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Thai restaurant in Astoria named best halal restaurant in the borough

Photo courtesy of Anat Gerstein, Inc

May 6, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The Queens Chamber of Commerce, the oldest and largest business association in the borough, announced Friday that the winner of its inaugural “Queens’ Best Halal Restaurant Competition” was the Astoria modern Thai fusion restaurant Nur Thai.

Photo courtesy of Anat Gerstein, Inc

In celebration of the restaurant’s distinct honor, Nur Thai, located at 31-01 34th Ave., was awarded a plaque to mark this title, as well as a complementary year of membership to the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

Photo courtesy of Anat Gerstein, Inc

“Nestled in the heart of Astoria, Nur Thai is proud to be a part of this vibrant community, and we are thrilled to be awarded first place in the inaugural Queens’ Chamber ‘Best Halal Restaurant’ competition! This achievement is a testament to our team’s exceptional quality and dedication to every dish we serve,” said Sazzad Hossain, Director and COO of the Amani Hospitality Group, which operates Nur Thai. “We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated staff, including our talented chefs, skilled waitstaff and hardworking kitchen team, for their hard work and unwavering commitment to excellence. Their passion for bringing our customers authentic flavors and exceptional service truly sets us apart. We also thank our loyal guests and the supportive community for their trust and patronage. Their support has made this milestone possible.”

(Left to right) Queens Chamber of Commerce Strategic Program Director George Hadjiconstantinou and Nur Thai owners Razib Hasan and Sazzad Hossain. Photo courtesy of Anat Gerstein, Inc

Queens’ Best Halal Restaurant Competition was held in the weeks leading up to Friday’s announcement. Foodies were asked to nominate and vote for their favorite halal places in the borough. Over a dozen establishments ended up being nominated, with over 1,500 votes being cast.

Photo courtesy of Anat Gerstein, Inc

“The variety of halal cuisine offered in Queens brings people from across New York, as well as outside state lines, to our great borough,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech said. “Congratulations to Sazzad Hossain and the entire team at Nur Thai on winning this competition. This recognition is a testament to their commitment to serving delicious food to our diverse population and I recommend everyone to try their amazing food.”

Photo courtesy of Anat Gerstein, Inc

Nur Thai also has a location in Rego Park, at 63-32 Woodhaven Blvd. Both locations take great pride in their uniquely crafted and authentically created Thai food.

“The World’s Borough is the proud home of so many outstanding halal eateries across every community that serve incredible food while remaining in accordance with Muslim tradition and rules,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “But only one can be called the very best. Congratulations to Nur Thai on being named Queens’ best halal restaurant by the Queens Chamber of Commerce and I hope to meet all of you there for lunch someday soon.”

Halal refers to any food that is permissible to be eaten based on Muslim tradition and rules. At Nur Thai, this includes fresh-butchered Zabiha-certified meats, hand-crafted mocktails, and a diverse variety of spices.

“As State Senator for a district representing people from all walks of life, it is wonderful to see the Queens Chamber of Commerce highlighting the wide range of halal restaurants that Queens has to offer,” State Senator Kristen Gonzalez said. “They are both increasing public knowledge on what halal food is and promoting local businesses. Congrats to Nur Thai!”

Mr. Chang Halal Chinese, located at 25-45 Steinway St. in Astoria, ended up placing second in the competition. Khalil Biryani House, located at 167-20 Hillside Ave. in Jamaica, finished third. Both restaurants received certificates commemorating their second and third-place finishes. Nur Thai, Mr. Chang Halal Chinese and Khalil Biryani House were all separated by a margin of just ten votes.

“We are lucky in Queens to be home to so many excellent halal restaurants, which makes Nur Thai’s win all the more significant,” Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani said. “I want to wish the team at Nur Thai a huge congratulations, and thank the Queens Chamber of Commerce for putting together this competition to recognize halal establishments in the World’s Borough.”

“Congratulations, Nur Thai, on winning Best Halal Restaurant! You deserve to be very proud of your contributions to the halal scene, local Muslim communities, the citywide restaurant landscape and the neighborhood of Astoria,” Council Member Tiffany Cabán said. “Especially now, with Queens’ Muslim families experiencing so much grief and fear, it is vital that they have access to environments that foster togetherness and love. Nothing does that quite like great halal food!”

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