There's something so appealing about falafels, yet there are still hoards of people that have not embraced the delicious fried morsels.
What is it that makes falafels so desirable? We're not too sure.
Maybe it's because they're delicious, because they're fried, because they're a relatively healthy food in disguise, or maybe, just maybe, because it's just fun to say.
Whatever the reason, we're digging these Middle Eastern treats of fried balls or patties of mashed chickpeas or fava beans. Bonus? They're usually a pretty cheap meal.
Where can you get some of our favorite falafels?
Here's a list (in no particular order) of our favorites in Manhattan.
1. Taim (various locations)
One of our favorite things about falafels is the texture. It's incredibly disappointing to bite into a falafel only to realize that it's a soggy ball of mush. You won't find any of those at Taim.
Instead, you'll bite into a perfectly crispy, crunchy ball bursting with flavor and a soft interior.
Taim has three different flavors of falafels to choose from. The "green" is a traditional falafel filled with parsley, cilantro, and mint. The "harissa" is a spicy falafel with Tunisian spices. The "red" is a mixed falafel with roasted red peppers.
Try a falafel sandwich with one falafel flavor, hummus, israeli salad, pickled cabbage, and tahini sauce on a whole wheat or white pita.
2. Nish Nush (various locations)
Looking for a cheap, casual, but delicious meal? Try the falafel trio at Nish Nush.
It comes with three falafel flavors (green falafel, roasted pepper falafel, and spinach & mushroom falafel) with hummus, israeli salad, white and red cabbage, romaine lettuce, olives, pickles, tahini and schug.
Even better? If you head in between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., order two beers, and mention "Maza Hour," you'll have an order of Maza sent to your table for free.
3. Moshe's Falafel (various locations)
Sometimes people get really nervous about ordering food from a cart. If you're one of those people, you need to get over your aversion and try Moshe's Falafel, a cart near Union Square. Not only are the guys that man the cart friendly and helpful, but the falafels are delicious.
We'd highly recommend trying the whole pita, which is a pita sandwich filled with four falafels, lettuce, tomatoes, tahini, hotsauce, and french fries with a side of a pickle. It's not the healthiest option, but it is certainly delicious.
4. Mamoun's (various locations)
No list of best falafels in NYC would be complete without a mention of Mamoun's. Whether you go to their location in St. Marks or Greenwich Village (or even, dare we mention it, Hoboken, NJ), you'll be treated to some of NYC's favorite falafels.
Try the falafel sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, and a rich tahini sauce all stuffed in a pita bread. Or, go for the healthier version and try the plate. It's a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, falafel balls, tahini sauce, and two pieces of warm pita bread.
5. Mazeish Grill (137 Rivington Street)
Ever wish you could have the chipotle of falafels but without the health scares? Try Mazeish for a delicious, cheap, and fast meal. First, choose between a platter, sandwich, or wrap. Then pick your main (which would be falafels in this case... duh), and then add toppings.
We love their platter, served with basmati rice and Qabli (carrots and raisins), shepherd salad, and pita bread. Then, we top them with Mazeish's delicious falafel and toppings of tahini and hot sauce. Delicious.
6. So-Home (410 West Broadway)
This little spot is so tiny you might miss it, but you'll be happy you found it when you bite into their flavorful falafels. This authentic eatery is serving up some of the best falafels and Turkish food in NYC.
We love their falafel pocket, which is falafels, hummus, tahini sauce, lettuce, and tomatoes served in a brick oven Turkish pita. Better yet? It's only $6.95.
7. The Falafel Shop (127 Rivington Street)
With a name like The Falafel Shop, you know their falafels need to be bangin' to survive in NYC. Lucky for them, their falafels are incredible. If you're looking for food in the Lower East Side after midnight, stop by The Falafel Shop and try it for yourself. They're open until 2 a.m.
Try the falafel sandwich with tahini, chopped salad, and pickles. If you just can't eat anymore falafel after you make your way through this list, try the "sabich," with eggplant, hummus, hard-boiled egg, chopped salad, amba and pickles.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]