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Jul 17, 2006 12:38 AM

Israeli Falafel

Even though it's been a while, I still remember the taste of the falafels I had on the corners of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. They tasted very different than any falafel I've had here--somehow lighter, yet sharper and more flavorful. Can anyone recommend a place that makes "Israeli-style" falafels? (I've tried several kosher cafes and none of them come close.)

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  1. Azuri Cafe on 51st between 9th and 10th has incredible Israeli falafel.

    1 Reply
    1. re: binkis

      Second the rec of Azuri, which is easily my favorite falafel in manhattan. Two other excellent Israeli-style falafel places are Pick-A-Pita (38th btw 7th and 8th) and Taim (Waverly btw 11th and Perry). I'm addicted to the schawafel at the former, and the latter is almost as good as Azuri with a lot less attitude.

    2. Chickpea is Israeli ( I like their falafel, although I don't know if it is what you are looking for.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. What constitutes an Israeli falafel and how is it different from say a Lebanese falafel? I'm told that Egyptians sometimes make falafels out of fava beans as opposed to chickpeas, that's something I'd like to try.

          1. There's a long thread on the different kinds of Falafel if you search...

            But another candidate for Israeli Falafel (my personal favorite kind) is Murray's on 1st and 15th. Chowhounds never seem to mention it, but on both my visits it's been excellent, especially with the spicy green sauce.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Cackboy

              I would second Murray's. The best Falafel and Schwarma I've found to date. They also serve it (on request) with Amba, the pungent mango-based sauce served on sandwiches almost everywhere in Israel.

              1. re: keith

                Funny, I was quite underwhelmed by their shawarma when I tried it back in January or December.

                1. re: Pan

                  Interesting. What was it that you weren't fond of? Granted, it's very different from an Arab Shwarma, but I think it holds up nicely against the versions you find in Israel, especially if authentically topped with some Israeli Salad, Tahini, Hot Sauce and Amba.

                  1. re: keith

                    I found it somewhat dry and tasteless - underspiced, I think. It's hard to remember distinctly because I didn't find it memorable. Maybe I should give it another shot. My standby is Chickpea, because it's closest to me. I didn't like the amba there too much but add tahini and hot sauce to my chicken shawarma or Chickplant sandwich.