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

THE FALAFEL SHOP, 127 Rivington Street (between Essex and Norfolk Street), Lower East Side

It’s always strange to walk around the heart of the Lower East Side during lunch hours. This neighborhood doesn’t really come alive until after work, when people flood the restaurants, bars, and clubs. During the day, it doesn’t seem nearly as hip or lively.

LES By Day

But people are out and restaurants are open. And it was at this slower-paced time when I visited the Falafel Shop.

All Day Menu at THE FALAFEL SHOP

I’m sure the Israeli-owned joint does most of their business late at night and caters to drunk customers. However, they also serve a modest and affordable lunch.

Falafel Side at THE FALAFEL SHOP

I skipped the sandwich for a pure taste of their falafel balls. A side of six costs $3 – a bit more pricey than most places, but this is the Lower East Side – daytime or not. The falafel were some of the tiniest I’ve encountered. Looking at them, I didn’t expect them to have much texture contrast. I was wrong.

Falafel at THE FALAFEL SHOP

Despite their diminuitive size, they were extraordinarily crunchy and incredibly light. Inside, the herbs and sesame seeds are glowing green. There was a lot of nice crispness here, but I think their tiny size hindered their flavor. They were so slight that it was hard to get much nuance or depth. Especially if I dipped it in the tahini or hot sauce.

Falafel at THE FALAFEL SHOP

I also found them a tad greasy. Which, of course, is to be expected (and wouldn’t be noticed) if the sun was far gone and the drinking had commenced. And that’s why this place is perfect in the Lower East Side. Day or night.

Does The Falafel Shop have the best falafel in NY? These are certainly the smallest, with a nice crunch and lightness, but the greasy flavor is hindered by their slightness. 7 out of 10.

THE FALAFEL SHOP
127 Rivington Street (between Essex Street and Norfolk Street),
Lower East Side
(212) 466-1222
thefalafelshop.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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