King of Falafel and Shawarma – 30th Street and Broadway, Astoria, NY
Winner of both the 2010 Vendy Award and People’s Choice Award, recognizing the best street food in New York City, King of Falafel and Shawarma doesn’t look like much. However, give it a try and the food, along with its personality, show why it won these awards.
Located on the corner of 30th Street and Broadway in Astoria, this food cart appears to be just your usual falafel cart. My choice order is the chicken platter. Served with yellow rice, loads of chicken, a complimentary falafel, and lots of white and red sauce (I forgo the usual salad that comes with it because who wants to be that healthy?), this meal is sure to leave anyone stuffed. The falafel is delicious and has a crispy outside while at the same time remaining soft and moist on the inside. While the chicken platter is arguably not much different than what you’d get at other food stands, King of Falafel sets itself apart in the personality of its workers. Owner Freddy Zeidaies along with his entire staff are some of the happiest food vendors I’ve ever met. Joking around with customers and just having plain fun. Freddy values his customers and treats them very well. If there is a long line, the staff will gladly walk up and down the line handing out free falafel to everyone while they wait. The platters also come with a falafel – something I’ve never gotten at any other food carts. It’s these nice little touches that keep people coming back.
Is King of Falafel the best thing I’ve ever eaten? Unfortunately, not. However, for only six dollars you get an oversized amount of food and it sure hits the spot. The free falafel to top it off puts the cherry on top and this food cart definitely is the king, at least in Astoria.
PS – for those that don’t like to venture outside Manhattan (so sorry to hear that), Freddy recently opened up a Manhattan location on the northwest corner of 53rd Street and Park Avenue. Check out the menu and give it a try!