My mom and I have been talking about trying Amsterdam Falafel’s Washington D.C. location for years, but the capital is just far enough from where my parents live that it’s not convenient for a quick bite. Imagine our excitement when the company announced its new location in downtown Annapolis, a mere 8 miles away!
Amsterdam Falafel describes itself as inspired by the falafel shops of Amsterdam (no surprise, given its name), and they’ve done a pretty good job of replicating the experience of falafel in one of the most falafel friendly cities in Europe. If you’ve never hit up a decent falafel shop before, the concept of the falafel experience probably makes little to no sense to you, so let me explain how falafel should be done (and how Amsterdam Falafel does it).
After placing your order, the falafel is made and fried freshly and is then served piping hot in pita bread a few minutes later. And then the fun begins, for in front of you lies a buffet of various condiments (one of my favourite things) and salads with which you are to dress your falafel in whatever way you see fit. No judgement. The salads tend to include an array of pickled things, deep fried things, liquid things, spicy things, mild things, and lots and lots of other things. All of the things. Hummus, baba ghannouj, fried aubergine, pickled cauliflower, and various bean salads are to name but a few of the offerings.
At Amsterdam Falafel, most of the spread is vegan and the staff will tell you what isn’t (although you can pretty much assume if it looks vegan it is). The small sandwich is $5.50, which for me is more than adequate, so naturally I order a large with chips (incidentally, Amsterdam Falafel does some of the better chips—that’s french fries, not crisps—I’ve had in the US).