HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >


Best Falafel

Seriously, if you haven't been to Taim, it was some of the chowest falafel I've ever had. And their saffron aioli dipping sauce for their french fries...wow.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. where is it and what's the kosher supervision?

          1. re: KosherVeg

            Naomi Levi's pizza in Queens has amazing falafel.

            1. re: moonlightgraham

              Naomi's is good.

              I recently found a fleishig place (Don't know the name) in Woodmere NY on Irving Place next to the firehouse (under the 5towns vaad) that makes great falafel too.

              I've heard they make a great cholent too but I was there at lunchtime

              1. re: berel

                DELICIOUS DISHES
                12 Irving place
                Woodmere, NY

              2. re: moonlightgraham

                Can't agree on Naomi's. Aside from the place being very dingy, the falafel is made in way in advance and microwaved. Almost flavorless and with toppings that are few and mediocre. In Queens, Grill Point a few blocks away is much better (though fleishig).

                In Manhattan, Soom Soom has a great salad bar and fresh falafel (I did not have the falafel but the other stuff I had was amazing). For the past 20 years, I thought Moshe's cart on W46th & 6th was the best ever, but my last purchase there was very disappointing - the texture and flavor I recall was totally absent.

                1. re: mrogovin

                  I have eaten in naomis for 15 years and have never seen a falafel ball in the microwave! I love the falafel there. It is the best...

                  1. re: KosherChef

                    WADR, they have a big metal bowl filled with precooked falafel every day. When you order, they fill the pita and microwave it. Then add techina, salad, etc. I work a few blocks away and tried it a couple of times - very disappointed. That plus the place is really dingy. I suppose if you time it so that you are there as they are running out of precooked and are making more you may be lucky enough to get fresh. Or perhaps they treat you better because you are a regular? :-) But it is not the norm.

                    1. re: mrogovin

                      Must come to Naomi's defense. First, it is unfair to call it "dingy" it is a pizza shop - not fancy but clean bright and actually lively with a diverse clientelle. Food is generally fresh and falaffel is as close to Israel as you will get in a pizza shop. If you have had that repeated experience why not tell the owner who is almost always there. Perhaps ask them to make you some fresh.

                      1. re: Reveg

                        There are at least 4 pizza places on Main Street. They vary from spotless (La Bella) to dingy (Naomi's) and in between (Benji's). Being a Pizza Shop is no excuse for dingy. Perhaps your standard of clean and mine are different, but I stand by my review. Even at lunch time, I find the quality of both their pizza and falafel, the varieties they offer and they way they prepare them to be far inferior to any other falafel place I have tried. If this is a close to Israel, then either we have been to very different places in Israel or in the years since I was last there, the quality has dropped considerably. Naomi's stays in business because it is an outpost - the furthest north and closest to Queens College. It would not last if it had more competition (i.e. if it was located closer to Jewel or 73rd Ave). You and other defenders are entitled to your opinion of course (taste is personal).

          2. Sorry - SoomSoom on West 72nd street is far and away the best.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jdh11

              I actually went to SoomSoom because of a recommendation here. It was good but definitely not the best.

            2. Mama's Vegetarian in Philly is the best I've had, at least in the USA.

              4 Replies
              1. re: tdg

                University Pita is very good. 12th and University.

                1. re: DeisCane

                  University Pita also has great Schwarma!

                  1. re: KoshieB

                    Yes. I actually wrote that post as I was eating a shawarma from UP.

                2. re: tdg

                  I agree. So does Kosher Luncheonette on Fulton ,block off from William near the South St Seaport..

                3. To another non-NYC place in Chicago both Taboun Grill in Skokie and Mizrahi Grill in Highland Park,IL make excellent Falafel

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: weinstein5

                    Rami's in Brookline, Mass. has outstanding falafel. Also carries the major Israeli daily papers. So, you can have literature with your lunch.

                    1. re: AdinaA

                      Many people, including Mark Bittman of the New York Times, claim that L’As du Fallafel on Rue des Rosiers in the Marais in Paris has the best falafel in the world.


                      And it is wonderful. Superlative falafel. And a fun atmosphere, crowds of Parisians in this kosher falafel joint because the food is so good.

                      Best falafel in the world? Maybe. I would say, however, that it is more a matter of style. L'As serves a falafel that is wonderfully creamy on the inside. I'm not at all sure what's in it. I've never had falafel like it. Also, they layer the sauces, salad, and falafel - which makes a bettter sandwich. And the bread is really fresh.

                      But all falafel is not the same.

                      Maybe Reboot http://rebooters.net/ should sponsor an international kosher falafel cook off. Mark Bittman could judge.

                  2. Ridiculous! Agreed to Soom Soom is quite good but you've all missed out on some of the best falafel, shawarma, etc outside of Israel - Golan Heights in Washington Heights near YU. Their laffa is always fresh and it's a truly relevant, Israeli experience. If you haven't been there yet, you're missing out big time!!!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: uwskosher

                      True. Plus, sometimes the Maccabeats drop in to tape a video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLDl8f...

                      1. re: AdinaA

                        I'm a little late to the party, but I agree with OP that Taim is excellent. Another source of excellent falafel is Azuri Cafe on 51st street, btwn 9th-10th avenue, right off 10th. It's tiny and Ezra, the owner/manager/cook, is one surly dude, but the food is delicious.
                        Berel, did you ever try the chulent from Delicious Dishes?

                        1. re: abu applesauce

                          I never got a chance to try the chulent @ Delicious Dishes , I had been planning on it as I was driving back and forth btw Far Rockaway and Oceanside/Freeport (Mom's hospital or nursing home) every night but Mom passed away Dec 28th so those trips have ended.

                          1. re: berel

                            Ha-Makom y'nach et'cha b'toch sha'ar aveilei Tzion v'Yerushalayim.