Queen’s Sweets and Bakery (4107 N. Cherry St., North Kansas City)
The falafel appetizer ($7) arrives with seven ball-shaped fritters made fresh and fried to a light golden hue. Dip the falafel into tahini sauce, and take a bite. The crunchy exterior delivers the same sublime satisfaction as eating perfectly prepared fried chicken with extra-crispy crust.
Habashi House (309 Main St., KCMO)
Celebrating its twentieth anniversary in May, this City Market mainstay prepares a classic sandwich ($7). Pita bread is loaded with tahini, hummus and salad atop falafel patties. A choice of hummus, rice or salad is served with each order. Tip: Perk up with a complimentary cup of strong hot black tea at the drink station.
Marble Top Cafe (8436 Ward Parkway, KCMO)
For less than a five-spot, snack on five falafel ($3) infused with spices and served with tahini sauce. The daily lunch special ($8) includes a falafel sandwich served with salad or french fries and iced tea. For a light meal, the sandwich ($6) packs falafel, tahini sauce, tomatoes, tangy pickles, hummus, lettuce, onion and cucumbers in a pita wrap.
Shawarmar (23 E. Linwood Blvd., KCMO)
Fresh flavor reigns at this Middle Eastern fast-casual grill housed in a former Taco Bell. Try the falafel wrap ($6): A thin pita blankets vegan falafel loaded with parsley, hummus, house salad, thin ribbons of pickled turnips that add subtle bite and light tahini sauce.
Kinzi (5329 Johnson Drive, Mission)
Owner Mike Alhmood named his family-oriented Mediterranean restaurant after his daughter. The appetizer ($5) features five falafel with a dark brown exterior and tahini. Fava beans, chickpeas, garlic and onion add savory flavor and form a rugged crunchy outer layer. Freshly fried patties reveal tender filling with a green tint, indicating abundant cilantro and parsley used in the recipe. Tip: Order a thin crust pie with house-made pita dough from the menu’s bakery section.