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Mana Food Bar, Wicker Park

by Krista

Mana Food Bar Inside

Least favorite question? What’s your favorite restaurant. I hate it. Because you know what? I don’t have one in Chicago. (Yet?) I’ve yet to walk into a place here where I can say to myself, “Oh now here…I’d eat here all the time.” But I did walk into Mana Food Bar on Division the other weekend and think…”Ah, now this is interesting.” I liked the decor. I liked the smallness. Chicago doesn’t do SMALL so it’s refreshing to be in a place with only about 24 covers where the server can’t possibly ignore you.

The only factor preventing Mana Food Bar from being a true favorite? Sigh…it’s vegetarian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I like a little pork belly now and then.Mana Food Bar Menu

Yup, no meat on this menu.

Mana Food Bar ChiliThe small vegetarian chili was surprisingly hearty. I barely missed the meat. Only complaint? Too small!

Mana Food Bar Bi Bim BapBi Bim Bap is one of my all-time favorite dishes. This too was a surprisingly hefty dish, but I did miss the marinated beef. Still though, I felt virtuous with all this veg inside of me.

Mana Food Bar WaterAt Mana Food Bar, they leave the tap water on the table so you can serve yourself. I like this. A lot! I hate it when servers fill up my water glass every two minutes, even when the glass isn’t anywhere near empty. I want to see more bottled water on the table in Chicago. More.

The Verdict: I really like Mana Food Bar. I’d go back again and again and again some more. (I’d probably have a turkey sandwich for lunch though.)

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