There's no question about it: Halal is a rite of passage for anyone who lives in New York City and it's a necessary experience for those who are just visiting. Any New Yorker will tell you that there's nothing like walking past a halal cart or restaurant and smelling the mouth-watering scent of freshly-grilled meat combined with tender, flavorful rice to make someone's stomach start talking. It's a tradition in the city and those who haven't partaken in a platter are truly missing out.

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In Metropolitan areas such as New York City, halal has become synonymous with Middle Eastern flavors and dishes, and it's truly something special. From the seasoned meat that completely transforms any number of menu items to the tasty sauces that top it all off, there's nothing not to love about the offerings from the city's best halal locations. It could be from a food cart on a side street or from a brick and mortar that you've never heard of before; wherever it comes from, it's something that will have you coming back time and time again. With that being said, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to determine where to start when it comes to halal dishes, so we've got a guide to help you navigate the city's best spots, as decided by locals.

The Halal Guys

The beautiful thing about ordering food from The Halal Guys is that you're likely to find one of their food carts at any major point in the city. These food carts serve as a beacon of lunch, dinner, and late-night hope to those whose stomachs are rumbling. It's symbolic of delicious food only one order and street block away. And, if nothing else, the scent alone is worth walking by one of these carts just so you can be excited about what's soon to come with it. The Halal Guys has practically taken over New York City so that its locals can live their best halal food life.

Istanbul Kebab House

Turkey is well-known for its street food and Istanbul has arguably the best street food offerings on the planet. With that being said, the Istanbul Kebab House is an actual restaurant on 9th Avenue and it's a very popular spot for both locals and tourists. This restaurant is well-known for its halal food and has been hailed as one of the best in the city for it, making this a must-stop for anyone who happens to be in town. Obviously, kebabs are a specialty but everything else on the menu is just as delicious.

Sammy's Halal Cart

Sammy's Halal Cart calls the West Village home and anyone who lives there is probably familiar with it. One of the reasons Sammy's is so popular is due to its sauces - red and green spicy sauces that, according to fans, are absolutely life-changing. These sauces are only the cherry on top of what's already a delicious offering of meat and veggies, complete with late-night offerings that have made Sammy's quite the popular spot for practically anyone in the area.

Mamoun's

In Greenwich Village, Mamoun's is iconic. This restaurant has a vast array of vegetarian offerings such as the falafel which is one of its most coveted dishes. Fans rave about the flavors that come from this menu and it's easy to see why. The restaurant has been around since 1971, according to Culture Trip, and has remained a staple for decades since then. While the most ordered item is the falafel sandwich, anything that's ordered from Mamoun's is bound to be crave-worthy and addictive.

Tagine

Halal encompasses a wide array of foods and Tagine is a different take on it with dishes that are just as unbelievably delicious. Rather than a food cart, Tagine functions as an upscale restaurant featuring Moroccan food that's second to none. Diners will also be treated to live music at this restaurant while they eat, making for a full-on experience rather than just a meal. Another tempting option is to swing by the hookah bar that can also be found in the restaurant but if that's not your thing, the food alone is worth the trip. The tagine dishes are what this restaurant is known for and if you find yourself in the Garment District, swing by for a bite - they have lamb and chicken options but also offer vegetarian options, as well.

Adel's Famous Halal Food

It's inevitable that first-times to the city will likely find themselves not far from Radio City which means that Adel's Famous Halal Food should be the next stop. The spicy rice that's served along with lamb or chicken brings all of these incredible flavors together, making for a quick bite that won't soon be forgotten. Any one of these platters is only $6 which makes it a worthy stop, and it's open super late - or, for some people, super early - until 5 AM.

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