A staple dish in the diet of most vegetarians, falafel are just as appreciated by meat-eaters and for good reason: these little fried balls of chickpea flour are excellent in wraps, salads or on their own dipped in hummus or labneh. In Barcelona there are a number of reliable restaurants and takeaways offering both falafel wraps to go and more elaborate combined meal platters. Here are some of the best places to eat falafel in Barcelona.
If you only serve one thing, you’re going to want make sure it’s pretty darn good. Maoz Vegetarian specialise exclusively in falafel, served either in a wrap or a box along with a selection of salads which customers help themselves to at the salad bar. The falafel are made to order and are wonderfully crispy when they arrive, just asking for lashings of sauce to be drizzled all over them.
Offering ‘gourmet street food’, A Tu Bola is a casual eat in or take out restaurant in El Raval specialising in fried balls of all kinds. They have meat, fish or vegetarian – aka falafel – to choose from, which come either in pita bread or in a bowl with their own unique garnish. The falafel come served with a roast cauliflower salad with a herb and tahini sauce and are fresh, fluffy and flavoursome.
A rather humble shawarma and falafel restaurant, La Caravana is known for its authentic, home-made dishes served in an intimate, friendly setting. The menu includes a wide range of traditional Middle-Eastern fare including warm dishes, salads and dips. The falafel are served with a small side salad and hummus dressing which complements them perfectly – a steal at just €3.50.
If it’s true that El Cocinero de Damasco is best known for its shawarma – home-made with a mix of lamb and turkey – the falafel are very well-regarded too. The owner, Salem Kabbaz, was born in Damascus, Syria but moved to Barcelona in the 1980s to open his own restaurant specialising in the flavours of his home country. The falafel are made according to a recipe he inherited years ago and taste as authentic as the those from any Syrian food stall.
Another authentic Middle-Eastern eatery, Mustà Shawarma – Mustà being the owner – is located on the busy Carrer Mozart in Barcelona’s trendy Gràcia neighbourhood. The dishes are all prepared in-house and the restaurant is something of a neighbourhood meeting point at lunchtimes, thanks to its affordable prices and friendly atmosphere. Mustà also happens to be a massive Barça fan so if it’s match day the TV will almost certainly be switched on.
Located on the Rambla del Raval, Baba San Marino is a great choice for both a quick meal on the go or a sit down dinner thanks to its outdoor terrace and large dining room. The falafel are of course home-made and prepared in front of your eyes when you order, meaning they’re always incredibly fresh and crunchy.
In 17 years, the owners of Ugarit have successfully set up seven restaurants across Barcelona – a sure sign they must be doing something well. They specialise in authentic Syrian cuisine, with some 11 fresh salads to choose from, home-made dishes and of course, their own special falafel. The mixed plates are especially good value for money, coming with falafels, dips, bread and salads.