Damascus on the Drive: The Story of Best Falafel
Best Falafel owner/operator Hisham Wattar was born in Damascus, Syria, the youngest of 7 children. Growing up in the oldest inhabited city in the world with a father who capitalized on living at the crossroads of numerous cultures and trade made Hisham unafraid to make his own way in the world.
Early life was a struggle. As a two year old Hisham contracted polio. As soon as he could, at the age of 16, he struck out for England where he began his restaurant career working in a Bournemouth donair shop and studying English at night. He returned home to war. After his father’s death, the young man decided to make a life in the new world.
Canada had always seemed to him a land of opportunities, a peaceful culture of friendly, down-to-earth people. In 1987 he landed in seaside New Brunswick to open a Middle Eastern dining room. When eastern Canadian winters began to cause chronic pain in his polio-ravaged leg, he knew it was time to make some more very big changes in his life.
Temperate and beautiful, Vancouver’s climate beckoned to Hisham and his growing brood of four children. In 2000, fate stepped in when a Syrian friend approached him. The friend owned a restaurant on Commercial Drive called Best Falafel that was in danger of bankruptcy. Hisham bought out his share and using his own brand of high-energy drive and natural hospitality, turned the store around. A simple recipe combining fresh ingredients, mouth-watering flavours and exceptional customer service has made Best Falafel a local fixture - no small feat in the foodie paradise that is Commercial Drive.
The Wattar family are proud to have served over half a million happy customers and employed people they now call friends. Best Falafel invites you to dream of Damascus’ warmth and spice as you experience the best middle eastern food in Vancouver.