home
  • Compare
  • Calculate
  • Blog

New York City is a halal cart paradise. There are so many different varieties and specialties that you can find any halal food you would want, right in your borrow.  While halal food is found—and is growing to be even more popular—across the world, New York City has turned the halal cart into an art form. Here are the best halal food trucks in NYC, so you can plan to stop by one (or all) of them whether you’re in the city to visit or to stay! 

1. The Halal Guys

The classic New York City halal cart, The Halal Guys food trucks can be found across the city, so you know you can find good halal food anywhere you are. Open until 4am in most locations, these food trucks serve lunch, dinner and late-night to passers by and loyal regulars alike. 

The Halal Guys founded their first truck in 1990, right as halal food was taking off in New York. The Halal Guys say it was the influx of Arab cab drivers that drove the demand for halal food, which caused their business and other halal food carts to take off in the next two decades. In fact, many carts are still set up with a taxi line and a regular line, to get taxi drivers their food faster and keep them moving picking up fares. If you want to see the original Halal Guys truck, it is at 53rd and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, but they have trucks across the city and have since spread internationally as well. 

2. Sammy’s Halal Cart

Sammy’s Halal Cart is another New York institution, having been featured in New York Magazine as one of the best halal carts in the city. Sammy’s has two locations, one in Queens on 73rd and Broadway, and the more well-known location in the West Village, at 6th Ave and W 4th Street. Open late nights, both locations are favorites for the after closing crowd to grab some quick eats on the way home. Founder Sammy Noor was born in Pakistan and started out in New York as a taxi driver, before setting up his food cart in Queens in 1997. 

Every halal cart in New York is flavored with the culture and background of the owner, and Sammy’s is known for South Asian flavors and Pakistani dishes. What sets this food truck apart is the sauces, Sammy’s red and green spicy sauces are what many West Village residents would describe as life-changing. They keep the menu simple, so this is the place to get chicken and rice and load it up with red sauce, white sauce and fresh cilantro. 

3. King of Falafel and Shawarma

A Palestinian take on the classic New York halal cart, King of Falafel and Shawarma began as a food truck in Astoria, Queens. King of Falafel and Shawarma locations have since spread throughout the burrows and they even opened a brick and mortar restaurant in Astoria. Founder Freddy Zeideia started the truck in 2002 and took off in popularity when he won a Vendy award, the prestigious New York City award given to street food vendors. 

Well-known for their customer service, the King of Falafel and Shawarma locations serve up a twist on the classics. The falafel reigns supreme here, crispy and elongated for maximum fried crunch. Instead of fava beans, the falafel here is made of chickpeas in the Palestinian style. They are known for their combination platters, so try the “shawafel”, a pita of falafel and strips of shawarma for a taste of what the reigning monarch of falafel and shawarma is all about. 

4. Mahmoud’s Corner Halal Truck

Mahmoud’s Corner Halal Truck, an institution in Astoria, Queens, offers an extensive menu that sets it apart from some of the more limited selections at other carts. As a full-sized food truck, Mahmoud’s can serve up endless options of chicken and beef shawarma, chicken and beef kebabs, kofta and gyro meat. This is a great place to bring the whole family, or the whole friend group so everyone can try a little of everything. 

Known for their bold blue color, Mahmoud’s has opened a second location recently on 54th Street and Northern Boulevard, to go with the original location at 34th Ave and Steinway Street in Queens. Mahmoud’s also offers some American twists on classic halal, including French fries and a Philly cheese steak. Bring a big appetite, the portions are generous and you will want to try everything on the menu!

5. Steinway Halal Grill

Steinway Halal Grill makes the list for their unique Egyptian take on classic halal offerings. Die-hard New York halal fans come back to Steinway again and again because of the unique flavors and authentic preparations. Using a real charcoal grill instead of a propane powered griddle, the smokey char on the meats here is unmatched. Plumes of smokey, delicious smells attract street traffic and the late night offerings attract the after closing crowd and Uber drivers. 

The focus here is definitely on the meats, with so many options of preparations and a beautiful smoky flavor for each one. Fans will tell you to get the lamb before it sells out, but the butterflied half chickens are a treat and a step above the diced chicken thighs or breasts at some other carts. Located at 24-42 Steinway Street, New York, Steinway Halal Grill is a great place if you are looking for a restaurant-quality meal at food truck prices.