New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

The best options for halal diners to use up their meal swipes

Believe it or not, NYU actually has some pretty delicious options for us halal diners — all you have to do is find them.

As a Muslim student at NYU, I know the struggle of finding halal dining options all too well, especially when your friend orders the most appetizing chicken sandwich with the creamiest dressing and the freshest lettuce served on a Brioche bun. You get excited at the idea of trying a bite — only to remember you can’t, because it doesn’t have Zabiha halal meat. You groan as you realize you have to order the same bland veggie burger that makes you yearn for the spices your mom puts in her cooking back home. 

Halal حلال, in Arabic, means “permissible.” Meat must be butchered in a certain way by the law of Islam in order to be deemed halal, and Muslims must also abstain from pork and alcohol-based foods.

As a first-year student who’s trying to learn the ins and outs of NYU’s campus, I’m always looking for tasty meals in the dining halls, be it a halal meat option or a vegetarian alternative. Whether you’re a Muslim student looking for some halal dishes after a long day of classes or just a lover of halal in general, here are NYU’s best options to satisfy your cravings.

NYU Eats at Lipton

The exterior of Lipton dining hall, with "Dining Hall" at the top of the entrance and a sign on the left reading "N.Y.U. Lipton Hall.”
Lipton Hall has an “all you can eat” halal option, in partnership with the Islamic Center at NYU. (Julia Smerling for WSN)

Lipton Hall has unlimited all-you-can-eat halal options for students to munch on. The halal-certified dining hall opened in 2019 as a partnership between NYU’s Islamic Center and NYU Dining, and it has been popular ever since. NYU assures that Lipton is 100 percent halal certified at the highest level of halal certification through the Halal Food Standards Alliance of America. Lipton has a variety of options that rotate every week, whether it be through the Grill station, Innovation Kitchen, Cucina Pasta or Sweet Shoppe. There is also a convenience shop with halal snacks and beverages located in Lipton. 

The mouthwatering grilled chicken has a hint of home-cooked flavors that feed my nostalgia, and the halal burgers are grilled to perfection, with a toasted and warm bun on top. The Cucina Pasta station also offers meat-free options that are just as filling, like the tomato penne pasta or baked ziti. If you’re looking for a variety of flavorful halal options, Lipton Hall is the place to be. 

The Marketplace at Kimmel

A woman wearing a purple shirt and light blue jeans stands in front of a food stall, while a staff from N.Y.U. Eats stands behind it. Above the stall is a television screen displaying a menu of Halal food offered at Kimmel Marketplace.
The halal section at Kimmel Marketplace is located right next to the pizzeria. (Qianshan Weng for WSN)

The Marketplace at Kimmel is located in the Kimmel Center for University Life and has a designated halal food section right next to the pizzeria. The halal food at Kimmel is also prepared in Lipton’s HFSAA-certified kitchen from their homestyle station.

Although not every meat dish at Kimmel is halal, there are a variety of hot, vegan protein options served at breakfast, lunch and dinner that are just as hearty. Meal options change every day and include biryani basmati rice with coconut milk, garlic naan, roasted sweet potatoes, baba ghanoush and an array of salads and vegetables students can choose from.  

I went to Kimmel for the very first time with my cohort and orientation leader during NYU Welcome, and I was able to indulge in the tandoori chicken legs with string beans, which was surprisingly flavorful. I also tried the garlic naan and roasted sweet potatoes, which made for some hearty sides. The naan was fluffy and garlicky, and the roasted sweet potatoes had the perfect sweetness and texture. 

Crave NYU

A large kitchen with various kitchen appliances. There are people wearing white coats, black pants, and black hats preparing food at various stations around the kitchen.
Crave NYU at the Paulson Center provides many vegan options, suitable for halal eaters. (Alisha Goel for WSN)

The Paulson Center, located at 181 Mercer Street, is home to Crave NYU, which is located on the sixth floor and has some great options for the halal gang, like the newly incorporated Vindy station. You can get yourself a fresh Halal Ball Hoagie, which contains boom boom sauce, halal meatballs, cabbage and tikka masala sauce, or a Halal Ball Bowl, which contains coconut jasmine rice with quinoa as well as onions and cilantro. 

There is also a variety of vegan pasta options for students to try as well as vegan Italian Seasoned PAOW, a soy-based meat substitute, that you can add to the pasta. I’ve tried the rigatoni pasta with the PAOW meat, alfredo sauce, parmesan cheese and roasted vegetables, and despite not being broadcasted as halal, it is one of my go-to meals. The pasta is fresh and made with enriching flavors that burst in my mouth.  

If you are not in the mood for pasta, you can also choose from the Veg 23 menu, with vegan options such as the vegan Falafel Sandwich, which include falafel, hummus, tomatoes and cucumber, and the Southwest Bowl, which has plantains, squash, cucumber, cabbage, smashed avocado and tomatillo sauce. You can always make your own custom Veg 23 bowl as well, giving you more control over the exact toppings you want. 

For a quick snack, you can also grab samosas, which are potato filled fritters that come with a side of tikka masala sauce, or aloo tikki, which are fried potato filled patties. And to top it all off, the crispy samosa pastry is stuffed with a delectable, spicy veggie filling. 

Contact Maryam Babar at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Qianshan Weng
Qianshan Weng, Multimedia Editor
Qianshan Weng is a junior studying Media, Culture and Communication and Journalism. You may pronounce his name as "chi''en-shan", or, if it makes your life easier, just call him "Ben." He grew up in Shenzhen, China, and has spent the last five years or so saying that he wants to learn Cantonese. The answers to the questions "when will he finally start?" and "why is this taking him so long?" remain mysteries, even to himself. You can reach out to him at [email protected]
Julia Smerling
Julia Smerling, Photo Editor
Julia Smerling is a first-year studying photography and imaging, and is one of WSN’s Photo Editors. She is from West Palm Beach, Florida, and you can find her writing poetry, overly obsessing about films, painting art on jeans and always having her headphones on. Also, she’s secretly Peter Parker. You can reach her on Instagram @juliasmerling or her art account @jul3sarchive (where mostly her mom hypes her up and likes her posts so please give it a look — it's becoming embarrassing at this point.)
Alisha Goel
Alisha Goel, Photo Editor
Alisha Goel (she/her) is a junior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Integrated Design and Media. When she is not at WSN, she is developing video games/apps, reading a long book, or creating mildly disturbing art with her photography. You can find her at @03alisha17 on Instagram.

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