Amsterdam Falafel Shop

Written by on June 4, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Adams Morgan, Washington, DC

How I heard of this place: Initially, my friend Seraj recommended it. Then, I found it on the Washington Post article: Top 40 Dishes Every Washingtonian Must Try (

Type of cuisine: Falafel, hot and fresh, topped by each patron with their own favorite salads, sauces, pickles, and more! Also featuring: Dutch-style Frieten (fries), with a crispy crunch and dipping sauces.

Amsterdam Falafel

Ambiance: This second-story hole-in-the-wall, is vibrant and alive with loud music, colorful posters on the red-painted walls and tables laminated with pictures of people enjoying their falafels, making faces and smiling for the cameras. The ordering counter, to the far right upon entry, allows each patron to choose items from a very limited menu consisting of: falafel, fries, brownies, beverages. Make your way down the line, from the cashier to the pick up your paper-wrapped falafel sandwich and fill it with any number of your favorite toppings at the salad bar. Continue your journey back through the restaurant, avoiding the large pillars, one holding a contraption for napkins, to find a seat at one of the handful of tables working their way to the front window. Each black table, made colorful with photographs, has three holes sawed out: as falafel or paper cone-shaped frieten holders. No utensils, no frills, just good, old school falafel amidst the company of good friends.

Amsterdam Falafel

This is how the menu works: When you come into the Falafelshop, you can order a falafel sandwich, fries, a brownie, soda and/or lemonade. Once you order a falafel, we fix you a fresh sandwich within 2-5 minutes. You can see us frying it right in front of you! Then you get to use your creative talent and imagination to garnish your sandwich with some of our 21 sauces and toppings. Our garnish bar has a wide array of sauces, salads and pickles that encompass both traditional Middle Eastern and Dutch influences, with cream sauce and garlic flavors. We offer a selection of dressings for your fries as well, including traditional Dutch mayo, homemade peanut ‘saus’, malt vinegar, Old Bay seasoning and ketchup.”

The spread

What I ordered: A regular-sized falafel ($5.95) on white pita (recommended by the cashier), and toppings galore!

My Falafel

What I loved: The actual falafel ball is perfect – deep-fried crispy outside, soft, melt-in-your-mouth innards. Yum! The toppings I used were mostly the same as those offered in the Israeli falafel shops I frequent on my visits to Haifa: tahini, cilantro-garlic sauce, fresh tomato & cucumber, beets with onion strips, red cabbage.

Table of Falafel

Why I loved it: Even with nothing on ’em, the falafel balls are hot, tasty and packed in each pita. I also love the small venue and the space that seems to have packed in as much as it possibly can, with one, large, open window looking out onto the street below.

Cost: Low ($5-$7 per falafel, small or regular sized)

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