My friend Rachel has been raving about Amsterdam Falafelshop in Adams Morgan ever since we met. I wish I’d taken her advice and gone to the falafel establishment earlier, because I did not know what I was missing out on!
Amsterdam Falafelshop is located on the upper level of an Adams Morgan townhouse. Its facade glows in red, fashioned after Amsterdam’s Red Light District, which is home to brothels and sex shops. While the Dutch capital may be known for such adult offerings, it is not (to my knowledge) known for falafel. Regardless, Amsterdam Falafelshop was a tasty and unique experience in its own right.
Amsterdam Falafelshop keeps the menu simple: falafel and fries. The small falafel ($5.55) gets you 3 balls of falafel in a white or wheat pita, while the regular ($6.55) size gets you 4 balls in a pita. The small size was plenty for me because you get to put on unlimited toppings!!!
These are the “Falafel Topping Strategies” to help you get the most flavorful experience! You are given your falafel in your pita and are then unleashed on the topping bar. The rule is that you can’t double dip or top, but you are allowed to come back for more sauce and salads and put them in little plastic cups.
The options are incredible and include hummus, tzatziki sauce, cucumber salad, beet salad, chickpeas, babaganoush, cauliflower, peppers, pickles, diced onions and more! They also have more sauces next to the soda fountain, including peanut sauce, which is unconventional, but I’d totally recommend!
In order to make the most of the space you have in the pita, make sure to crush the falafel balls! It’s pretty simple, but if you are in need of assistance, the servers are very keen on offering to help.
This is my beautiful creation: a small falafel with babaganoush, tzatziki sauce and cucumber salad! Although I’ve had more flavorful falafel (sans toppings) at Mama Ayesha’s (a Middle Eastern restaurant also in Adams Morgan), the endless options at Amsterdam Falafelshop and the atmosphere made it an experience, more than a meal.
On a later visit, I tried the Falafelshop’s fries. They are probably the best fries I have ever had. The fries are incredibly fresh and taste like they are made of actual potatoes, which is sadly rare nowadays in the fast food world. In the Netherlands, mayo is the most popular dip for fries. It may sound weird to Americans, but the fry-and-mayo mix is delicious.
PRO TIP: Mix ketchup and mayo in a condiment cup to make a decadent dip for the fries.
The shop is decorated with “Make Falafel Not War” signs and other quirky memorabilia… such as Dutch concert posters and tables inlaid with photos of Amsterdam. The large window at the front of the shop is open on nice days, so grab a seat up there, nibble on your falafel and enjoy the people watching!
The Bottom Line:
2425 18th St NW (Adams Morgan)
Washington, DC 20009