Sunday, February 21, 2010

San Jose: Falafel Drive-In, a Local Foodie Landmark

Food aside, this drive-in has been in business since 1966 and seems to be a local favorite.

My cousin's friend took my aunt and I to San Jose to visit the Winchester mystery house and I was searching high and low for some good food, made more complicated by the fact that the friend was vegetarian. Luckily Kung Food Panda pointed this place out to me. Get the $7 falafel and banana shake combo! he says.

After going up stairs that lead to the ceiling, opening doors that open up to a 20 ft drop into the garden, standing in a seance room, we were ready for some good food.
The place was pretty busy even in the late afternoon but the line wasn't too long and moves quickly. You line up, you order, and then you grab a seat next to the stand.
Apparently the said falafel+banana shake combo is $7.50 now (KFP lieth!).

It doesn't photograph well (especially with a camera phone) but trust me, it tastes way better than it may look.
The crispiness of the falafel balls reveals a moist, green mixture of beans and spices. I have to first say that I haven't had too many falafels in my life, but based on my inexperienced falafel-palate, these were great.

These along with fresh lettuce and a generous dollop of tahini +hot sauce are stuffed into a pita pocket. Extra containers of the sauces (hot sauce for you, tahini for me) are available by request and are recommended (just because they're so good).

The banana shake in a large styrofoam cup had a lot of banana flavor and washed down the falafel quite well.
Mind you it isn't particularly thick and wouldn't be the best banana shake you've ever had, but did you note that this and the falafel sandwich are only $7.50 total?

If you're in the San Jose area, you can't go wrong with Falafel Drive-In. In fact, if you're in the area, do make a point to stop by.

Falafel Drive-In
2301 Stevens Creek Blvd
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 294-7886
Falafel Drive-in on Urbanspoon
Falafel Drive In in San Francisco



I think I saw this place on TripleD w/ Guy Fieri!

Kung Food Panda

Jo: You're right, it was on DDD. This place is an institution for us up in Nor Cal, it's great!

It was $7, just think the extra $.50 as tax? :) KFP does NOT lie!


wow! when i'm in san jose, all i eat is vietnamese food. will try this place next time :)


You should try falafel at Elena's - I think they're very good there. They're also pretty good at Falafel Arax. Best falafel I ever had was in Israel. Maybe it's just a memory thing. Good to know this place exists. I'm in San Jose every couple years because we have close family friends that live there. We usually end up getting Vietnamese (which is quite good there thanks to the sizable Vietnamese population), but this is a nice change from that.


Not a huge fan of falafel. Actually pretty surprised that a falafel place has been in business since 1966. For sure, back then it wasn't that mainstream. Would like to check out the banana shake though. Everyone here in NY likes Mamouns. I don't care for it that much besides being cheaper than anything else.


Very cool place, Fiona! I will definitely hit it up the next time I stay in the south bay. A girl can't survive on food from the Stanford Mall alone!

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me!

i saw talk of this falafel and banana shake combo on twitter and that wtf? but it looks good and I've got to say i love both things so why not love them together!!

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