Falafel—it’s portable, affordable, and probably the healthiest (and tastiest) deep-fried street food around. Here’s a look at some of the top spots for this much-beloved Mid-East croquette. – Kelly Dobkin
This classic FiDi falafel joint started off small, but has expanded into a full-blown restaurant known for its fastidiously-made falafel sandwiches. With pita as thin as a tortilla, the flavors of the falafel are the star of the show.
Azuri Café has the pedigree of any classic New York restaurant: paltry real estate, a grumpy owner, and rave-worthy food. The falafel at this Israeli eatery is remarkably well-made, with a crunchy outside and soft inside.
The famed Astoria restaurant opened by Egyptian ex-pat Ali El Sayed has been heralded by food blogs and featured on TV shows like Travel Channel’s No Reservations. But what you might not have heard is that the falafel here, known to be moist, non-greasy, and flavorful, is some of the best in town.
New Yorkers know a good deal when they see one. Delicious, cheap, and nutritious, this quintessential sliver of a falafel stand is typically accompanied by a line snaking down the block. At less than $5 a pop, the tender, well-seasoned falafel here is worth the wait.
Chef Einat Admony left behind a burgeoning gourmet career to focus on her passion for falafel, street food in her native Israel. Taim, (“tasty” in Hebrew), lives up to its name, serving up stellar homemade varieties of the chickpea-laden delight accompanied by hummus, Israeli salad, tabbouleh, and whole wheat pitas dusted with zataar.
Zaytoon’s may be the best Middle Eastern chain in Brooklyn, serving up homemade, expertly executed classics like babaganoush, shish kebabs, pitza and, of course, falafel.
Pyramida is a rather unassuming restaurant on a stretch of 2nd Avenue that is currently under construction, which makes it easy to overlook. You’d be doing yourself a disservice to ignore it completely; while there is a very nice and reasonably priced lunch menu, the real star here is the falafel. Crisp, almost crunchy on the outside, yielding to a heavenly spiced, tender and moist center, the falafel are not to be missed. The lunch menu lets you get it as a sandwich or as a wrap, both $8.95 and coming with the soup of the day and your choice of beverage.
Wafa’s Lebanese Cuisine recently reopened after a brief hiatus away, to the delight of locals. A cozy place that makes some of the best falafel around Forest Hills, one visit will have you feeling like family and enjoying delicious food. Portions are generous and prices are low, making this the perfect place for you to enjoy a quick lunch meal with friends. A falafel sandwich goes for $5, or a platter of vegetarian spreads and dips for a mere $9.95. End the meal with the house-made baklava – light and airy, with just a touch of the lightest honey… you’ll wish you hadn’t filled up on your meal so you could eat more baklava.