Top 5 Falafel Shops in Worcester
Everyone knows that Worcester has a ton of great vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, but something that is often over-looked is how many great falafel shops there are in our wonderful city. Below are 5 of the best places for falafel.
Falafel is the Middle-Eastern equivalent of a hamburger, it’s greasy, cheap, and you can pick one up on any street corner east of Turkey. It’s a vegan treat made from ground up chickpeas and spices, formed into fried balls. Usually it comes in a wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, some tahini and maybe some hummus. If you haven’t ever tried it, look through the list below and be sure to stop by one of these local falafel shops.
1. Fantastic’s Pizza and Cafe
925 Main Street, Worcester
They call it a Fantastic Pizza and Cafe, but they should call it Fantastic Falafel. Not only is falafel the best item on their menu, it is the best falafel in Worcester. For less than $5 you get a Syrian wrap filled fresh veggies, crunchy falafel, and a dabble of tahini. If you’re the adventurist type you can opt for a spicy falafel, but it really is spicy. I warned you.
2. Bay State Bakery
96 Water Street, Worcester
Located only a few blocks from Kelley Square, Bay State Bakery has a real top-notch falafel sandwich. They actually bake the bread right there on Water Street so you know it’s fresh. Sometimes they mix it up a bit and throw in some kind of sauerkraut or cabbage. While you’re picking up your falafel, you can also check out the attached middle eastern grocery store. You could pick up some Turkish coffee supplies or other fun items.
259 Park Avenue, Worcester
Shiraz is the kind of placed that a 20-something would take his or her parents for a nice dinner, while still being able to cover the check. It’s a family-owned Armenian joint with quite a few veg options. The prices definitely manageable. The falafel will put you back seven or eight bucks. Here are a couple more perks: You get fries with your sandwich and you can order booze off the menu. It’s more of a sit-down restaurant than a grab-and-go falafel shop, but you’re still not looking at more than $10 for your meal.
4. Sano Cafe at the Living Earth
232 Chandler Street, Worcester
The Living Earth went through some major renovations this Summer and Fall. It’s definitely worth checking out. If they are sticking with the same menu in the new cafe, you can expect to get a big pickle and some chips with your falafel. They really strive to use quality ingredients. Their menu is very vegetarian-friendly and a fair amount of their food is organic and local. The falafel comes in a pita pocket, stuffed full of fresh veggies and tomatoes. I recommend asking for extra tahini.
5. Garden Fresh Courthouse Cafe
204 Main Street, Worcester
This might come as a surprise, but the new cafe across the street from the courthouse has a pretty rocking lunch menu. What is the best thing on their menu? The falafel, of course. The falafel wrap comes in a tortilla, so it isn’t entirely true to its middle eastern heritage. Nonetheless it is one of the best in Worcester. It’s good value for the price, you’ll pay around $6 and it’s big. The veggies are fresh and the tahini is creamy. What more could you ask for? So if you have a court date coming up, count on having your victory lunch at the Courthouse Cafe. A word to the wise: you can take food into the courthouse, but you might find yourself in hot water if you make the mistake of actually taking it into the courtroom.