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Oct 13, 2008 10:42 AM

Great falafel in northeast Queens?

Where can I find a terrific Israeli-style falafel in Northeast Queens, Flushing, Jamaica and/or Forest Hills? Moist, fresh, lightly fried falafel in a toasty, warm pita with hummus and crisp chopped Israeli salad/herbs/spices...anywhere??

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  1. Naomi's, on Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills (essentially south Flushing- a mile or so south of the LIE) does a great job with the felafel. They're even better when they're busy, fresh and crispy- the felafel is made in small batches, enough for maybe two sandwiches per batch, right at the counter (the counter towards the rear of the shop, not the front pizza counter). I am also very fond of their 'Turkish' salad, sorta spicy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TongoRad

      Naomi's was the first place I ever had falafel, so I have a soft spot for them, but I've never had better.

    2. i prefer grill point, on the corner of main and jewel. really good eats. the salads (baba, hummus, turkish etc.) are the best i've ever had.

      2 Replies
      1. re: joekarten

        Yeah, I like them too- every time I go to Olympic Pita in Manhattan, which is where I'm working these days, I think about how much I miss Grill Point (better laffa, better salad bar, better meats). I did prefer the felafel at Naomi's, though, and went to Grill Point for schwarma. But they're close enough for the OP to do a 'compare and contrast'.

        1. re: TongoRad

          grill point for falafel, schwarma and the salad, ohmygod, the salad is awesome. But many of my goy friends tell me that they get rude vibes from Grill Pt. However, I'm an Irish Boy, certainly a goy, and people there are great and svs kind. I find the food is much better, hwoever, when you take out then when you sit down. Has nothign to do with service...just the food. Weird, no? weird post...

          Grill Point
          69-54 Main St, Queens, NY 11367

      2. i really like the falafel at Hapisgah (they are Iraqi Israeli--so nice and spicy!) on Union Turnpike in Kew Garden Hills, it's very green inside, the way I like it, and they have the nice thick pita there. Their hot sauce is excellent, and their fried eggplant salad is very good. Their hummos also good. You can get a sandwich to go at the back takeout counter or you can order one at lunch time also. Here a link to their website. Atmosphere is pleasant and mellow at lunch, (they have good lunch specials, also) but avoid sundays and early evenings, because the place is a noisy chaotic zoo, packed with Israeli's and lots of large extended families.

        My husband also likes the falafel at the place on Queens Blvd, near to 66th avenue, I think on the south side of blvd, but their falafel is not green inside, the way I like it.
        Some people like the falafel from the little place Zal Palan? I think, near the LIRR Forest Hills station, but I don't think it's anything special, and all their salads are right from the Sabra containers.

        Grill Point is okay, but my husband got ill from their meat (undercooked) a couple of times, and finally gave up on them, so maybe with falafel they do okay...

        I've heard positive things about a place called Pita Hot on Main Street in Kew Garden Hills, but I've never been.

        Also refer to this thread which gives some more detailed info about some of the places already mentioned:

        3 Replies
        1. re: janie

          Just for clarification, Janie is referring to Pahal Zan near the Forest Hills LIRR station.

          1. re: Greg

            While not my fav falafel spot (their bread is dry, supermarket pita), their falafel is fresh (they make it in front of you) and their salads certainly are not sabra salad- they're also fresh.

            1. re: NicoleFriedman

              The cucumber and tomato israeli salad is fresh, but their hummos, and eggplant salads, and other stuff is definitely Sabra, unless they've changed in the last 2 years. But, up until then. I know for a fact that this is true, as my friend was going to buy the business from them.

        2. In Queens best value $3.99 Queen Pizzeria (hot sauce is terrific) 116-14 Qns Blvd (FHs), If you want a "knock your sox off" Falafel with Israeli salad, you must go to Roslyn Heights just near the Roslyn LIRR stop, North after Exit 29 on The NSP left at the HS/near Warner Ave call Hummus World 516 621 0025 price $6.00 but that'll fill you up till midnight. The Pita they use is proporietary I think/wonderful: Tell owner Johanes that "ROBERT" sent you. RCT

          7 Replies
          1. re: rctanzil

            I found that place Hummus world nothing special, at all, and their eggplant was sort of gross. I think Hapisgah blows it away, also, Hummos world is more like Hummos shack, it's a tiny little spot with 2 small tables, okay for takeaway, but the falafel isn't anything special I didn't think.

            1. re: janie

              Re: Hummus Shack: The salad on top of the Mega Falafel Sandwich is much better than the average place (red cabbage, carrots etc), plus they line inside with hummus which is unique. The bread is soft and warmish. Janie you know what they say about opinions, right?

              1. re: rctanzil

                Certainly, to each their own, that is the point of chowhound. However, when you use the term "knock your sox off" to describe their falafel, it indicates that it is worth the trip there, and that I don't agree with. If you're in the area, it's fine, but I wouldn't search it out, and that is in fact what I did, when I tried it the first time. I returned after the first time, but only when I have been in the area. My point, is that it didn't impress me, but yes, the salads were fresh enough, just lacking in flavor and spice.

                1. re: janie

                  No worries Janie. I am a Falafel fanatic for the record, I am in constant search for the right place. HW is geographically desirable to where I live. It's different, very filling & I enjoy it. I work in FHs and interestingly the good places fall by the wayside or I have not discovered them. Thanks to this blog I will have some new places to try. I always pass the grill point and am tempted. I plan on trying your Hapisgah soon as well, but my colleague says its a Kosher steak house, Que Pasa?

                  1. re: rctanzil

                    > my colleague says its a Kosher steak house, Que Pasa?

                    Your colleague's right; so is Janie. Big kitchen-sink menu: Middle Eastern, steakhouse, Italian, all glatt kosher.

                    14725 Union Tpke, Queens, NY 11367

                    1. re: rctanzil

                      It is a kosher steakhouse, and lots of Israeli's go there for steak and baby chicken, and other stuff as well. They just happen to make really excellent falafal. It's always made fresh to order. Their Israeli salad is nothing much though. We go and make a meal of falafel, spicy eggplant salad (it's very similiar to Greek Eggplant salad--but there it's not called Greek eggplant, it's called Spicy Eggplant, go figure!.....hummos, and something else's good to try for lunch because you could try an entree cheaper, and get some falafel balls (they are .50 each I think), and they will bring you tahini with them and don't forget to ask for their killer hot sauce, they have both green and red.

                      I love falafel too, but I'm allergic to fava beans, and generally Israeli falafel doesn't have it in it, but many non Kosher falafel places do, especially Egyptians, so something to consider if seeking out non kosher falafels.....Chickpea in the village was pretty good when it first opened, and then they went downhill, and are even baking them, or something like that!

                      Try Naomi's, Grillpoint, and Hapisgah, and see what you think....enjoy!
                      It's too bad Forest Hills doesn't have anything great, because there's enough Israeli's living in Parker Towers to keep a good place in business! :)

                      1. re: janie

                        Gosh.........Parker Towers, Birchwood Towers Gerard Towers, all in my former backyard. Having grown up as an Asian in a predominantly Jewish Forest Hills back in the 60's 70's & 80's, I have become proficient in a lot of Yiddish slang and have great appreciation for the religion, culture & food. Hope everyone had a nice Sukkot ! Maybe Grill Point bthis evening after work!

            2. There is a new place called Falafel Kitchen recently opened on Union Tpke and 187th street.
              It's on the same block as the supermarket A-Z. Gotta say the shawarma is the best I had since my last trip to Israel. The pita is filled with just the right amount of meat, salads and tahina. They also gave me a falafel ball to taste, can't wait to go back and have a falafel sandwich in their pita. 5 Stars all the way....The place is a bit small but you don't need more than that to eat a sandwich. Laid back yet fun atmosphere, must give it a try.

              3 Replies
              1. re: tuly

                great to know, thanks for the heads up..was the falafel green inside?

                1. re: janie

                  whats up with that? I noticed some are green and some are tan. herbs?
                  whats the dif?

                  1. re: Jeffsayyes

                    see old post of mine here from a good thread on the subject:

                    grillpoint, hapisgah are green inside
                    wafa who is lebanese, makes yellow balls that have cilantro in them and drier taste..nothing like the other 2 above..but she does not use fava beans
                    many egyptian places and the arabic places in astoria use fava beans--
                    if you're allergic make sure you ask.

                    14725 Union Tpke, Queens, NY 11367

                    100-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375