The Middle East’s favorite fast food is about to make a splash in the US. Popular chain Just Falafel has announced plans to open 160 locations in the United States and Canada in the next five years.
“The company has signed area franchise agreements with different partners in key locations including New York City, New Jersey, Kentucky and San Francisco in the US and the Greater Toronto Area, Canada,” said the company in a statement.
The Lebanese-owned and Dubai-based restaurant already has about 50 restaurants in nine countries throughout the Middle East and UK. It began in a single location in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
The restaurant’s menu already lists an “American,” which is a falafel patty on a hamburger bun with cheese, pickles, lettuce, and tomato. They also offer an Emirati, Italian, Mexican, and traditional Original style wrap.
Falafel has become much more popular in the US over the past few years, but no chain has yet gained prominence serving the dish. The most widespread falafel chain currently operating in the US is probably Maoz Vegetarian. The company, which was founded by Dutch Israelis, has locations in eight cities. Mamoun’s, a legendary falafel and shwarma joint in New York’s Greenwich Village, has five locations across the Northeast.
Many independent restaurants operate across the country; and many frozen varieties and mixes are available in supermarkets.