When people come to Israel on vacation the first thing that comes to their mind is the amazing and fresh street food that is available. In Tel Aviv, there are seemingly an unlimited number of falafel stands with each one convincing you that their falafel is better than the rest. Below are my top 5 falafel stands in Tel Aviv, with each one making the list for a specific reason.
Hakosem- The best in town
Hakosem is located on Shlomo Hamelech Street, only a half block away from Dizengoff Center. They opened their doors over 12 years ago as a small falafel stand in the heart of Tel Aviv. Today, Hakosem is packed with hungry customers in a queue, no matter what time or day it is. They offer different street foods other than falafel, such as sabich, shawrma and other tasty delights.
Their delicious falafel is made from chick peas specially imported from Spain, which gives it a unique flavor. The grains used for their falafel are grounded nearly 15 times a day to ensure their freshness. The falafel balls at Hakosem are rich in spices such as cumin, coriander and crushed sweet paprika, garlic and fresh vegetables. What makes their falafel better then rest is their addition of sesame and nigella. This combination of all these delicious ingredients come together to make the best falafel in town. Each falafel is served in a fresh hot pita with the perfect amount of homemade hummus, fresh vegetables, sauerkraut lemon juice and delicious tahini to top it off. You have the option to add sabich in the pita but I recommend you stay true to the original formula.
Price :17 NIS
Address: Shlomo Hamelech 1
Hours: Sunday- Thursday 9:30AM-11PM
Ratzon Falafel- the Cheapest
Ratzon Falafel is located on the busy street of King George. Arriving right before the busy lunch crowd, this falafel stand looks like almost every falafel stand around Israel. There is one difference – the price. A falafel costs only 6 NIS. The owner, Liron, serves each customer his own “personal masterpiece in a pita”. Each serving comes in a fresh homemade pita bread with hummus and 5 or 6 falafel balls, which are made to perfection. The pita bread is stuffed with Israeli salad with cabbage and topped off with tehina or amba.
Address: King George 17
Hours: Sunday- Thursday 10AM-7:30PM and Friday 10AM-4PM
Falafel Gabay- The Classic
Everyone talks about their excellent soups, but almost all forget that Gabay is first of all a falafel stand. For many years, to be precise, since 1964, hungry diners stopped here at noon and formed a long line at the entrance, to order their delicious falafel. Their falafel balls are perfectly crispy brown on the outside and yellow on the inside. The texture of the falafel balls is very smooth which meshes well with the additional salads and sauces in the pita bread. Each falafel is served in a fresh pita with delicious salads and tahini to top it off.
Address: Bograshov 25
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM-10:30PM
4 Tamim- Local favorite
What makes this falafel stand a local favorite is that there are 4 different choices of falafel that they offer. The four flavors are:
- Red – spicy, slightly spicy.
- Green – parsley and cilantro.
- Sesame seeds – toasted sesame seeds.
- Normal – 100% chickpeas.
This branch of falafel stands can be found throughout the country and is known for their fresh falafel and high quality ingredients served in each freshly served falafel in a pita bread. If you are not in the mood for falafel, you can also find other excellent dishes on the menu, including schnitzels, sabich, sautéed chicken, salads and more. They also offer their four flavors of falafel gluten-free, so that celiac patients can enjoy the great taste!
Address: Ibn Gabirol 93,
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM-Midnight and Friday 10AM- Start of Shabbat
Hippo- Healthiest Falafel in town
Falafel and street food in Tel Aviv tends to be very oily, and isn’t the healthiest option. Falafel Hippo provides a healthier falafel in Tel Aviv. Unlike most falafel stands where they deep fry the falafel balls, at Hippo they cook the falafel on a special frying pan with canola oil which they change hourly. Some street food foodies will be scared away when hearing that its ingredients are organic and healthier – but don’t be scared away. This is a most excellent falafel.
Address: Ibn Gabirol 64
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-Last customer , Friday 10AM- last customer and Saturday Night Shabbat ends-last customer