Your First Look at the King of Falafel & Shawarma Express

King of Falafel in Midtown!

If any of you have had the fortunate opportunity to eat Astoria’s King of Falafel, you understand what caused this massive line yesterday. I stopped by around 2:30 to see how Freddy was doing and the story behind the cart moving to 53rd and Park. I also wanted to score some falafel, of course!

King of Falafel in Midtown!

For those of you worried that this means the end of the Astoria cart, have no fear! This is Freddy’s second cart and he plans on keeping it on this corner for a while, with him manning it for at least the next few weeks. He saw the opportunity to vend in Midtown and did originally want another corner on that block, but this permit was the only one available.

King of Falafel in Midtown!

As we could see from the lunch photo yesterday, he was in the weeds all day, partly because one of his guys didn’t show up. By the time I got there, there was barely any meat left, and Freddy was making falafel almost to order. He looked like he’d been hit by a truck, but he was his happy, friendly self. I even witnessed the last four pitas of the day. Though the day didn’t have any of his famous belly dancers, Freddy is planning on having his music–which I’m sure Lever House will love!

Falafel Pita

For those of you unaware of Freddy, his falafel are famous–he makes them deliciously garlicky and in an oval, as opposed to spherical. Plus they fry up perfectly. In his pita, he stuffs the falafel along the side and packs them in with lettuce, tomato, onion, turnip sticks, and pickles from the West Bank. And his hot sauce is some of the hottest around. I had a wee bit and my mouth was on fire. $4, and you have your meal. Trust us, you’ll be hooked, one of the customers behind me was already making plans for what she should get today. The cart is lunch only, so be prepared for lines for the next few weeks.

King of Falafel and Shawarma, NW corner of 53rd and Park (writing that made me so happy!)


  • Are they going to be done and gone by 5 or are the planning on sticking around till lunch turns to dinner? I live in midtown west and would gladly scooter over there for falafel after work, but with the line and the walk during working hours it’s pushing the boundary I can be away form my desk.

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    another apparently great cart on 53rd street? do you think this will cause any rivalry?

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    In the second photo of the side of the cart, check out the text….it looks like:


  • I don’t think the hot sauce is very spicy, unless he switched up the recipe for 53rd st. Wishing Freddy success. He’s an entertaining guy.

  • I braved the line yesterday and went with the Shawarma platter. $7 and terrific. The ‘white sauce’ is very different and almost mustardy. There’s a tahini too so maybe it mixed together. Definitely in the weekly rotation!

  • LMAO, It does read as PEOPLE CHOKE AWARD.

  • I had the falafel and shawarma pita (with beef). It had to be the best falafel I have ever had. This place is absolutely amazing.

  • I love Freddy! Such a teddy bear!

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    I visted the cart on Monday and Freddy and his helper were sucking wind. I thought the Chicken Shawarma was pretty good, but not award worthy. He makes good Hot Sauce and White sauce and I like they way he seasons the chicken. I hope to try the falafel before the end of the week.

  • Someone ate Astoria’s King of Falafel? That must’ve been a HUGE meal!!!

  • It actually says “People Choice Award”, it’s just a weird looking ‘C’ that happens to be close to the ‘I’.

  • I hope the quality of the Astoria location doesn’t drop. I’d hate to say it, as I’m a pretty frequent customer of the Astoria location, but on Tuesday 3/13 I picked up a pita falafel, and a side of falafel.

    I then spent a good 3 hours in a cold sweat swapping between my head and butt with the porcelain goddess for the better part of Tuesday night.

    I’ll just chalk it up to a fluke, still the best falafel out there.

  • I checked this place out with a friend. We tried the falafel and the shawarma. Neither was particularly impressive. I thought the falafel was odd.

    Omar’s is light years better.

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