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The best Falafel in London | Where to eat falafel in London

A bowl of falafel from Mr. Falafel at Shepherds Bush Market.
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Mr Falafel

Unlike hummus, the way falafel is eaten in Britain hasn’t strayed too far from the source: fried to order, then eaten in restaurants as part of a mezze, or wrapped in bread with sauce tahini, pickled vegetables and fresh salad. , and bought at a street stand.

It is true that outliers have arisen, with the growing popularity of veganism and health-conscious eating leading to cooked falafel shadows, mostly stocked in supermarket fridges. Perhaps more forgivable in sandwich form, these are pale imitations of the textural wonder that is a falafel, served warm, just bubbling in oil moments earlier. A cold kibble is unthinkable; maybe a cold falafel should be too.

The good news is that fried falafels are neither hard to make nor hard to find in London. In wrap form, the bread is usually generic kobez a flatbread that does the job quite well, holding the ingredients in place and allowing the characteristic crunchy/soft contrast of falafel to shine through.

Most of the other innovations on the prescriptive London falafel wrapper begin with the choice of bread, then abundant variation emerges in the choice of salads, pickles and condiments on offer. When the falafel is great, it’s probably worth ordering a portion without the wrapper.

When it comes to the style of the falafels themselves, a leafy herbal filling is usually the preferred choice for most aficionados, and this Levantine version finds its origins in the availability of fresh herbs. A golden, spice-rich interior – ubiquitous in Yemen but also common throughout the Levant – can be an equally delicious alternative. In Egypt, meanwhile, falafel is known as tameeya, and is made with fava beans instead of chickpeas.

This style diversity is found in London’s falafel slingers, but the city could be looking outside itself for even more topping innovation. In Cairo, tameeya can come with a surprising chilli relish in the center, and in Jaffa, falafels are often stuffed with a mixture of slow-cooked onions, heavily spiced with sumac, commonly found on the msakahan chicken dish. But for diners looking to explore the various forms of falafel, London is definitely a worthy place to start.

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To note: The restaurants on this map are listed geographically.