Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · History

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Halal Guys in NYC New York


Halal Guys is one of the most famous food carts in New York City. There is always a queue for the Halal Guys' rice with chicken or lamb, even during the chilly winters.

While we waited in the line, we enjoyed the aroma of chicken  cooking on the hot stove.


We waited just 30 minutes for our "Chicken over Rice" which  was shorter than the oft cited 1-2 hours.

Founded in 1990 by an Egyptian immigrant to cater to taxi drivers, the Halal Guys now has a restaurant and trucks operating in several locations around New York City.

The flagship cart still runs here at it's original location across the street from NYC's Hilton Hotel (at the junction of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue). The Halal Guys carts still open from 7:00am to 4:00am from the day they started in 1990.


This original Halal Guys cart is also located right next to the famous MOMA (Museum of Modern Art).


Generous serving of "Chicken over Rice" at USD6. (Unfortunately, there was no Gyro or "Lamb over Rice" today; I am a lamb lover.)

Halal-Guys -NYC-New

Customers add in sauces from large squeeze bottles at the side of the cart.

Drizzle in Halal Guys' famous "secret" sauce which tastes like a blend of creamy mayonnaise and yogurt.

My "Chicken over Rice" spammed with signature white sauce, BBQ sauce and spicy hot sauce.


The finely chopped chicken meat was laid on a bed of orange coloured basmati rice. There was a small clump of lettuce and pieces of soft generic pita bread.

There wasn't much aroma from the chicken or rice by the time I am done with photo taking :-P The food cooled very fast on this cold, late Fall afternoon.

The basmati rice was loose, had just the right texture and was not greasy. But, it lacked flavour or aroma compared to nasi byrani (which I am familiar with). There was also not much taste in the chopped chicken meat. 

The white sauce was very mildly savoury sweet with tangy hints, the BBQ sauce was more robustly savoury and I liked the spicy sauce most as it had a nice spicy sting and lingering aftertaste.


The other Halal Guys cart just across 6th Avenue/ 53rd Street with the same queue.

Overall, a hearty, value for money meal which relied heavily on bottled sauces for taste. An American street food icon which is a Must Try in New York City.

Restaurant name: Halal Guys (mobile food carts)
Address: Several locations; the "original location" at junction of Sixth Ave. and 53rd St.
Hours: 7:00 am to 4:00 am

Date visited: 22 Nov 2014

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