South Street Philly - This year, the legendary Tattooed Mom of South Street celebrates their 20th Anniversary! Robert Perry is the madman behind this 2 story bar and restaurant known for its bright and graffiti-covered walls, as well as an extensive vegan menu. He saw the potential for a space that functioned to support the thriving arts community. Tattooed Mom was designed to be the haven for artists and music lovers. Somewhere to go and appreciate street art or hang out after seeing a band play on South Street.
Tattooed Mom of South Street
Downstairs is highlighted with bright green walls and retro furniture with kitschy accents, like emoji pillows, lollipops, and small toys, meant to bring out the child in everyone. The second floor opens up at night. Upon opening, the second floor served as a blank canvas. Soon friends and visitors started to leave their mark. The walls quickly filled with all kinds of graffiti and street art. This created a unique space that is often sought out for photoshoots, poetry readings, and other private events. To this day, Tattooed Mom is a destination sought out by artists from all over.
Perry first opened Tattooed Mom back in 1997 when street art was much less accepted. Today graffiti and street art have become very popular despite being an illegal art form. The second floor of the Tattooed Moms is an everchanging storyboard of tags, graffiti, and artwork from those who have visited the location. Notable artists to have visited are:
- Frank “Shepard Fairey” a very famous graphic artist and muralist. His work combines elements of graffiti, pop art, business art, and Marxist theory. His work has been seen in galleries around the world and even museums. Not only that, but it is often recognized in graphic designing and signature apparel. One of his most famous works includes his portrait of Barack Obama.
- Amberella – Philly-based Street artist Amber Lynn is well known for her “Goth Hearts.” These are a modern parody of the classic candy hearts you’d get for Valentine’s Day. Her street art is very bold and raw. It’s recognizable and graphic, with short phrases so people can scan it. Phrases like “Stay,” “Keep Going,” and “conquer.” The series is a combination of feelings pulled from diaries, memories, and feelings. “It’s my way of working through things in my life; relationships specifically,” Lynn explained.
- Wordsmith is a street artist, Hollywood writer, and natural-born creator. He’s remained fairly anonymous, but his work has not. Inspired by his love of writing, his works consist of an old-fashioned typewriter with an extended white page in the typed font. His words are original and clever. He has painted/pasted his WRDs in NYC, Philadelphia, New Orleans, London, and Paris, based in LA.
Tattooed Mom started with a menu of casual bar food. More and more employees and guests began to asking for vegan and vegetarian options. With this feedback, the menu evolved. Perry wanted something on the menu for everyone. Many names of items on the menu are playful and reference pop culture in naming.
April’s Burger of the Month is The Eskorbuto (part of our new monthly Punk Singles Burger Series) made with 7 oz. All-beef or a vegan burger topped with fried avocado, queso fresco, and Cholula lime cream.
April’s Taco of the Month is the Peter Porker made with tangy BBQ pork braised in Lucky Buddha Lager topped with a zesty house-made mango habanero salsa in a traditional hard taco shell.
Even the cocktail menu features a drink called the Pop Rocket which features Stolichinaya raspberry, raspberry liqueur, lemon soda, and pop rocks candy in a drink out of this world. Each sip gives you a few pop rocks exploding with flavors. The Whiskey Carnival is based on an old fashion made with whiskey and topped with cotton candy instead of a sugar cube. They also offer Classic Bottled Beauties; now the sixth drink in the hand-crafted & house bottled cocktail series is the Manhattan, a time-honored American classic. They also have locally focused draft beers as well.
We started the meal with the dangerously delicious Parmesan Pepper Fries. These waffle fries are topped with house-made garlic Parmesan sauce and fried long hots. The toppings are also available with tater tots. Tater Tots have been on Mom’s menu since they first opened. They’ve got some very creative twists for their tots too. We really enjoyed the BBQ Tater Tots, which are tater tots drizzled with house-made chipotle cream and sweet, spicy BBQ sauce. Both these tots are vegan, and toppings are also available on waffle fries! And of course, you can’t forget Mom’s Pierogies with a side of sour cream or applesauce.
For the larger plates, the Pickle Fried Chicken Sandwich has been extremely popular. This Sammy is made with house-pickled fried chicken with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and crystal hot sauce mayo on a Liscio’s roll. There is also a Cajun Blackened Chicken Sandwich with blackened chicken breast with lettuce, tomato, red onion, cheddar, and house-made cherry pepper sauce. These both can also be made in a vegan version.
Other favorites are the Chubbsteak Wrap with 8 oz. steak with cheddar, tater tots, onion, mushroom, and house-made sriracha ketchup in a flour tortilla wrap. The Honey Sriracha Fried Chicken Wrap has honey sriracha fried chicken with cheddar, red onion, banana peppers, lettuce, and house-made cajun lime sauce in flour tortilla wrap. Both of these wraps are available in a vegetarian version.
Tattooed Mom’s is also serving up brunch! Try the Chubby-Changa, a monstrous deep-fried Philly 8 oz. steak and egg wrap with tater tots, American cheese, fried onions, mushrooms, and house-made sriracha ketchup. The Breakfast Bomb Pita is also extremely popular. Made with a personal size pita pizza with 2 eggs, tater tots, cheddar cheese, fried onions, and mushrooms. Of course, there is also Mom’s Brunch Burger. This juicy 7 oz. The burger is topped with bacon, American cheese, fried egg, fried onions, lettuce, tomato, and house-made sriracha ketchup. It's also available with a vegan burger and veggie bacon.
There is always something great happening at Tattooed Moms.
Monday to Friday, stop by 5-7 pm and 10-11 pm for half off all draft beers. All our vegetarian and vegan followers will rejoice in Meatless Mondays, which offers half-priced on all veggie menus until 10 pm. Taco Tuesday has $1 beef or vegetarian bean tacos with $2.50 Tecates. Burger Wednesday has $4 burgers and vegan burgers till midnight with $2 Gansett Lager. Thursdays, you can grab 50 cent pierogis till 10 pm! And every Sunday in Arts & Crafts, which are great for the whole family! Enjoy half-priced tater tots and $2 PBR. And Tattooed Moms delivers via Postmates.
Philadelphia's South Street Guide - welcomes more than just hippies these days. Shoppers searching for a statement-making look, visitors hungry for a real Philly cheesesteak, and music lovers who want to catch an up-and-coming band head to the storied boulevard. Ethnically diverse restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert, and galleries and performance spaces help make South Street the place where everyone meets.