The beloved falafel has been with us through thick and thin. That drunken night where all you wanted was a juicy kebab (but without all the meat, you knew you’d regret the next day), who was there for you? Falafel. Or the time your personal trainer put you on a meatless Monday? Falafel. Again.
Whilst bacon lovers might roll their eyes at fakeon; and butchers cry when they hear “vegan jerky”, we don’t hear anyone complaining when a deep-fried ball of goodness is placed between tabouli, yoghurt and pita bread. You know it’s true.
So we decided it was time to round up the very best spots in Sydney to get your falafel fix #welcome.
Hipsters this one’s for you. Say good-bye to mainstream ‘chick-pea’ falafels, because Cairo Takeaway is making these babies with fava beans. With a golden-crunchy outside, and bright green centre, you’ll be walking like an Egyptian as soon as you taste these scrumptious delights. These guys are paying ultimate homage to Egyptian cuisine, that’ll have you singing ‘you are my destiny, Cairo’. (See what we did there Pussy Cat Dolls? We changed Jai Ho to Cairo, because we could).
Kepos St Kitchen
When Kepos Street Kitchen came out with a recipe booked titled ‘Falafel for breakfast’, we knew we could trust them. The best part is you can head on over to Redfern and give these beauties a whirl with your morning flat-white (trust us it works). The interiors don’t scream Middle Eastern influence, but the flavours of these falafels certainly do. Try the Tel Aviv Falafel with green tahini, so you can tell your PT you’ve had your greens for the day.
Alexandria, Greenacre, Penrith + Wollongong
With multiple locations across Sydney, Al Aseel is definitely doing something right. And by something we mean their falafels. Their ‘secret spice mix’ is making us not even care about the Colonel’s secret herbs recipe anymore. These traditional falafels come as a serving of six, leaving you satisfied, because when it comes to these deep fried balls the vego life can totally sustain you.
If you have the number 1 next to your name, you’re obviously a winner. At Jasmin1 you can have the best of both worlds—meat aaaaaaand falafel. Try their mixed plate with falafel as well as shish kebab, a shish tawook skewer and all the Lebanese condiments you could hope for (we’re talking garlic dip and lots of it). The vegetarian mixed plate is also a winner, with four falafels, baba ganoush, and of course garlic dip. So mix it up, have fun and let those tastebuds do the talking.
At Fatima’s simplicity is key. This restaurant has been running for nearly 40 years, bringing a taste of Lebanon to the streets of Surry Hills. Obviously their falafels are fab, however, ambience wins this race. Go on a Friday or Saturday night to be serenaded with traditional Arabic music and belly dancers, and a slice or two of their house-made baklava.
Emma's Snack Bar
Emma's Snack Bar is the BYO restaurant you need in your life. From the epic dips (helloooooo hummus), to the Arak garlic prawns and the reason you're all here—falafels. Order a plate to eat in with your crew, or grab a big ol' veggie box to go. Either way, your belly will thank you for it.
You won’t need to go to ‘Cheap Tuesdays’ at the cinemas this week friends (lets be honest, you might still have to do that #unilife). Hijazi’s Falafel is seriously cheap. Think $8 for twelve crisp falafels, which we all know is what you’d spend that on one green juice. This week it’s time to yo’ self, so grab your crew or (smash all those felafels by yourself), because cheap is always a good idea.
The Turkish truly are a delight, and Sultan’s Table is living up to this claim. Their authentic Turkish falafels are nothing short of amazing. Served with ‘special’ bread, hummus, tabouli, and salad, what more could you want? Nothing. It’s perfect. Don’t change a thing.
Two words that go perfectly together? Falafel and wrap. Falafel wrap. Got it? Good. Zaida Café’ offer the respect that falafel wraps deserve. Perfectly fried falafels, mixed with Lebanese spices, hummus, crisp mesclun lettuce, tabouli and of course, dressed in tahini.
Sisters are doing it for themselves at this Darlinghurst locale. When siblings Carol and Sharon Salloum opened Almond Bar, they exceeded all expectations. An intimate setting, accompanied by ornate Middle-Eastern décor, this is the place to take someone special (no F boys allowed). With multiple awards and accolades, these falafels aren’t made with your average chickpeas. They come from the Ord River in Western Australia and are larger (and tastier) than other types of chickpeas.
Jamal will make you Fala-full. We’re not kidding. People come from all over Sydney to try their renowned falafel roll. The man behind the roll is no other than Jamal, the store’s owner and namesake, who has been rolling these ball-shaped wonders since before you were born. A hot tip, the size of these falafels can be confronting, and might even have you questioning if you can finish the roll. Don’t doubt yourself. You got this.
Prefer seafood to falafel? Check out this new foodie trend.
Cairo Takeaway | Image credit: Caitlin Hicks