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Breads and to-go containers with falafels, hummus, and chicken are atop a green table.
Chicken, hummus, falafels, and pita from Duzan.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

29 Outstanding Halal Spots in New York

Find sizzling kababs, lamb tagines, and birria tacos

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Chicken, hummus, falafels, and pita from Duzan.
| Caroline Shin/Eater NY

New York’s halal dining scene sprawls through the city: spanning Little Palestine and Little Yemen in Bay Ridge; Little Egypt, Little Morocco, and Little Bangladesh in Astoria; the East and West African communities in Harlem; and the Turkish enclaves of Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach, with many more neighborhoods in between.

The restaurants serve a staggering array of dishes that trot the globe: sizzling kababs, hummus topped with paprika-dusted ground beef, arm-straining noodle pulls, lamb bacon omelets, and even Korean barbecue grilled table-side.

Below are 29 restaurants culled from the city’s ever-evolving halal dining scene.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Fouta Halal

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Fouta is a combination Senegalese and Guinean restaurant serving signature dishes from both countries. From Senegal, try the chicken mafe, the bird stewed in a thick peanut sauce laced with scotch bonnet peppers. From Guinea, there’s a leaf-based sauce called sauce de feuilles dotted with lamb (meats can vary in both dishes). The menu changes often with a few dishes available from each cuisine, so ask the counter person.

A white bowl of thick green porridge.
Sauce de feuilles with lamb.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

After spouses, Maymuuna “Mona” Birjeeb and Shakib Farah opened Safari in 2014, it became the rare hangout spot for birthday parties, Mother’s Day celebrations, and iftars for the Somali American community in Harlem. Now, New Yorkers at-large demand their bestsellers: roasted goat, mango curry, and chicken suquaar (stewed chicken). They’re cooked in a base of cumin, turmeric, cardamom, bay leaves, garlic, and spicy green peppers, Birjeeb tells Eater. And they all come with an addictive bisbaas sauce that’s spicy and tangy with jalapeños and limes. 

The chicken shawarma and fluffy pitas are hits, but the real showstopper is the hummus — all seven of them. In every bowl of creamy hummus, a pool of olive oil, whole chickpeas, paprika, and a topping — fava beans, sautéed mushrooms and onions, or ground beef and pine nuts — sits right on top, just waiting to spill over and mix with the hummus below. Fans would line up for this fast-casual local spot so often the owners expanded into the storefront next door, where it now operates for takeout only. As the old space is undergoing renovations — expected to finish this fall, according to an employee — service can lag. Order ahead. 

Breads and to-go containers with falafels, hummus, and chicken are atop a green table.
A spread from Duzan.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Walk past the giant eye and flower on the storefront’s exterior wall, and step inside Moustafa El Sayed’s world. He wears many hats here: owner, chef, manager, server, curator, and enthusiastic tour guide through every inch of space he’s designed, from the tiling to the baskets sticking out of the walls inside. In the kitchen, he churns out local Egyptian favorites like the lamb shank, couscous, hummus, tagine, and lamb cheeks. 

The artistic facade of Mombar depicts a large eye, a flower, and green tiles.
Outside Mombar.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Dar Yemma

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The tagine reigns supreme at Dar Yemma. Six lead the menu — kofta in tomato sauce, beef with peas and artichoke, chicken with olives and preserved lemon, lamb with prunes, shrimp, and fish. Each one is presented in a steaming clay pot with bread. Served in traditional Moroccan style, the couscous is doled out separately to stand in its own right. The royal couscous, for instance, indulges with merguez sausage, lamb, free-range chicken, chickpeas, and currants. 

A row of trays contain dishes including a lamb shank with prunes and tomatoes.
Ramadan iftar at Dar Yemma.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Leli's Bakery & Pastry Shop

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This Astoria charmer doesn’t broadcast that its food is halal, but Muslim locals are all the wiser. From the all-day breakfast menu, opt for the quiche Lorraine with turkey bacon, assorted omelets, and a flaky croissant wrapped around a beef hot dog. Other hits include the cream-topped warm cinnamon rolls, cheese danishes, and the rare-in-New York Maltese treats called pastizzis, chubby boats brimming with ricotta cheese.

Various pastries are in baking trays.
Freshly baked pastries from Leli’s Bakery.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Eatzy Thai

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Despite its name, Eatzy Thai’s biggest coup is what many consider the first halal Korean barbecue offering in NYC. It’s not a traditional Korean barbecue — there’s shrimp, Thai chicken, spicy lamb, and tortilla wraps here — but it is cooked over charcoal and served with a smattering of banchan. The AYCE is priced at $40 per adult and $20 per child with a one-and-half-hour time limit, which can be spent on the bamboo tree-lined back patio. 

Sami's Kabab House

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Sami Zaman keeps a whole halal lamb in his basement fridge, and for every order of kebab or chop, he butchers the pieces himself just because he’s a tad obsessive. He grills them to get the tenderness and char just right. And that’s how the former coffee-and-bagels street cart vendor grew Sami’s Kabab House to two other outposts in Long Island City and Long Island — and inspired his son to launch his own modern halal coffee shop. The mantu (beef dumplings), sabzi (stewed spinach), and firni (custard) hit just right, too.

Picture chunks of chicken, lamb chops, and logs of minced meat.
Assorted kebabs from Sami’s Kabab House.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Boishakhi Restaurant

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Boishakhi, along with Aladdin Sweets a few storefronts down, anchors the Little Bangladesh enclave of Astoria on 36th Avenue between 29th and 31st streets. It’s a counter spot where you see around 20 glistening dishes steaming up the glass and choose what’s for lunch or dinner. Locals go for the charred chicken or beef Bihari — marinated in onion and cooked in the tandoor — and plenty of veggie sides, like the okra, are cooked al dente.

Burgermania

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New halal burger joints are popping up all over town. This place shoehorned into narrow premises less than a block from the Port Authority Bus Depot features classic fast food, including the flagship manic burger — a single patty on a squishy bun with onions, pickles, ketchup, and mayo. There’s also a co-specialty of Nashville-style fried chicken, and seasoned fries

A single patty burger with an excess amount of ketchup and mayo, seen from the top of its box.
Tada! — the manic burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Nurlan Uyghur Restaurant

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A noodle pull here reaches heights rarely achieved in other noodle spots. The lagman are stretched and twisted over and over until the right thinness is achieved. The meat dishes also shine. The lamb-stuffed samsa is juicy, and the lamb skewers, serve on sword-like skewers, are soaked in cumin, which gives a yellow tinge that can be mistaken for turmeric. Owner Adil Nurdun brought most of these recipes from Toksun County in the autonomous Uyghur region of Xinjiang — though prefers to call it Turkestan — in northwest China to Flushing when he opened Nurlan in June 2019.

Assorted meats are skewered on a green, blue, and white plate.
Assorted skewers from Nurlan.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Guac Time

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Guac Time is a newish fast-casual restaurant featuring halal Mexican food in a glossy setting. The menu spans several regional cuisines, from Tex-Mex queso served with tortilla chips to Jalisco birria tacos served with a cup of consome. You’ll find a choice of soft or crispy tacos and a selection of bowls that run from beef barbacoa to vegan meat substitutes.

A lit sign at night featuring an avocado.
Chelsea’s Guac Time is a halal Mexican restaurant.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

New Punjab on 3rd

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In the traditional of downtown Manhattan’s great combination Punjabi groceries and counter eateries, New Punjab on 3rd offers fast food, much of it on display right at the counter. Shami kebabs of ground chicken are a highlight, especially when ordered with basmati rice and a serving of mustard greens. On the other hand, this is a great place to dash in for a vegetable samosa or hot cup of chai when the weather gets colder.

A glass case with samosas and kebabs on display.
A selection of fast food at New Punjab on 3rd.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Minar Halal Meat

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What could be better than a barbecue in front of a Bangladeshi halal meat market? This India Square institution — one of two halal butchers on the street — mounts a grill and tandoori oven in its front window, and from them fly tandoori chickens, grilled fresh fish, and kebabs, made into over-rice platters and rolled pita sandwiches — with plenty of toum, the intense garlic white sauce.

A charred ground lamb kebab bedded in lettuce sticks out of the end of a flatbread.
Ground lamb kebab sandwich at Minar.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Korai Kitchen

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The age-old sentiment goes something like, “Mom’s cooking is the best.” Nur-E Gulshan Rahman took that to heart, and funneled all her years cooking for her kids into her own Korai Kitchen — and piling on accolades from Eater and the New York Times while doing so. The Bangladeshi buffet used to be filled with comfort foods like macher jhol (fish curry), begun bhortha (roasted and mashed eggplant), and khichuri (lentil and rice). The restaurant is only open for takeout and catering — the menu still remains and every takeout bag comes with a handwritten thank you note — as Rahman and her general manager daughter execute a “rather extensive renovation” on the restaurant. Daughter, Nur-E Farhana Rahman tells Eater they’re planning to re-open before the end of 2022. 

Hands reach into a colorful spread that includes fish steaks.
A spread from Korai Kitchen.
Korai Kitchen

Sammy’s Halal Food

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Way back in 2006, cart operator Samiul Haque Noor won a Vendy Award for his chicken over rice, and went on to found Sammy’s Halal Food on a busy stretch of First Avenue in the East Village. The chicken or beef/lamb shawarma are recommended, as are the falafels — which are of the outsize sort and probably the best in the neighborhood.

An aluminum container with falafel, lettuce, onion, and heaps of red and white sauce.
Falafel over rice at Sammy’s Halal.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Meat and Bread

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Meat and Bread is another addition to the Lower East Side’s growing collection of non-traditional halal restaurants. It offers a pleasantly upbeat setting with a pink color scheme, a flame grill from which burgers and steaks fly, and an international selection of dishes including a ribeye sandwich with Argentine chimichurri sauce, fried chicken and waffles, a chopped cheese empanada, and a chicken masala sandwich.

A grilled chicken sandwich with carrot slaw slivers hanging over the patty like bangs.
Grilled chicken masala sandwich.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Birria LES

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Birria LES was a key part of a new wave of halal restaurants that have appeared over the last few years, geared to younger observant diners who didn’t want to restrict themselves to traditionally available cuisines like Middle Eastern and Pakistani. Hence, a halal restaurant highlighting the Tijuana, Mexico specialty of birria — beef braised with red chiles

A soupy taco with a cup of soup on the side.
Birria tacos with all the trappings.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Halal Munchies

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A mini-chain of five restaurants in Queens, Halal Munchies’ Kew Gardens branch is colorful and compact. The menu offers a broad range of crispy treats, including fish sandwiches; chicken wings, tenders, and nuggets in several flavors; and salads with or without meat. Burgers (including a “heart attack burger”) are available, and a fine rolled gyro sandwich with mixed chicken and lamb meat and a choice of sauces. Falafel, too.

A flatbread unrolled to reveal the meat, salad, and dressing inside.
The overstuffed gyro at Halal Munchies.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The Zafran Grille

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The Zafran Grille serves Buffalo chicken wings, melty cheeseburgers and juicy T-bone steaks — and they’re all zabiha halal-certified by the Halal Food Standards Alliance of America. The nonalcoholic drinks menu is extensive with nearly 20 cocktails like the mango mojito. The restaurant is a personal project for co-owners Sheik Farhad and Chowdhury Haque: When their father passed from COVID-19, he asked the brothers to “work together to serve the Muslim community,” Farhad tells Eater.

Yemen Café

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The corner of Court Street and Atlantic Avenue has been a Yemeni neighborhood since the 1970s and Yemen Cafe is an anchor. Lamb haneeth is one of its don’t-miss dishes, a hulking shank cooked in a clay-lined oven called a taboon. There are also assorted kebabs of chicken and lamb as well as bean dishes and bread dips galore. There’s also salta — a wonderful bubbling stew with a layer of fenugreek emulsion on the top: Dip your fresh malooga bread and enjoy.

A metal pot with white foam on top and charred flatbread on the side.
Salta, served with fresh malooga.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bakewell

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In 2016, Chief Samsair and daughter Sasha Samsair brought their family-owned halal enterprise from Guyana in South America to Little Guyana in South Richmond Hill. Today, Guyanese locals line up here daily for baked items, like buttery and braided plait bread, sweet tennis rolls that are broken off the loaf, and bags of bara (spicy, golden fried orbs of chickpea flour and spinach). The barbecue chicken over fried rice, chicken patties, and jerk chicken have devotees, too.

Two workers are behind the counter laid with Guyanese pastries like cheese rolls and bara.
Fresh baked Guyanese pastries at Bakewell.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

No Pork Halal Kitchen

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Since the late ’80s, this distinctive carryout restaurant near Barclays Center has been slinging halal Chinese food, doctrinaire in every regard except that it doesn’t use pork. Most of the menu is Chinese American, and anything involving shrimp is recommended. But the big, beefy steamed dumplings are very much northern Chinese style, and also very much worth ordering.

Two figures walk in front of the restaurant, one holding a guitar case.
Boerum Hill stalwart No Pork Halal Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

David's Brisket House

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The story is now long-familiar, how Muslim owners Riyadh and Farouq Gazali took over a Jewish deli in Bed-Stuy and left nearly everything the same. Sandwiches are available in three sizes, and include pastrami, corned beef, and brisket. Best of all and long ascended to legendary status is the brisket with gravy sandwich on a club roll, with the gravy dumped on the meat rather than served on the side.

Two halves of a brisket sandwich on a club roll with gravy, accompanied by four pickle spears
Brisket sandwich with pickles at David’s Brisket House.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Shashlik House

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The beef rolls at Shashlik House — beef pulled from a T-bone steak then rolled in lamb fat for extra juice — are a rarity in NYC. They’re just one of twenty kebabs — jumbo lamb ribs, beef lula made from ground beef and onions, and lamb tenderloin are also popular — on an extensive menu that also includes three steaks and veggie sides. Owner and Tajikistan native Suhrob Mullojonov has been selling his charcoal-grilled skewers for a while now. In 2017, he was a partner in Tandir Kebab, and in 2020, opened Shashlik House on Cortelyou Road — where he commands a sizzling row of 30 skewers at once — and then expanded to Avenue P in 2022. 

This Palestinian restaurant, decked out like an urban market with a deli counter and cases, and political murals on the walls, was a surprise when it opened on Bay Ridge’s restaurant row. Middle Eastern dishes the city was not familiar with in large format renditions suddenly appeared — including mansaf, a massive lamb shank marinated in fermented yogurt and served with rice in crockery. But all the classic kebabs, falafel, and bread dips are also available.

Several shallow brown clay dishes with rice, kebabs, a yellow stew, with bright white yogurt sauce in the middle.
A selection of dishes from Ayat.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Istanbul Bay

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This Bensonhurst mainstay on a busy corner under the elevated D tracks stays open till 11:30 p.m. seven days, providing kebabs, bread dips with homemade bread, casseroles, hot apps (try the calves liver), and salads. One of our favorite main courses is the iskender kebab: freshly shaved lamb doner on toasted pita cubes, inundated with both yogurt and tomato sauce, furnished with a spicy green grilled chile.

Sliced meat eclipsed on a long platter with tomato sauce and yogurt.
Iskender kebab at Istanbul Bay.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Tashkent Supermarket Halal Food

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Keep walking until your jaw drops at the hot food buffet. Two sprawling islands hold over 200 self-serve trays each one offering a central Asian dish more enticing than the one before it — bulging lamb mantis, fat and wrinkly grape leaf-wrapped dolma, a bright red sea of pomegranate seeds over pink beets and white rice . Both sight and smell compete for attention. Still, there’s more. The lagman counter and the plov bar serve hot noodle soups and rice and meat pilaf. The place is dangerous for those with weak impulse control. But if that’s the case, bring a jumbo Ikea bag for your haul. 

Tomato sauce tops a tray of vegetable hanum, which sits next to meat hanum and other dumplings; the savory fare sit underneath a series of trays holding golden-brown Uzbek pastries, studded with black sesame seeds.
The buffet at Tashkent.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Beyti Turkish Kebab

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A beyti kebab is made with ground lamb and onions formed into a cylinder around a spit and then grilled, in this case over flames. It is then wrapped in a flatbread and inundated with tomato sauce and yogurt. The restaurant has several variations on this formula, and also grills shish kebabs, doner kebabs (like shawarma, only herbier), and makes Turkish pide that are something like Middle Eastern pizzas. All the usual bread dips, soups, and salads are also available at this staple in the middle of Brighton Beach’s main drag.

Two twirling cylinders of meat with a man standing in front, his back to us, wielding a knife.
Chicken and lamb doner kebabs at Beyti Kebab.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Fouta Halal

A white bowl of thick green porridge.
Sauce de feuilles with lamb.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Fouta is a combination Senegalese and Guinean restaurant serving signature dishes from both countries. From Senegal, try the chicken mafe, the bird stewed in a thick peanut sauce laced with scotch bonnet peppers. From Guinea, there’s a leaf-based sauce called sauce de feuilles dotted with lamb (meats can vary in both dishes). The menu changes often with a few dishes available from each cuisine, so ask the counter person.

A white bowl of thick green porridge.
Sauce de feuilles with lamb.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Safari

After spouses, Maymuuna “Mona” Birjeeb and Shakib Farah opened Safari in 2014, it became the rare hangout spot for birthday parties, Mother’s Day celebrations, and iftars for the Somali American community in Harlem. Now, New Yorkers at-large demand their bestsellers: roasted goat, mango curry, and chicken suquaar (stewed chicken). They’re cooked in a base of cumin, turmeric, cardamom, bay leaves, garlic, and spicy green peppers, Birjeeb tells Eater. And they all come with an addictive bisbaas sauce that’s spicy and tangy with jalapeños and limes. 

Duzan

Breads and to-go containers with falafels, hummus, and chicken are atop a green table.
A spread from Duzan.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

The chicken shawarma and fluffy pitas are hits, but the real showstopper is the hummus — all seven of them. In every bowl of creamy hummus, a pool of olive oil, whole chickpeas, paprika, and a topping — fava beans, sautéed mushrooms and onions, or ground beef and pine nuts — sits right on top, just waiting to spill over and mix with the hummus below. Fans would line up for this fast-casual local spot so often the owners expanded into the storefront next door, where it now operates for takeout only. As the old space is undergoing renovations — expected to finish this fall, according to an employee — service can lag. Order ahead. 

Breads and to-go containers with falafels, hummus, and chicken are atop a green table.
A spread from Duzan.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Mombar

The artistic facade of Mombar depicts a large eye, a flower, and green tiles.
Outside Mombar.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Walk past the giant eye and flower on the storefront’s exterior wall, and step inside Moustafa El Sayed’s world. He wears many hats here: owner, chef, manager, server, curator, and enthusiastic tour guide through every inch of space he’s designed, from the tiling to the baskets sticking out of the walls inside. In the kitchen, he churns out local Egyptian favorites like the lamb shank, couscous, hummus, tagine, and lamb cheeks. 

The artistic facade of Mombar depicts a large eye, a flower, and green tiles.
Outside Mombar.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Dar Yemma

A row of trays contain dishes including a lamb shank with prunes and tomatoes.
Ramadan iftar at Dar Yemma.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

The tagine reigns supreme at Dar Yemma. Six lead the menu — kofta in tomato sauce, beef with peas and artichoke, chicken with olives and preserved lemon, lamb with prunes, shrimp, and fish. Each one is presented in a steaming clay pot with bread. Served in traditional Moroccan style, the couscous is doled out separately to stand in its own right. The royal couscous, for instance, indulges with merguez sausage, lamb, free-range chicken, chickpeas, and currants. 

A row of trays contain dishes including a lamb shank with prunes and tomatoes.
Ramadan iftar at Dar Yemma.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Leli's Bakery & Pastry Shop

Various pastries are in baking trays.
Freshly baked pastries from Leli’s Bakery.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

This Astoria charmer doesn’t broadcast that its food is halal, but Muslim locals are all the wiser. From the all-day breakfast menu, opt for the quiche Lorraine with turkey bacon, assorted omelets, and a flaky croissant wrapped around a beef hot dog. Other hits include the cream-topped warm cinnamon rolls, cheese danishes, and the rare-in-New York Maltese treats called pastizzis, chubby boats brimming with ricotta cheese.

Various pastries are in baking trays.
Freshly baked pastries from Leli’s Bakery.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Eatzy Thai

Despite its name, Eatzy Thai’s biggest coup is what many consider the first halal Korean barbecue offering in NYC. It’s not a traditional Korean barbecue — there’s shrimp, Thai chicken, spicy lamb, and tortilla wraps here — but it is cooked over charcoal and served with a smattering of banchan. The AYCE is priced at $40 per adult and $20 per child with a one-and-half-hour time limit, which can be spent on the bamboo tree-lined back patio. 

Sami's Kabab House

Picture chunks of chicken, lamb chops, and logs of minced meat.
Assorted kebabs from Sami’s Kabab House.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Sami Zaman keeps a whole halal lamb in his basement fridge, and for every order of kebab or chop, he butchers the pieces himself just because he’s a tad obsessive. He grills them to get the tenderness and char just right. And that’s how the former coffee-and-bagels street cart vendor grew Sami’s Kabab House to two other outposts in Long Island City and Long Island — and inspired his son to launch his own modern halal coffee shop. The mantu (beef dumplings), sabzi (stewed spinach), and firni (custard) hit just right, too.

Picture chunks of chicken, lamb chops, and logs of minced meat.
Assorted kebabs from Sami’s Kabab House.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Boishakhi Restaurant

Boishakhi, along with Aladdin Sweets a few storefronts down, anchors the Little Bangladesh enclave of Astoria on 36th Avenue between 29th and 31st streets. It’s a counter spot where you see around 20 glistening dishes steaming up the glass and choose what’s for lunch or dinner. Locals go for the charred chicken or beef Bihari — marinated in onion and cooked in the tandoor — and plenty of veggie sides, like the okra, are cooked al dente.

Burgermania

A single patty burger with an excess amount of ketchup and mayo, seen from the top of its box.
Tada! — the manic burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

New halal burger joints are popping up all over town. This place shoehorned into narrow premises less than a block from the Port Authority Bus Depot features classic fast food, including the flagship manic burger — a single patty on a squishy bun with onions, pickles, ketchup, and mayo.