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June 23, 2006

Fancy that Falafel

Hands down, where is the best falafel place you have ever eaten? Please explain where, when and why.

Don't like falafel? Shame, shame.

Posted by callalillie at June 23, 2006 11:06 AM | Falafel Quest , Food , Inquiry


I love Mamouns - but who doesn't? Not too dry, always tastes fresh, just the right kick of spice.

[I have also spent the last 20 minutes trying to find my former favorite falafel place on earth on Google and fear I've lost the name forever (M Street over by the Key Bridge in Washington, DC).]

Posted by: deb at June 23, 2006 11:35 AM

Editor's note: Mamoun's, MacDougal btw Bleeker & 3rd

Posted by: corie at June 23, 2006 11:38 AM

Okay, spastic over-commenting here but I remembered the name of my favorite place: Fettoosh, 3277 M Street, Georgetown, DC. I mean, it's really that good.

Posted by: deb at June 23, 2006 11:41 AM

I JUST found mine one week ago today. Good Frickin Chicken in SF. They use fennel seeds in their falafel. Who knew?

Posted by: Phc at June 23, 2006 11:45 AM

There's one on St Marks that is pretty good. Can't remeber the name though.

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at June 23, 2006 11:59 AM


Posted by: corie at June 23, 2006 12:00 PM

I walked by this place Taim's in the west village yesterday and people were pouring out the door--looked good: http://taimnyc.com/

Like the meat in the schwarma from mamoun's (though technically not falafel) but the actual pita's at chickpea.

Rainbow falafel on 17th b/w broadway and 5th is really good: http://www.newyorkmetro.com/listings/restaurant/rainbow-falafel-and-shawarma/

Also, Berlin has some great great falafel.

Posted by: yp at June 23, 2006 12:31 PM

1. street vendor at Hunter College, 68th and Lex.
(although its been a few years since I've been there)
2. Jerusalem, near 103rd and Bway. (ditto)
3. Amir's, near Columbia, is pretty good but a bit too unecessarily spicy chickpea.

Posted by: Jonathan at June 23, 2006 12:39 PM

OMG. Chickpea on Third and St. Mark's. Real Israeli falafel. I've had some baaaad falafel experiences here in the city and Chickpea is the only, only, only place I go. If I'm anywhere near downtown, I plan a trip to Chickpea.

Posted by: Nancy at June 23, 2006 12:56 PM

I have a soft spot for Chickpea, too, but I think it's because Alexis and I went there early on in our relationship. Their falafel is really good, though.

I'm not a fan of Amir's, only because the two sandwiches I have had there have been a) really, really dry and b) the pitas have been ice cold. I am actually very troubled by the lack of good falafel places near Columbia, though Jonathan, you are the second person to recommend the one on 103rd. I'll have to check it out.

Posted by: corie at June 23, 2006 1:00 PM

Summer of '89. Small food truck. Petah Tikvah, Israel. 1:00am.
I had to scale a fence to get it, but it was worth it.

Posted by: Alexis at June 23, 2006 1:17 PM

We should not forget Brooklyn -- my girlfriend always has high praise for the falafels at Waterfalls cafe on Atlantic, although I've only had other things there. There is a recent review buried a few pages into Gothamist.

Regarding Chickpea, I would have to trust someone who lived in Israel -- mentioning falafels to Israelis in NY is almost as difficult as telling a West Coast person you like NY burritos.

Posted by: Jonathan at June 23, 2006 1:18 PM

Jerusalems in the DU area.

Posted by: hubs at June 23, 2006 2:17 PM

Oh wow, I was just going to put down Denver's Jerusalem, myself! Mmm, they have great middle eastern food.

Posted by: Liz at June 23, 2006 3:03 PM


Posted by: Tiya at June 23, 2006 3:32 PM

In manhattan, I do like Chickpea, mostly because I like saying Schawafel (half felafel, half schawarma). But I gotta give the "Best in NYC' award to Azuri Cafe on 51st street near 10th Ave. If you've never been, go there now. The one I go to the most in Alibaba's on the UWS, on Amsterdam and 85th. It's pretty good, and alos close to where I live.

In brooklyn, I like, Zeytoon's on Myrtle Ave (they also have great split pea soup).

In the world, I gotta go with King of Felalfel on King George street in downtown Jerusalem. Truth in advertising for that one. He is the king.

Posted by: Dave at June 23, 2006 3:42 PM

Amsterdam, Feb 96'. A vendor cart that allowed you to go crazy silly with the toppings...I paid for it the next day. Sucks when you have to pay for it while staying at a hostel. Privacy? What privacy?
Funny how some things you still remember no matter how long ago it happened.

Posted by: Kris at June 23, 2006 5:09 PM

I heart Pita Pan in Park Slope... AMAZING.. DELICIOUS...
I think it's on 7th Ave?

Posted by: Lianne at June 23, 2006 5:29 PM

Old Jerusalem... Wells Street, Chicago, IL. Yummmm.

Posted by: tatiana at June 23, 2006 6:58 PM

The jewish quarter, Paris, November 2003. It was 11pm and I had been walking around the city all day. We got a beer at the corner shop and chowed down on what was quite possibly the best falafel ever created. Good times.

Posted by: Marcia at June 23, 2006 8:11 PM

Manger Square, Bethlehem Christmas Eve 1999. Bought from a dirty street cart. Will never forget it.

Posted by: Kas at June 23, 2006 9:19 PM

"The Magic Chickpea" stall in Camden Market, London, circa 1992.

Posted by: Bill at June 24, 2006 12:39 PM

well, since we're going international here...i have to give a mention to the tiny, literallly hole-in-the-wall falafel joint that I ate at almost everyday in Prague. Unfortunately, I can't remember what street it's on...only that its on the way to Wenselscas Square. So you'll have to find it the same way I did...by accident. As for Israeli falafel, I won't even go there because it's like pizza in nyc....the best pizza anywhere outside nyc is the worst pizza in nyc.

Posted by: Nancy at June 25, 2006 9:28 AM

there's some really good israeli falafel on Amsterdam between 84th and 85th, but the best I've had in NYC is a food cart on Broadway and 27th. Best ever? The falafel stand across the street from the apartment my dad grew up in, in Haifa.

Posted by: dahl at June 26, 2006 9:53 AM

i dont no fettoosh, but we can go there the next time you come down to dc.

i may have to try it in the mean time. i will say i might agree with dahl btw - i do like the israeli falafel on amsterdam

Posted by: skutchie at June 26, 2006 11:02 AM

Used to dig on Mamoun's, but it seems somehow greasier of late. And after 14 years of eating great falafel there I don't want to ruin the memories. There's a great place, Pita Hut, on 23rd Street (betw. 7th and 8th) and there's the well-famed 'Kwik Meal Cart' at 45th Street and 6th. Not generally one for the street cart food, this dude has had all sorts of write-ups and is totally worth checking out.

Posted by: sandra at June 27, 2006 3:26 PM

At a drive through in Kuwait

Posted by: Liise at June 27, 2006 9:26 PM

Don't know if this is the same joint that Nancy mentioned, but the best falafel I have ever had was in 1993 at a place called "Queenz" on Havelsky Trh, a block or so from the Stavovske Divadlo in Prague. I never asked if they were actually from Queens. It's gone now.

As an aside, I have yet to actually eat any really good pizza in NYC, and it's not from lack of trying.

Posted by: Patrick at June 29, 2006 2:04 PM

Good pizza? Have you checked out Slice-NY?

Posted by: corie at June 29, 2006 2:13 PM

Just looked at Slice, but I'm not sure how helpful it will be -- most of the reports seemed to be several years old, and there didn't seem to be any way to find reviews -- let me know if (as is most likely) I missed something obvious.

Posted by: Patrick at June 29, 2006 3:44 PM

I guess it also depends on what you define good pizza to be.

Posted by: corie at June 29, 2006 3:51 PM

For me, the most important thing is the sauce, with the crust coming in a close second. Most of the sauce I've had in NYC, from well-known and unknown places, has been kind of bland. I like the crust thin but not mushy (I want to eat it with my hands) and not so well-done that it's like a cracker. Locally, where do you get your pizza? I've found the sauce at Savoia to be better than others around here but the crust is as firm as a crepe.

Posted by: Patrick at June 29, 2006 5:26 PM

Rainbow Falafel, on the south side of 17th Street off Union Square West. A perfect falafel.

Posted by: A Reader at July 4, 2006 6:13 PM

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