The must-try bite in Paris? No, it’s not crêpes, nor is it some combination of “fromage et baguette.” It’s the carnivore-converting falafel sandwich at humble yet legendary “hole-in-the-wall” spot L’As du Fallafel, a culinary gem in the heart of one of the city’s lively Jewish neighborhoods. The prized jewel on a crown of kosher cuisine to be found on Rue des Rosiers, L’As du Fallafel has been lauded as having the best falafel not only in Paris, but in all of Europe.

As you amble down Rue des Rosiers toward this oasis of Middle Eastern cuisine, you spot locals and travelers alike ducked into doorways, milling around in circles, and cozied up on curbs, cradling their mouthwatering bounty lovingly in their hands, desperately trying not to let a single savory morsel escape their path of consumption. 

Truly it’s the only way to enjoy the palatably paper-wrapped plunder—outdoors—as the generous heap of falafel, cabbage, cucumbers and eggplant threatens to avalanche over the pita precipice at every bite. There is as much quality as quantity, though, when it comes to the ingredients in this famous French falafel, so deliciously described by Mark Bittman for The New York Times. The chickpea fritters are perfectly crisped, the hummus abundant and creamy, the red cabbage delicately pickled, and the harissa just right in spice. Fried eggplant adds depth and flavor, and salted cucumbers provide freshness and crunch.

Guests confirm—the hype is warranted (and you can be sure they are more-than-repeat patrons). The only downside of this diamond-in-the-rough dining experience? It might very well ruin all other falafel for you forever.

Vive la French falafel!