King Falafel in Elmwood Park, NJ: Authentic Israeli Fare

king-falafel logo

Crispy, light, flavor-packed falafel served with tahini sauce.
Crispy, light, flavor-packed falafel served with tahini sauce.

Sammy Faragh, 35-year old Israeli, takes falafel seriously and wants to be NJ’s (if not the world’s) king of falafel.  While such a title may not exist, his restaurant King Falafel in Elmwood Park aims to treat visitors royally.  The spot, a stone’s throw from PizzaTown on Route 46, offers gently priced authentic fare, all homemade on the premises.  I met Faragh at his first restaurant in Edgewater, called Haifa Cafe & Grill.  He’s come quite a ways since closing the original tiny storefront located on a side street, and opening up this larger, certainly brighter spot.  With a new partner Mike Elbib, a 20-year restaurateur, at his side and an additional staffer, Faragh’s prospects look better.

Here’s what I liked on my recent visit:

Fabulous pickled turnip, imported cracked green olives, preserved lemon slices, carrot and veggies served as appetite whetters.

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Light, yet intensely flavored babaganuj and smooth humus.

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Falafel King Elmwood Park Dec 4 002

Crazy good hot sauce made from jalapeno peppers and plenty of garlic.  Slather it on pita before piling on falafel or meats, Faragh advises.

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House salads start at $4.99.  The Arabic or Shepherd salad is lemony and satisfying.  Add grilled chicken or shish for another $3.99.

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Halal meats only are served.  Portions can be a bit modest.  We devoured a King Kabab Combo for two ($24.99) with Kofta, seasoned ground beef and lamb, lamb, chicken and shawarma.  The platters are served with two sides.  Hand-cut fries are an option.

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Falafel King Elmwood Park Dec 4 011

Faragh makes the restaurant’s shwarma from meat he slices, seasons, stacks and rotisseries.  Chicken (dark meat) is served Monday through Friday and a combination of beef and lamb are served on weekends.  The restaurant also offers whole lamb stuffed with rice and almonds to feed up to 20 people for $450 with multiple sides and delivery included.  Faragh’s been attracting Israeli’s who yearn for the real deal in terms of Israeli specialties, like levivot, the latka alternative with minced vegetables and sometimes chicken for Hanukkah.

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lentil soup, homey and mildly spiced

Traditional Israeli appetizers, including Foul Medamas, a spread made with fava beans, lemon, garlic and olive oil, all scored big.  The light, satisfying falafel were deliciously crispy and flavorful.  Multiple pies are also available, starting at $1.99, each made to order.  Consider the zaatar, made with thyme, oregano, sesame seeds and olive oil for $2.99.

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Over a dozen sandwiches starting at $3.99 tempt, ranging from fried cauliflower with tahini sauce to falafel ($4.99), shawerma (5.99) and mayanek ($5.99) which includes sauteed Middle Eastern style sausage with lemon juice.  Desserts are also made in-house and include rice pudding ($3.99) and other specialties like namoura/harissa, mohalabia cake and baklava.

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Chicken Shawarma, juices dripping onto slivers of bermuda onion

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chick peas soaking before being turned into falafel and humus
chick peas soaking before being turned into falafel and humus
Sammy Faragh, Falafel King (far right), with partner Mike Elbib (center) and Rodrigo, courtier
Sammy Faragh, Falafel King (far right), with partner Mike Elbib (center) and Rodrigo, courtier

King Falafel

Free delivery within 3 miles is offered.  The restaurant is open 7 days/week as follows:

Monday-Thursday 11AM-9PM

Friday-Saturday 11AM-10PM

Sunday 1PM-8PM

71 West Route 46

Elmwood Park, NJ

201-773-8898/9

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9 thoughts on “King Falafel in Elmwood Park, NJ: Authentic Israeli Fare

  1. Heading there today Hope I’m not disappointed!!!
    As an Israeli, I have tried all things Falafel. I am traveling to Key West, FL in order to search for the next great Falafel place. I find the smaller the places are, the better the prices are, and the better the quality is!!! I am ready to take on this Falafel place, and it’s Humus!!! The pictures of the Humus & Falafel, make me think this is the real deal. If so, you will have a long time customer. Not interested in the high prices, it’s Fried Chick Peas and Pita, Salads & fries are the norm as toppings, so the cost should be priced for the poor, the middle class, and the Rich.

    See you in a few hours.

    SEC

  2. WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!

    As an Israeli, American who was born to an American father and an Iraqi mother, I know food and food knows me. I am still at King Falafel writing this AMAZING REVIEW about my experience. I ordered Mana Falafel, or a full portion of Falafel, Kufta Kabab since i was so hungry thinking about this place from late last night early this morning, and all I can say is that I died and went to heaven. The 2 owners Sami & Mike are so friendly and tentative to all yours needs from start to finish, that this place has everything one can dream of in a Middle Eastern restaurant. Sami originally from Haifa is a veteran to the business. He opened up his first place in Kiryat Atah and has a picture of him right by the cash register showing his place there. He’s come a long way since Israel and Edgewater, NJ and this place is here to stay for good and will expand in the next few years. His partner Mike is from Egypt and his charm and willing to go the extra mile for his customers is evident. I got treated to Baklawa another pastry from back home, and tea. The food has all the spices and ingrediants that make it made in Israel. The price was perfect. The platter was $13 for the Kabab I took home. Had a bit to see if it was the real deal, and boy it was. The authetic French Fries, aka Chips and Salad rocked!!! The Techina and Charif, the white sauce for all you Americans lol, and the hot sauce were so so so yummy. Pita bread was yummy yummy yummy too. I’m a beliver, now the question is will you???

  3. One last thing, the place is Halal, aka Kosher without the Mashgiach. Mashgiach is the care taker who gives his seel of approval to make sure the place is kept under strict Rabbinic supervision. This place is your typical israeli hang out spot with Israeli & Arabic music as well. God willing one day there may be live music on weekends. The place is open 7 days a week and for people that aren’t 100% super duper Kosher, this is the only place I recommend around here. Better than all Kosher establushemnts around here. Quality even better than most restaurants in Brookyn, NY.

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