The Halal Guys


Photographed by Zain Hyath

A chicken and rice platter from the Halal Guys with their signature tahini (white) sauce.

What started as a hot dog cart on West 53rd & 6th Avenue in New York City in 1990, is now a food phenomenon across the world known by not only New Yorkers anymore. A true story of humble beginnings, three partners Mohamed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka, and Abdelbaset Elsayed started the company after realizing the demand for halal meat by the influx of Muslim cab drivers in the city.

In November of 2013, the Halal Guys opened their first sit down restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue and West 95th street in Manhattan. Today, 27 years after the companies inception, there are over 200 locations in development worldwide including South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia.

What sets the Halal Guys from other street vendors in New York City and elsewhere is their foods unique flavor and fusion with an American twang. This, in turn has caused competition with other Middle Eastern cuisine carts and the reason for their annual revenue of $2.37 million. Customers can choose between chicken, gyro, or falafel rice platters or shawarma.

The term Halal Guys has become synonymous to delicious, yet affordable food by its millions of global customers while still continuing to grow.