photo credit: Las Fuentes Group

Manchamanteles image




$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsCasual Weeknight DinnerDinner with the Parents
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Manchamanteles in Bucktown is from the chef behind Mis Moles, one of the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago. There are similarities between the two, from the massive dining rooms with exposed brick walls and papel picado, to exteriors painted the same shade of bright blue. Another similarity? The food at Manchamanteles is also great. The menu focuses on different moles, perfectly cooked wood-fired meats, and regional dishes from across Mexico. Things like a fantastic smoky chicken doused in black mole and grilled Chilean sea bass with green mole make an appearance. Even the non-mole dishes, like cochinita pibil served with tortillas that are as soft as a baby blanket, are fantastic. Show up with a big group of people you barely know and after a few of their margaritas (served in giant chalices) you’ll probably be best friends by the end of the night.

A spread of food from Manchamanteles, including, steak, chicken breast with mole, and some chiles.

photo credit: Gia Photography

Food Rundown

A plate with lamb chops and black mole.

photo credit: Gia Photography

Borrego En Mole Negro

Manchamanteles’ mole negro is incredibly rich and complex, which makes sense considering its 29-ingredient secret recipe makes Dr. Pepper’s look simple. It’s deeply smoky, slightly sweet, and pairs well with the juicy lamb chops.

Pollo En Mole Verde

The chicken breasts are served with three signature moles to choose from, but the green one is best. Thanks to extra nuttiness from pumpkin seeds, this light and savory mole nicely complements the chicken’s charred flavor.
A bowl of cochinita pibil resting on a banana leaf, surrounded by a plate of tortillas, a bowl of beans, and a side of spicy habanero sauce.

photo credit: Gia Photography

Cochinita Pibil

Our favorite non-mole dish. The tender pork shoulder is bathed in a punchy and savory sauce, and served with pillowy housemade tortillas for some DIY taco action. And when the server says the side of habanero sauce is very spicy, do not question them—a few drops is all you need for some brightness and heat.

Camarones En Crema Poblano

These plump crustaceans swim in slightly spicy and creamy sauce, and they’re excellent. Oh, and those chunky mashed potatoes that come in a little tortilla bowl? You’ll want the poblano sauce involved with those as well.


Suggested Reading

The Best Mexican Restaurants In Chicago image

The Best Mexican Restaurants In Chicago

Our 13 favorite spots across the city.

The Best Restaurants In Wicker Park  image

There are a lot of places to eat in Wicker Park, but these are the best ones.


Check out these spots when you want to go out with your friends, but don’t want to spend a lot of money.


The 17 best places to drink margaritas in the city.

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