Taste of the Middle East


Samia Douedari

Damascus Falafel is located in Willowbrook and has an authentic feel.

At Damascus Falafel, located in Willowbrook, you can get a taste of the Middle East by building your own sandwich, bowl or plate with your choice of protein and toppings.

Damascus Falafel menu and toppings bar.
Damascus Falafel menu and toppings bar.

The staff is friendly and loves to advise you on how to build your own meal in order to get the full Middle Eastern experience. You can simply order from the menu, but they are flexible in adding extra toppings or sauce, free of charge.

The toppings bar.
The toppings bar range from a variety of sauces and vegetables.

I ordered a steak shawarma sandwich, which included shredded beef, tomatoes, chopped parsley, salted Lebanese pickles, grilled onions and Tahini sauce, all wrapped in pita bread. The shredded meat was juicy and fresh and you get to watch them shred the beef in front of you. The combination of all the ingredients tasted amazing and consisted of so many different flavors. The Tahini sauce was a little sweeter, which contrasted with the salted Lebanese pickles.

Steak shawarma sandwich.
Steak shawarma sandwich with shredded beef, tomatoes, chopped parsley, salted Lebanese pickles, grilled onions and Tahini sauce, all wrapped in pita bread.

My friend ordered her falafel sandwich with fresh, warm falafel, tomato, cucumber, chopped cilantro leaves, chopped parsley, onion and garlic sauce. Along with it being healthy, my friend enjoyed her sandwich a lot and said it tasted uniquely delicious, and it was even vegan friendly. 

Aside from sandwiches, you can simply order a side of falafels with as many pieces you’d like. A falafel is soaked and grind up chickpeas that are seasoned with onions, scallions, cumin, garlic, and parsley. In addition, you can order a bowl of hummus. They both were delicious, and I’d definitely recommend them.

Falafels with sesame seeds.
Falafels with sesame seeds are a great vegetarian/vegan option.
Hummus with olive oil, chopped parsley, and spices.
Hummus with olive oil, chopped parsley, and spices.

Being Middle Eastern, this is as close as it gets to shawarma sandwiches and falafel from the Middle East. It’s actually authentic and tastes similar to the sandwiches I’ve had from Istanbul and Damascus. I would say this restaurant definitely has the Middle Eastern taste nailed down.

A staff member, who also happened to be Middle Eastern, shared his thoughts on the authenticity of the food.

“I think it tastes somewhat different because I’m from Jordan, so we use different ingredients, but I think it’s one of the best in Chicago,” said YahiaYahia Sikanderani, Damascus Falafel employee.

Overall, my experience at Damascus Falafel was exciting and enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this for a change in dining.

It’s safe to say that even Middle Easterners are content with the food at Damascus Falafel for its true authentic food.

“Being from Palestine, I think the food here is very close to the food back home. I am definitely a fan and would recommend this to anyone,” said Rand Abyad, senior.

Damascus Falafel is located at 10s410 Kingery Hwy #3, Willowbrook, IL 60527