Finding Falafel in Stockholm
Neelam Varia goes in search of some of the best falafel in Stockholm.
Stockholm may not exactly be known for its falafel, however, in recent years, falafel has grown in popularity with new restaurants popping up all over the city. We’ve rounded up some of the best places serving up the fluffiest falafel in Stockholm.
Falafelbaren is probably Stockholm’s most famed Falafel restaurant, since they were the first. They’ve got two locations, both on Södermalm…more specifically, Skanstull and Mariatorget. Their freshly fried falafel certainly draw in a crowd – don’t be surprised if you see a 25-person queue (if not more) during peak hours. But their falafel is absolutely worth the wait. They pride themselves on using only organic ingredients, and home baking their sourdough pita in real stone ovens. They’ve also got two secret sauces, which you may well find yourself pouring onto your falafel by the bucketload!
FLFL is situated on the ever lively Nytorget square in SoFo. As well as falafel, you’ll find other typical Levantine dishes like Shakshuka, and hummus. Lots of hummus. If you so desire, you can order hummus as a main dish. Whatever you choose, they’ve got a good selection of beer and cocktails to accompany. And of course, there’s the unlimited salad bar, so you can load up on Middle Eastern pickled vegggies while you wait for your falafel. You’ll also want to save room for dessert because their choklava (chocolate baklava) is pretty spectacular.
Over on Kungsholmen, you’ll find Maxos, which is in fact owned by the father of Falafelbaren’s owner! Though there is a little more of a focus on hummus, the falafel is still pretty great. If you’re in the mood for meat, try their shawarma, or any of the other lamb based dishes, but chances are, you’ll want to stick to the falafel – it claims to be the best in the city.
If you ever find yourself in Vasastan wanting falafel, you’ll want to head to Falafelkungen. Their opening hours may lend to late night meals, and perhaps a more ‘fast food’ feel to the restaurant, but that doesn’t mean the falafel isn’t good. Plus, the price-to-portion ratio is great – you’ll probably struggle to finish your meal, but that’s ok, just save it for later!
A supermarket is not necessarily the first place you’d think to go for fresh falafel, but hear us out. Here, you can pick up the freshest seasonal produce – of course there’s a focus on Mediterranean products like tahini, baklava and pita bread; but you can also pick up fresh herbs, berries, and dried spices. Once you’ve got all that, you can get a lunch box – vegetarian or vegan, filled to the brim with falafel, hummus, börek, stuffed vine leaves, and a whole lot else. Bear in mind it is a takeaway lunchbox, but what did you expect? It is a supermarket after all. Head over to Medborgaplatsen to check it out.
Now, restaurants that focus almost exclusively on falafel are limited in Stockholm. However, there are a number of Middle Eastern restaurants where falafel appears on the menu, though doesn’t necessarily take centre stage. Take Amida Kolgrill, for example. They’re a charcoal grill restaurant named after the ancient Mesopotamian city, which occupied the land of modern day Diyarbakir in Turkey. You can find them either on Södermalm or way out in the suburbs, in Skärholmen. The Södermalm branch can get busy though, so be prepared to wait.
This one’s a little further out of town, being in Arsta, but some say the travel is worth it. The portions are gargantuan, but quality is certainly not scrimped on. While they are primarily a kebab restaurant, they still fry up great falafels, moulded in the shape of doughnuts. To go with them, try their homemade aioli, or in fact, any of their numerous sauces.
Probably more of a lunch spot, Babel Deli have a range of mezze dishes, centring on both falafel and lamb/chicken. It’s a great spot for those on a health drive, since things like quinoa and bulgar wheat feature heavily throughout, though if you fancy some indulgence, you can end your meal with a baklava or two. The freshest and best ingredients are used to create the authentic Middle Eastern dishes, which come at incredibly reasonable prices. Head over to Rådsmangatan or Hornstull for a taste.
If a restaurant has a small menu, you can trust they do those few dishes well. Over at Jerusalem Kebab, located on a tiny cobbled street in Gamla Stan, you’ll find falafel and kebabs. And baklava. It’s slightly out of the main tourist streets, but this only works in its favour since it is tiny. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for delicious, high quality food, for minimal cost, you’ll want to go here.
Folkets Kebab have two branches, both located on Södermalm. Yes, it’s more of a ‘fast food’ restaurant, but you’re allowed fast food sometimes, right? Anyway, falafel doesn’t take long to make… Still, you can’t really go wrong with the falafel at Folkets. It’s good, fairly cheap and fast.
The only food truck on our list, Elli’s Falafel is all about updating traditional recipes to suit modern tastes, using natural and high quality ingredients. Being a food truck, they’ve got a concise menu, but when it comes to falafel, variation is not necessary. Have your falafel alone, or with aubergine, in a pita or on top a salad. Whichever you choose, you’re in for one tasty, satisfying meal. Follow their Facebook page to see where they are and when.