Friday, November 4, 2011

Mana Food Bar By: Maggie Duplace

Maggie is a special education teacher who enjoys going out to eat, being with friends, crafting and riding her scooter. Maggie considers a restaurant worthwhile if it has delicious and interesting flavors delivered with consistency. She also appreciates a restaurant that has inventive and thoughtful vegetarian dishes. One of the reasons Maggie watches Check, Please! is to encourage her to leave her neighborhood and try new places. 
The restaurant that keeps me coming back is Mana Food Bar. As a vegetarian, I am willing to try anything that doesn't contain any meat or stock in the dish; dairy will do. There are a variety of cold, hot, small, and large plate, sides and drinks to choose from that make me feel like I really have entered a restaurant that actually tries to make vegetarian food outstanding.
The hummus is creamy and smooth, spiked with garlic and is served with an endless supply of pitas and veggies for dipping. Toast points make the perfect spoon for delicious baked goat cheese in spicy marinara. The sliders delight even my carnivorous friends, made of brown rice and mushrooms topped with spicy mayo and served on a sweet little bun. The sweet potato pancakes are one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. It's a pairing of sweet and salty magic topped with a seasonal chutney and fresh cream. A sprinkling of green onion brightens the rich flavor. The small is enough for 1, but I order the large because they are just that good.
Anyone's hand that comes near my plate is swiped away when they reach for a bite- my friends have learned. The cool and natural decor and outside seating make the restaurant a comfortable spot and provides great Wicker Park people watching. Add a glass a wine and I am definitely the happiest vegetarian in the 60622 zip code, maybe even the city. 

Mana Food Bar
1742 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-1742            


  1. As soon as I read vegetarian, I had to stop. I'm so narrow-minded.

  2. As a meat eater who is about marry a vegetarian, I am always looking for new ideas for dinner spots that will satisfy us both. After reading your blog (and their menu), I figured I could win some points by taking her to Mana. You could not have been more right about this place! The sliders and goat cheese were my favorites with the hummus coming in a close second. Thank you for the great suggestion! Keep them coming because I will definitely be coming back for more ideas.


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