Halal carts are a popular genre of NYC food cart that serve dishes such as Chicken Over Rice, Lamb Over Rice, Falafel Over Rice, and Combo. These are topped with Red Sauce (spicy) and White Sauce (not). Other popular items include fries, coffee and a small selection of pastries that are different yet identical at every cart. As with most food carts, halal carts advertise at least 10 other items that nobody has ever seen anyone order, such as the philly cheesesteak.
Several halal carts have made their home around the Morningside Campus, including carts on 115th and 116th on Broadway, 116th and Amsterdam, and 120th. They typically are open from about 6am to 4am, making an ideal option for cheap late-night food for a fraction the cost of a dining hall swipe. Building a faithful relationship with your preferred halal cart man is a prized sacrament at Columbia. These customers may earn rare privileges just as never having their money counted, an occasional free drink, and a boiled egg you didn't ask for. Risks include intestinal distress and constipation from a long term diet that consist only of halal cart food.
As of Spring 2020, carts on Broadway south of 120th charge $5 for gyros (falafel, lamb, or chicken), $6 for chicken, lamb, or falafel over rice, and $7 for combo over rice (chicken and lamb typically, but you can request falafel and chicken or falafel and lamb). Prices on Amsterdam and north of 120th are a dollar lower for everything. Adventurous students who wander southward can find halal costing as much as $7 (in front of tourist destinations like the Met) or $8 (at Times Square) for chicken over rice.