Talking to...No Manches

Wakefield's healthy Mexican cafe

Eat.Drink.Wakefield | 16.02.2021


Mexican chain restaurants in the UK have a reputation for serving greasy bowls of blandness. No Manches on is on a mission change that.

Gone are the tacky sombreros and other stereotypes; the tasteful little cafe on Wood Street is bursting with vibrancy and colour, a space that’s genuinely unique and stands out from any other offering in Wakefield city centre.

Since opening in the summer of 2020, No Manches has fulfilled the need for great tasting healthy food in Wakefield as well as a great range of vegan and gluten free offerings.

Eat Drink Wakefield had a chat with the team to find out more about them and their plans.

Tell us a bit about No Manches and how it started?

We identify No Manches as Mexican inspired healthy eating and so we wanted to create a healthier take on Mexican food whilst using the delicious and varied ingredients, flavours and composition of traditional Mexican cooking.
We felt that there was not really much variety in Wakefield that had a range of vegan, gluten free and also options for meat eaters under the same roof whilst being healthy and also offering some naughty treats!
We focused on making sure that our main options really offer everything you need from a nutritious meal – proteins, carbs and healthy fats as well as plenty of vegetables!
At the same time we included fresh juices and smoothie options which are made fresh from fruits and vegetables, our Mexican hot chocolate is really the star of winter time drinks wise and it’s made from Belgian chocolate, chilli and cinammon (we also have a non spicy version for those who prefer it without and we also have an extensive coffee and iced coffee menu).
Whilst we really focus on healthy options, we also understand the need for a treat now and then and so we have some delicious desserts as well! It was really important to us that our dessert options are both vegan (Churros and Caramelised Banana) and that we have at least one gluten free dessert option too! 

What made you set up in Wakefield, and why Wood Street in particular?

We love Wood Street! It has a rich history and is definitely an up and coming street in Wakefield with lots of new places popping up so it has a really nice vibe.
And we chose Wakefield as we felt that we could really add something new and quirky to the food scene here. Our aim is to create food and drink that we are proud of and that would be appreciated in the area and we really felt that we could do that here.

No Manches is unique on the Wakefield food scene - did you see a gap in the market?

Yes, we definitely felt there was a place for Mexican food here in Wakefield but also for something a bit playful, colourful and fun!
We have a large, bright mural on the wall which we painted ourselves (so much fun!) and the whole design of No Manches really grew through our passion and excitement for the brand!
We put our heart and soul into creating a fun environment for people to visit and also a unique menu and we take as much pride in the customer experience when popping in as well as the food and drink itself.

There aren't any other Mexican style eateries in Wakefield - why do you think that is?

We aren’t sure why Mexican places haven’t stuck around in Wakefield as there have been various offerings in the past.
Sometimes it’s easy for Mexican eateries to go down the route of copying the Mexican chains which is what we wanted to avoid. We’ve seen so many Mexican places serving up greasy or heavy food and this is really what we wanted to step away from.
That’s why we use as little oil as possible in our preparation process and we also prepare our sauces, dips and dressings as well as all our fillings daily.
We feel that the freshness of our food and ingredients really shows and believe this is why we’ve been relatively successful.
As we previously mentioned we branded ourselves as ‘Mexican inspired healthy eating’ to avoid these stereotypes about the more unhealthy Mexican food.
We focus on the ingredients and flavour of Mexican cooking but we believe that the way we put the dishes together is a bit less traditional. 

How does the Wakefield food scene compare to bigger cities like Leeds and Sheffield?

We were really blown away by the positive response we had when we first opened just 6 months ago after the first lockdown.
We weren’t expecting to become so loved in the area and so quickly (of course we are still working hard on this and trying to build our reputation constantly).
We had a little sampling event before officially opening and handed out samples on the street and we were so pleased by the positive response by passers by of all ages.
Wakefield has a lot of food and drink places, however many of them are offering the same types of cuisine and even have very similar tasting dishes which is something we really wanted to avoid.
Our aim was to bring something completely new to the area and also create a brand that we can be proud of and stay passionate about.
From what we can see at the moment, Wakefield is really upping its game in new styles of food and drink and that makes it so much easier to actually enjoy our city and remain here rather that travelling further afield to get a good bite to eat. 

What's next for No Manches?

At the moment we are just looking forward to being able to open our doors again for customers eating in, once it’s safe to do so of course.
Our plan when this happens is to open the cafe in the daytime for eating in or take away lunches (which is how we started) and in the evenings we plan to offer just take out and delivery.
When we can open again we hope to really focus on our breakfast and brunch offerings as well which we started just before we had to close for the lockdown in November and which was starting to be really popular. We were serving dishes such as breakfast tacos and burritos as well as smoothie bowls and ‘No Manches breakfast’ which is poached egg with guacamole, chipotle mayo and roasted peppers on toasted sourdough.
These kind of dishes are available to take away now but it’s not really the same as enjoying brunch in house (our favourite meal to eat out)!
We serve our breakfasts with our fresh juices and great coffee- our coffee beans are from a local roastery called Limini and we grind our beans on demand when we make each coffee so they’re nice and fresh.
This is a side of No Manches that is not so well known but we really wanted to bring some unique and delicious breakfast and brunch options to Wakefield as, again, there’s not a great deal of option at the moment.

Where can we buy your food?

For now we are open for take out and delivery and our opening hours are currently Monday- Thursday: 11am- 2pm then 4pm-8pm/ Friday and Saturday: 11am- 8pm/ Sunday- Closed.
You can order online on our website- or by calling 01924 290515 during our opening hours.
We do also take pre- orders. You can order inside but as all our food is cooked fresh to order it can take a bit of time (normally 15- 20 minutes depending on how busy we are).

No Manches Wakefield

16 Wood St, Wakefield WF1 2ED