Food

NYC Favorite Taïm Falafel Shop Opens in Georgetown This Weekend

Get ready for freshly-fried falafel, sabich, and cauliflower shawarma.

Taïm, a popular Israeli-style falafel shop, opens its first location outside New York in Georgetown. Photography courtesy of Taïm by Morgan Long Photography

One of New York’s most popular falafel shops will launch its first location outside the Big Apple in DC this weekend. Taïm, which means “tasty” in Hebrew, is set to open its doors near the Georgetown waterfront on Saturday (permits pending).

Husband-and-wife owners Stéfan Nafziger and chef Einat Admony chose DC for their sixth location because Nafziger has family in the area—or as Admony says, “Why not DC? It’s close, it’s fully of diversity, diplomats, and people from around the world.” The couple launched the first Taïm in the West Village 14 years ago, packing homemade pitas, freshly-fried falafel, and a ton of Middle Eastern flavor into a tiny storefront. Though the brand is growing—Admony says three locations are planned for DC next year—little has changed about the from-scratch approach.

Taim Israeli vegetarian falafel shop Georgetown DC
Chef and co-owner Einat Admony.

“We never go cheap. We never keep falafel a few days so it gets sour,” says Admony, a Tel Aviv native who’s also behind upscale Israeli restaurant Balaboosta and North African cous cous shop Kish-Kash in New York. “It’s always super bright and gluten-free—we don’t add any baking soda or bread—just veggies, spices, and chickpeas. The pita is baked a few times a day so it’s not getting dry.”

The menu is similar to other locations, though Admony changes items seasonally and recently added a cauliflower shawarma to the all-vegetarian (and largely vegan) lineup. Patrons can pick between two types of fried-to-order falafel—herbaceous green or spicy harissa—stuffed in pita, served atop a salad, or on a platter with tabouli, pickles, and za’atar pita (we recommend kicking it up a notch with s’rug, Yemenite cilantro hot sauce). Another crowd favorite is the sabich—crispy eggplant, egg, hummus, Israeli salad, hummus, amba (mango-fenugreek chutney), and cabbage stuffed in warm pita. Patrons can round out a meal with mezze, fries, non-alcoholic drinks like ginger-mint lemonade, and smoothies.

The counter-order shop has around 16 seats and will launch delivery after opening.

Taïm. 1065 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Both green and harissa falafel is freshly fried to-order.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.