Delicious, filling, and healthy, falafels have been enjoyed as a Middle Eastern street food for centuries. Whether served over a wholesome salad or stuffed with vegetables into a pita pocket and drizzled with tahini dressing, the chickpea fritters are enjoyed by vegans and non-vegetarians alike. Along the San Francisco Peninsula and in the South Bay Area, there are a number of wildly popular shops serving falafel plates and wraps. In addition to the established landmarks, there are some promising newcomers not to be missed. Here are five popular spots to get a good falafel south of San Francisco. If we missed your favorite, please be sure to share it in the comments.
Dish n’ Dash
The original Dishdash restaurant in Sunnyvale serves authentic Middle Eastern dishes in an elegantly decorated dining room. The Dish n’ Dash family of restaurants builds on its sister restaurant’s popularity and serves a menu of plates and wraps in a much more casual setting. Falafels can be enjoyed in a number of different ways including a pita, wrap, and salad. Entrees also come with your choice of two delicious Middle Eastern side dishes such as tabbouleh, baba ganoush and hummus. Not to be missed are a selection of sauces, such as the creamy tahini dressing which is a perfect pairing to the fluffy falafels and crisp vegetables in your pita.
Dish n’ Dash
736 N Mathilda Ave. [map]
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Ph: (408) 530-9200
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-9pm; Closed on Sundays
Facebook: Dish n’ Dash Sunnyvale
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)
Falafel’s Drive In
This San Jose restaurant has been a wildly popular landmark for freshly made falafel sandwiches and other Middle Eastern specialties since opening in 1966. The iconic restaurant has been showcased on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and has a loyal fan following for its falafel pita and banana milkshakes. The falafel and milkshake combination is so popular, the menu features the two as a value combination for just under $10. If you’ve never been, go now, and be sure to order the milkshake combination.
Night or day, a large gathering of hungry customers can be found waiting to pick up their order fresh out of the kitchen at Falafel Stop in Sunnyvale. The restaurant serves a vegetarian menu of Middle Eastern dishes including freshly prepared falafels served in a pita with homemade tahini and a hot chili sauce. The restaurant also serves a menu of grilled meats out of a separate kitchen window. The delicious pita stuffed with dense falafels drizzled with tahini, crisp cucumbers and pickles is well worth enduring the long wait.
This fairly new and small restaurant in Belmont is growing in popularity for their warm hospitality and a menu of fresh and healthy Middle Eastern dishes. The combination platter is the best way to enjoy and admire all the colors and flavors the small shop has to offer. The dish features freshly prepared falafels which are dark and crispy on the outside but remain moist and fluffy inside. The falafels are served with various sides such as a crisp cucumber and tomato salad and an incredibly smooth and rich hummus.
This small store in Morgan Hill prepares a delicious and inexpensive falafel wrap along with a menu of Mediterranean dips and salads. The wrap starts with freshly fried falafels which have a great crunch while remaining moist and crumbly on the inside. The falafels are wrapped with diced cucumbers, tomatoes and a rich tahini sauce in lavash which is then grilled giving the flatbread a great crunch and smoky flavor. For a few dollars more, the falafel deluxe adds hummus, roasted eggplants and potatoes.