We love falafel. I am Lebanese by heritage, Steinthal is Jewish, we both are human beings, and it just so happens that if you are any one of those three things you probably love falafel, too. It’s cheap, it’s vegetarian, and it’s delicious, assuming you’ve got a few good spots in your rotation. That’s where we come in.
Here’s a guide to our favorite falafel spots in New York, from low brow to high brow and everything in between. Actually, there’s no in between, but you get the idea.
Taïm has to be the most popular falafel spot in this town, and for good reason. These platters and sandwiches are unequivocally some of the best things you can eat in this city for less than $10. If we’re craving a falafel, we’re usually craving a Taïm falafel.
Tired of hearing people complain about how there’s nothing to eat in the Financial District? Send them to Alfanoose. This little Lebanese restaurant does falafel right – freshly made, light, crispy and flavorful.
Everybody’s had a falafel sandwich from Mamoun’s, right? What’s that? You haven’t? You clearly aren’t a) broke enough or b) smart enough. Get with the game no matter what you’ve got in your bank and hit Mamoun’s for a $4 falafel hummus sandwich that will blow your mind.
Our favorite falafel joint in Midtown. According to our man Ben Kopelman – an Azuri regular – the guy behind the counter can be “such a f*cking grouch” but the falafel platter is “worth his ‘tude.”
A well known Midtown lunch truck, Moishe has been on 46th Street for years, hooking up quality falafels for business class lunch folks who otherwise have very few decent options.
We’ll call this your upscale option for falafel, as Naya is a sleek Lebanese restaurant that sort of looks like a communal shower from space on the inside. The food here, however, happens to be excellent, especially the falafel. Naya’s balls have a thicker outer crust than many, but the inside is still pillowy soft. All of the other Middle Eastern EEEEEATS at Naya are slammin’ too. Make a night of it.
Great name, excellent falafel, freshly baked pita, and white sauce from a squeeze bottle. What more do you want from life? True love? This is easier to find and probably more satisfying.
This Queens street cart won a Vendy Award a few years back, which is pretty much the same thing as getting knighted if you sell food from something with wheels on it for a living. The King makes football shaped falafel that sit perfectly in a sandwich, and that’s what you’ll want to be eating if you visit. Ask for extra pickled turnip.
Open since 1990, Kabab Café is legendary for it’s authentic Egyptian menu – including things like lamb brains. We haven’t taken that plunge yet, but we have eaten a whole bunch of balled up chick pea brains, AKA the falafel platter, which is infinitely more appetizing. You vegetarians might be onto something.
If you find yourself out in the Flushing/Kew Gardens area in need of a falafel, Naomi’s is your spot. Ask anyone who grew up near this place, and they’ll tell you that they’ve been coming here since they were kids, and that this is up there with the best falafel in NY. The pizza? Not so much.
Zizi Limona is a funky little place. The concept seems to be that they put an interesting spin on what would otherwise be authentic Middle Eastern food, which is why the falafel appetizer here comes served with a smoked tomato and curry yogurt. You want that. You also want some “Crazy Baba” babaganoush, which I guess got crazy because it got some basil and feta in it.
Just a few blocks away from Zizi Limona is a much more familiar, much cheaper falafel experience. The falafel sandwich at La Goulette will only set you back $4, and it’s one of the best falafel sandwiches in the city. There’s also apparently an off menu sandwich (pictured) that looks like a f*cking falafel big mac, and jeeeeezus we want it. We’re gonna need to get back here soon/today.
Kulushkat stormed onto the falafel scene (yes, I just said that) a few years ago, racking up a bunch of good press and getting Brooklyn excited about casual Middle Eastern food again. Maybe people had just grown tired of all the Coney Island Ave. spots, or maybe they just wanted some new blood, but either way, Kulushkat made some big fans pretty fast. Once you try the spicy falafel sandwich, you’ll understand why. Not in the mood for chick peas? Hit up the Sabikh (fried eggplant) sandwich in stead.