Greek Falafels (Athens Part 2). took a trip to Athens in March to sample the growing number of falafel eateries in the capital city. Well, we went there to volunteer for ECHO refugee library, who provide a library service to migrants/refugees in and around Athens, but the real reason was of course to get falafel. It would be ludicrous to pretend otherwise. It’s taken a very long time to get round to writing about this trip – not because I was traumatised or anything, but because I watched all 7 seasons of Game of Thrones over the long winter…

During my brief 12 day stay, I managed to squeeze in 4 falafels. I would have had more but every time I actually wanted one (like when drunk) they were all shut. 2 of the falafels were bought reluctantly from a trendy hipster-ish place in eXarchia, in which the staff were surly. It was like being home in Bristol – graffiti everywhere, rude staff, over priced – a must have for any Brits/Bristolians feeling homesick. The only difference was that in Athens there are terrifying army and police everywhere, hanging around with massive guns (weapons, not muscles. Though in comparison to UK cops, they are better equipped in that area too).

The falafel on both occasions was sub par.  The first time round I forgot to ask for it to be vegan (I just assumed, I’m that kind of person) so it came with a generous dollop of yoghurt-y sauce (they love yoghurt over there, or so I hear). The second time I asked for it without, and she grimaced at me with raised eyebrows in a ‘fuck you’ kind of snarl. It also could have been ‘cos I was talking English, having not learnt any Greek at all. Apart from thank you, which I think I pronounced badly. Either way, she was unimpressed by me in general. As I was with the falafel. It was dry and hummus free, with a disappointing salad.




Bread – 4/5 – nothing to complain about here, but not amazing

Falafel – 3/5 – dry

Salad – 2/5 – bland

Intoxication – 3/5

Service – 2/5

The next falafel was made for me by a man living in one of the refugee camps. I’d been volunteering for the library for a week, going to various social centres and camps to bring books and help catalogue the stock, and by the time it got to Friday I was ready for a decent falafel. I believe the falafel- cook was Syrian but I also could be wrong about that. Any way, it was brilliant. Costing just one euro, made in his kitchen in his caravan, he presented it to us with no fuss (and actually no words, neither of us spoke the others language). We communicated by a shared loved of fried chickpeas alone.




I recorded an interview about this particular falafel, made whilst trying not to get falafel all over the books, and trying to entertain very enthusiastic kids. Unfortunately I lost it. It was good.

A final falafel was bought in a very cheap ‘street food’ type place called ‘street souvlaki’ in the centre near all the touristy bits. The price was right at 1.80, it was just big enough (I could have eaten more), but it did have a weird taste to it. A bit like a mixture between an onion baji and a falafel. Which is fine, as I am a bit bored of falafel these days. But still, it wasn’t really what I would call a falafel. And as always, no hummus. In fact, it was very difficult to find ANY hummus in Athens at all. Shocking.





Biblos Bristol

I finally did it. After living in Bristol for over a year, I finally decided the time was right to splash out on a falafel from the famous Biblos, a Bristol institution, or so it seems. There are rave reviews on the internet, people mention it to me as a falafel eater all the time, it’s on Trip Advisor as if tourists should head there before they visit the SS Great Britain or whatever. So it was time. Technically, not actually my first time, I definitely had one a few years ago, but was far too drunk to do any kind of review. So here it is.

Let me set the scene. I was very hungry. I’d accidentally done a 2 hour gym session, and was on my way to a pub quiz. I had to act fast. I spied the take away over the street on Stokes Croft and veered over there. The alarmingly high price of £5.20  for a medium (£6.90 for large) didn’t put me off this time, I was THAT hungry.

It was a high price to pay, I think we can all agree. I remembered that you could ask for a combination – half of the wrap one thing, half another filling. I decided to take up this offer as, to be quite honest, I am becoming increasingly fed up of falafel. It’s not easy reviewing falafels’ on a regular basis. It’s not easy being me. Anyway, I went for half falafel and half roasted vegetables.


It was possibly the best decision of my life. But before we go into the taste and textures of this particular wrap, a little note on the shop itself. The menu was displayed on a chalk board surrounded by a gold frame, very classy. Fake flowers were placed on each table (very easy to knock over) and there was a range of newspapers to peruse. I was pleased to note that all the employees were female, a refreshing change from the usual male dominated take-away profession. I would say however, that the wooden benches could do with a cushion or two- my bony bum was very uncomfortable as I waited for my wrap to be made.

I reluctantly handed over the money and rushed out onto the always far too busy streets of Stokes Croft and resisted the temptation to rip open the wrap and eat it then and there.


However, I waited until I got home and savoured it, like any good reviewer. I’ll cut to the chase. It was amazing. Maybe it tasted even better because I was as previously mentioned, hungry, but this was the best falafel and roasted veg wrap I had ever had. The veg included sweet potato, giving it a lovely sweet taste, and it also had some sort of Chinese tasting sauce along with a generous dollop of hummus. The falafel itself was flavoursome and not too crunchy, and the salad was wide including the weird red vegetable you get in a falafel that isn’t cabbage or beetroot.

Criticisms include it being a bit sloppily rolled, and the bread was bog standard.


Bread – 3/5

Falafel – 4/5

Salad- 5/5

Service- 4/5

Price – 3/5

Intoxication – 2/5 (high on gym).

Plus points for hummus and delicious sauce.

All in all, worth it. I was full from the medium size but a larger appetited person may want to try the bigger one. Here is a link to their menu for more info.

They also seem to have a deal on Fridays called Falafel Fridays which I am eager to check out.

My faith in falafel has been restored. Thanks, Biblos.