Mamma's Bakery and Lebanese Deli

Veg-Friendly Restaurant
Average: 4.8 (12 votes)

Mama's is a North Park favorite. Just off El Cajon Blvd, between North Park and Hillcrest, is a hidden treasure of inexpensive vegetarian dining and ethnic treat. Mama's serves well made classic Middle Eastern foods such as falafel (best in homemade sajj bread), spinach pie, hummus and baba ganoush. Friendly atmosphere, good prices and great food… Mama's does not disappoint!

Location: University Heights (map)
Info Hours
4237 Alabama St.
San Diego, CA 92104-1021
Mo 10am-8pm Fr 10am-8pm
Tu 10am-8pm Sa 9:30am-4pm
We 10am-8pm Su 9:30am-4pm
Th 10am-8pm

Reviews (Write a review)

Author Title / Comment Rating
Debra Colomb (unverified)
Mar 08, 2010
Hole in the wall

This is a tiny place behind the Live Wire bar. The ambiance is quirky but the food was great. We had the vegetarian plate and the bean stew over hummus. They are vegan friendly even making a vegan style bird nest dessert. It was economical and delicious. I loved hearing this little girl beg her mom to be sure and order some bread!

Lisa Duclo (unverified)
Dec 25, 2007
Cooked on the saaj

Make sure that you try one of Mamma's sandwiches cooked on the saaj oven. The saaj looks like an upside down wok atop a short chimney. The bread cooked on the saaj is similar, although much tastier than pita with a little bit of a chewy texture and it is served warm and freshly made right in front of you. The best sandwich they have is called the Manakeesh ultimate which has a spread made with sumac (not the poisonous kind which is a totally different plant) which has a slightly salty and woody taste. On top of this is spread homemade labneh, which is thick Greek/Lebanese yogurt. Then they add diced tomato and some salty, slightly bitter olives and they roll it all up. It is divine. Mamma's also makes the best hummus I've ever tasted. It's super creamy and garlicky, not dry or mealy like some store brands. They also make a cheese pie, made with a specific type of slightly tart white cheese similar in texture to fresh mozzarella, and a spinach and cheese pie which are also made with the bread cooked on the saaj. Excellent! This a good place to take your meat eating friends too, there is something for everyone and everyone will be pleased. And the prices are very low so you can go with a group and sample a number of items to share.

Layne and Princess Diana (unverified)
Oct 08, 2007
Incredible food great prices

Simply the best deal in SD. Go,run don't walk...

Veerags (unverified)
Jul 30, 2006
Good Ethnic Cuisine in San Diego

The falafels were very good. The fried eggplant plate was awesome (and just as unhealthy ;-) ). The pita bread was freshly made and was soft and really good. Would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try ethnic food in San Diego.

T.M. (unverified)
Apr 22, 2005
Soooo good!

I love Mama's! They make best falafel I've ever had, in a pita sandwhich or on a combo plate with great baba ganoush. The food is consistantly good and inexpensive. The fried eggplant sandwich is good too, and try the Manakeesh, fresh made flat bread with olive oil and tons of herbs. Mama's has counter service and (covered) outdoor seating which is great on a nice day, if it's super cold out, get your food to go! Nice people too.

QBN (unverified)
Feb 17, 2005
satisifies the craving

the vegetarian combo platter is to die for! the falafel, the pita, the baba ganoush (sp?), the hummus, the tabouli. i'd been looking for some good mediterranean/middle eastern food around here, and i've found it! really like the feel of the small operation too.

earthchild (unverified)
Feb 01, 2005
Best Baba Ganouj

I've be eating at Mamma's since they opened when Chris was running it. The food is fresh, healthy and consistant. It's affordable and the service is very good. Now that Chris' sons are running it, the atmosphere is even better and hopefully will continue to be. Please don't reformulate that baba! It's the best there is. Tons of vegan options. Lots of garlic - as it should be. I LOVE MAMMA'S!!!!

Katrina (unverified)
Mar 30, 2004
Yowza! That's good fast food....

The food is made fast, hardly any wait even when crowded, and the price is right. The best middle eastern food I've ever had.

Linda (unverified)
Oct 24, 2003
a couple good things

The sajj bread is great but only when really fresh. Eat it there if you can, cuz by the time you get home it will be too cold and chewy. The hummus is too die for. The grape leaves are great. The falafel is great too. They know what vegan means and the owner's son is vegan.

Kathy (unverified)
May 04, 2003
best falafel!

thank goodness for mama's...a cute little place with the best falafel i've ever had. try the baba ghanoush on sajj bread too. it's also inexpensive and has a lot of charm.

David (unverified)
May 04, 2003
Best falafel this side of the atlantic!

Falafel in homemade sajj bread. YUM. Baba ghanoush with smoked eggplant flavor. YUM. Homemade hummos. Very vegan friendly. Inexpensive and pleasent outdoor seating. AWESOME!

Nancy (unverified)
Apr 27, 2003

Best tabouli in town! Also try the spinach pie.