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Dish no. 20: Falafel sandwich from the Falafel Shop (127 Rivington Street, 212-466-1222)
We know, we know. You’ve long since found your falafel shop, and you’re more or less completely loyal to it, save for when you happen to be walking by Mamoun’s, perhaps. But next time you’re on the Lower East Side, it’s worth dropping in to this pint-sized counter-service joint and comparing its version to your go-to. The Falafel Shop packs its pitas with freshly fried falafel balls, which are small-ish, giving the whole packet more crunch than normal. You should add hummus when the cashier suggests it; the chickpea spread is extra creamy here, and it plays nicely with the fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and tart pickles that are included. Add your own hot sauce if you want a little zip, and pair your lunch to a mint-ginger lemonade (though that drink will cost you nearly as much as your sandwich).
In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we’re traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They’re presented here as a countdown, but we’re listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what’s good to eat in this town right this very second.
More:100 Favorite Dishes