When crispy, deep-fried falafel hits a soft and warm bed of pita, you can expect some real flavor fireworks. While it’s hard to beat falafel in its popular wrap form, there are so many ways to enjoy the classic vegetarian dish. Eat your way through them all at these top Seattle picks.
Cedars | Multiple locations
This Seattle staple is known for its butter chicken, naan bigger than your head, and an accompanying menu of luxurious Indian dishes -- but do yourself a favor and sample the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern side of Cedars. The University District restaurant offers three ways to enjoy falafel: the Falafel Plate (served with pita bread and garnished with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and tahini sauce), the Combination Plate (a winning spread of hummus, baba ghannoj, falafel, and pita), or the Vegetarian Plate (seasonal sautéed veggies, basmati rice, grape leaves, spinach pie, falafel, and bulgar wheat). The Broadway location does a mean falafel pita sandwich stuffed with all the essential fixings.
Petra Bistro | 2501 4th Ave | 206-728-5389
Find the best flavors of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Northern Africa at Belltown’s Petra Bistro or its sister cafe location in the heart of downtown. At the bistro, falafel comes in appetizer form alongside warm pita, or as part of the Lunch Mezza Tray -- a sampler platter of epic proportions. For those searching for a satisfying vegetarian entree, look no further than the robust falafel plate topped with nutty tahini. Other bistro highlights include the falafel wrap, served with soup, house salad, or signature Petra fries (a must-try side topped with feta crumbles and garlic ketchup). Cafe-goers can snap up casual lunchtime favorites such as the vegetarian lunch bowl (falafel served over rice with veggies and your choice of toppings and sauces), falafel salad, or wrap.
Mamnoon | 1508 Melrose Ave | 206-906-9606
Ever wanted an excuse to eat falafel for brunch? Enter Mamnoon, where you can enjoy a falafel sandwich on weekend mornings or during lunch any ol’ time (complete with cabbage, pickles, tomato, hummus, yogurt, and herbs), falafel & man'oushe (deliciously spiced flatbread) at lunch, or 4 for $4 falafel at happy hour from 4-6 p.m. daily. You haven’t tasted Lebanese and Syrian classics like this -- adapted from a modern angle and applauded by Seattleite palates.
Mr. Gyros | Multiple locations
Gyro fans rejoice! Whether you like your gyro wraps filled with shaved meat or vegetarian goodies such as crispy falafel, you’ll find the answer to your cravings in Ballard or Wallingford. At each brick and mortar Mr. Gyros location, try the falafel sandwich or the plate served with hummus or baba, pita, rice, and Greek salad. Alternately, track down the food truck and nibble falafel gyros or salad.
Zaina | Multiple locations
Mediterranean delights abound at Zaina’s trio of eateries in downtown, Lake City, and north Seattle. Get your falafel fill in a wrap, on a plate, or atop a salad. The falafel plate includes hummus, baba, tabbouleh, feta, olives, and tahini; the wrap features hummus, sautéed veggies, salad, and tahini inside pita; and the salad includes leafy greens and fresh garden staples.