Forget hummus, falafels are the new thing. Originally hailing from the Middle East, it’s now enjoyed around the world. For those who have never been graced by the gift that is called falafel, here is a quick low down.
Firstly, chickpeas or tama beans are ground to a paste and then deep-fried. Creating the perfect crispy outer skin and fluffy and flavoursome centre. Falafel is too often the poster child for vegetarians—but we’re here to prove that it is freakin’ amazing enjoyed by everybody! Dip these golden gems in some tahini dressing and you’ll be away laughing.
It’s our duty to give you the best of the best that Auckland has to offer, so here it is—falafel style. Say farewell to the dry falafel from the food court, these babies are authentic and sometimes modern, but definitely 100% delicious!
Are you even a falafel lover if you haven’t been to Petra Shawarma? Clearly not, because they serve up some of Auckland’s most authentic falafels. They’ve got the vegetarians and vegans sorted with a dedicated vegetarian menu. With more than enough falafel items on the menu, this place is every falafel lover’s dream. With seven individual falafels for $6, we’re already there! We get it, there’s more falafel than the times you mentioned falafel. But we promise, it’s GOOD.
The name Ima means ‘mother’ in Hebrew and, as much as we we think our own mother’s cooking is the best, we’ve found a spot that’s just as good. Just like your dinner table at home, Ima’s dinner menu is designed to share. It’s perfectly curated so that you can taste all the Israeli food on offer. Are you ready to be transported to the streets of Tel Aviv? Pack your bags, we’ll meet you there!
If you’re more of a beach bunny, hop on over to Orewa and take a seat at Casablanca. If that’s a little too far, don’t you worry, they’ve got outlets at NorthWest and Mt Wellington. Their Meze Platter comes with homemade dips, salads, olives and FALAFELS!!! Make sure you nab a table outside to for you and your meze platter, aka the only company you need.
Heading West? Deco Eatery is the perfect destination eatery for some falafel lovin’. Choose between the mezze board, Deco dips, or the fattoush market salad served with their insanely flavoursome falafels. With an abundance of fresh and seasonal produce, head chef Dev Malik pays homage to Turkish cuisine. Sure, it might be a bit trek out of the city, but they’ve got their own coffee blend that is sourced, blended and roasted on site, perfect for the drive home.
Feeling a little fancy tonight? Beirut will not let you down on their contemporary take on Middle Eastern foods. Order the smoke yogurt labna and await a plate full of scrumptious deep-fried falafelness (yes, that’s now a word). Some may argue that falafel alone is not a meal, so you better pair it with their legendary spiced pear bellini. Did some one say cheat day? Their Arabic doughnuts with fennel ice cream will have you wanting more!
Gypsy Caravan is a recent addition to Ponsonby’s foodie scene. Showcasing the best of North African, Greek and Turkish foods, you needn’t fret because falafel made the cut. Here, the word plain is not part of their vocab—the chickpea avo falafel with lime-whipped feta cupped in cos lettuce is far from your ordinary food court falafel. Sit under the pink lanterns, wiggle your way between their eclectic cushions and pose for the ‘Gram.
St Kevin’s Arcade is home to Gemmayze St. Visit for yourself and get educated in food, Lebanese food that is. Their Lebanese take on the falafel comes with pickled turnip, taratour sauce (tahini or yogurt based sauce), charred-green chilli and coriander. With an impressive array of ‘mezze’ dishes, we recommend you to visit ASAP.
Cafe Midnight Express
Luckily for all you inner-city slickers, Cafe Midnight Express is convieniently located in the hear of Auckland City. For those of you in a rush, their express lunch menu options are endless. There is no fluffing about here, their Moroccan Falafel is served with salad, tzatziki, hummus & yogurt, exactly what you want, nothing more, nothing less. Wanting to try something different? They’ve got Moussaka, Iskender (spit roast lamb) and much much more.
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Image Credit: Kellie Blizard at Gypsy Caravan