Family owned and operated Mama Jennie’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria has been the go-to source for home-made pizza, Italian specialties and delicious catering in the Miami Shores area for nearly 50 years. Located at 11720 NE 2nd Avenue, Mama Jennie’s has long been considered a South Florida staple for affordable family dining and special events in a warm, friendly atmosphere. It’s also a very comfortable watering hole to watch sports and enjoy the camaraderie of friends. And on top of that, the restaurant offers a popular catering service.
“What people love the most about the restaurant is the ambience. Mama Jennie’s is a very home-like place,” says Adelina Rodriguez, who works at the restaurant with her brother Derek alongside their mother, Jennifer Berriel, who owns and runs the eatery. “From the bar to the dining room and even our outdoor garden, people come here to have a good time with their friends and family.”
Mama Jennie’s offers dine-in and take-out and also delivers meals to customers. By far, the crowd favorite is the lovely hedge-lined garden which can accommodate 100 people and often serves as a venue for baby showers, vow renewals, birthday and graduation parties. The bar is another area where locals and regulars come to enjoy a tall one or have a meal while watching sports games on six televisions and a giant projector screen. Most nights there are drink specials and Karaoke on Wednesdays.
“We’re definitely known for our pizzas, which have been nominated for awards for best pizza in Miami-Dade. We have a 28” pizza that we call our Big Boy which people often order and can never finish,” says Adelina. “We’re bringing back lunch cards to the restaurant where if you dine in 10 times, your 11th meal is free. We also have all you can eat pasta on Mondays for $9.95 and a very popular Early Bird Special from 4-7 p.m.
Originally opened in 1971, Mama Jennie’s has been a part of Adelina and Derek’s lives since they were born; their mother Jennifer began working in the restaurant when she was 17 years old, having bought it from close family friend John Zynko, who is also Adelina’s Godfather.
“Mama Jennie’s is a generational restaurant, and we have plenty of people who ate here as children and return from other states with their parents to reminisce,” she adds.
Mama Jennie’s believes in getting involved in the local community and beyond. The restaurant sponsors Barry University’s golf team and a local soccer league. Jennifer, Derek, and Adelina are currently collecting items to send for hurricane relief to the Bahamas, just as they did for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Mama Jennie’s is located at 11720 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami Shores. Hours are Monday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from Noon to 10 p.m. For more information, please visit www.mamajennies.com or call 305-757-3627.