Falafels are tasty, vegetarian, and easy to find. But with so many vendors and restaurants, its become an art to pick out the best of the best. While most people go to the popular 'Mamouns' or 'Jerusalem pizza' or similar places, I personally have sampled more than 100 falafel places, and most of them multiple times. After this quest of the perfect Falafel, I have narrowed it down to a few different categories in which to rate.
Category 1> Best Falafel in a sandwich: Cart vendor on 67th and Broadway. His falafels consist of the best tasting balls as main ingredient. The texture along with sauces make it hard to beat.
Category 2: Best Falafel in a platter: Cart vendor on 39th and Broadway. His platter tastes the best primarily due to the add-ons and condiments he supplies with the platter. The fried slices of eggplant is surely over the top when combined with the falafels.
Category 3: The most unique tasting Falafel: Cart vendor outside the fashion institute on 61st and broadway. His addition of lime to the batter makes for a zingy meal!!
Category 4: The most variety in a Falafel platter: 'Ellyssa' Restaurant in Hells kitchen, on 9th ave between 48th and 49th streets. Choose from babaganoush/hummus/ cooked eggplant with gravy / chickpeas / salads to add as side dishes, included in the platter price. Filling treat.
Category 5: Most popular Falafel: 'Mamouns' open late for the club going crowds, and open to satisfy our middle eastern cravings all the time. 119 MacDougal Street
Every other falafel throughout the city falls under the category of 'Random Miscellaneous falafels'. With any of the ones mentioned above in the 5 categories, you can't go wrong, and will be getting a delicious bite of the middle eastern delicacy. It's just co-incidental that most places I rated fall along broadway, though I work on the east side its well worth a trip to get these!!
Can you describe a little more about what makes these particular felafels diff or special?
How about Azuri in Hells Kitchen?
Haven't been in a couple of years but I used to go a couple of times a week when I worked over there for Ezra's delicious food.
Did you get a chance to try theirs?
I am a huge fan of Pick-a-Pita on 38th between 7th and 8th. Its a total hole in the wall but a very delicious and interesting falafel. The spicy sauce is green and i'm not sure what its made of but its incredible! Every falafel I've has since has fallen short.
Jerusalem on 104th and Broadway is my personal favorite and one of the only falafels that I have had in NYC that stood out to me. This is, in my somewhat limited experience, by far the best middle eastern place in the city.
Taim, in the West Village on Waverly place. When I was living in New York last summer, I had their falafel once and it absolutely RUINED me for anything else (especially Mamoun's, ugh!). The falafel balls are tender and crunchy at the same time, not dried out at all! And the pita bread they use is amazingly soft and chewy. I've even had falafel all over Israel, and Taim beats it by a longshot. Unbelievable.