I am going to admit it here so we get thing all out in the open, I LOVE STREET FOOD. If you can buy it on the street and preferably on a stick I love it. Yes, I also love fancy, gourmet food that is lovingly prepared by qualified chefs, and homemade food is to die for. But there is something about street food that just gets me going.
In Israel the national (although this is contested by many Palestinians) food is falafel. Heck, they even use them as symbols for rank in the military. As part of my patriotic duty, I love falafel. So when my friend told me about a great organic falafel place on Ibn Gvirol, I just had to try it.
Wedged between a burgers spot and shwarmaa shop is Hipo Felafel. Not the name I would expect for a falafel, but this isn’t your normal falafel joint. Bright colors and long lines told me that this place is doing something right. As I’m waiting to order, I see all the homemade sauces and pickles and it is just making me hungrier.
At the counter, purely for research, I order both a falafel and a sabich (no I was not going to eat them both, my husband was in the car, do you know what it is like trying to find parking on Ibn Gvirol in the middle of the day)
Sabich is basically pita stuffed with fried eggplant and hard boiled eggs often served with techina and Amba. For this eggplant lover, it’s to die for. Despite the onions I put in it, my husband loved it too.
Now, I am not going to be so bold as to claim Hipo makes the best falafel in the country but they do live up to The Falafel Standards.
- Pita must be fresh: I can’t stress this one enough; any falafel must be served in fresh pita. Stale pita is a mortal sin never to be done – ever. Thankfully both our pitas were fresh and delicious. Hipo has options for fabulously soft and hearty whole wheat pitas as well.
- Falafel must be crunchy: Made to order Hipo’s falafel balls were crunchy and tasty and without any MSG and did I mention – completely organic.
- Condiments must be ample: I will have to return to assure that my experience was not a one off, because I love a lot of techina with my falafel and I forgot to remind the person helping me to put extra techina, so I’ll forgive this time, but watch out for the next
All around Hipo seems like a great place to grab a quick and tasty bite to eat in the center of Tel Aviv. Although I do not exclusively eat organic food, I appreciate the option. I do believe that fewer the chemicals the better. As for cost, they are a bit pricey at 16 shekels a pop, but their quality is worth it.
So next time you’re hungry in Tel Aviv check out Hipo Ibn Gvirol 64