In a city filled with restaurants that offer up rubbery soy protein as vegetarian alternatives, dishes like falafel become more and more appealing to omnivores looking for a meatless meal.
While chic food carts may be the rage nowadays, falafel holds the distinction of being one of the original street foods. While falafel is almost always decent, there’s still quite a bit of variety from joint to joint. Here are the best places to grab falafel on campus:
This food cart near Southwest Fourth Ave. and Southwest College Street by the Chevron station proudly proclaims itself to be home of the doner kabob, as if you’re supposed to know what that is already.
The bottom line here is that you can get a falafel wrap here with fried potatoes inside. And by can, I mean you should.
Basha’s holds the distinction of being one of the first food carts on the Portland State campus and obviously one of the most prominent, being just steps away from Neuberger Hall. It’s pretty great, too.
I’m always impressed by how they’re able to quickly get through long lines of students. The falafel here is great, too. Burrito style with some spicy sauce is the way to go here.
Alexandria Mediterranean Cuisine
It’s amazing this mom-and-pop restaurant has remained open given the fact that regional chains have been setting up shop all over campus at an alarming rate.
The falafel here is good, but definitely opt for getting a mezza plate (served with rice and other dishes) as I’ve been stale-breaded here twice.
The real star here is the lentil soup. It’s made with a salty turkey broth for maximum saltiness.
Rose City Fresh Deli & Subs
Simply put, this new restaurant is the best thing to happen to PSU since the Green Line MAX. Everything here is just superb: the quality of ingredients, the staff and the selection.
My go-to dish here is a turkey wrap (they grill their wraps to crispy perfection), but for this piece I decided to finally give their falafel a try.
When someone on staff there asked me if I wanted everything in my falafel wrap I had no idea everything included veggies, tzatziki, hummus and garlic sauce. That’s just another sign of the warmth and generosity this place offers.
If you try one place on this list, Rose City should be it.
Blake Hickman has selflessly committed himself to reviewing every food option on campus. Each week he reviews new establishments based on their signature dish. Follow this weekly series to experience the plethora of ways in which Blake Eats It.