Fear not fellow denizens of my beloved block, the King of Falafel and Shawarma won’t be leaving its legendary spot at the corner of Broadway and 30th Street any time soon. They have, however, to the delight of all Astorians, added a second nighttime location on 30th Avenue between 33rd and 34th Street.
The King himself, Freddy Zeideia, casually made the announcement via Twitter last week, and that very same night the new cart was up and running. The new location is open weekday nights from about 6pm to 10pm, and on weekends until midnight (“or later”) to feed the waves of hungry commuters tumbling out of the 30th Avenue station, as well as the cafe and bar night-revelers on that bursting at the seams strip of Astoria.
The new cart has a nearly identical menu to the original, with the exception of kabobs. Try their famously crispy, oblong falafel, of course, but don’t miss the perfectly seasoned chicken and rice – and say “yes” to the salad of pickled veggies on the side. On days when I am super snackish, I go for the “Freddy’s Junior,” chicken and kefta over basmati rice doused in tahini (hot sauce optional, but highly recommended by the King). And I am excited to report that my favorite dishes are just as fresh and delicious at the new spot as they are at the well-loved Broadway cart.
The King of Falafel and Shawarma has received well-deserved accolades, including a 2010 Vendy Cup (proudly displayed near the original cart on Broadway) and the Vendy People’s Choice Award, but the Astoria locals lined up at all hours seems like the true measure of success. So it is only a matter of time before the line is stretching along 30th Avenue, as the smell of some of New York City’s best falafel and shawarma fills the air.
Astoria Video Bonus! My deep and abiding phobia of being on camera is mitigated by the fact that Freddy, the King himself, gives me a hug in this video.
Non-Profit Nerd Bonus! Each year, the Vendy Awards rally New Yorkers from every borough to enthusiastically endorse their favorite local street vendors on a food event mainstage. But did you know that the Vendy Awards are a fundraiser for The Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center, a great non-profit that advocates for the economic and legal rights of our city’s food vendors? Support their work anytime here.