Ask Midtown Lunch: Best Chicken and Rice Cart

“What’s the best Chicken and Rice Cart in Midtown for lunch?  I’ve heard a lot about a famous one on 53rd & 6th.  What’s the deal with that place?”  – Jason, 32

Ah yes… the infamous chicken and rice question.  Technically, the “famous” chicken & rice cart on 53rd & 6th is not a Midtown Lunch, because they don’t open until 7:30pm. (Bummer!)  If you base it on the line alone, than it wins hands down, and it was also nominated for a Vendy Award.  If you’ve ever driven down 53rd st. late at night, than you’ve noticed the lines at this cart.  It’s impossible to miss, and it’s usually there until 4am serving up a combo of chicken, lamb, rice, white sauce and hot sauce.  Every time I have to work late, I’ll usually head over there to check it out- but the lines have always been too long to wait.

During the day, there is cart on that corner- and there always seems to be a long line.  I’ve always wondered if people *think* that’s the famous chicken and rice cart (it’s not, by the way.)

My favorite chicken and rice in Midtown, PLUS a trick to eating at the late night, famous chicken and rice cart- after the jump…


I figured out the trick to eating at the late night 53rd St. & 6th Ave. chicken and rice cart.  Go when it’s raining!  I headed out there on Tuesday night, and there were only about 5 people in line.  Interestingly enough, I thought the chicken was pretty bland when you eat it by itself, but once you put the white sauce over it- it’s pretty tasty.  They give you a ton of food for $5, and if you like spicy, the red sauce is about as spicy a sauce as I’ve ever had.  Mixing it all together is best for optimum taste… and the bread is really fluffy and good too.  It may not be worth waiting in line for good, but good nonetheless.



My favorite chicken and rice in Midtown for lunch is on 43rd & 6th Ave.  It’s a different style than the one on 53rd St., but it’s got a great mix of spices.



Post your favorite chicken and rice in the comments below.  And as always, if you have a question, and are looking for answers- email me at


  • There’s a cart at 48th and 3rd (next to the fruit/veggie juce cart) that has great chicken and rice. Nicely flavored- both of them. Unfortunately, their lamb isn’t as good as some of the other cart lamb I’ve had- detracting from the appeal of the combo. But the chicken and rice is tasty.

  • Curious- how does the one on 43rd/6th stack up against “Kwik Meal” on 45th/6th (I think they also have a second location on 5th)?

  • The one on 47th and 6th is great. He has a special biryani on Wednesday and Friday’s (if you get there early enough), that is not to be missed! The plain chicken-rice is pretty good too; good quality rice.

  • Really….street meat? Really? And you’ve never gotten sick or heard of someone getting ill from eating from the “chicken” carts?


    Um… of course.  Every single time I eat street meat. As a matter of fact, I haven’t felt right since Tuesday night… but I’m not going to let a little thing like “my well being” stand in the way of tasty and cheap food!  -zach

  • Well, the runner up for the 2005 Vendy Awards was my favorite Chicken and Rice cart on 62nd and Madison. It’s a little high for some people, but it’s worth it. Served by Tony (the dragon) Dragona. The spelling might be off. Anyway it rocks. Here is the link to the Vendy award.

  • I decided to check out 43rd and 6 cart and left a bit disappointed.
    I like cart food and street meat of all kinds. But this was just ‘blah’. Not good, not bad, just ‘blah’. I really enjoy Rafiqui’s. There is one located at 40 and park near Chase bank and another a little farther up. The lamb is better than the chicken but everything taste just fine with some white and red sauce.

    Also, I heard a rumor that the white sauce at carts is simply mayo and water.
    True or false?

  • Let me preface this with saying that I know that everyone has a “favorite” halal cart guy. However when it comes to midtown lunch, the cart on 46th and third has the best chicken/lamb and rice around. For five dollars you get a large plate with a choice of two types of rice, chicken/lamb or both. In addition you can add a pita, fries or fallafel. All of this combined with a drink makes this cart amazing and I that is not including the taste of the food.

    Give this cart a TRY!!!

  • anyone been to the Halal truck at around 40th St, east of 8th av (or possibly a little further east)? it’s always parked there, and smells goood

  • Ld – There’s one on 40th and 7th, that’s probably the one you’re thinking of. I haven’t had it in a few years but it was pretty good whenever I did have it. Mmm…street meat.

  • just had mr. khan’s on 44th and 6th.
    so far like it better than rafiqi’s or qwik meal.
    but lets wait a couple of hours and see how my stomach’s doing.

  • 46th and park has the best chicken n rice the chicken is perfect and the orange rice is out of this world been going there for 10 years and for 4 bucks you cant go wrong.

  • I tried the chicken/rice at 62 & Madison. Actually it was a chicken pita because they were out of Rice by the time I made it over (late-ish, 2 maybe?). Very uninteresting, a little dry- probably due to my timing.

    BTW my theory on the white sauce is that it’s ranch dressing.

  • 53 RD AND 6TH!!!!!!!

  • 40th and 7th is my cart of choice.

  • King Tut which used to be on 54th and Lex is the best by far!
    I’m sure CitiCorp had them run out of there.

    Anybody know where King Tut may have landed?
    I do chicken and rice, but my wife is a vegetarian and they had the best falafel in town.

    If anyone knows where they are hiding, let me know!


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