Ron Shapira opened Pita Pocket on Jan. 11, 2011. Photo:
Ron Shapira opened Pita Pocket on Jan. 11, 2011. Photo:

At Pita Pocket Eatery in Cheltenham, loyal customers have been family for nearly a decade

Owner Ron Shapira has been serving up Israeli specialties for almost a decade.


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Ron Shapira had one thing on his mind when he decided to open Pita Pocket Eatery in Cheltenham, and that was providing homemade foods from the Middle East.

“I’ve always wanted to open an eatery that sells middle eastern food,” Shapira said. “I love cooking and making foods for other people.”

Shapira’s dream of opening a restaurant that gave locals a glimpse of his Israeli background, has been in business since Jan. 2011.

In that time, it’s built a reputation for leaving customers satisfied with whatever they get off the menu. As a result, his customer base has grown to encompass people from all across Philadelphia.

“They notice the quality freshness of food,” said Shapira.

His family, in turn, beams with pride at his success.

“My sister always tells me that our dad would be proud of me because I’ve been talking about it for so many years,” he said.

One mission that Shapira focuses on is his food’s quality. If he doesn’t like the taste of something he makes, it will not go to the customer. It’s also all made in-house and unprocessed.

“We serve fresh food every day,” he said.

On top of serving unprocessed foods, Shapira also believes that keeping his establishment clean is another key to having a dependable eatery. For him, it’s supposed to feel like home.

“Besides the fact that we treat customers like family, is that we also make sure that when they come into our restaurant, they are also coming into my house,” he said. 

Shapira promises that the crisp and natural foods he grew up eating in Israel will also boost your immune system. He says customers undergoing cancer treatment at the nearby Fox Chase Medical Center are a testament to this quality.

“I have customers who are receiving chemotherapy treatments, they come over because they are changing their diet and want to eat something with as little fat as possible,” he said.

Pita Pocket Eatery is also mainly vegetarian, so if you’re looking for dishes that include beef or lamb, you’re out of luck.

“We really limit our red meat intake, but we do have chicken shwarma, which is selling a lot,” said Shapira.

His establishment also focuses on eliminating plastic, and customers won’t find it in any takeaway containers

“Everything is served on recyclable paper,” said Shapira.

As for Pita Pocket favorites, Shapira recommends the homemade hummus, a blend of velvety chickpeas infused with other spices.

There’s also falafel, a middle-eastern classic of deep-fried balls made of grounded-up chickpeas and other seasonings. 

“Our falafels are gluten-free, we don’t put binders in anything,” he said.

In the same vein is baba ghanoush, a blend of cooked and mashed eggplant, spices, and lemon juice that is usually served with vegetables.

But along with all the food, is the family created by enjoying it, so stop in and indulge.


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