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Mar 20, 2008 07:04 AM

falafel in vancouver?

Craving falafel like what I had in Paris at L'As du Falafel, but instead we're heading for Vancouver--please help!


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  1. I don't eat much falafel, but my fafafel eating friends like Habibi's on West Broadway. There are quite a few busy falafel joints all around town (the downtown core has quite a number of them).

    1. I think Habibi's is still closed for renovations.

      We like Falafully Good on the corner of Oak & 16th.

      1 Reply
      1. re: islandgirl

        It seems to be more than closed for renos; looks gone. Even the sign is no longer there.

      2. Ha! I've been craving the falafel from Les Marais for years, and I can find NO equivelent in Vancouver or Victoria. They all seem to make it similar to gyros. Just so you're prepared....

        But if you find some, do tell!

        5 Replies
        1. re: miss_bennet

          Had an excellent Falafel from Nuba today.

          Also if you're willing to travel Abdul's in the Crystal Mall in Burnaby.

          1. re: Sam Salmon

            I'll second the rec for Nuba... and it's not just for falafel either e.g. Najib's special cauliflower and the red lentil soup. I've only been to the one on Seymour which seems to do a lot of takeout, but there are a couple of tables and the service is informed and professional. And did I mention it's great value?

            1. re: Sam Salmon

              I'm a little less concerned about the actual falafel, and more about the container it is served in.

              In Paris, they started with a pita that was about 6" diametre. They open a pocket, and they start cramming stuff in: onions, cucumber, red cabbage, tahini, hummus, fried eggplant and of course, falafel. Granted, the best one I had was down the street, but I can't find falafel in Victoria that is served in the pocket. To me, it was all about the garlic sauce.

              Is Nuba's falafel like this?

              Note: the pictures are of L'as de falafel's falafel.

              1. re: miss_bennet

                Hmm, not quite so much variety as you list stuffing wise but properly pocketed, as I recall. I'm hardly an expert on pitas, but it seems to me that the Greek ones tend to be non-pocketable and the other Middle Eastern ones split apart.

              2. re: Sam Salmon

                The absolute BEST shawarmas I've ever had (including falafel sandwiches) is at Abdul's in Burnaby. Comparable to Ottawa's, and Abdul's uses the right bread - not the gyro pita stuff. He opens up the massive lebanese bread, stuffs & rolls it perfectly. Ask for extra sauce (& his garlic sauce is amazing). Haven't been able to get anything in Calgary comparable to it, and it's one of the things I miss most about living in Vancouver!

            2. New restaurant. Busy location, 446 W. 8th avenue. Very close to the new rapid transit location.
              Falafel Plus.
              Excellent Falafel. Restauranteur used to own Spice on West Broadway.
              Kosher too. Open nightly until 8:00 PM. Closed on Saturdays.

              2 Replies
              1. re: veganhound

                Yes Simon's new place is great not a large location but the food is delicious.

                In summer if it's busy get your Falafel 'To Go' and eat it on the benches @ the fountain in front of Home Depot 1/2 block away.

                Facing Cambie it's not the quietest place but the view out over the city is quite calming.

                1. re: Sam Salmon

                  Nice! Organic Falafel is in the menu. Is the falafel fried fresh to order?

              2. OK, this is a thread that I can speak to with some authority. Having lived in NY for several years and eating several hundred falafel sandwiches, I feel I can comment on this one. There is almost no decent falafel in Vancouver and this is mainly because most(all) places pre cook their falafel balls and then nuke them. You wil never have a decent falafel done this way. The best I have had in Vancouver is at Deserts on Commercial Drive. They are a little hippy dippy but at least they fry everything fresh! The falatka is good.

                2 Replies
                1. re: tdeane

                  I have to agree, tdeane. I haven't ingested as many falafel as you but the precooking thing can be a dealbreaker for me. I say can be because there was one place in Toronto whose product was so good they got away with it :-).

                  I used to like the Deserts near Kits Beach for the same reasons you mention but I was never a huge fan of the Commercial outpost which I believe is now the only one left.

                  My all-time favourite was actually from a Greek place on Broadway, sadly long gone. Not only did they fry to order but they served it with the best herby fries evah. Mmm fries with falafel...

                  1. re: grayelf

                    I should have added that the falafel that I had a Deserts that was good was about 3 years ago and the next time I went, it wasn't as good. Actually, it was never as good as it was the first time.