maoz falafel

Yes, that’s me in the corner, wolfing down falafels at Maoz. I was trying to figure out a way to break the news, but my favorite falafel place in Paris is not where you think it is.

Last time I went to another joint, the French fries that came out were so light and limp that I was wondering what was going through the head of the cook who plated ’em up. Let me state this simply (and in bold): If you have a professional-strength deep fryer, there’s no possible excuse for soggy fries.

When the waiter came by again and noted the sad heap still on the plate, I told him they were “Pas cuit” (uncooked), which he considered for perhaps one-quarter of a second, then shrugged and walked away. So let’s just say I like icons well enough, but the proof is in the pita and I’ve been getting my falafel fix at Maoz.

maoz condiments

I should apologize for the less-than-stellar photos but I have a few excuses. Actually, I have only one—the falafel I was eating was so good that I was diving full-force into it and at the moment nothing else really mattered.

A few folks might raise an eyebrow that Maoz is an international chain. But with just over a dozen small outlets around the world, I’d like to think that they’re just spreading a good idea around. (And believe me, sometimes I wish there were fourteen of me to spread around.)

maoz sauces

And so what? They get things right. The pita, which comes in regular or whole-wheat, gets toasted and split to order and is still warm when they hand it over. The falafels also get deep-fried to order, and aren’t buried under a pile of cabbage. They come out moist on the inside, crisp on the out. But the best part is the help-yourself condiment bar.

(I should also comment that the times I’ve been, the staff has been super nice and when they’re not making falafels, they’re always wiping down, re-stocking, and making sure the condiment bar is nice and neat.)

It’s one of the few à volonté places in Paris where you are welcome to heap as much of the salads and condiments on your falafel as you like. There’s cabbage slaw, couscous salad, green and black olives, pickled vegetables, chiles, tomatoes, marinated carrots and a few other goodies.

I am dizzy at the option of four different hot sauces, two of which are mild and the other two, that I use in tandem to tag team each other in my sandwich, are lively and will appeal to those of us who still haven’t become accustomed to tamer versions masquerading as le sauce piquante. The hot sauces here aren’t just a dull, background murmur, but will leave your lips tingling as you walk back down the street. I don’t know what’s in it, but I like the fiery green one best.

maoz in paris

I haven’t had the fries because I’ve given up on them around town, unless I can see them before ordering. And I’ve not seen anyone eating the fries at Maoz, so I can’t make tell you if they’re any good or not. But next time I’m going to take one for the team, and give them a try. And I’ll probably add some of that green hot sauce as well, which I’ll help myself to, à volonté.

36, rue Saint-André des Arts (6th)
8 rue Xavier Privas (5th)

Related Links

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Paris Menu Translation Guide

Maoz Vegetarian Falafel (Secrets of Paris)

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  • October 27, 2010 12:42pm

    hey, how come you haven’t tried their fries? This is my favourite place for eating fries when I’m in Paris. The only issue is they put too much salt on top, so every time I have to say in advance “sans sel” but they still have some, which is ok.

  • October 27, 2010 1:11pm

    My. absolute. favourite. falafel. place. in. Paris. When I lived in Paris, I spent many a Sunday lunch devouring one of these in the little park just to the east of Shakespeare and Co. Thanks for the memories!

  • October 27, 2010 1:14pm

    I worked at the first Maoz (in Amsterdam at the Muntplein) as a student and ended up eating pitas filled with nothing but the carrots with cumin. So good! The purple pickled mini eggplants are something as well. Have you tried those? I’ve been looking for them but can’t seem to find them anywhere. Oh wel…

  • steven
    October 27, 2010 1:34pm

    we have Maoz in Amsterdam as well – and while I LOVE the food there, the very thing you love about it (the help-yourself condiment bar) is what sort of makes me ill … you see, here in Amsterdam people love to eat AT the Maoz, which means they are constantly going back to refill their pita at the condiment bar … and i don’t know why, but it does not occur to people that they should not be pressing the provided serving spoons into their half-eaten pita… and it’s not one or two people … literally everyone that chooses to eat ‘in’ vs takeaway seems to practice this. So while Maoz does produce a delicious quality fast-food, they really need to instate a “one-time-at-the-bar” policy. Maybe i’m being uptight, but i only want to share the germs of the people i CHOOSE to make-out with ;-)

  • October 27, 2010 1:40pm
    David Lebovitz

    steven: While ‘help yourself’ serving can have it’s issues with hygiene, generally-speaking, here people put topping on their uneaten falafels and although it probably happens, I think Parisians aren’t used to ‘help yourself!’ and I haven’t seen people making return trips.

    That said, I do see a lot of things like people sneezing in their hands and then grabbing the bars on the shared bars on the métro, and I was at another place and saw a man fondling his nose, then absentmindedly playing with all the tips of the chopsticks on the table. But the worst was the cashier at Monoprix that sneezed into the hand of change she was holding, the passed it over to me. I wanted to say, “Um, keep the change!”

  • steven
    October 27, 2010 1:44pm

    return trips to the condi-bar are an Amsterdam Maoz epidemic in the making ;-)

    Of course germs are everywhere and spread by everyone … but when it comes to food, i like germ spreading to be less than blatant :-)

    monoprix – LOL – “Um, seriously keep it- no really!”

  • October 27, 2010 1:51pm

    That looks as authentic as it gets. It’s precisely the way you eat a falafel in Israel. I love all the salads so much so that I always take a small plate and load all my favourites onto it. The green hot sauce is probably sechug which is made up of green chili’s, garlic, coriander, cumin and cardamon. Next time you should see if they have amba (a type of spicy mango sauce).

  • October 27, 2010 2:05pm

    Every time I get a craving for something not homemade and fast, I head down to rue St André des Arts and grab a falafel or a lebanese galette. I have to agree their condiment bar makes it all worth it!

  • October 27, 2010 2:08pm

    I cannot believe how clean this place looks.

  • Nati
    October 27, 2010 2:13pm

    David, do you know the name of the green chili in your first photo?
    In Paris i ate once at a street side Middle East place and i can’t forget the delicious chili i was served. Is it a jalapeño? I’m not chili knowledgeable :(
    Thanks for your free blog, it’s a treasure!

  • October 27, 2010 2:23pm

    I also have given up French fries in Paris as of this past July — unless they’re homemade with the skins still on, and the oil is changed daily — which is never.

    I wait until I’m on vacation in North America to enjoy my frites (Montreal has some good ones, as does Vancouver) :)

  • October 27, 2010 2:29pm

    Je suis d’accord que l’a*s d*u f*alaf*el commence à craindre niveau qualité, vous n’êtes pas le premier à en parler :D. Une amie m’a dit justement avoir été déçue deux fois de suite avant cet été. Les condiments à volonté font envie chez Maoz, ils ont l’air frais et goûteux, si je vais dans ce coin j’irai chez eux. Excellente alternative !

    about the “bad cookie problem” on your blog, closing firefox and all, as I said on twitter it striked back. But I won this battle : I just have put your site in the “don’t accept cookies” zone in my browser settings. radical but pretty effective \o/ !

  • dcdori
    October 27, 2010 2:53pm

    The fries at the Maoz here in Washington DC are yummy! Especially the sweet potato ones.

  • Jim
    October 27, 2010 3:03pm

    I’m also in Amsterdam and Maoz is my go-to joint when we’re out on a weekend – the best quality veggie and it soaks up the beer nicely. :D

    The fellow who own Maoz also owns 2 of the other hot take-out chains here: Wok to Walk and BurgerBar, the latter being easily the best burgers in town.

    While some germaphobes will worry about double-dipping at the veggie bar, there’s no doubting that these joints have some of the best quality fast food in Holland (and I’m looking at you, Febo…)

  • Steve
    October 27, 2010 3:06pm

    What is the piece of food that the fork is stuck into in the top photo? A carrot?

  • Caroline
    October 27, 2010 3:11pm

    I LOVE MAOZ! My friend and I discovered it in Amsterdam, and now it’s my go to place in Soho (London). Great chips(fries), cheap, cheerful, delicious food, the falafel is exquisite! Yay for Maoz!

  • Stephanie
    October 27, 2010 3:17pm

    A Maoz location opened across the street from my husband’s office in New Brunswick, NJ this past spring. I am a falafel fiend, so of course we went- delicious! I especially loved the broccoli topping. And then my husband went and got a new job in a different state, so I’ll have to look forward to happening upon a Maoz in our travels…

  • October 27, 2010 3:20pm

    I agree with Krysalia about the decline in quality at the other place that shall not be named. I went there with a few friends, and all of them got sick to their stomachs. I think I was spared because I asked for a ridiculous amount of hot sauce in mine.

    As for frites, have you tried Les Grillades de Beunos Aires in the 14eme? Aside for having amazing Argentinian steaks, they’re fries are nice and crispy, and not too thin either!

  • Susan
    October 27, 2010 3:43pm

    I stumbled across the Maoz in Union Square NYC and found love at first bite. So, so good! They’ve opened one closer to my neighborhood and I couldn’t be more delighted.

    But yeah, people’s grasp of basic hygiene can be pretty feeble. I use so much hand sanitizer in Paris that my skin is like sandpaper.

  • October 27, 2010 3:44pm

    As I was reading your post, I kept thinking about how much I liked Maoz in Amsterdam (on the Leidseplein), and now that I’ve read through the comments, I see I’m not the only one.

    In late August this year, my husband and I were in Paris, and on a Sunday afternoon, I was amazed by how Rue des Rosiers has turned into a Jewish Disneyland, complete with roving musicians playing the Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack and the guys offering to wrap teffilin on anyone who’ll let them. So I’m not surprised L’As isn’t at the top of your falafel list anymore.

    Next time you’re in London and crave falafels (or just a fast, good lunch), try the PilPel in Spitalfields market. It reminds me of all the *superb* falafels and hummus I had in Israel a couple of summers ago.

  • Mario
    October 27, 2010 3:48pm

    Do you think the French will argue that unlimited condiments is an Anglo-Saxon concept that contributes to obesity?

  • October 27, 2010 3:52pm

    Mmmm, good to know where to get a great veggie friendly meal in Paris! Thanks!

  • anna
    October 27, 2010 3:54pm

    Sorry that this may not be of much use to you – a 2 hour ride on the Thalys over to Brussels will get you the best fries on the planet! Do it soon! The fries in France pale in comparison to what you can get at almost any Belgian “fritkot”. Indeed, one must wonder WHY?

  • Susan
    October 27, 2010 3:54pm

    Oh, goodie..they have one in Berkeley! For now, I’ll have to settle for the Falafel Drive In here in San Jose. That’s not a bad thing, excellent falafels and not expensive, but no condiment bar. Does Maoz have yogurt sauce as a condiment?

  • October 27, 2010 3:59pm
    David Lebovitz

    American in London: I think the other place is fun, but on Sunday, the mob is pretty out-of-control on that street. I don’t mind the lower-quality but I do wish they’re pay just a little more attention to some of the details. After all, they’ve only got a handful of things on the menu; it’s not like they’ve got twenty or so dishes.

    dcdorie: Sweet potato fries?? Yes, I saw them on the website, but I don’t see them on the menu here in Paris. Sweet potatoes aren’t all that common here.

    Mario: Interesting point, although “help yourself” is a little different than “all you can eat”, which I suppose is why I don’t see people going back for seconds in Paris. Unfortunately they are catching up to other countries in terms of obesity problems though.

    Celiac Husband: I know. They keep wiping down the counters–I do go at off-hours, but it really does shine.

  • Jane in Denmark
    October 27, 2010 4:18pm

    I love Maoz! If only they would come to Copenhagen – we have falafel joints everywhere but not a “help yourself” bar in sight.

    October 27, 2010 4:18pm

    i don’t go for the _fries_. the fries are a _gesture_. go to McDonalds if you want fries. If you want the best fallafel in Paris, then it’s ))) l’as du fallafel(((.

  • Daria
    October 27, 2010 4:26pm

    Actually, the one time we ate there we both were relatively sick and had a feeling that we had a heavy-heavy stomach, so I stick to my guns and still believe l’As du fallafel is way better (the vegetables are tastier and everything is fresher!)

  • October 27, 2010 5:17pm

    Sigh… Not one of them where I live. I had a minute of hope when you said it is international. I’m drooling over the pictures.

  • October 27, 2010 5:29pm

    I really love Maoz too and I’m glad I’m not the only one. Their condiment bar is amazing – everything there is SO delicious. It’s a blessing we have one in Union Square – truly truly a gem, even though they’re a “chain”. And a note to Mario – the condiments there are vegetables and “fixins” for your falafel, not exactly things drenched in fat, though I suppose if I eat my weight in picked beets, I might get really fat ;-)

  • October 27, 2010 5:54pm

    What is it about falafels that makes them so addictive?
    I may well decide to finally go to Paris, just to get those falafels! :-)

    Btw, I recently walked through the Naschmarkt here and discovered the best falafels I have eaten since leaving DC! One of those vendors tempted me to try one and at first I said, no, thank you (I was on my way to a concert and did not want food all over my clothes – weary of myself), but at the end he had me try one. Mamma mia, it was so good, I bought 3 pieces, with tasty hummus dip on the side (for €1.20 – bargain!). I have to get back there soon …..

  • October 27, 2010 5:54pm

    wow, i spent a year in paris gushing over l’as du falafel, but Maoz really DOES look better. i feel cheated!

  • Stephanie
    October 27, 2010 6:17pm

    I love Maoz too! Here in NY the fries are great.

  • October 27, 2010 6:41pm

    A great falafel is worth diving into!

  • Heather Sharkey
    October 27, 2010 6:46pm

    Let’s give three cheers for Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love! We have two Ma’oz restaurants in Center City Philadelphia. My favorite toppings are the fried cauliflower, the beets, and the red cabbage. One day, one of the proprietors had made a rose-flavored cornstarch pudding. It was really yummy, but alas, he said he wouldn’t make it again, since most Americans don’t seem to like rosewater.

  • Mari
    October 27, 2010 7:32pm

    If I had to guess, I’d say the hot sauce you liked is green skhug.

    Living in Israel, I’m pretty spoiled when it comes to good falafel, but I’m always glad to hear of places abroad that get it right.

  • October 27, 2010 8:01pm

    I am *so* glad you said this, David. For everyone who always heads to Rue de Rosiers for their falafel fix, I always feel sheepish admitting that I prefer Maoz. Just do. Thank you for the validation :)

  • October 27, 2010 8:09pm

    Having lived in the Middle East (and now in America) I find it hard to get my hands on falafel as good as I had back in the day.

    I didn’t come across any while I was in France either but it wasn’t like I was looking for it. Glad you found some you enjoy!

  • October 27, 2010 8:10pm

    I love Maoz, too–and it’s true that they are always always wiping everything down, so it’s always spotless. I invariably load my falafel with extra helpings of the carrots, yummmm!

    I’ve had their fries when I wanted just a quick something while wandering in that part of town, and they were better than a lot of places but nothing to write home about.

  • October 27, 2010 8:14pm

    This summer, my “radin” friend Tim took me to the Maoz on rue Xavier Privas, selling it as a great deal with the all-you-can-eat salads. God help us, I thought, that anything good would come from that neighbourhood in Paris. But Holy Macaroni, he was right. The pickled cauliflower, the slow cooked carrots, all those fresh beets, everything smashed into my pita and still I wanted more. This place is not just a great deal because it’s all you can eat, but because what you can eat is fantastic. That, plus the falafels themselves weren’t too dense, nor too big. Now, when in the neighbourhood and hungry, I hover between Mirama, the burrito place and Maoz. Lately, Maoz has been winning.

  • October 27, 2010 8:16pm

    The fries at the NYC Maoz locations are very tasty, as long as they’re fresh. I always get a mix of regular and sweet potato, but the regular are a little better. Maoz is my second choice for falafel – if it’s not too much trouble I will ALWAYS choose Taim, but I’m not in the West Village too often.

  • October 27, 2010 8:32pm

    As soon as the kids are back in school I know where I am headed, thanks for the tip. Also, I have to admit that I am “that” American who shook your hand at the book signing and you were very nice to shake back, I might add, but I too am a germ freak from riding the metro, and would officially like to apologize for shaking your hand;-) Of course I blogged about it ( and how dumb I felt afterwards, but you were so nice about it, so thanks again!

  • October 27, 2010 9:06pm

    This is where I get my fry fix after drinking in the 6eme! The fries are consistently crispy, salty and they have huge bottles of mayonnaise in a squeeze bottle on the counters. AND they serve it in a cone, which is a good sign for me.

  • October 27, 2010 9:23pm

    I lurve Maoz too! I’ve been to it in NYC and Spain. It was the first time I’d had roasted cauliflower, which was a revelation. Their fries are great. Do it, David.

  • October 27, 2010 10:16pm

    I think your photos are great! Looks good enough to eat!

  • October 27, 2010 10:55pm

    Soggy fries?! Blasphemy! Regardless of the fries situation, however, I will definitely try out Maoz. I like the name, too. Maoz. Kind of rolls off the tongue . . . :D

  • October 27, 2010 11:24pm

    I ate here the other day and have to admit I did enjoy killing my tongue with too much hot sauce. You just don’t get enough lip tinglers here in Paris!

    Next time I’ll add more of the salads. Long live falafel! (Which I ate for the first time in the 5th when I was a student here in 1988.)

    Thanks for sharing the falafel love and as always, the incredibly sexy photos.

  • October 27, 2010 11:33pm

    I remember great falafels at the Falafel House in London Belzise Park but it was many years ago. I miss falafels here in Tuscany.
    By the way, you pictures are great!
    Keep posting

  • October 28, 2010 12:23am

    what timing, just got to paris on monday and this is where i had lunch on tuesday. i had actually dropped you a note to see if you wanted to meet for a cafe/cookie/chocolate/confection/felafel or [fill in the blank] – and this was the felafel ! ;) i had seen it on heather’s blog a while back, loved the idea of self serve veggies – and as much as you want. you don’t find that in zurich for sure. and the hummus was excellent. but…. i think i still prefer the pita sandwiches in the marais. voila, there’s my last lunch for friday.

    i believe you’re off for the next adventure soon, so bon voyage !

  • October 28, 2010 12:59am

    Hi David, thanks for the recommendation for Maoz! Which one did you go to recently? I was thinking of checking it out on Friday with a friend of mine who is visiting from the provinces.

    Thanks very much for all the reviews and posts about Paris! It’s helped me enormously when it comes to trying to find places to buy goods and places to eat while I am here for many months!

  • October 28, 2010 1:11am

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with your post, David, but everything to do with your new book. I finally finished reading about Chef Bernard Loiseau’s life and tragic death and dove right into “The Sweet Life in Paris.” I stayed up way too late last night reading and laughing out loud. NO, I was guffawing, something no French woman would ever, ever do. But I am not French and could never pass for French so I can guffaw all I want. You nailed it– from javel to standing in line at the post office and seeing the size box you want and the guy behind the counter refusing to even turn around and look where you are pointing. But I love France and would gladly be your cleaning lady, if given the chance! Merci mille fois!

  • October 28, 2010 1:18am

    Oh, the pickles! Oh, the hot sauce! Two things Australia does terribly, if at all. How I long for a pita filled with nothing but pickles, just to get my sodium-lovin’ heart racing…

  • Renee
    October 28, 2010 1:42am

    I wish I’d have known about the Maoz in Union Square NYC. I was there just a few days ago. Now returned to SF. Will they be opening one here I wonder?

  • Aria
    October 28, 2010 2:04am

    OH. MY. WORD! I love Maoz! We have 2 or 3 in philly and I refuse to get falafel anywhere else! I don’t know about over in Paris but their fries are pretty good this side of the ocean AND they have this amazing garlic aoli type stuff that you just want to slather all over them! Thanks for reminding me about them David! I’ll have to go this weekend!

  • Jean
    October 28, 2010 2:35am

    I love Maoz! (I’m in Philly.) I can’t stop eating the pickled baby eggplants, and the fries, while good, are really just a vehicle for the garlic sauce. Such fun news to hear about Maoz in Paris.

  • Joanna
    October 28, 2010 2:41am

    I’m a fan of Maoz. Their roasted cauliflower/broccoli topping is fantastic. I also like that only 3 of the toppings they have in New Brunswick NJ (I live near that city)and Union Square in NYC had cilantro on them. That made me very happy. Yes, there is yogurt sauce along with the garlic sauce and the tahini…
    I get the falafel as a salad. You have full run of the condi-bar and for I think 1.50 extra you can get two more toppings of choice. The “deal” includes a drink. The sweet potato fries are a rare treat for me.
    Maoz must be a very good company. The cleanliness and employee courtesy/helpfulness seems quite consistent.
    I was less than enamored of that place on the rue des Rosiers last time I was there in 2009. Definitely has slipped in more ways than one.

  • October 28, 2010 2:42am

    Nothing like a really good falafels. Don’t think we have Maoz in Oz…, haven’t come across it here yet. Ick, nothing worse than limpy undercooked fries.

  • October 28, 2010 2:42am

    How ‘come Maoz hasn’t hit San Francisco? I feel like it’s a pretty good culinary mecca here, yet falafel hasn’t been given its due here. I’d be up for any recommendations, if anyone has some!

  • JJ
    October 28, 2010 3:59am

    The Falstaff pub, by Montparnasse and behind the Leon on blvd Montparnasse, has great Belgian beers for cheap as well as really amazing CRISPY FRITES (and I have a Brit who lived in Brussels for 9 years to vouch for this). I’ve gone there every week for the past 2 years for my thesis advisory meetings, and every time it’s pints and plates of frites. Oh it’s also one of the few pubs not filled with drunk study abroad students.

  • October 28, 2010 4:32am

    A friend from Italy introduced me to Maoz in New York. We specifically met at Union Square for it…I’ve been a convert ever since. Great post (as usual). Love your blog! It is my dream to live in Paris…

  • Charley
    October 28, 2010 4:56am

    In SF Bay area, there is a newish falafel truck called Liba VERY good falafel and condiment bar and sweet potato fries. Very nice people and — homemade peppermint patties.

    Here is a link to their website which I think has their schedule/locations:

    They stop outside my office at SF Civic Center at lunch every Tuesday.

  • October 28, 2010 6:27am

    I was so excited to read this! My family and I were in Paris for just two days this past summer (en route to India), and happened to come across Maoz. We all loved it — including my two daughters, then aged 5 and 3. I’m with you on the spicy green sauce. I vowed to research what was in it when I returned home, but haven’t had a chance. Please let us know if you ever find out.

  • October 28, 2010 7:25am

    MOAZ is terrific in Union Square – a monthly addiction
    I feel the same way about the soggy un-cuit crepes you buy on the street…
    Why don’t they make them toasty and brown?
    Just don’t get it :(

  • October 28, 2010 9:13am

    I got my falafel fix for the first time in Paris yesterday…everyone knows where! It was very good but I did notice that it wasn’t as piquante as I would l have liked. Even though I specified. I didn’t get the frites, so no comment on that front.

    Will check out Moaz soon…thanks.

  • October 28, 2010 9:50am

    what a mouth and in my case – eye watering – experience!!!! I too cry over the lack of crisp French Fries (as they call them in UK – info for the Americans amongst us) and I tend to be less than generous when I get bad stuff in FRANCE….
    I am basically a fan of Falafel, but hardly ever eat any because the quality tends to be SO varying that most places put me off – but now I have THE idea for your Lausanne Weekend David!
    There is (was??) this awesome ‘kiosque’ nearby the lake shore of my beloved Lac Léman, not too far from the Auberge de Jeunesse in Lausanne, where the ‘eating on the hoof’ take-aways were also prepared right on order…. I was there only twice and on both occasions the meals were mouthwatering, generous, served with a friendly exchange (very important to me) and delicious.
    Another place I would have happily recommended is the hidden and yet very well known tiny LE CENTRE (or AU CENTRE) in LUTRY, my paradise and former home. Lutry is only 8km from Lausanne but sadly the place is closed on Mondays (and they do NOT serve any frites…). They do however the regal queen of FONDUES and their meals are always delicious and fill you with thankfulness at the cook’s talent. Since it’s the tenant couple’s place, it’s always the husband who’s doing the cooking (as far as I know) and the wife (plus a help, also a long standing serveuse) doing the bar/serving. It became our second home before we lived in Lutry, coming from England to visit and we never fail to visit them when we are in that area….
    OK, now you have my daily novel, I can go back to my two wonderful English friends still doing ‘la grasse matinée’ and bring them Lordships a second mug of tea to their bed…. :) Oh the things we do to please our friends!!!!

  • Naomi
    October 28, 2010 6:25pm

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the awesome post! I only wish you published it half a year earlier – I’ve left Paris by now :( (I was there as an exchange student)

    Quick question: how much is it?!?!


  • sue
    October 28, 2010 9:21pm

    I thought L’As du Falafel was your favorite?? I was in paris last month and tried it based on your rec (thanks!) and it was quite delicious! The best 5 euro meal I had (and possibly one of the best meals I had there).

    Yeah, fries! I thought for some reason that Paris would have absolutely yummy fries. Have you tried Pomme Frites in NY? So good! During the paris trip, I couldn’t find good fries either and opted just eating the soggy ones. :(

  • Mimi
    October 28, 2010 10:04pm

    MMMMMmmmmmmaoz. The fries are not bad here, especially with a big glop of mayonnaise.

  • Berta
    October 29, 2010 4:35am

    We dont have Maoz here in Sydney Australia but hey I dont need it. I have a Palestinian heritage and spent some time in Israel where i got my hands on a killer falafel recipe. As you would know falafel in Israel is the equivalent street food of burgers in the US or Oz so they know how to make a mean falafel. I cant cook a batch of the gems without the neighbours yelling over the fence begging for a pita! Although I was hoping you could resolve a 10 year argument over the ingredients of falafel. I am adamant that falafel should be made strictly out of chick peas where my neighbour argues it must be a mix of chick peas and fava beans. Depending on who you speak to in the Middle East, each will claim ownership of the falafel and of course in turn you end up with different ingredients. I stand by chick peas only and the neighbour insists on the mix. David, what do you think? If I could I would send you a taste test to help you decide! I don’t dare bring up the argument over who “owns” falafel. There’s enough conflict in the Middle East without me adding falafel to the fire.

  • frances schleien
    October 30, 2010 2:47pm

    My daughter and I were in Paris for a weekend last year when we discovered this gem of an eatery. No question….would it be Nutella crepes or falafel filled with fresh trimmings? The food was fabulous and returning there to eat was a high point in our days! An excelllent alternative when one doesn’t want to empty her pockets in a restaurant.

  • Stacy
    October 31, 2010 2:01am

    Oh, I have seen French people double dipping at Maoz. Many times. I would be grossed out by such behavior in other places, but those falafels are just so good…….

  • Don
    November 2, 2010 9:29am

    David, I love your recommendations so I ran out to try Maoz on the Andre des arts location. I’m not a clean freak, but when I arrived to place my order there were two little children playing with the tongs in the condiment bar. There were a bit too may family members belonging to the server behind the counter playing with the food. There were also two guys that were jumping up every two minutes to refill their pitas. More than what I would call “double dippers”! It was bad enough that made it difficult to place my order. I am sorry to say I was not that impressed. This doesn’t mean I won’t be giving them another try, but I was really disappointed. I guess I really like all of that cabbage smother at your former favorite falafel spot. Have you ever tried any of the Lebanese styled falafel? There’s a little joint on the rue Rambuteau “Man’Ouché”(?). Love most of their creations. Thank you, thank you so much for the great information. Though I may be disappointed this time, there are few falafel out there that I don’t enjoy.

  • November 2, 2010 10:42am

    Love Maoz! First time tried them in Barcelona longgggggggg time ago, then in London and always so good!

  • November 2, 2010 4:48pm

    Thanks so much for this, David! So many people rave about the falafel joints on the Rue des Rossiers, but I think that they’re overrated and like you, Maoz is my #1 falafel joint! The only place where you can get falafel in Paris like in Amsterdam. I loooove the condiment bar, the hot sauces which are actually hot like you say and I must say that the frites are pretty damn good too. Try them next time!

  • November 3, 2010 6:17am

    Oh I love Maoz! It was an absolute lifesaver for two vegetarians travelling around Europe, we knew it was a guaranteed cheap and filling feed! Love it!

    I have to say though, I thoroughly enjoyed the two felafel places in Paris (I think these are the ones Mistress of Spices is referring to), especially sitting in the street eating them while pigeons flew around trying to get the scraps.

  • November 4, 2010 6:59pm

    Love love Maoz. We have 3 here in New York now, and they are showing the rest of the greasy, sloppy falafel world how to do it here. Always a line.

    I never forget the day I tried my first one in Amsterdam….. I was hooked!

  • Maria
    November 5, 2010 12:05am

    Just had falafel at Maoz last Monday, then one at the “icon” place on Tuesday. For me the icon of falafel is still the king of falafel.

  • November 5, 2010 12:13am
    David Lebovitz

    Maria & Jasmine: Well the good thing about Paris, and falafel, is that’s there’s no shortage of pretty good places to have one : )

    Don: I did go there once and although it’s pretty highly-regarded, I found it kind of dry. And a French friend mentioned they have a lot of attitude (although I didn’t see that.)

  • Tracy Bates
    November 5, 2010 9:27pm

    I was all set to be jealous until I saw on their site that there’s one in Berzerkely. Will check it out right now.
    thanks David!

  • December 4, 2010 6:26pm

    It seems that there are a large number of Middle-Eastern restos in Lyon. Mainly Turkish, but several Lebanese, and I *just* found the most wonderful falafel place. They serve them on a giant galette (tortilla-ish, really) with lettuce, pickles and white sauce and then grill the whole thing. Then I found a falafel *mix* at the Carrefour and I am pretty sure that’s what the resto uses (which has a mix of chickpeas and favas)- it almost tastes like hummus-croquettes spice-wise. I didn’t have the right sauce, but it was close….too much of a pain to make though, when you can buy it pretty cheaply.