Metro, Newton

Jake’s Falafel Corner Serves Up Authentic Middle Eastern Cuisine

Tucked away in a Beacon Street parking lot in the heart of Newton Centre, family-owned and operated Jake’s Falafel Corner serves up delicious and authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.

“The friendliness of the owners and the food are outstanding,” Alan, a regular customer who requested to be referred to only by his first name.

Jake’s Falafel is a local Newton business that offers a wide variety of Persian food items. Some are classics, such as the hand-rolled falafels, while other dishes have their own twist, such as the falafel burgers and hot dogs.

The restaurant’s co-owner and founder Jake Shahrooz was an electrical engineer who graduated from Northeastern. Jake said that when a local sandwich shop owner offered 30 square feet of space for rent, he opened Jake’s Falafel Corner and experienced rapid success. 

“Within six months, my line was bigger than his,” Jake said. 

With growing demand, the business moved out of the corner to a new location at 740 A Beacon Street. Since then, Jake’s business has only continued to grow, he said. 

“[My favorite part is] meeting new people and getting to know the customers,” Sharooz said.

Nancy Shahrooz, co-owner of the restaurant and Jake’s wife, said the COVID-19 pandemic forced the family to change its business model—Nancy took a more active role in running the restaurant, and the couple’s son now helps out alongside their two other employees.

“So when he started this … the world was a little different,” Nancy said. “And then, during COVID, it became more difficult because people are not working as much. So I’m here on a more full-time basis, because he needs the support.” 

The pandemic also forced the restaurant to shift away from dine-in service, Nancy said. While dine-in service is still a large part of maintaining the restaurant’s clientele, the business now focuses more on takeout. But, the restaurant’s Newton customer base has remained strong, according to Nancy.

“But yeah, we’ve been here for 11 years, and in Newton for 13,” Nancy said. “So we have kind of a loyal following. That’s why it’s still doing well.”

One of the restaurant’s best-selling items is the Jake’s Famous Roll Up, a savory combination of falafel, hummus, and vegetables tightly packed into fresh pita bread. 

The Shahroozes also said they have their own menu favorites

“If I’m not eating meat, it’s falafel,” Nancy said. “If I’m eating meat, it’s chicken schnitzel. I do it as a roll-up or with sweet rice as a plate.”

Jake’s answer was simple.

“Falafel,” Jake said. “It’s my favorite thing to make and my favorite thing to eat.”

Jake’s Falafel Corner is open 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m on Sunday, at 740 A Beacon Street.

November 15, 2023