Where: 22 St. Marks Pl.
Mamoun's East Village hole in the wall location looks much like any other on the street, but when you see the crowds of people eating by the entrance you'll know that it's a favorite. Limited seating and semi-long lines do not deter hungry loyal customers; it's worth the wait.
Their signature dish is the falafel sandwich, which, for $2.50, makes all the difference for penny-pinchers. The pita bread sandwich is stuffed with falafel (a deep fried chickpea mixture containing onions, parsley, garlic, and spices) lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini (white) sauce.
On this particular night I opted for a Chicken Kebob sandwich. The pita bread was toasted with chucks of savory marinated chicken, onion, lettuce, tomatoes, and white tahini sauce on the side. Other crowd pleasers are the Lamb Shawarma and, for the healthy conspirers, the Veggie Sandwich.
If spicy is your forte, wait till you try the hot sauce. The thick red sauce packs a mean punch, capable of making the meanest of men cry. Expect to eat standing up outside, next to strangers. Expect to make a mess. For this price it's mandatory to try more than just one falafel. Open till 5 a.m. daily!