• Among Cape Town’s various cuisines, one savoury delight stands out as a timeless favourite – falafel. Rooted in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean traditions, falafel has won the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide with its blend of flavours and wholesome goodness.

    At its essence, falafel is a savoury and satisfying culinary creation crafted from chickpeas or fava beans, skilfully blended with aromatic herbs and spices.

    The mixture is then shaped into small patties or balls before being fried to a crisp golden brown. This combination of textures and tastes makes falafel a delightful treat.

    The origins of falafel trace back thousands of years to the ancient lands of Egypt and beyond, making it a time-honoured dish with a fascinating history. It is believed that falafel’s roots can be found in the Coptic Christian communities of Egypt, where it was initially created as a hearty and nourishing alternative to meat during Lent.

    Over the centuries, this creation spread across the Middle East, each region infusing its unique culinary touch, resulting in various regional variations of falafel.

    Today, in Cape Town, it has found a treasured place among the city’s diverse food offerings. Local eateries have mastered the art of crafting these bites, staying true to their authentic origins while adding their own twist.

    Here are three of those spots:

    1. Nish Nush

    Discover a taste of the Middle East at Nish Nush, where Middle Eastern street food favourites are elevated to perfection. The hidden gem takes pride in its commitment to authenticity, crafting explosive flavours that transport diners to the bustling streets of the Middle East.

    From the freshly baked pita bread to the mouthwatering hummus, falafels and zhoug sauce (a Yemeni-inspired coriander and chilli sauce), everything is made from scratch, ensuring a truly exceptional dining experience.

    • Location: 100 Bree St, City Centre
    • Times: Monday to Thursday 10:30am to 8:30pm | Friday 10:30am to 9pm | Saturday 12pm to 9pm
    • Website: nishnush.co.za
    Picture: Nish Nush

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    2. The Falafel Guy

    Prepare your taste buds for a unique and delightful experience at The Falafel Guy. Based in Sea Point, this one-of-a-kind shop features meats, falafel and other veggie dishes deep-fried to perfection, creating a melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

    Offering excellent value for money, the falafel pita is a must-try, generously filled with an abundance of flavourful toppings and fillings. Don’t miss out on the zesty and punchy green sauce that adds an extra burst of flavour to every bite.

    • Location: Sea Point Pavillion, Beach Rd, Sea Point
    • Times: Sunday to Friday 9am to 9:30pm | Saturday 9am to 10:30pm
    • Website: instagram.com/thefalafelguysa
    Picture: @thefalafelguysa / Instagram

    3. Achla

    This Sea Point go-to invites you into the enchanting world of Middle Eastern food magic. Be sure to mark your calendars for Thursdays and take advantage of their special weekly offer – buy a falafel and get one free!

    With the convenience of UberEats, you have no excuses not to savour Achla’s delicious meals in the comfort of your own home or office. The spot is pet-friendly too, so feel free to bring along your fur baby to experience the wonders of Mediterranean cuisine.

    • Location: 315 Main Rd, Sea Point
    • Times: Tuesday to Saturday 12pm to 9:30pm
    • Website: facebook.com/Achlameals
    Picture: Achla / Facebook

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    Written by Jules Keohane for Cape Etc.

    Feature image: Pexels