Halal cuisine has long captured the hearts and stomachs of diners. Those long lines of people snaking their way through midtown neighborhoods across North America at lunchtime? A lot of them probably lead to popular Halal carts serving hungry workers a super-satisfying platter of flavor-bomb food.
The Islamic word Halal means permissible in English, and Halal cuisine encompasses food that is permissible for consumption according to Islamic law. (You can read more about that here.) Thanks to the amazing diversity of cultures and cuisines in North America, carts, stalls, and brick-and-mortar Halal shops are prolific across much of the continent (and Hawaii) with 8,812 establishments in all, according to Brizo data. There are even popular chains, such as The Halal Guys, which was founded in 1990 and has a whopping 85 locations across 16 states, from California to Florida, although the vast majority of Halal restaurants (7,351) are independently operated.
Popular dishes include the ubiquitous platters beloved by desk jockeys for a mid-day meal that will tide them over well after a long commute (or until lunch the next day.) They are typically topped with lamb gyro, chicken, fish, or falafel and dressed with all the sauces (because you’ve GOT to have all the sauces). You can also find gyros and salads — there’s pretty much something for most dietary preferences and palates.
So which areas have the greatest numbers of Halal eateries? The New York City metropolitan area clocks in at number one, with more than 1,300 spots, followed by the Toronto metro region with nearly 1,100. You can see the full list below.
Image: Top metropolitan areas in North America with restaurants that identify as serving Halal cuisine.
In addition to having a presence in nearly every state and most provinces, Halal restaurants are accessible on delivery apps, such as DoorDash, UberEats, and Grubhub. Further, they’re largely well-reviewed with more than half of all restaurants receive 4.5 stars out of 5 from diners. And in these “Uggs are the new Manolo” pandemic days, most are casual spots that are also kid-friendly.
With our increased appetites for delivery and comforting food that’s big on taste, we’ll likely see a rise in the number of Halal restaurants across the two countries.
Image: Distribution of restaurants in North America that identify as serving Halal cuisine.
If you’re an operator interested in finding underserved communities with a dearth of Halal eateries, Brizo Foodmetrics can show you where you should consider opening one with just a few clicks.
About Brizo Data, Inc.: Brizo Data helps the foodservice industry by providing the strategic data you need to win in your market. We empower restaurant vendors and restauranteurs with better data for Business Intelligence, Market Research, and Competitive Analysis. Brizo monitors the online footprint of every food serving establishment in the US and Canada – from social media presence, online reviews, menu items, market composition, and even technological choices.