Fat Kitty Falafel

Food Carts Portland
Fat Kitty Falafel

Fat Kitty Falafel

Location: SE 21st and Division


Falafel. It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? A popular Middle-Eastern specialty of chickpeas and/or fava beans and spices fried or baked up into balls or patties, most often served with yogurt or a tahini-based sauce.  However, its nuanced flavors and the variety of shapes, sizes and side dishes make it almost elusive. Filling, satisfying and abundantly tasty balls of fried goodness, that’s my primary motivation when seeking it out, to be honest.  I’ve happily charged myself with sampling the city’s vast array of falafel, and it’s been a fine ride. And there is definitely some great falafel in this town, make no mistake. Last week it was brisk and slightly drizzly, so, while walking in SE Portland with a friend, we decided we wanted some falafel. Quickly! And that’s when we happened along Portland mainstay and falafel slinger extraordinaire, Al Herre and his Fat Kitty Falafel cart on the south side of 21st and SE Division, in front of Mirador Community Store.  It’s not just falafel, it’s an experience.

Falafel from Fat Kitty

Falafel from Fat Kitty

Al’s menu is simple and straightforward. $5 will get you a fresh hot falafel wrapped in a pita with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and your choice of tahini (plain, cilantro and spicy) and optional hot sauce.  Beverages available for an additional $1. The end.

The best part may be Al’s crispy falafel is served up with some of the best conversation in town. Go for the falafel, stay for a little bit of Al’s philosophy of life in Portland, his escapades in New York City, or his insight on the burgeoning Portland food cart scene.  Al is here to stay, and so is his falafel (voted several years in a row by the Williamette Week as the best falafel in the city, incidentally.)

I encourage you all to judge for yourselves. Crispy, flavorful and an ample serving for $5; I’ll definitely be coming back. Al is a Portland fixture that you will not soon forget. He’s friendly, open and full of conversation; I guarantee you will not leave without an opinion of Al and his falafel.  Fat Kitty is why I love this city! All vegetarian, all the time, with vegan tahini sauce available upon request.

Normally open 5 days a week for lunch, 11am – 5pm, call ahead if you’re not sure he’s open. He’ll take your order by phone and have it ready for pick up. 503-995-2724. www.fatkitty.biz. Al is seriously considering Twitter, and I hope he does it soon, as I’d happily follow his falafel anywhere. When you visit, tell him Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Updated 6/2010 – Fat Kitty moved from SE 21st and Division to E Burnside at 7th]

Sample Menu:

  • Falafel: fresh hot falafel wrapped in a pita with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and your choice of tahini (plain, cilantro and spicy) and optional hot sauce – $5

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11am-5pm
Website: Fatkitty.biz
Phone: 503 995 2724




  1. Garden State says

    Glad to see Fat Kitty featured. Al’s one of the inspirations we had for starting a cart. Always a good hang and the falafel is just straight-up tasty.

  2. Thanks to all who like my falafel. Thanks Garden State, it means a lot to me being called an inspiration. Yesterday was like Spring in November and I had a great day. Thanks for the comments. And thank you “Food Carts of Portland”. Fat Kitty lets out a big purr to all, and is high as a kite on catnip right now, or is it called people nip?

  3. Fat Kitty Rocks and Al will always have a great story for you.

  4. Is this the cart that was in front of the Jewish Museum a few First Thursday ago? The falafel was so good and I don’t like falafel in general… They are always so dry. This one was moist and all goodness in a pita. yummm…

  5. to jojo, yes that was Fat Kitty at the OJM event. Thanks for the compliment, come see me on Division.

  6. The falafel is some of the best in town and the conversation is nuts!

  7. it like Americanized cheeseburger falafel!

  8. Al is the man!!

  9. Fat Kitty Falafel reopens today @ SE 7nth and Burnside. Across from the Farm. Other carts joining soon. Be there 2pm-7pm for sure. Also no more iceberg lettuce. Organic spring mix and the falafel so pretty. Look for hrs. on fat kitty’s twitter as we are just breaking it in. Lunch to evening to start. Late night’s FRI/SAT. Let the garbanzos soak up the booze! Come talk World Cup soccer w/me and I will tell you of the tiny country of Portugal, that has the dream to rule the soccer world! My team! Guess we’ll find out when they play Brazil this FRI. Go U.S. also, and Timbers. Vive falafel and Portugal!

  10. SilverWings says

    Unfortunately, I cannot give a review about my experience eating at Fat Kitty since Kitty was nowhere to be found. I first went to the new location today (Tuesday) and Fat Kitty wasn’t at the new location at Burnside and 7th Avenue. So, being the determined food cart junkie that I am, I went to the old location wondering if maybe things have changed back blah blah blah. Nope. Kitty was not at the old location either on Divison near 21st (I even rode up and down the street a bit looking for Kitty).

    I’m willing to actually give Kitty a second chance since I have read that FKF makes a great falafel.

    Anyone seen Kitty?

  11. SilverWings says

    Fat Kitty aka Al is back @ 21st Avenue & Division.

  12. Rick A. Shay says

    TERRIBLE! Rude, dirty, slow, sweaty! There is no excuse to act like this or to conduct business like this. Waste of time and money.

  13. Al Herre says

    Hey Rick, your in a minority.

  14. Schlappette says

    Damn, that falafel is tasty. Al seems like a great guy, too. I just got my falafel at his regular location at 21st & Division, and Al says he’ll be there all winter. Current posted hours are 11:00-4:30 Tue-Sat. I’ll be back!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by FoodCartsPortland, Foxy Falafel. Foxy Falafel said: Check out Fat Kitty Falafel cart in Portland…makes me hungry! http://bit.ly/6lnn1D […]

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