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The Falafel Diaries: In Search of Perfection

When it comes to veggie junk food in Berlin, we all know that Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab is the greatest – fifty people in a kilometer-long queue can’t be wrong. Grilled zucchini, a drop of lemon juice, a crispy roll – when I first sank my teeth into this delicious dish I didn’t want to eat anything else for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, you have to wait two hours for this heavenly taste and sometimes my stomach just doesn’t agree. What to do then when you need to eat something ASAP and the only veggie option is chips from a place serving Currywurst? Just look for a good falafel.

Falafel in Berlin is really easy to find; you can find options in any Imbiss - in a roll, as a durum or even in a box. But there is a difference between some random falafel and a good falafel. When you buy a good one you bless the people who made it for you, bless the job that allowed you to pay for it and thank yourself for stepping into this tiny place. Good falafel is a gift from fate and finding good falafel in an urban jungle is a hunter's trophy, a medal for running a hundred meters. That’s why, when I came to Berlin, I decided that I would make it my life's goal to find the perfect taste. Today I’ll present some of my gems to you – although the search is still ongoing...

Sahara (Reuterstrasse 56)

Not that far away from Neukölln’s main artery – loud and crowded Hermannstrasse - you can find the quiet and peaceful Reuterstrasse and a small Imbiss called “Sahara”. The holder of a real Sudanese pedigree surprised me enormously when I discovered peanut butter on my lettuce leaf. Amazement took over when it turned out that the combination tastes really good. Plus a crispy bread roll, falafel balls made right in front of my eyes, and first-class tomatoes. I don’t want to think about how delicious it would have been if I had also ordered halloumi cheese.

Premium Falafel (Rosa Luxemburg Strasse)

Just a step from “Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz” U–Bahn station, you can find “Premium Falafel”. The name doesn’t lie; the falafel from Premium really was a pro. You can choose – dark or light roll? Aubergine pasta or hummus? Plus mint leaves which are just perfect with the other ingredients. Also, for the first time, I noticed that crushed falafel really is more practical – at least nothing tasty falls out of the roll.

Haroun al Rachid (Revealer Strasse 7)

Haroun is one of many options amid the surrounding Warschauer Strasse streets, but characterized by the fact that it is well spiced and very solid – you won’t need another meal until the end of the day. Large, crispy falafel balls, a big decent roll, and a lot of fresh lettuce. If you're a fan of scharfe Soße, I guarantee you that the sauce from Haroun provides really hot moments. If you’re not, order it only when you have one liter of water with you.

So that’s all, at least for the moment, because I am still looking for the true ideal. If you have any ideas and favorite places where you eat falafel, feel free to add them in the comments. We, my stomach and I, are still looking for new experiences all the time.

By Martyna Powaza

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