A good falafel is like a hug: warm, hearty, and satisfying. Falafel is the ultimate hangover food and a go-to meal on a night out. And while Reykjavík might not be the falafel capital of the world, the Grapevine team went out of their way to find some of the best examples of this simple comfort food in town.
Hallveigarstígur 1, Reykjavík
“A world-class falafel,” I’m told, Chickpea never disappoints. The family-run restaurant offers falafel in four types of sandwiches, served either in a flatbread or pita, and in falafel salad bowls, plus there’s a soup of the day. While it might be considered a mono-restaurant, Chickpea’s falafel definitely wouldn’t come across as traditional or boring. The team constantly tries to update the menu, integrating seasonal ingredients or an exotic touch, e.g. mango aioli. Beware: not all falafel sandwiches at Chickpea are vegan—double-check for added dairy. IZ
Veltusund 3b, Reykjavík
Mandi is probably the most popular place in Reykjavík for falafel right now. And there is a damn good reason for that. The falafel is solid, although there are two versions of it. The one for Icelanders that don’t like strong food, and the one that is really hot and can keep you warm for the rest of the day. Just ask for that hot sauce and they will serve you right up. VG
Hringbraut 119, Reykjavík
Zorbian is relatively new in the market, but has already made some serious impact on the neighbourhood of Vesturbær. They offer wonderful falafels as well as more traditional dishes from the Middle East and never fail to deliver a tasty dish. The restaurant is a little bit out of the way of downtown—roughly a 15-minute walk from the centre. The place is cosy and gives you the opportunity to check out the Vesturbær locals while you eat. VG
Laugavegur 87, Reykjavík
Unremarkable from the outside, Arabian Taste serves a selection of Syrian and Arabic dishes, including tasty falafel. You can choose between a falafel roll, Arabian falafel that comes with rice, or a falafel plate with hummus and salad on the side. Hot sauce or not? The choice is yours. Arabian Taste is located right on Laugavegur and is open until 11 PM on weekdays and until 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, which makes it a perfect place to stop by before or after going out. IZ
Lamb Street Food
Grandagarður 7, Reykjavík
Despite the name suggesting the opposite, Lamb Street Food offers three options of vegan falafels wrapped in grilled flatbread. Located right at the old harbour area known as Grandi, LSF could be a good option for a lunch break after a long stroll along the seafront. “No place beats this one for value per króna spent”—reads one of the recent LSF reviews, and we know Tripadvisor reviews don’t lie. IZ
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