Falafel’s Drive In – San Jose, CA

I have been driving past this giant sign for over a year and half. I kept wanting to stop by but just never got to it. So when Joyce visited w her sister, I decided to try it out w them since none of us has ever tried a falafel.

I managed to chat with William, the owners’ son and he gave me a little history. His parents (Mr & Mrs. Nijmeh) opened this place back in 1966 and it has pretty much stayed the same since then. The menu has expanded a little but the recipes are pretty much her secret recipe. He runs the place with his brother now. Let me introduce you to William (and part of me):

It was pretty busy for 2 pm on a weekday~ This place is usually packed everyday during the evenings.

Oh and Guy Fieri was here with his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives back in 2004.

Menu is right on the board~

It took us a while to decide on what to get because we have never been here. William at the counter was sweet enough to ask us if we have ever been there then gave us samples of falafel! (Then we chatted a bit before we left).

The sample sold us on the falafel!

We ordered:

Large Falafel Sandwich & Banana Shake $8

This is definitely a great deal. The large falafel sandwich is big enough for 2. There were so many falafel balls in there that I lost count. Each ball was very crispy, with moist flavourful herby chickpea centre. The white sauce was creamy and slightly tangy and complemented the falafels really well. The hot sauce had a good kick to it and the veggies (tomatoes, cucumber & lettuce) was fresh and crisp.

Fresh Banana Shake

The banana shake surprised us the most. It actually did not taste like the regular icy smoothie. It was almost like a cross between a milkshake and smoothie because it was really creamy but tasted like pure banana and not the imitation stuff. Even good for non banana lovers like me.


Large Gyros $7.50

I was quite surprised to see that the gyros was filled with what seems like meatloaf chunks rather than slivers or meat. It was crisped on the edges, meaty, moist and very well spiced with a nice smoky flavour. Served with the tangy white sauce, tomatoes, and lettuce. The veggies were fresh tasting. Hot sauce is offered on the side~


Kebab In A Pita $7.50.

The kebab was my favourite. There were generous chunks of meat (don’t be deceived by the pile of lettuce on the top). The meat kebabs were seasoned minced beef with a lot of parsley and spices. It was flavourful, grilled well so it was charred and yet very juicy. Every bite was an explosion of flavours.

Served with their signature tangy white sauce, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce with a side of hot sauce. Their hot sauce was spicy, a little sweet and very delicious.




Total Damage: Under $10 per person including drinks

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 (Great)

I am going to keep going back until I get a chance to try at least 50% of the menu. The food is greatly priced and made to order so it is piping hot and fresh. The people working there are really nice and would answer any questions. William even walked out the side door to talk to us before we left and he doesn’t even know I was going to write up this blog entry. Just genuinely honest nice people running a great family business.




Falafel’s Drive In

2301 Stevens Creek Blvd
San Jose, CA 95128

(408) 294-7886

Falafel Drive-in on Urbanspoon

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