Popular NYC halal cart opens storefront in Selden


Zaiqa Halal has been serving up traditional chicken, lamb, gyro and falafel platters over rice from its food stand in downtown Flushing since 2012.

After years of success, the owners, Abdul Abdali and his wife Zahedah Zaraei, quickly opened another cart in Flushing and one in Valley Stream. All the while, however, the two had their eyes set on a brick-and-mortar space, specifically in Suffolk County.

“When we started looking around 2013, there were no halal places out here,” Zaraei said of Suffolk. “My brother went to Stony Brook, and he would tell me that there were not a lot of options for students to get a good meal, or halal, late at night.”

When they heard the space that once held the old NY Gyro and Grill at 795 Middle Country Road in Selden was available, the couple jumped at the opportunity. They officially opened their first storefront in that space on Jan. 31.

“We offer lower prices, which is great for students,” Zaraei said of the Selden area, which is a short drive from Suffolk County Community College and Stony Brook University. “We wanted to be affordable a better option.”

The menu has platters for $6.99, which comes with a meat choice over rice and a salad with unlimited toppings. With the platters, customers can customize exactly what they want — whether it’s more salad, less rice or a mix of sauces — because each meal is made individually.

“We make sure to customize every order for whatever the customer wants,” Zaraei said.

“Everyone has a different taste,” Abdali added.

With the larger space, Zaiqa Halal is able to add more items to the menu, since they weren’t confined to a small cart anymore. Abdali said that the top three items at his restaurant are the chicken over rice, the combo over rice and the gyro over rice, but they also offer wings, jumbo shrimp and sandwiches.

“Customers can get six-piece buffalo, BBQ or hot wings for just $4.99,” he said. “We’ve been getting really good feedback the last two months.”

Other menu items include burgers, French fries, hummus and a Philly cheesesteak special.

The eatery is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Scroll down for some pictures of Zaiqa Halal, photos by Julianne Mosher.

Zaiqa Halal owner Abdul Abdali
Outside view of Zaiqa Halal on Middle Country Road in Selden
Chicken and lamb combo platter over rice and salad
Seating inside Zaiqa Halal
Chicken and lamb combo platter over rice and salad with French fries