53rd & 6th Halal Imitator Switches Up Their Packaging


The results of Street Meat Palooza 2 are just two days away, but here’s a little discovery that is worth sharing with you now.  If you’ve been following Midtown Lunch, or the street food scene in Midtown, than you know about the “Famous Halal Guys” who park on the SW corner of 53rd and 6th at night, and the “imposter” cart during the day that pretends to be related to it. (It’s not.)  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should read this now.

When I first wrote about the “imposter” cart a year and a half ago, I noted that one of the ways you could tell the difference was the daytime cart had a rectangular tin, while the “famous” nighttime cart (and its daytime offspring on the SE corner of 53rd and 6th, and the SW corner of 53rd and 7th) all had circular tins.  Well, at Street Meat Palooza 2 we discovered that the imposter cart (in addition to wearing the signature yellow sweaters worn by the famous cart) has now changed their packaging to circular tins.  Meaning the two plates of food are now virtually indistinguishable.

Can you tell which is which?  Larger shots are after the jump.


Virtually indistinguishable.


Which plate belongs to the Famous Halal Guys Cart (on the SE corner of 53rd & 6th) and which belongs to the daytime imposter on the SW corner?

I feel a little bad calling the daytime cart on the SW corner an “imposter cart” but when you copy the clothes, the packaging, and the food- plus tell customers the lie that you are connected to the cart that parks in your spot at night… well then, there’s no other word for it.  I figure it’s only a matter of time before they start putting the food in yellow plastic bags (the only remaining way to tell the difference between the two, besides taste.)

The interesting thing is, some people prefer the food at the “imposter” cart- so it will be interesting to see how the two fared against each other during SMP2, which is a completely blind taste test. Results will be posted on Wednesday.

(Oh, and the “imposter” cart is the one on top.)

Debunking the Myths of 53rd & 6th, the Most Famous Halal Intersection in New York City
More Cart Shenanigans: Beware of the Yellow Sweaters
VIDEO: VendrTV Visits the 53rd St. & 6th Ave. Halal Guys


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    the chicken from the imposter cart is yellow, that’s how i could tell from the pictures

  • exactly…the real cart has white chicken the imposter has yellow making the top plate the imposter

    mystery solved.

  • i was gonna say the same thing… and the white chicken from the famous 53rd & 6th cart is flavorless and just plain bad… i still don’t understand why people like this cart

  • Halal plates make for poor food pr0n. Both pics look like emphysema warning ads with an extra side of phlegm.

  • The easy way to tell:

    Famous cart has Kofta.

    I’m currently enjoying a Kofta & Chicken combo w/falafel.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Glad to see you rebounded strong from the missing CJs cart!

  • Nothing comes between me and my streetmeat.

  • hmm. I’m curious if there is difference between the nighttime SE Real Halal guys and the SW daytime/nightime Halal guys. I know should be same, but maybe not exactly since different physical cart and cooks?

    …anyway I can’t wait to see Imposter cart vs SW 53 Halal scores in SMP2!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Right on, buns! I really don’t understand why so many people love the 53rd St chicken. It is not very flavorful. That’s why the hot sauce is so nuclear.

    And chinolam, there is a difference between the night and day guys. During the night, there’s high turnover which makes for a much fresher product. Day … not as high turnover and really not worth it IMHO.

  • Adam – is the kofta any good?! I’ve been searching and searching for kofta to rival what I had in Turkey…

  • You can tell by the rice! the real cart has tastier rice

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.