PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Miriam”

As is customary at Philly Lunch, every Tuesday we turn over the site to a different lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Philadelphia. This week it’s Miriam, who has some great recommendations for Kosher lunches in Center City.

Name: Miriam

Age: 29

Occupation: Director of the Jewish Graduate Student Network for Hillel of Greater Philadelphia

Where in Philly do you Work?: My office is at Penn, but I work wherever I can get wireless, which usually means coffee shops all over Center City

Favorite Kind of Food:Philly is great for vegetarian food, and even though I keep a kosher kitchen at home (and don’t eat meat anyway), I do eat vegetarian food in non-kosher restaurants. I love fancy vegetarian food (read about Horizons below), but I’m usually equally happy to sit at home with a huge plate of pasta. As a category, Indian food is my favorite, especially chana masala. Center City could really use a vegetarian Indian restaurant! I am also a total sucker for potato chips and for dessert, and in the summer, I cannot get enough water ice.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Well, meat. I also hate mushrooms. Lots of veggie food has them, but I’ll do anything to avoid them.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: Su Xing House (15th and Sansom) is a vegetarian Chinese restaurant that only recently has become kosher certified, which is great news for everyone! I get the General Tso’s Veg (which is different than General Tso’s tofu and much better). Singapore Chinese (10th and Race) and New Harmony (135 N. 9th) are also kosher vegetarian Chinese places that are great. For Middle Eastern Kosher, I recommend Glatt Delight(128 S. 12th). They serve meat and don’t have a huge selection of vegetarian choices, but it’s a restaurant I really like to support, and for people looking for kosher meat, it’s one of the few options in Center City. Mama’s Vegetarian (20th b/t Chestnut and Market) has great felafel, but what really gets me there are the pickles, pickled carrots, and roasted cauliflower. Hamifgash(8th and Sansom) is another good kosher place with decent felafel. For non-kosher but vegetarian places, I love the chicken cheesesteak at Govinda’s to Go (Broad and South). The seitan curry at Mi Lah (218 S. 16th) is delicious, and though they’re not open for lunch, I can’t talk about vegetarian food without mentioning Horizons (7th and Kater). The BBQ seitan there is amazing, as is pretty much everything else on their menu.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Food carts in West Philly. Magic Carpet (34th and Walnut and 37th and Spruce) is the vegetarian food cart – I always get the Magic Meatballs. Coup de Taco(40th and Locust) has a great curried seitan taco. We really could use a kosher food truck! During the academic year, we frequent the kosher dining hall at Penn. Even though it’s a dining hall, the food is actually fantastic!

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Harvard Square in order to get pizza at Veggie Planet. Their Caesar Salad on a pizza with tofu croutons is unreal.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? If the pizza was good enough, would you pay a little more for kosher pizza in Center City and sacrifice pepperoni for taste? And if so, who’s going to step up and open the shop?!?

If you would like to be next week’s Profiled Philly Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at



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