15 Best Halal Restaurants In NYC

In the multicultural metropolis of New York City, cuisine from across the globe is found en masse. Among the plethora of international eats is halal food. Halal — meaning "permissible" in Arabic — is any food or drink deemed acceptable for consumption under Islamic law, which includes the absence of alcohol, pork, and specific cuts of steak. Halal food is typically associated with the Middle East and North Africa — areas that feature several Muslim-majority countries — but food from any part of the globe can qualify as halal if it meets specific qualifications.

For many non-Muslim New Yorkers, the word "halal" has come to be synonymous with delicious food, especially concerning the famous New York halal carts. At these iconic establishments, delicious dishes are prepared streetside and devoured with gusto by both tourists and locals, regardless of their adherence to Islamic law. But halal food stretches eons outside of humble curbside fare. In this list, I'll disclose some of my personal favorite halal establishments in the city, along with eateries that have solidified their place as New York institutions over the years. At these restaurants, people come together to celebrate culture and cuisine in the most dynamic and diverse city in the nation.

Carifesta Restaurant

Carifesta Restaurant is one of just a handful of Chinese-Guyanese establishments in the entire New York City metro area. The family-owned restaurant in the Bronx has been serving Guyanese New Yorkers and those looking for a taste of something outside the typical city fare since 1997. Fast-casual Carifesta is an ideal spot for an enticing meal on the go; or, stop in for lunch and get a chance to meet your neighbors. The friendly faces of staff and regulars alike are sure to have you coming back time and time again.

Try a unique fusion dish of jerk chicken lo mein, made with tender, perfectly seasoned chicken and hearty noodles. If you're a spice seeker, you can't pass up the pepper shrimp fried rice, full of diverse spicy and savory flavors and veggies. Jerk chicken empanadas are a fan favorite, combining a Spanish staple with Caribbean spices for a truly one-of-a-kind (and very New York) amalgamation of an appetizer. Carifesta Restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.


(718) 325-2261

4251 White Plains Rd, Bronx, NY 10466

Meat and Bread

Meat and Bread, a newcomer to the halal food scene in New York City, is a testament to the city's cultural diversity. The founders, native New Yorkers whose parents immigrated to the U.S., have created a special dining opportunity that merges their culture's culinary traditions with dishes representing backgrounds of Manhattan locals. It's the perfect destination for nostalgic comfort food. Enjoy the pink decor, lively ambiance, and colorful artwork while you chow down on a flame-grilled burger or a selection of enticing small plates.

Order at the counter at Meat and Bread and choose one of many eclectic entrees, including rotating lunch specials and weekend brunches. The restaurant utilizes trendy hot honey in a variety of chicken dishes, like hot honey chicken and waffles, fried chicken sandwiches, and delicious tender and spicy tapas. The rib-eye sandwich with fresh chimichurri sauce and grilled masala chicken sandwich are standout crowd-pleasers. Meat and Bread is open daily for lunch and dinner.


(607) 228-3441

201 Allen St, Store 3, New York, NY 10002

The Halal Guys

Few New York eateries are as iconic as The Halal Guys. The company popularized halal carts: a culinary staple as ubiquitous in NYC as its pigeon parades. The Halal Guys originally sold hot dogs in the early '90s before offering halal food, reportedly to Muslim cab drivers who had little luck acquiring a meal reminiscent of the food from their native countries in those days. The Halal Guys has since expanded to include restaurants overseas and over 100 locations in the United States alone.

You can expect the meals from an establishment that made halal food mainstream in the city to always hit the spot. Choose a protein — like chicken, gyro, or falafel — and create a platter or wrapped pita sandwich however you like it. Don't forget to grab a white sauce packet (or five); this legendary sauce is one of the best dipping sauces in New York City and, some may say, single-handedly led to The Halal Guys' success. The Halal Guys' locations in NYC are open daily and close in the early morning hours.


Multiple locations

Mr. Chang's Halal Chinese

From the outside, Mr. Chang's Halal Chinese in Astoria looks like any of the hundreds of Chinese restaurants lining the streets of New York. But this humble eatery offers a unique take on the beloved fare. Most New Yorkers imagine the aforementioned food carts when they think of halal cuisine, but Amani Hospitality Group — who founded Mr. Chang's — reimagined what halal food can be by operating multiple halal restaurants spanning the city, each bringing something fresh and different to the table.

You can't talk about Mr. Chang's Halal Chinese without raving about its Peking duck. Mr. Chang's offers one of the only halal Peking ducks in the entire city. As opposed to Cantonese duck — another revered Chinese duck dish — this meal is served in ceremony with traditional cucumber, scallion, plum sauce, and moo-shoo wrappers. Those who follow Islamic law don't usually get the chance to indulge in this celebrated dish, but Mr. Chang's works to broaden culinary horizons. Mr. Chang's Halal Chinese is open daily for lunch and dinner.


(718) 887-8625

25-45 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103


Hip and happening Williamsburg isn't without its share of eccentric, multi-cultural eateries, among them being Namkeen. Perhaps one of the most distinctive cultural combos in the neighborhood, Namkeen combines the flavors of Pakistani food with Nashville's legendary hot chicken, bringing a South Asian and Southern U.S. fusion to Brooklyn. The casual and trendy spot attracts those looking for spicy comfort food with a unique twist.

Namkeen's claim to fame is the Nashville sandwich, complete with coleslaw, pickles, and chipotle aioli. The restaurant's take on classic savory fried chicken and sweet, fluffy waffles will knock your favorite home-cooked recipe out of the park. Grab a side of chicken tikka macaroni and cheese to complete a meal that will bring back memories, whether you're from Pakistan or Tennessee. Namkeen is open from noon to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.


(347) 658-3383

338 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Fatima's Grill

Fatima's Grill — a small California chain turned New York — brings a little heat and vibrancy to Coney Island. The restaurant's fare is described as Lebanese, Mexican, and American fusion; it's said to be the first of its kind. Stop into the tiny, casual eatery and prepare for the most Instagram-worthy meal in Brooklyn, thanks to tacos and burritos brimming with delectable meat and sauces galore. Fatima's famously hosts a massive menu with over 70 entree options — so no matter your taste, there's something to fall in love with.

Enjoy Fatima's Grill's most iconic element — its use of Flamin' Hot Cheetos in burritos, quesadillas, and tacos. Bright-red dusted quesadillas add a touch of crunch and a lick of heat to juicy, savory, and cheesy bites. The restaurant's take on fast food-style crunch wraps includes the spicy chips, along with your choice of shawarma, steak and shrimp, birria, or chicken. Grab a platter, a taco Tuesday special, or a burger; you can visit Fatima's every day and still spend months traversing its enormous menu. Fatima's Grill in Brooklyn is open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night eats.


(929) 234-3198

964 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11230

Al Badawi

Step inside from the bustling streets of the city and immerse yourself in floral decor and the scent of high-quality meat and spices wafting from this spot's open kitchen. Al Badawi, with locations in Brooklyn Heights and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, provides an upscale and calming respite from the busy city, popular among New York Muslims for its halal-only cuisine and anyone who appreciates the vibrant flavors of Palestine. Abdul Elenani and Ayat Masoud, renowned for their more casual restaurant in the city — Ayat — change up a traditional menu with rare dishes among the tried-and-tried staples of Palestine.

The finest flavors are found in the simplest menu items at Al Badawi, like pistachio-topped cheesy flatbreads and mezze platters fit for a king, which is paired with freshly baked saj bread. Enjoy a mixed shawarma platter with tender meat, hummus, and heaping mounds of rice. Bone-in lamb comes served with fermented yogurt sauce as the traditional dish mansaf, a treat for those new to the cuisine and a taste of home for those with Middle Eastern origins. Al Badawi is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.


Multiple locations

Hen House

For fans of late-night halal eats, chef Antony Nassif of Smorgasburg — a Brooklyn street food festival — fame presents Hen House in the East Village. The casual restaurant offers counter service only and a menu focusing on Lebanese fare with Canadian influence. Since its inception, it has amassed a cult following on Instagram, showcasing epic chicken sandwiches, burgers, and poutine creations, drawing a crowd looking for halal meals and those seeking out the next trendy Manhattan eatery.

Dedication to the artistry of cooking is showcased in every unique menu item at Hen House, including the crunch wraps to serve as late-night snacks whipped up after 2 a.m. Chicken is always the way to go here, but don't pass up an opportunity to try the shawarma. Loaded with garlic and Lebanese herbs and seasonings, these wraps and sandwiches fuse the modern and the traditional for an experience that stands out in a sea of unique dining options. Hen House is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner, as well as late-night eats on weekends.

(646) 360-4833

120 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009

Yemen Café

As far as sit-down restaurants go in NYC's halal scene, perhaps none have as storied a history and reputation as Yemen Café. It's been a landmark in the city since the '80s, serving food authentic enough to garner the admiration of immigrants, while modern enough to attract those less familiar with the cuisine of Yemen but seeking to expand their palates. The establishment prides itself on being the first Yemeni restaurant in the nation, and its upscale yet unpretentious atmosphere captures the spirit of the cuisine and culture with friendliness and flavor.

The favorite dish at Yemen Café is easily the famous slow-cooked lamb. Roasted for about five hours, delicate strips of tender meat peel from the bone and subsequently melt in your mouth. Start with lamb soup and baba ghanoush, served with traditional zhoug — an herby, spicy Yemenite green sauce. Stop in for lunch for lower-priced entrees that are filling, nutritious, and loaded with layers of flavor. All Yemen Café locations are open daily for brunch, lunch, and dinner.


Multiple locations

Guac Time

Guac Time fills the void of halal Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine in New York City, serving those who follow Islamic law and those who enjoy top-tier authentic Mexican dishes when the munchies kick in as late as 3 a.m. Don't let the unassuming storefront and fast-casual atmosphere fool you into thinking this place isn't worth your time. The restaurant has been going strong for over three decades, with humble food truck beginnings that eventually flourished into the New York minichain that it is today.

Start out your meal with options like the queso blanco — a silky, warm cup of cheese full of diced peppers and onions. If tacos are what you're after, Guac Time offers four taco box options: crispy fish, grilled chicken, California, and steak. There's also a variety of bowls, as well as a cheesy birria taco section if you want a rich consommé broth for dunking (and perhaps drinking). Guac Time's hours vary by location.


Multiple locations

Sami's Kabab House

When you begin to explore the menu at Sami's Kabab House — located in Astoria and Long Island City — your appetite is piqued. Afghan food appears few and far between in NYC, but this restaurant makes it welcoming and somehow familiar to all, regardless of ethnicity. The inspirational story behind owner Sami Zaman's journey to America is one of many reasons to support this halal eatery.

Dive in headfirst to items like the borani banjan and aushak dumplings. The former is delicately fried eggplant with a vibrant Afghan sofrito, and the latter dumplings are stuffed with leeks and scallion and topped with a bright garlic-mint yogurt sauce. The selection of grilled kababs is a must-try as well. Options like lamb, salmon, beef kofta, and chicken breast are all infused with bold flavors thanks to rich marinades and unique seasonings. With plenty of vegetarian entree options available to those with dietary restrictions, Sami's Kabab House is a fantastic gem of a halal spot. Sami's Kabab House's hours vary by location.


Multiple locations


Ayat, the sister restaurant of the aforementioned Al Badawi, delights New Yorkers of all backgrounds with budget-friendly, nutritious meals suitable for the entire family. At the heart of Ayat is Palestinian home cooking, prepared with authenticity and love for culture and food. The bistro is a dedicated community hub, slashing cultural boundaries through food while harboring a strengthened sense of togetherness. Today, Ayat calls multiple locations in NYC home, continuing its legacy of delicious Palestinian cuisine.

Start with a cold mezze platter of hummus, tahini salad, and labneh — a creamy dip made from strained yogurt, delicious with Ayat's house-made bread. Fattat jaj and fattat lahma are must-try options; these meals are loaded with layers of either beef or chicken, chickpeas, mint yogurt, crispy pita, and garlic sauce. Platters include shrimp, beef, chicken, falafel, and vegan options, complete with all the fixings for a meal that satisfies the heart, mind, and appetite. Ayat's hours vary by location.


Multiple locations

The Soul Spot

Add The Soul Spot to the list of establishments that challenge what halal food can be in the city that never sleeps. For over 20 years, the restaurant has served 100% halal soul food to the delight of Muslim New Yorkers and those with a passion for the colorful flavors of Caribbean cuisine. Cater your next shindig with the inventive creations from The Soul Spot and your guests will be talking about your party for years to come.

Traditional items like cow foot soup, curry goat, and flakey, fried salmon croquettes contribute to The Soul Spot's designation as a Brooklyn institution, but one dish reigns supreme: smothered fried chicken. Crispy battered chicken is nestled in a sea of rich red gravy and served with your choice of sides. Here, sides are as impressive as the main attraction, including classics like collard greens, candied yams, mac and cheese, and okra with tomato. The Soul Spot is open every day for lunch and dinner.


(718) 596-9933

302 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Fouta Halal

What do you get when you fuse Senegalese and Guinean fare into one unassuming but incredible restaurant? Fouta Halal is the answer. This spot offers dishes from both countries, including classic dinners and inventive sides so you can mix and match your own delicious West African dishes. Unlike most restaurants on this list, Fouta Halal never achieved social media fame or recognition throughout the city for its diverse fare. The spot has more of a locals-only vibe, adding to its charm.

Try the cheebu jen (otherwise known as the national dish of Senegal) — a staple consisting of jollof rice and fish. Mafe, also of Senegal, is not to be missed. This fiery meal combines meat or fish simmering in a rich peanut-based sauce and dotted with scorching Scotch bonnet peppers. For dinner, try the mishiuo — stuffed leg of lamb served with either salad, couscous, rice, or vermicelli. Fouta Halal is open for a late lunch and an even later dinner (we're talking 3 a.m.) every day of the week.

(718) 792-1700

1762 Westchester Ave, Bronx, NY 10472

Nurlan Uyghur Restaurant

Although the community is small, New York Uyghurs find a place to call home in Nurlan Uyghur Restaurant. As one of the only Uyghur spots in the city, residents with roots in the Xinjiang region of China can finally taste the flavors of home, thanks to the tireless efforts of owner Adil Nurdun. Nurdun is said to work with extraordinary care when crafting each skewer of meat and creating each noodle dish by hand since the restaurant's inception in 2019. Community members in Flushing flock to Nurlan to find great company and exceptional cuisine.

Lagman is the star of the show at Nurlan Uyghur Restaurant. The dish is crafted with traditional hand-pulled noodles, extra long and extra thick, and coated in stir-fry sauce with mixed veggies and meat. Nan qordaq — a savory Uyghur flatbread — with mutton is also a favorite among regulars. Nurlan Uyghur Restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner.


(347) 542-3324

43-39 Main St, Queens, NY 11355


New York City's eclectic food scene never ceases to impress me, especially when it comes to halal. I've had the pleasure of enjoying authentic halal cuisine in Egypt and cooking and serving traditional Mediterranean and African dishes here in NYC, and I've subsequently fallen in love with the food. To choose the restaurants for this list, I've combined my personal favorite spots with those recommended by friends and family in the city. I also utilized online articles and reviews to discern which eateries had the most worthwhile reputation in the food haven of New York. I only picked restaurants that are 100% halal. No restaurants on this list serve alcohol or offer menu items that aren't made with entirely halal ingredients.