Queens Best Falafel: NYC Food Guy’s Favorite is Naomi’s Kosher Pizza & Israeli Falafel

Date December 8, 2008

The most rewarding aspect of New York City’s melting pot culture is the act of discovering something new. NYC Food Guy is guiding you off the beaten path towards Naomi’s on Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens where my favorite falafel is served. Read on to find out what make’s Naomi’s such a tasty experience…


At $2.50 per half falafel, you’re hard pressed to spend $10 for a very filling meal.

Simple Recipe Equalys Simply Delicious

My go to meal is 3 half falafels, a plate of pepperoncini, some extra tahini sauce, an order of fries well done, and a can of selzter. You’ll get that all for under $10. I can honestly say the food has not changed at Naomi’s in the last fifteen years. If that’s not a sign of success, what is? A heated, albeit pre-packaged pita, is pried open and stuffed with 5 freshly fried falafel balls, iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots and cabbage, and then topped with a housemade tahini sauce. You can add any number of accoutrements including pepperoncini, pickled beets and a very spicy hot sauce.

But while the tahini sauce and the consistency of the recipe have certainly assured lasting deliciousness, the key ingredient are the balls of fried chickpea which wait at the bottom of each pita.


Bursting the Mamoun’s Bubble

It’s no surprise Naomi’s falafel balls are by far the tastiest I’ve tried. It’s a result of an all chickpea recipe, served at Naomi’s and found mainly in Israel. Whereas Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian falafel feature the use of the cheaper fava bean or a combo of fava and chickpea, the delicious Israeli version is straight chickpea. It’s not easy to tell the difference, but in my experience the most telling factor is that an all chickpea ball is lighter and more delicate than the mealy fava bean falafel ball found at, you guessed it, Mamoun’s. As good as all the drunks on MacDougal and St. Mark’s think Mamoun’s is, the bubble is burst. Quality counts.


Balls of Fury

Creating Naomi’s falafel balls is a simple process. The balls are first scooped into a device made for pushing them into a vat of bubbling oil. And then, they fry to a beautiful golden brown.



Kosher Pizza Done Right

I’ll admit, I don’t come to Main Street in Kew Garden Hills for the Kosher pizza. But on a stretch of street where at least two other falafel & Kosher pizza restaurants reside (Shimon’s & Benji’s), Naomi’s pizza is by far the best. Looking at the pies below, you wouldn’t even know they’re kosher. They look like pies you’d find in slice joints in Manhattan, and they’re better than some of those too.


Prices Worth Traveling For

Another great thing about eating outside of Manhattan is the precipitous drop in food prices. Take a look at the affordable and diverse offering of Middle Eastern delicacies beyond falafel. I’ve only tried the hummus, which is creamy and fresh but fairly standard.





Naomi’s Kosher Pizza & Falafel

naomis-00316828 Main St
Flushing, NY 11367
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17 Responses to “Queens Best Falafel: NYC Food Guy’s Favorite is Naomi’s Kosher Pizza & Israeli Falafel”

  1. FN said:

    Good stuff, NYCFG. Nothing like a good falafel sandwich for a few bucks. I suggest you take a trip to Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn as well. Lot of good, cheap, middle-eastern spots to pick from. Some with only menus in Arabic, which makes it a “pick-em” kind of experience.

  2. Before Sunrise said:

    Those falafels look really good! How do I get there?

  3. a Lebanese said:

    1-I’m a Lebanese, and I can tell you that Fava falafel are not common in Lebanon or Syria
    2-Fava falafel is not a ‘cheap’ falafel, it’s a different Falafel, neither better nor worse, just different
    3-Mamoun is Lebanese, but his food is not, it’s a mix of various middle-eastern recipes adapted to the american palate

  4. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Before Sunrise,
    Unfortunately, this would be a hell of a trip. Subways and buses. If you get a car or are in that neighborhood, I’d make the move. Otherwise, stick with the city fare or as FN says, head out to Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn and test out their goods.

    I apologize for the mistake. Perhaps I can pick your brain further. What is the difference in taste between Fave bean falafel balls and chickpea? This information was provided to me by one of the counter guys at Rainbow Falafel in Union Square. Apparently, I was misinformed. Where’s your favorite falafel in the city?

  5. Before Sunrise said:

    That’s a shame FG, however I will put it on my list of things to try before moving back to Brazil 🙂

  6. City Girl said:

    Sounds like it was worth the trip! ALso, stop by my blog if you want to weigh pizza merits in the comments. 🙂

  7. Phil said:

    That stuff looks incredible. Do they have shawarma? That is my favorite!

  8. FN said:

    NYCFG, I have had an incredible falafel in Paris recently. This is an Israeli spot in the Jewish section of town. I wish I could mail you one to try.


  9. Jack said:

    Has anyone been to Sam’s Falafal stand downtown?? Long lines, had it a few times but im not a big falafal fan.

  10. Newman said:

    I think you need to go a block or so north and eat at grill point… much better meal.

  11. Jerry said:

    Hello, Newman! >:O

  12. Penny said:

    Re: Naomi’s on Main Street, Flushing, NY

    I totally agree with you regarding their falafels, and their food in general …. FABULOUS! Additionally, their fried eggplant salad with peppers is fantastic as well. I live far out near Stony Brook University, but will still travel an hour from time to time to eat their food – and I’m not even Kosher.

  13. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Now that’s dedication! Is there any worthwhile food out near Stony Brook? I’ll keep an eye out for the eggplant salad next time I’m there, does it have to be ordered from behind the counter? How’d you discover Naomi’s?

  14. Jacob said:

    I first ate a Naomi’s when i was very young and my grandparents were still living in Flushing. I have tried many falafel places including those in Boston where i currently live and nothing have even come close to their food. It is a place that has the true Israeli feel and is comfort food in my opinion!

  15. Guy Jones said:

    Regarding falafel — fava beans are generally more expensive than chickpeas, especially when bought dried. Your statement that “Lebanese and Egyptian falafel feature the use of the cheaper fava bean” is totally inaccurate with respect to its implication that fava beans are a cheaper ingredient than chickpeas; they’re not.

  16. Barbra Herman said:

    I discovered Naomi’s around 1978 while an undergraduate at Queens College, and my husband and I always return when we are visiting, now in Columbia County, NY. Its an old reliable and healthy meal. I love returning to the neighborhood.

  17. Sharon said:

    No they do not serve shawarma because they are a Kosher Dairy Restaurant.

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