best falafal in midtown?
hey chowhounders. i've been working in midtown for a year now and realize that i don't have a go-to falafal joint. all the other neighborhoods i've worked in i've have my favorites down (rainbow in union square, alfanoose and pita express downtown), but none here.
so, whats your favorite falafal place, be it a cart or a sit-down place, in midtown?
my favorite is Azuri cafe. it's a bit of a walk but worth it, especially on a nice day- 51st between 9th and 10th.
Although not your typical Falafel place, CRISP just recently opened on the corner of 43rd and 3rd. They sell falafel in pita or bowls, but use some unique ingredients that I've yet to see elsewhere. For example, the Mexican Pita has falafel, salsa, tortilla chips. The Athenian has greek yogurt, salad, olives. They serve fluffy whole wheat pita that doesn't fall apart when you eat. One con, its expensive! Had the Athenian on whole whear (no drink) for $10.75.
Eat-A-Pita, on the ground floor of Grand Central terminal is pretty good. I like the Shawafel sandwich (combo of falafel and shwarma). They also have falafel platters among other things.
For something a little less expensive, Prince Deli on 3rd between 43rd and 44th has a pretty decent falafel and good middle eastern salads to match.
Hope this helps!
My absolute favorite is Pick-A-Pita, which is on West 38th Street b/w 7th and Broadway. I believe that they're one of the few places in the city that have Shawafel. ANd you can pretty much get WHATEVER you want on your sandwich (eggplant, tabouli, tahini, cabbage salad,, l&t, onions... anything) and its still the same price. (I think its $5.00). It is Israeli style.
Also, another place that is good is Bread&Olive on 45th Street between 5th And 6th. They're falafel is really good but they also serve other amazing middle eastern food like Labne & Zatar (amazing). I'm a huge fan of their Chicken Taouk and Shawarma.
In personal order of preference:
Azuri Cafe: Easily the best I've ever had -- the Difara of falafel.
Olympic Pita: Make sure to get the laffa bread and lots of fried eggplant.
Pick-A-Pita: Excellent shawafel (shawarma and falafel together) with really cool staff.
These places all serve Israeli-style falafel.
Midtown East: Marrakesh, 235 E 53rd St, Lower Level, btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave. It's a sit down place, pretty cheap (felafel platter is 8 bucks), and it's always fresh. I love their kefta kababs too.
Taksim and Sip Sak, both make great falafel. They're sit-down places; a little more expensive that most falafel joints though. I don't know where in midtown you are. They're both on Second Ave.
I second the recommendation for CRISP, in midtown. I was there just a couple days ago with some friends. It was packed after 1:30 p.m., but the line moved quickly. Four of us thought it was the best falafel and hummus that we've had in midtown, and we go for Middle Eastern food pretty frequently. The sandwich was great, the pitas are freshly baked and the hummus and falafel had terrific flavor and consistency. Very good iced teas also.
If not there, Bread & Olive, on 45th, off of Fifth, on the south side of the street, has very good Lebanese falafel, and a good selection of Middle Eastern salads. Also, as one poster mentioned, both Sip Sak and Taksim have great falafel and hummus, though my vote for "better of the two" goest to Sip Sak.