Classic, curry and seasonal fried chickpea balls here rate among the best, but it’s the rotating chef selection of falafel like the ones from Jason Hammel of Lula—Sun Gold tomato relish, pickled pistachio, crispy fried kale and honey topped version—or Paul Virant of Vie’s black bean falafel smothered in spicy mayo, pickled peppers, pea shoots, cilantro and lemon garlic vinaigrette that sets this burgeoning franchise apart. The self-service condiment bar here is so good, those skeevy pepper bar-pimping Quizno’s hamsters would love it.
Falafill, 3202 North Broadway, (773)525-0052, eatfalafill.com
Audience choice: Sultan’s Market, 2057 West North, (773)235-3072, 2521 North Clark, (312)638-9151, chicagofalafel.com
Best of Chicago 2012