My search for the best falafel in New York continues….

BA'AL CAFÉ AND FALAFEL, 71 Sullivan Street (between Broome and Spring Street), SohoOnly in New York could you walk into a Middle Eastern restaurant and have the cashiers and cooks speak to each other in Spanish. It actually made me a little concerned about the autenticity of the falafel at Ba’al Cafe. Based on my research, this place is Jordanian owned and I don’t know much about Jordan but I don’t think they speak Spanish there.  If the menu didn’t say otherwise, I might have been tempted to order a taco.

No Tacos In Sight

My fears were assuaged when a big guy who looked Middle Eastern entered and began to oversee the operation. Even if he hadn’t shown up while I was dining, I still would have known this place was legit because I tasted the falafel sandwich.

Ba’al is a place that I had yet to come across in my food adventures. Others have written about it, but I never knew it existed. Its location at the end of Thompson Street in the little nook behind Sixth Avenue made it easy to miss for those not in the know.

Falafel Sandwich at BA'AL CAFE AND FALAFEL

Thankfully, now I’m in the know. The falafel pita was cut into two more manageable halves and stuffed on both sides with goodies. Chopped vegetables, hummus, and some extraordinary falafel lay underneath a drizzle of hot sauce. Despite the generous serving of the hot stuff, it was tamer than expected.

Falafel at BA'AL CAFE AND FALAFEL

Every component to this sandwich worked very nicely. Smooth hummus clung to the warm, soft pita bread and that made a nice contrast to the crunchy falafel. My first bite was awesome with lots of fresh flavors and bold textures. Complex notes of mint and pepper lingered as I quickly polished off both halves.

Regardless of the language spoken, somebody has trained the cooks and cashiers correctly here. Ba’al’s falafel is just one of many items on their extensive and affordable vegetarian menu. If everything else is as good as the falafel, I will most certainly be back soon. Muchas gracias, Ba’al!

Does Ba’al Cafe have the best falafel in NY? Despite a confusing language barrier, these fried balls are close to perfection with a creamy interior, crunchy exterior, and lots of flavor. 9 out of 10.

BA’AL CAFE AND FALAFEL
71 Sullivan Street (between Spring and Broome Street),
Soho
(646) 368-9957
baalcafe.com
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Category: Falafel

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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