Mama’s Vegetarian, one of Center City’s prime destinations for falafel and other Israeli street foods, is closed permanently, owner Haviv David said Tuesday.
Mama’s, which opened at 18 S. 20th St. in 2005, closed “temporarily” last August when the landlord began renovations upstairs that created noise and mess. The work continues. David said the landlord did not want to renew the lease.
Inquirer critic Craig LaBan, in a 2016 article about meat-free cuisine, wrote: “The pursuit of kosher-friendly cuisine (rather than veganism) is the prime motivation behind this casual Israeli quick-serve. It just happens that the city’s best falafel (complete with fresh housemade pitas and a killer toppings bar) is also animal-product-free. (All items are vegan with the exception of latkes and the sabich.)” He also noted that service could be grumpy.
For a spell more than a decade ago, David’s son Shauli owned Mama’s Grill at 630 South St., which specialized in shawarma and house-baked pita.
For your falafel fix, LaBan recommends Mamoun’s in Old City, Goldie in Rittenhouse, Apricot Stone in Northern Liberties, Suraya in Fishtown, Al Amana Grocery in Kensington, and Al-Sham in Northeast Philly.