We are well into Falafel season in New York City (April – March). I will make this one nice and painless, almost W42st pick-5 style. When I want a good Falafel these are the only places I consider. They are fairly spread out, so helps with your sightseeing, quick bite needs. I cant think of a better, more affordable snack in town other than a well crafted Falafel. For most of you EWZ old timers, other than one place perhaps (Ba’al) this wont offer anything new.
Nish Nush – Any Falafel discussion should start and end with the Nish Nushes (or Nish Nishe). Two of them now, though I still prefer the original Tribeca location over FiDi. Pitas at FiDi didnt do it for me last time. The regular “Classic” over the other flavors (Tribeca, FiDi) any time.
Taim – Pronounced Ta-eem, as in “Delicious” in Hebrew. Its indeed delicious, but not exactly a NYC secret. I have to admit, I changed the wording in the first paragraph to “Consider” from “Frequent” since I dont really frequent Taim as much as I used to. The Nolita location crowds makes me slightly noxious when I pass by. But the falafel platter here, with 9 gorgeous schweddy balls, fresh salads, and pita with Za’atar seasoning, is divine. (West Village, Nolita)
Gazala’s – Although not exactly a recent discovery, I feel like the falafel here is. I’ve had it before, but lately cant get enough of it. I dont know if its the type of oil they use, but it just tastes fresher. Nice golden scrips on the outside, perfectly seasoned and herbed on the inside. This is not a sandwich recommendation per se. You get the plate with paper thin pita (ask for it) and hummus that is another must order (Hell’s Kitchen)
Ba’al Cafe and Falafel – Tucked away in the quieter parts of Soho, Ba’al is the definition of hole in the wall. There’s nothing fancy here but a simple solid Falafel sandwich. My secret weapon (Soho)
Azuri – This is a pick for those looking for a little bit more excitement to their falafel experience. And by excitement I mean something more akin to riding a scary roller-coaster. You not only get a beautifully crafted falafel sandwich in a thick whole wheat pita, but you get to deal with Ezra the Falafel Nazi. (Hell’s Kitchen)
Mamouns – Just kidding.