Though it’s a golden oldie in Israel, the infamous falafel has conquered the world’s palate – searches for ‘falafel near me’ have increased 50% worldwide in the past month*. This plant-based crispy ball receives 1.6 million Google searches monthly, suggesting that this boom in global popularity is in no doubt fueled by the trend in veganism dominating the world’s diet.
Inspired, the foodie experts at 10bis.co.il and its sister companies around the world analysed this and other global food trends as part of a global study. After unearthing some surprising findings about falafel, they decided to investigate the popular dish further.
By evaluating factors such as the number of falafel restaurants and the quality of the dish reported on each city around the globe, they created an index score to reveal the best world cities for falafel on a scale from zero to 10.
10 best European cities for falafel
85% of the top 20 cities for falafel are in Europe
10bis.co.il can exclusively reveal that Amsterdam is the best European city for falafel, with an overall score of 7.62 out of 10. The Netherlands’ capital has 12 falafel restaurants per 100,000 inhabitants, behind European cities such as Brussels with an impressive 33 venues (the highest of all places analysed). The Belgian capital ranked second best European city for falafel in the study, with a total score of 7.55/10.
In third is Athens (7.50 out of 10). The Greek capital offers the tastiest falafel in Europe with a 4.60 out of 5 falafel review rating – shortly behind Haifa, Israel, which comes out on top in the worldwide study.
Berlin claims fourth place with 7.47/10. Known for being one of the world’s most vegan-friendly cities, 2.61% of the restaurants in the German capital offer high quality falafel rated at 4.37/5. Ahead of Berlin when it comes to the tastiest falafel (4.42/5), Lisbon in Portugal takes the fifth spot in the Europe ranking with 7.46/10.
Rounding off the top six European cities for falafel is Copenhagen (7.24 out of 10). The Danish capital has 43% more falafel restaurants than Haifa, even though it scored 20% fewer points in the overall results.
Top 5 best cities for falafel around the world
Israeli cities Haifa and Tel Aviv have the world’s best falafel
10bis.co.il can reveal that Haifa was given the highest score of 9.07 out of 10, thus being crowned the capital with the best falafel worldwide. Despite almost only 4% of restaurants in the Israeli city offering this dish, Haifa has the tastiest falafel of all places analysed (4.67/5 falafel rating).
Taking the second spot is Tel Aviv, with 8.70 out of 10. Interestingly, Tel Aviv has 13 falafel restaurants per 100,000 inhabitants, more than first place Haifa with nine.
In third place is another Middle Eastern city, Beirut, with 7.92/10. Falafels in Lebanon’s capital are the third highest rated amongst all world capitals, with a remarkable 4.54 out of five.
In joint third is Jerusalem with 7.92/10. The capital has 9.36% of restaurants specialising in falafels, putting it ahead of fellow Israeli cities; Haifa (3.95%) and Tel Aviv (2.56%).
- The foodie experts at 10bis.co.il were curious to investigate which world city boasts the best falafel by seeking to evaluate the density and quality of falafel in major metropolitan areas through the content analysis of 27 million reviews from a sample of over 450,000 restaurants located in 61 cities globally.
- A full-text search was employed to identify mentions of ‘falafel’ along with its variations and translations within restaurant names, descriptions, and reviews to classify falafel serving restaurants. Importantly, to ensure that only restaurants with significant falafel notoriety are included, those restaurants with a falafel mention rate1 lower than 10% were omitted from the study.
- The resulting dataset was aggregated to find the weighted average falafel review ratings and weighted average overall food rating for each city.
- Subsequently, the most recent population estimates and land area for each city within the dataset was acquired from a multitude of sources including Eurostat, the U.S. Census and the World Bank among others.
- Finally, the dataset was aggregated by city and a normalised rank was created based on the number of falafel restaurants per 100,000 inhabitants, the number of falafel restaurants per KM2, the percentage of restaurants serving falafel, weighted average falafel review ratings and weighted average overall food ratings.