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Vilnius doesn't exactly have a reputation for good falafel but if you've got a hankering for this fragrant and savoury Middle Eastern staple, there's at least one place in Vilnius that will do them right – Zatar Falafel - a Vilnius first.
Photo: Zatar
Photo: Zatar

The balls of spiced chickpeas or fava beans, popular with vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike have become a street food staple around the world, but you'll be able to sit down to eat at Zatar, a small bistro on Vilnius' central Vokiečių gatvė.

The interior is well-lit, open and clean, though you may have trouble finding a seat during peak hours on account of the tight space. There's more seating room upstairs but make sure you don't miss your cue – there is no table service at Zatar so you will have to retrieve your dish when your name is called.

The menu is quite simple – you can get your falafel in a pita or on a plate, with the plate costing a bit more. The menu is rounded out with a few soups, a selection of five sauces for the falafels, and hummus platters.

When we had lunch there, we took our falafels in pita wraps - consider avoiding this option if you're dressed up, unless you've mastered the art of juggling a loaded pita wrap with sauce soaking through the bottom.

However, despite our ineptitude we found the falafels to be delicious and worth returning for. It seems that Zatar's approach to falafels was “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” - and rightfully so.

We each got half of a pita bread packed with falafel, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and other vegetables, and two sauces (we could choose from tahini, tomato, tzatziki or red pepper).

Zatar is a great choice for vegetarians, vegans, and fans of the organic food movement, as the restaurant offers a wide array of healthy juices, teas and beverages.

Diners looking for meat will be disappointed, but there's a reason that falafels have become a go-to substitute for non-carnivores – they are tasty and satisfying.

Verdict:

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