Probably everyone who has been to Israel has tasted one of Israel’s most popular fast foods, falafel. It’s made out of mashed chickpeas with parsley, scallions, garlic, coriander and cumin. Formed into balls or croquettes it is fried until crunchy, stuffed in a pita with an Israeli salad of finely cut tomatoes and cucumbers and drizzled with tehina.
There’s no point arguing about where to find the best falafel, everyone has their favorite. Since we live in Jerusalem, our family swears by the Levi brothers on the corner of Etz Hayyim and Tut street in Mahane Yehuda. There you can have falafel in a pita or rolled up in a lafa, a large, round flatbread.
As a guide I spend quite a lot of time in the Old City and there are two fellows I’ve gotten to know who sell falafel on El Wad street that I like to support. Amin will give you a falafel ball to taste as you go by and gives a falafel snack to quite a few of the Arab children on their way home from school. You can’t beat his price, he sells a falafel in a pita with salad for 5NIS.
A little farther along, on the opposite side of the street is a fellow selling falafel in pita from a cart; I don’t know if he’s deaf but he’s not able to speak – he’ll be happy to make you a sandwich.
When you’re touring in the Galilee check out Falafel HaNasi in Afula. This video is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iCcaL1uzuQ that captures Golan in a virtuoso falafel in pita performance.
If you have your favorite falafel stand, take a moment to tell us about it in a comment.