Falafel – the lightest, cheapest, tastiest and best snack food in Tel Aviv. Some like their falafel for the pure taste of the falafel ball, full of spices and herbs, while others appreciate the entire experience with the pita and salad toppings. Some people base their judgment on the entire falafel-based dining experience. But where do you go to find the best falafel grabs in Tel Aviv? Here is the low down on the best falafel spots in Tel Aviv.
Best Falafel Ball: Hakosem: Ask any Telavivian and I’m sure they will tell you the same thing – Hakosem has the best falafel. Don’t be put off when you arrive during lunchtime and there is a line around the corner; it is bound to happen for the best falafel in Tel Aviv. The falafel is always hot, crisp and soft – and the staff at Hakosem want you to know it as they pass out samples as you wait in line to order. Each bite is full of flavors of garlic and parsley, and spiced with cumin and coriander. The unique sesame seeds really help establish the full flavor and add an extra kick to each ball. Tidbit: the chickpeas are imported from Spain. The whole restaurant is a great experience, from the friendly staff to the communal tables and the great falafel eats.
Shlomo Hamelech 1, Tel Aviv, Israel
Best Pita Experience: Mifgash Osher (the "Happiness Joint"): This hidden gem knows how to make the perfect falafel pita. A pita served with falafel should be a little pocket of flavors, and this pita has it right. The falafel balls are added to the warm pits and smashed down to break them up throughout. The salad bar has small dices of pickles, tomatoes, cucumbers and much more. Because they are cut so small they are easy to mix all together to combine all the flavors. They are put into a bowl and mixed with tahini and herbs before added to the pita. Mixing all the ingredients before putting them into the pita is unique to Mifgash Osher’s chef mentality – this way you taste all of the elements in each bite. Once combined into the pocket, it all blends perfectly and each bite has a taste of pita, falafel and every added topping.
King George St 105, Tel Aviv, Israel
Best Falafel Plate: Falafel Gabai (Gabay): Tasty, cheap and friendly. Falafel Gabay has the best plate of falafel. The abundant falafel plate comes with many balls (I counted 15!), sides of hummus, pita, cabbage, Israeli salad, and all you can fit on your plate toppings of carrots, pickles, chips and more. Your plate ends up being colorful, tasty and too full to even finish. The plate is served with a pita so you can make a sandwich if you choose or eat it as a plate. Falafel to cost ratio also makes this a great deal! The falafel is crispy on the outside and soft inside, and tastes great with all the fresh salads. Not to mention the staff are super friendly, which adds to the whole experience.
Bograshov St 25, Tel Aviv, Israel
Best Deal: Ratzon Falafel: If you’re looking for a quick but also tasty grab, Ratzon Falafel is the place to go. The menu consists of… falafel, only falafel, so they already know what you’re getting when you get to the front of the line and it’s only 6 shekels! Its tasty, always freshly made, and super easy. The location on King George makes it an easy grab-and-go food on your way through the city.
King George St 17, Tel Aviv, Israel
Best Nutritional Value: Hippo Falafel: Some say Falafel is fast food, and that fast food is always unhealthy, but Hippo Falafel proves it doesn’t have to be. Every ball is completely organic and gluten free. The falafel is soft and moist, with a crispy outer layer delicious in each bite. The bright atmosphere and green colors as soon as you walk into the restaurant help illuminate the healthy and organic feel. Somehow, it also tastes better knowing it’s healthier. Organic, ‘healthy’ and delicious: what more could you ask for?
Ibn Gabirol Street 64, Tel Aviv, Israel
Delicious Guest Blogger Andie Himmelrich recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in Communications and minor in Chinese Studies. She is interested in food, photography, social media, traveling and having fun. For more of Andie's falafel scoops, be sure to follow on Instagram: @falafullTLV.