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Hours
Mon - Thu 11:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Fri 11:00 am - 11:00 pm, Sat 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Payment method
all major credit cards
Price Range
$$
Neighborhoods
Central Chicago, Near North Side, River North
Categories
Mexican Restaurants, Bars, Latin American Restaurants, Caribbean Restaurants, Cuban Restaurants, Spanish Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, Latin American, European, Continental

Price Range : Average

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Reviews

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gidget37

03/06/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Do not waste your money.

Worst! I have never had worse food. Waitress told me that the vegetarian paella was her favorite dish. The menu said it was authentic and flavored with saffron. More like rice-a-roni with red and green peppers (and maybe grilled pear???) for $16. Not worth it. I didn't even send it back because I couldn't think of any alternative to order.

klandes

02/18/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great private event!

We held an event in Mambo's downstairs private room, and it was wonderful. They were so helpful with everything from menu selection to parking tips, and the food was fantastic. They really worked with us and were flexible and helpful. It was a great experience from start to finish.

jack121

10/03/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great Food

Great food and the right prices, people are polite and ready to take care of the little details, prices are not bad based on the quality of food served, I have taken friends and so far they're happy.

sideshow48226

07/14/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
This place Rocks!!!!!!!

My wife and I visited Chicago this past weekend. I lived there years ago and she used to visit me. Anyhow in my travels around chicago when I lived there I stumbled upon this little restaurant that specialized in central american cuisine. Mambo Grill was a fantastic establishment 12 years ago and All I have to say Now is WOW!!! My wife and I were blown away. we showed up around 7pm or so with no reservation and were seated immediately. The service was great the drinks were fantastic and the food was out of this world. I am a Chef in Michigan so I'd like to think I know my food. Try the Mojitos( they're perfect) , The Portaballo mushroom appetizer was phenomanal. As was the entrees. I'm not a huge dessert fan but they nailed the flan perfectly. Not to sweet and not to eggy. I suggest trying this place out.... and tip the cooks... They do an awesome job.

sorywrong

06/23/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
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Opal49

06/22/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great, noisy date place!

I am confused! We go to Mambo Grill every visit to Chicago. Love the mojitos (and we've had them in many places) and the food is great. We have been to Mambo on Friday's when they have been so packed, the wait was over an hour. It can get somewhat noisy on a busy night, but we liked the buzz so we could have private conversation. I believe the previous reviewer may have visited on an off night. Give this place a try--we have never been disappointed.

deedee1212

06/20/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Probably worst restaurant in Chicago

If I could give it less than 1 star I would. My girlfriends and I all went here for my best friend's birthday party. All I can say is wow! Can a restaurant really be this bad on so many levels?

I guess we should have know something was wrong when we went in on a Friday night and it was a ghost town. We should have just turned around and walked out the door at that warning sign.

Food was miserable to the point of being disgusting, drinks sucked and the service was even worse. Wait! Now that I think of it can I even say that it was service??? The food was just a sloppy mess with this crappy thick cream sauce smothering almost everything we ordered. The taste followed suit and was horrible!!! Not one of us liked our food and there were 8 of us in our group that all ordered something different! Our waiter came around once every twenty minutes (we timed her) - when she wasn't standing there watching the damn tv. She only had one table (we were it) so how hard could it possibly be??? We hoped that drinks would make up for the food and service but the drinks were equally bad. Their special drink of margaritas were a joke. You would think they could at least make their specialty drinks taste good.

Overall I would say run from this place since there are so many other fantastic places in the city. For example, try Carnivale instead! mmmm

mrspolich

01/06/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Beyond Expectations

My husband and I made reservations for a Saturday night. We were seated promptly when we arrived. The food looked, smelled and tasted great! The service was quick and polite. We didn't feel rushed and enjoyed the atmosphere which was energetic, but still comfortable. I have never written a review for any of the restaurants that we find online, but the Mambo Grill was an exceptional meal at a reasonable price.

misviejo

11/13/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great food. Go on an ""off night"" to enjoy best service.

The food is here great. The atmosphere is very relaxing and cordial here. Everything is clean. I highly recommend going on an ""off night"" because you tend to get much better service. That's the only drawback here is that the service sometimes falls below standard levels when they get busy. For example, we came in with a party of 10 on a Friday night with reservations and the first round of drinks came just fine but for the second round, we were waiting until the ice cubes melted down to water. I've been before on a Tuesday and Wednesday and not only is the service much better but the food somehow comes and everything is timed perfectly. This can make all the difference because the food is great in general and we haven't found anything bad on the menu at all, although one piece of fish was not enjoyed by someone in our party of 10 but he is super-picky and was from the west coast and used to getting it fresh within hours of being caught off the docks. I will say that their prices recently went up a little bit and it didn't go unnoticed, but since the quality is there in the food, it is still a good value. Parking of course stinks in this neighborhood in general so you've got to factor that into the price of dining to some extent.

megancoughlin

02/03/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Highly Recommend Mambo Grill!

My experience at Mambo Grill was great from the beginning. I called on Thursday night to make a last minute reservation for Friday night. The woman said she would squeeze us in at 7:00. When we arrived at 7:00 our name wasn't in the book, but the woman remembered me and sat us right away. Our server was very friendly and attentive. Our drinks (Mojito and sangria) were great. The food was DELICIOUS. I had the chile rellenos (which don't come with a side, so I ordered the beans and rice.) I also tried a shrimp dish and the bbq salmon - both of which were also very tasty.

The next time we have out of town guests, I won't hesitate to take them to the Mambo Grill. For all the bad restaurant experiences I have had in Chicago, this really made up for it.

dulloa

12/17/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
LOVE THIS PLACE

THE FOOD IS GREAT HERE AND SO ARE THEIR DRINKS!! I CAME FROM NYC TO EAT HERE SINCE MY FRIEND HAD RECOMMENDED IT .... SOMETIMES I THINK ABOUT BUYING A PLANE TICKET JUST TO EAT HERE AGAIN!!!! THE SERVICE WAS GREAT TOO!!!

nkflyers2005

11/14/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great Food and Atmosphere

This is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Everything I've had here is delicious. If you like spicy food, then you will definitely enjoy this restaurant. The pan-seared chicken dish is amazing and there are ocasionally good drink deals on days other than saturday. The atmosphere is enjoyable with the latin music playing, but the place is pretty small so it can get crowded.

bethn2

09/17/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
A little underwhelmed

Although the menu and water were slow to come, I felt extremely rushed through my entire meal. My soup arrived less than 5 minutes after the chips and salsa, and then the entree arrived before I was halfway through the soup. Black bean soup was good. The Camarones were just okay. I didn't realize I hadn't been served bread until I was getting ready to leave. Needless to say, I was out of there in about 30 minutes. Too fast for a $40 meal.

maorimama

05/02/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
I'm very surprised at the bad reviews....

This place took all 16 of us and seated us at two tables next to each other. The service was a bit slow but we attributed that to trying to serve 16 at once. Though slow, our waitress was attentive and answered all of our questions. Her recommendations were spot-on. The plantain crusted halibut, crusty pork with jalapeno mash potatoes, and the chicken with coconut, cilantro and lime were all tender and flavorful. We loved the Dominican Bombas (shrimp and potato dumplings) and the steak and pineapple kabobs. (That steak was very tender.) Mambo Grill managed to impress 16 foodie/cooking buddies who came from all over the United States for a weekend in Chicago. Bravo Mambo. We will be back.

aquarian1252004

11/11/2004

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Best latin food: Get a clue Chicago!

This what Chicago calls the best latin food in the city? Just because they play salsa music, serve mojitos, & have spanish style ambience does not make it the best latin food in the city. I was very dissapointed especially since I had high expectations. Some of the signatures of latin food is that it is bursting with flavor, seasoning, and spices like adobo, mojo, etc. I chose the guava mango chicken, based upon the description I thought it sounded exotic and appetizing. Boy was I wrong! There was nothing extoic, guava or mango about this dish. It was nothing more than bland plain old bbq chicken that I could have made at home. As someone of Latin decent I am ashamed that they could even call this unedible meal latin. Wake up & get a clue Chicago!

wacquij

10/06/2004

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
TERRIBLE TERRIBLE PLACE

My family and I went there (mind you we are a Mexican and Puertorican) We wanted to try a different place that offered some variety! There was six of us and we all ordereda different dish. The paella was a MESS! It was a soggy tasteless disaster! The plantain crusted fish dish was so dry and bland! The pork dish tasted like it had been prepared with last years frozen and reheated pork! Latino food is suppose to have great rich flavor and this place was such a joke! The prices were too high for the disgusting things they serve!! We all left hungry!! We hardlly touched our plates!!Please do yourself a favor if you want to experince great Latino food try Las Tablas or Lalo's you won't be disappointed! This place was just full of mambo jumbo!!! YUCK

djmk1234

04/10/2004

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Mojito Madness

If Mambo Grill can do anything right, it's their mojitos. Perfect combination of limes, mint leaves, citrus rum, sugar, and soda water - shaken with ice and voila. However, the food is really quite inconsistent. Appetizers fare well except those Brazilian steak kabobs, a collaboration of steak mush and pineapples hang weakly from a kabob stick. If anything, go there for lunch or wait after you go out for dinner to have the chocolate chipotle cake - sumptuous, cathartic experience. Enough said.

chyma

10/08/2003

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Mambo Me!!

This was our second visit to Mambo Grill and we loved it!! The appetizers were delicious -- Pollo Taquitos and some steak kabobs. The steak was a little fatty, but totally tasty. The Taquitos rocked. For an entree, we split the roast pork loin which was excellent and a perfect amount. Our only complaint was that the Mojitos were weak. The two of us had a whole picture and felt nothing and we rarely drink. Maybe it was all the food we ate...

amydc

07/19/2003

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Good for lunch, not for dinner

I've eaten at Mambo Grill at least 12 times in the last 6 months for lunch, and twice for dinner. If Chris (the general manager) is there, the service is great. When he's not, watch out--it can literally take 10 minutes to get your order taken. When he's there, he explains the menu and vodka/rum/wines to you. When he's not, they throw a menu at you and walk away. The dinner entrees are just too complicated for the kitchen to execute well. The lunch entrees, however, are always good. Great guacamole and plantains, good margaritas.

jeffnmary

12/10/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
outrageoulsy good eats!

Mambo Grill was SO good. We have been going to Chicago for many years now, and always try new places to eat. The night we went it was not too crowded. The service was so great..the guy was so helpful! We had appetizers, drinks and GREAT food! The price is awesome, too. We had a blast. I seriously can NOT wait to go again!!

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