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“Hungry for a great falafel? Go to Amsterdam Falafel.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Amsterdam Falafel Shop

Amsterdam Falafel Shop
Ranked #25 of 304 Restaurants in Somerville
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: This is a new store of the original in Washington, DC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
65 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Hungry for a great falafel? Go to Amsterdam Falafel.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

My son and I recently made our first, hopefully of many, visits to Amsterdam Falafel Shop in Somerville. It is a simple, hip, fun, small and enjoyable space. The menu is simple also but very good quality. You basically select three or five falafels for your pita or salad bowl and then walk through the buffet to select among a great array of toppings. It is one of the best falafels I have had outside of Jerusalem. Enjoy!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank WestBrooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    29
    33
    7
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
44 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Pick your own toppings”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2012

What makes this place better than other falafel shops is that they give you just the falafels in a bowl (my favorite) or in a pita and you decorate it yourself from a huge array of salads and toppings.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank mjaberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
128 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Great, Convenient & Open Late”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2012

This is Davis Square's newest fast food joint and boy is it here to stay! With their long hours, friendly service and affordable (yet minimalist) food options, this place is pretty awesome. My first visit there, although a bit confusing at first, left me impressed and I'm already making up excuses to return... and will.

This place basically took over for what used to be Diva Lounge, the bar/lounge extension to the Indian restaurant Diva. It's right on Elm Street and is super easy to walk to from Davis and/or Porter Square. It's literally a minute away walking from Davis Square. Parking is also pretty easy to find in the various street spots and in the lots off behind Redbones.

Walking in, you essentially have to walk all the way down into the very end, past the condiment counter and onto the ordering area where you get to select between three items: a small falafel sandwich, a large one and fries. There's little else on the menu and you also get to pick whether your pita should be white or whole wheat. That's basically it. Three falafel balls come in a small and five in a large one and each time you order, they roll them out and fry them to order (it doesn't take long). For those counting calories or who don't like pita bread, you can also get them in a bowl.

Once cooked up and stuffed into the bread, they pass it on to you and you can start walking down the large condiment bar that's to the right of you. The condiment bar is, in my opinion, what really makes this place. Basically you can stuff and load up your sandwich the way you want it and with what you want. In front of you are not 10, not 15 but 21 sauces and toppings. There's all kinds of stuff, from imported pickles to eggplant, from Tahini to red cabbage, beets, chickpea salad, and even a tomato and cucumber salad. You can truly customize it to make it very personal and most of the toppings are pretty healthy. I loaded mine up with all kinds of wonderful things and tried to flatten it as much as possible before heading to the cash register.

One neat detail is that throughout the shop's counters are stands where you can put the sandwich down without it spilling everywhere. It is after all an open sandwich and is a bit messy, even when you later on chomp down on it. My fiance's sandwich, my own, our drinks, an order of fries and a stroopwafel came down to just under $20 which wasn't bad.

We proceeded to grab some napkins, picked a few sauces available for our fries (you MUST try their curry ketchup, it's amazing!) and sat down and devoured our entire thing in minutes. It was delicious, it tasted fresh and we didn't feel gross or heavy after eating it. Some of the toppings really shined in the sandwich including the Jalapeno and cilantro sauce alongside the Tahini. It wasn't dry, it was just awesome.

In a nutshell the place focuses on a small menu that is well executed and is also affordable to anyone. It's not more expensive than a trip to McDonalds or Wendy's and offers similar hours (open from 11AM until midnight every single day). This is a terrific addition to Davis Square however I would have liked to see later hours of operations on Fridays and Saturdays since it seems like a logical place for anyone who wants to soak up alcohol after a late night. Maybe that will change in the future? Also the seating is a bit limited, they have something like five tables which isn't a lot but then again the place isn't huge so... On a plus note however, the decor is simple and neat. The little sign outside which says Elmstraat instead of Elm Street cracked me up.

One thing however is that although the ordering process is pretty streamlined, the first-timers will have a rough time trying to figure it out; the friendly staff had to intervene as we desperately tried to read various signs and piece things together.

One quirky fact about it as well is that they accept euros at this location and will return your change in US dollars. I'm not sure how they do the conversion or if you lose a fee on the transaction but I thought that was interesting.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank JeremyKrantz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston, ma
Level Contributor
26 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great new lunch place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

Amsterdam Falafel Shop sells basically two things, falafel and salad. You can add a huge selections of sauces and toppings to your falafel. The food is fresh, tasty, and reasonably priced. The small size serving of falafel in pita is 3 falafel balls, plenty for most people, especially when you add all the toppings.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank wbp657
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
406 reviews
317 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“Awesome Selection of Falafel Toppings!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

When a friend told us about this place I just knew we'd have to try it out. I'm not the biggest falafel fan but my friend surely is. Seriously, if this had been hours away, I think he would have wanted to go. We were super excited and as we entered Davis Square we squealed, "Falafel time!" over and over. By the time we'd circled the Square about 9 times without finding any parking we were no longer squealing and one of us looked like a very sad panda. We finally found a spot, but it was one of those 15 minute spots. Ah well, surely we could get some falafel in that time! Ran to the restaurant, kind of a line, but luckily the group in front of us were being sold on all the food by a very informative employee and we were able to go past them.

Wow, just wow. All the choices to jam onto your falafel sandwich. I tried for the milder things like cucumbers and onions and tahini sauce since I'm a wimp when it comes to spices. My friend loaded up on absolutely everything he could. For good measure, I purchased one of their Dutch cookies but I have to say that it was dry and tasted old and they actually have two cookies for less money in all the Marshalls stores now. Price for the falafel sandwich was awesome and really, that's the main reason you're there. We got out of there in less than 10 minutes. My friend snarfed his down at warp speed while I sort of picked at mine and wished I had a fork/was not eating in the car. He ended up finishing it up for me though so no worries.

Would I go back? Meh, maybe. The parking was horrible and this was on a random week night not on a Friday or the weekend. I think it's better if you live in the area or arrive via public transport. I don't know if you could actually eat in the restaurant as it seemed cramped. Very popular spot. I might bring euros next time and see if they really do take them.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank quiet_wave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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