Phil Gyford


Tuesday 14 January 2003

PreviousIndexNext Mexican food and restaurants in London

My original post is old but this page is one of the top pages to discuss Mexican food and restaurants in London. So I’ll now keep this part of the page up to date with a summary of the many comments people have posted below, but you should also check out MexiLondon for more information.

Mexican restaurants etc. in London

(Last update 17 March 2008)

Cafe Pacifico and La Perla
Restaurants and bars in central London.
  • “No better than one of those nasty beer and mex places” — Nick.
  • “All my American friends here rely on their ‘Pacifico’ fix,gets them through the week!” — Peter
  • “A poor attempt at good West Coast mex/Mexican food.” — Dave G.
Chilango (formerly Mucho Mas)
27 Upper St, N1 and 142 Fleet Street, EC4A 2BP.
Cool Chile Taqueria
139-143 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS.
  • “Overpriced, portions too small.” — Mike.
  • “Disappointed. The food while well seasoned was cold and the meat reheated.” — Drew.
Crazy Homies
125 Westbourne Park Road.
  • “Not the world’s greatest burrito but it worked … The soft tacos were fantastic.” — Nick.
  • “The closest thing i can get to the tex-mex quesadilla i keep looking for” — Sarah.
El Panzon
Closed in 2008. At The Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LQ.
  • “I can not recommend it enough” — Dani.
  • “Absolutely the best Mexican restaurant in London” — Amanda Vinson.
Daddy Donkey
Has a truck on Leather Lane market.
  • “Still the daddy!” — Nick.
Freebird Burritos
Exmouth Market, EC1R 4PX (Mon-Thur 11am-3pm).
  • “Very good burrito, one of the best I have had in London.” — KD.
Goodge Place, W1T 4SF (Mon-Fri 11am-3pm).
Sunday Up Market, off Brick Lane (Sunday 11am-6pm).
A green van selling burritos on Whitecross Street Market (Mon-Fri lunchtimes).
Green & Red
51 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA.
  • “The food is fantastic” — Nick.
26-30 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0LU.
  • “The food here lacked much spark” — Amanda.
  • “Not perfect, but we’ll be going back. Interesting menu.” — Mike.
103 Hampstead Road, NW1 3EL.
  • “The food selection is really good.” - Kelli.
  • “Very good” — Holger.
  • “A bit pricey for the quality of the food.” — Paola.
  • “Great if you want really authentic mexican cuisine, but not really if you just want a burrito.” — Nick.
  • “It’s meant to be authentic but it’s anything but.” — Carlos.
  • “The food was disappointing” — Roberto Cervantes.
323 Fulham Road, SW10 9QL and 147-149 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3LF.
Was Beach Burrito Cafe on Berwick St, currently closed. Reviews for that branch:
  • “Whilst the burrito was good, it wasn’t amazing - but it’s certainly the best I’ve had to date in London” — Nick.
  • “The burritos there are by some distance the best I have enjoyed in the UK and certainly comparable with the best I have had in the US” — Rich.
Does takeaway and home delivery in south west London.
  • “Food is excellent.” — Holger.
  • “Their burritos are just as good as the ones I could get back in Cali!” — JC.
13 Islington High Street, N1 9LQ.
Opened 2007?.
66 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HG.
Opened August 2007.

Mexican food ingredients

Cool Chile Co.
Mail order ingredients (not just chillies) and has a stall at Borough Market.
El Azteca
Reportedly now closed. Mail order ingredients and has a shop at 164 Victoria Street, Victoria Village Shopping Centre, SW1E 5LB.
Lupe Pintos
Mail order tinned food, condiments, spices, etc.
Does lots of mail order Mexican ingredients.
Peppers by Post
Sells fresh chillies and tomatillos by mail order.

Strangely enough, the Boston, Massachusetts area has the same problem. There are some chain restaurants, and a few OK taquerias in Cambridge, but it's not a big town for Mexican food.

Italian food is ubiquitous (there's a huge Italian-American community here), as are seven or eight different East Asian cuisines, Indian food (probably not as much Indian as in London, though...) and, of course, you can get fish just about any way you like. But the Mexican offerings are paltry compared to what you can get further south or west.

Posted by Matt McIrvin on 25 January 2003, 12:41 am | Link

I agree 100% that London needs Mexican Food!! I am from Oklahoma - where there is a tex mex joint on every corner. I am now living in London and Tex-Mex or mexican food is in my top 5 list of things I miss most!!!

Posted by Sarah on 1 August 2003, 10:11 am | Link

It's a mystery to me that the UK in general has not embraced fast food tex-mex style. in the US, Taco Bell (operated by Yum foods..which Pizza Hut is part of), is the main, but they keeps costs low by using key places to process and ship food. There was a Taco Bell pilot outlet in London about 10 years ago, but it was noted that the food just wasn't the same, hence it's closure. I'm sick of Balti's and burgers, and mexican is still considered a night out with 3 courses..its long overdue here, for some kind of change to the present set up

Yo quiero Taco Bell


Posted by Jaime on 3 December 2003, 3:33 am | Link

There had been a great place around the corner from me on Westbourne Grove in Bayswater. It opened just a bit after I moved here in early 2001 but then closed after 9/11. It was very sad because the place was packed almost immediately, the menu was limited but did what it did well and everything was imported from Mexico (I'm from Northeast LA and Tex-Mex is NOT acceptable).

I don't know why the Brits never really took to it. Most liked the food but they just didn't frequent the place and once the Americans went they didn't have enough business to keep their doors open. The place is very sadly missed.

On the other hand, though the weird sawdust tasting tortillas that I find in the shops are too disgusting to eat I have recently discovered that what they refer to as "wraps" are almost decent flour tortillas. They won't win any awards but at least they are a start.

Posted by Jennifer on 6 January 2004, 11:05 am | Link

Just moved to London from New York and France, and Mexican food seems to be the one cuisine that I cannot find here. REAL Mexican food, NOT that TexMex crap that other posters miss. Over the past year I've been shuttleing between New York, Paris and London, and I cannot find a single decent place here in the UK. I spent part of my childhood in Mexico City, which I'm sure spoiled me for life when it comes to this. However, at this point, I don't need some hugely gourmet place where one gets the kind of food you'd find at a 3 star restaurant in Mexico City or New York, although that would be nice. I'd equally love to find some little taqueria/hole in the wall, anything, as long as they offered real corn tortillas, nothing involving cheddar or other processed cheese, and at least one Mexican person on staff. There must be some small enclave of Mexican nationals living around here somewhere...Any information would be greatly appreciated. I don't mind having to travel to get to it.

Posted by Jessica on 7 May 2004, 3:34 pm | Link

Recently moved to London from Mexico and seems like we share the same "pain"... been here and there and everything I find is fastfood or tex-mex, which by the way, has nothing to do with mexican food... this time i brought a full suitcase of mexican ingredients 'cause I can't find anything here... any clues? and of course I'm a good mexican cook... and responding to the add above... if i had the money i would open a taqueria in 5 minutes... LOVE IT!

Posted by Guillermo Martin on 25 May 2004, 7:41 pm | Link

Success!!! Found Mexican food supplies in London!! Can't vouch for the stuff because I have yet to try it, but it seems solid. I still haven't found a good restaurant, but I guess I can try to cook some stuff myself, so if you're feeling adventurous or just plain desperate, go to for supplies and then to for the recipes. They recently had a Bon Apetite feature online that had tons of recipes for authentic Mexican food written by a woman who lived there for 20 years. So, I'm about to head out to find supplies for carnitas and chilaquiles follwed by pastel de tres leches. Hope this helps.

Posted by jessica on 28 May 2004, 11:50 am | Link

Great stuff, thanks Jessica! I'll have to give it a try sometime...

Posted by Phil Gyford on 28 May 2004, 12:18 pm | Link

I've been living in London for nearly 7 years, originally come from Arizona, and the best I've been able to find is Cafe Pacifico, which is about a 30-second walk from the Covent Garden underground station. Still not quite like home, but it's a step ahead of the Texas Embassy (just off Trafalgar square) who recently changed their tortilla chips from freshly-made to obviously store-bought. Cafe Pacifico still has a few odd things like duck tacos, but I suppose they have to cater for the unique British palate. At least they are served in *real* soft corn tortillas.

Posted by Dave on 17 July 2004, 8:36 am | Link


Posted by Alberto on 10 November 2004, 8:36 pm | Link

Hi all... guess what? there is real Mexican food now being served in London!
It's a Kitchen called EL PANZON.
You can find it in the Hobgoblin,
95 Effra Rd., Brixton, London SW2

Proper Tacos, Burritos, Fresh Salsas & Gaucamole. A great Weekend Brunch!!! And it's cheap!!! Starting from

Posted by Grant Winters on 30 November 2004, 2:57 pm | Link

Mexican food goes far beyond enchiladas. There are different kinds of mole (perhaps one for each small town), pipian (a sauce which is made somewhat like mole); tamales (Oaxaquenos, Tabasquenos, Hidalguenses, Poblanos), ways of preparing chilis (in vinegar, toreados, rajas with cream, filled, with nut and pomegranate sauce, etc); gorditas (with migajas, molcajete sauce, pig nose in green sauce, pressed pork skin, etc); soups made with banana leafs, chili broths, pozole, tlalpeno broth; insects like ants and grass hoppers; jumiles (a kind of river water molusc); barbacoa (lamb meat cooked in a hole on the ground covered with banana leafs); different ways of preparing all parts of the pig and the cow (tongue, liver, kidneys, tripe, brain, etc); huitlacoche (the corn's mold, which was the dish of the Aztec emperors); the indigenous variety of cheese (fresco, panela, oaxaca),........and other kinds of dishes which even the population of the average Mexican city ignore simply because they haven't left the small town and indigenous world. The variety of dishes of the small coastal towns could fill many pages of an encyclopedia dedicated to international food. The tortilla is just one small aspect, though very important since it has 8000 years of existence.
The main characteristic of real Mexican food is its agressive and intense taste.
Definitely the adventure of Mexican food is missing in Europe, but that's just because there are very few of us in the old continent.

Posted by Leonardo Bautista on 5 December 2004, 6:32 pm | Link

Hi All

Gaby is from mexico City and has been here for 4 years, we have searched high & low for a Mexican Restaurant with the authentic mexican taste. Cafe Pacifico in Covent garden has definately come the closest offering chcolate mole which is more than the others we've tried have. I will be checking out as trying to make mexican at home is the only way to try and get close to the authentic taste. But the tortillas will never taste freshly baked the same day, the fanimal at thats used to fry cesadillas will always taste different to the animal fat from over here. We even found fresh flour tortillas in Safeways once but we never saw them again after the first time. Old el paso don't taste quite right nor do there beans but its as close as your going to get.

good luck all

Has anyone been to El Gringo Mexican Deli in Leeds I'm urious to know what they sell?

Gino Y Gaby

Posted by gino y gaby on 17 January 2005, 6:48 pm | Link

Hey why don't we open up a Mexican dive in London? Who's got time? Look, I found this site, because this is my key interest. I just moved here from LA. In college, I worked at a very very very successful Burrito joint called The Taco Stand in Athens Georgiea. I was a chef there and I know how to make great Mexican food in a Hippie-healthy-san francisco-mexican style. Who's with me???

Posted by scott on 24 January 2005, 5:06 pm | Link

Hi!! I

Posted by YESSICA on 30 January 2005, 10:12 pm | Link

Hi folks - I have lived here in London for a couple of years but moved here from Brooklyn where I had been spoiled by the availablity of corn tortillas and black beans - there is a guy at Borrough Market (Fridays and Saturdays just south of London Bridge) that makes some decent black bean soft tacos with guacamole and salsa. Hope this helps.

Posted by Christian on 5 February 2005, 12:13 pm | Link

i have been to el panzo in brixton and it almost made me weep with excitement.
having grown-up in arizona and california the lack of good mexican cuisine has been the one thing that has disappointed me the most here in london. grant, the owner, is really enthusiastic and loves doing what he's doing. i can not reccommend it enough. and hey it's good value by london standards. go and support him.

Posted by dani on 11 February 2005, 6:23 pm | Link

Read with great interest all of the above and was particularily pleased that you found the cool chile company and our range of Mexican Chiles and Mexican kitchen store cubhoard ingredients. Our latest news for you all is the opening in April this year of the Cool Chile Co. Taqueria. Yes, London's first Taqueria with tacos al pastor, a la Plancha and al carbon as well as tostados, antojitos and lots to drink. We have a Tortilla making machine just imported from Guadalajara which will make us up to 700 fresh corn tortillas an hour. It will be open 7 days a week with breakfast on weekends at 139-143 Westbourne Grove London W11. We will post news updates on the Cool Chile website as we have them and we look forward to seeing you all there for real Mexican.

Posted by Fred on 23 February 2005, 12:08 pm | Link

Hello y'all,
I have read your posts and also agreed that is hard to find a real mexican restaurant. It is even difficult to find mexican products in the supermarket. It's terrible!! As a mexican I can say that what I miss the most is my food..well, I guess my people too. But, after coming from the U.S, you pretty much find everything there, then I move here and expected to find everything too, taking in consideration that London is a big city as well as NY. Anyway, if it is for any of your interest if you are a restauranteer or deal with food & beverages products, I can provide with a contact in Mexico city who could bring any mexican product here to London, they have been in the business for more than 20 years so I am sure they know how to do it and get the good stuff here. Anyway, if you're interested don't hesitate to contact me at

Posted by Rodrigo on 5 March 2005, 11:18 am | Link

Anybody heard of or tried Mestizo, just at the bottom end of Hampstead Road, i.e. near what used to be Capital Radio? I was coming out of my flamenco guitar lesson at the nearby Latin Quarter tonight and saw a flyer. Touts itself as 'genuine' Mexican, rather than Tex-Mex or whatever.

Haven't tried it and I think the previous owners of the restaurant that was on that site were Venezuelan so it may not be muy autentico, but who knows.

Posted by Jolyon on 9 March 2005, 10:36 pm | Link

Hello everyone!
I will be going to the opening of El Mestizo Restaurant tonight and I will let you know what it's like, I must say that the menu looks very impressive, lots of delicious traditional dishes like mole, cochinita, pozole, carnitas, barbacoa, tinga and others with a twist like mushroom crepes with tequila cream sauce and the beef strips marinated with mezcal. I heard it's owned by Mexicans and that they have a Mexican chef too. If it's good I really hope it does well. I also heard there is a tequila bar upstairs serving a good range of tequilas and mezcales and Mexican beers.
I am from Queretaro married to a Brit and have lived over here for the last 7 years, missing Mexican food made me turn into Indian food for comfort, I would now happily have a hot curry with chapattis if I feel like tacos al pastor!!
I can't wait for the "Taqueria" to open! Imagine going down for a breakfast on a Sunday all hangover! Yes I do like my bacon buttie but I can't wait to have some chilaquiles!!
Para los mexicanos en UK tenemos este grupo
And here is a group for brits married to mexicans:

Posted by Paola on 17 March 2005, 9:32 am | Link

try mestizo mexican rest; on the hamstead road (number 103 i think) just opened 3 weeks and great mexican food. run and owned by mexicans

Posted by manolo on 20 March 2005, 11:59 am | Link


Went to El Mestizo last night. The range of food is impresive and all proper mexican cooking (not tex-mex). 5 different mexican beers (shame there was no Bohemia though as that's my favorite). I would say at least half of the customers were Latinos and most of the staff were Mexican with a couple of Spaniards! All of the staff were very friendly.

Posted by Marc on 3 April 2005, 12:22 pm | Link

Has anyone tried Discovery Food products available in most supermarkets? I work for them so am a bit biased but they really do taste good. Honest! Any feedback if you have tried our stuff would be great + any ideas for new products you would like us to make. Up to you!

Posted by Paul on 11 April 2005, 10:54 am | Link

I just moved here from Houston and I have lived on Mexican Food (Tex-Mex- Real Tex-Mex, not London Tex-Mex) my whole life. I miss Pappasito's so bad. I am so happy to find other Mexican food loving people here. I worked in Tokyo in 2000 and I found an awesome place there called La Tula in Akasaka, it was my saving grace. I was hoping to find the same here, not so far. We have been to Nachos on Fulham Road, High Chapparal in Greenwich, Texas Restaurant near Gloucester Station and so far it is not what I am looking for. I have had my mom shipping me taco seasoning and other ingredients because they do not sell them here. Does anyone know where I can buy Pinto Beans - Dry or Canned? I am going to make my own tortillas - I give up on the stores. Paul - I bought some Discovery Jalapeno's - they are very mild but probably best for the Brit palate.

Posted by Kelli on 13 April 2005, 8:03 pm | Link

Pinto beans no problem.. any good local store should have them, especially the ethnic or Indian super markets & stores. The beans are also known as rose/rosa beans. Fresh Jalapenos are easily available if you wish to prep your own pickled chiles for Nachos... good luck
P.S. If you fancy a really good Taco or Burrito... Head to Brixton to a Pub called the Hobgoblin on Effra Rd., a really good Mexican Kitchen inside.

Posted by pat on 20 April 2005, 2:00 am | Link

EL PANZON in Brixton, that

Posted by Soniq on 20 April 2005, 2:13 am | Link

The previous two comments concerning the Hobgoblin in Brixton both came from the same IP address within 15 minutes of each other... which does make me wonder if they're not simply innocent customers...

Posted by Phil Gyford on 20 April 2005, 6:16 pm | Link

My husband and I went to Mestizo last night. The food selection is really good. We loved the Empanadas. It was really really smokey, which sometimes affects the flavor of food, but there was a big group behind us which may have contributed.

Here is the official contact info for those interested, as I found it hard to find information on the internet before going.
103 Hampstead Road
020 7387 4064
Warren Street Tube Stop or Euston Tube Stop

Posted by Kelli on 24 April 2005, 10:15 am | Link

Having lived in Mexico myself and then working for a Latin American organisation in London on my return, I was surprised at the lack of 'real' Mexican food available in London. However, there is a fantastic company called El Azteca who do authentic Mexican catering for individuals and companies (their chilaquiles are fantastic) but even better, they sell Mexican products which any Mexican food fan will recognise - their shop is based in Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre and their website is is not to be missed!!

Posted by Jenny on 10 May 2005, 3:59 pm | Link

tex-mex is not Mexican food, they are too completely different things. However, in London there's something for everybody. El Azteca sells mexican products and has a good catering service for small to medium parties. They're located just off Elephant and Castle shopping centre or you can order online, the only drawback is that their website is in Spanish... As for tex-mex food, I'm not a fan, but I've seen a few places around Kensington and Tottenham Court Road (haven't tried them).

Posted by Mariela Almonte on 15 May 2005, 10:36 pm | Link

The day we get a taqueria like La Cumbre, the San Francisco Mission district landmark in London is the day i decide i love this city once again! I dream of the gorgeous carne asada super burrito's i used to eat there.!

Growing up in London, i only truly discovered the delights of Mexican and Salvadorean food when i spent some time living in San Francisco, and LA.

Man, what i would do to have a taqueria like La Cumbre or a pupuseria in London. Many times have i thought about opening a place, and now it looks like we might finally be getting something approaching what i used to experience all those years ago.

Fresh, healthy, tasty and not too pricey will be the key ingredients of success for a taqueria here in London and i'm 100% sure it would work - if they get those right, i will be a customer for life!
I live round the corner from the Hobgoblin/El Panzon and will give it a try this weekend - i often passed it by thinking "oh another pub/restaurant trying to pass itself off as something other than what it is" - thanks to the reviews and what i have read here today, i hope to be proven wrong. My friend from Texas is coming to stay tomorrow, wait until she finds out she can get a taste of some real (by all accounts) Mexican cooking round the corner from our flat, and not the watered down Mexican/Tex-Mex rubbish that most Londoners will try to pass off as "mexican food".

Expect my review next week...

Oh and Mestizo looks good too!

Posted by Dave Geffin on 24 May 2005, 12:45 pm | Link

hi guys I'm looking for a tortilla machine to open a "tortilleria" if you know somebody who have one please let me know Im looking any size. its impossible to find good tortillas in this country! potencial to open a taqueria later on :)

Posted by Ana on 26 May 2005, 1:38 pm | Link

The Taqueria in Westbourne Grove is opening in the next few weeks!!! Let's just hope the food is good and decently priced!!

As for mestizo, the menu is great yes, but don't get the taco tray, we had that on our last visit and was a bit disappinted, it wasn't that great and it was cold. But we did have some really nice Entres and deserts, will be back soon!

Posted by Paola on 3 June 2005, 11:43 am | Link

The taqueria in westbourne grove is open for lunch! Opening for dinner soon, i was told (by the guy at the Cool Chile Co at Borough market on friday)

Posted by Dave Geffin on 13 June 2005, 4:20 pm | Link

Taqueria is definitely up & running, though with a limited menu to start with.
I was there on sunday and it was certainly proving popular already.
Though it looked a little like they were finding their feet with service the tortilla machine (situated in the window) was busy making mounds of delicous fresh tortillas and the food was certainly of a good standard.
I suspect this will grow to be a really succesful place & look forward to seeing the menu expand.
All the cool-chile products are there to buy so you can stock up on chiles etc while there.
Other useful bits of info - black beans (dried not tinned) are now available at Waitrose. Plus if you are hunting tomatillos - they can be bought online fresh after July at and can be bought year round tinned at…. - they are also available at Borough Farmer's market once in season (Cool-chile's stall stock them I think).

Posted by andy on 15 June 2005, 9:59 am | Link

Hi ya,

I went to the Taqueria on Saturday and was very excited, it was so popular, we had to wait for a table and when we got to sit down we waited about 10 minutes to get a menu and then about 15 to order.
I understand there are 3 partners in the business, all of them rushed off their feet! and the other waitress (Fernanda I believe) who did not have a clue at all about anything whatsover (confused a beer with tamarind water and did not now what to say when I asked what that was).
One of the guys took our order after the Mexican lady asked us 3 times if we had ordered (although we said no, she wouldn't take our order). We were about to leave, and finally got served.
I understand the menu will change, but the one that they had was quite OK, the tacos al pastor were very nice and well priced at

Posted by Mark on 15 June 2005, 12:55 pm | Link

Shame about the Taqueria, I read a scathing review in the Independant too. I hope they can pull it together and make it into something special.
I hope Ramsey does drop by, they clearly have the food knowledge, but don't know how to run a restaurant. He could whip them into shape!
Bringing an experienced restaurant manager in would have been a good step. Apparently some huge proportion of restaurants close within the first year, I hope this isn't one of them!

Posted by Jonathan on 4 August 2005, 1:42 pm | Link

Check out - he's setup a burrito stand in Leather Lane market, next to Hatton Garden. Not the worlds biggest burritos but definitely v. tasty and (unfortunately) about the most authentic I've found anywhere in London.

Such a shame Zuni in Tufnell Park has gone - that was the best place in London for real southwestern food.

Have been to Mestizo and the place in Westbourne Grove, but both were too mexican for me (i.e. too proper) and not southwestern enough. All I want is a decent burrito and/or tacos ;)

Glad to see there are other like minds scouring London!


Posted by Nick on 11 August 2005, 12:44 pm | Link

I tried Daddy Donkey on Friday and it was very tasty. Thanks for the tip Nick - I'll be going again.

Posted by Phil Gyford on 14 August 2005, 9:51 pm | Link

i visited taqueria too and agree about the service. I thought the food was poor though and the portions are very small. You are right they need a manager to whip them into shape and someone to hire the right staff to get the place buzzin. Does anyone remember Babs from cafe pacifico in the 80s? she was hot and the best manager around. Me and all my mates thought she made the place. it was trendy (lots of famous people used to go), loud & brilliant music, great laugh, great food and all the staff were real characters. I went back a few years ago and it is now quite boring but still good food though. no more babs!?

Posted by rodrigues on 22 August 2005, 5:14 pm | Link

I definitely remember Pacifico in the 80s - when the food there was excellent. I don't know what happened to it but the last time I ate there (about a year ago) it had gone really downhill - no better than one of those nasty beer and mex places (Break for the Border springs to mind).

My biggest wish is that Baja Fresh opens over here (see i'm not holding my breath. Apparently Chipotle (i.e. McDs) is opening here soon...not that these are the greatest burritos in the world, but 100% better than the baked, fried, covered in beans and salsa nightmares that most places here serve...


Posted by Nick on 13 September 2005, 12:11 am | Link

Hey Nick-

Where'd you hear about the news of Chipotle opening here in Europe? What cities are they opening up in?


Posted by Celine on 23 September 2005, 5:05 pm | Link

If you are simply after California-style burritos and tacos, I recommend mexifresh in South-West London. They have 2 shops for take-away and delivery, one in Wimbledon and one in Sheen.
Food is excellent, but more California-Mexican than genuine Mexican. I recommend it - as close to Baja Fresh as anything this side of the pond.

Posted by Holger on 4 October 2005, 8:16 pm | Link

Mestizo was very good, at Cafe Pacifico no matter what what dish you ordered it appeared to be the same dish that arrived at the table. Reviews of Taqueria seem to be unanimous: expensive, bland and small dishes. I want to try El Panzon.

Posted by bill on 10 October 2005, 12:13 pm | Link

Did somebody say Chipotle is opening up in Europe? Please God let them come to London, I've just moved here from New York and I miss them so much. I'll promise to eat there breakfast lunch and dinner if they come to London...

Posted by Jonny on 21 October 2005, 6:49 pm | Link

I have found nothing to indicate Chipotle is coming here.

It's funny, my wife, who lives with me in London but is from NYC also misses Chipotle. We were going to eat in a mid town Manhattan branch last month when we were out there but we caught the office crowd. The line went out the door and inside it was about 30+ people deep so we abandoned it. What's so good about it?

Posted by Dave G on 4 November 2005, 11:40 am | Link

Well while the food is better quality than any other fast food place around and the guacamole is incredible, the real beauty of Chipotle burritoes is the fact that most full grown men cant carry more than two or three at a time. They're huge, and they're tasty - even Americans dont have any space left after eating one of those...

Posted by Jonny on 8 November 2005, 4:43 pm | Link

LOL ok, i usually prefer quality over quantity but not having tasted Chipotle, i can't comment on the quality (although the HUGE line in the mid town Manhattan branch i saw at lunch time must be testament to the fact they are doing something right.

So is this whole "Chipotle in the UK" thing just a vicious rumour, designed to get our burrito taste buds buzzing?

Posted by Dave G on 17 November 2005, 11:53 am | Link

Cafe Pacifico(the first Mexican restaurant in London)and now with their 3 La Perla Bar and Grills in town,there is no longer any excuse for not finding good Mexican food and drink here.
Check out their web,www.cafepacifico-laper… and see their impressive history.All my American friends here rely on their "Pacifico" fix,gets them through the week!

Posted by peter on 22 November 2005, 5:00 pm | Link

Does anyone know of a mexican place in Wimbledon? Ive heard they deliver and they are meant to serve FAB food....
Im from NZ but my top food is mexican mmmmm HUNGRY!!!

Posted by Amanda on 10 December 2005, 12:28 pm | Link

Cafe Pacifico really is a poor attempt at good West Coast mex/Mexican food. I know it's the best we have - or have had - in London, but it's pretty dire. I would hazard a guess most Americans end up there because of lack of alternative over the quality of the place.

As for the place in Wimbledon, it's called Mexifresh ( - they look interesting, am yet to try them as they are outside my coverage area, but looking forward to hearing what other people have to say about them.

Posted by Dave G on 12 December 2005, 11:05 am | Link

Thanks Dave!!!
Im treating myself to this tonight will let you all know how it goes ;)

Posted by Amanda on 12 December 2005, 1:12 pm | Link

Thanks Dave!!!
Im treating myself to this tonight will let you all know how it goes ;)But do you trust a kiwi??? haha

Posted by Amanda on 12 December 2005, 1:12 pm | Link

There really is no Mexicano restaraunts,in that area. I like Azteca's. LOL

Posted by Juanita on 15 December 2005, 11:00 pm | Link

Yea there is! Mexifresh!!! got a menu still havnt autually try it yet but looks great ....

Posted by Amanda on 16 December 2005, 4:32 pm | Link

So has anyone tried Mexifresh yet? How does it compare to West Coast US style burritos? If it's anything like the taqueria's of San Francisco, i'll be there in a shot!

Posted by Dave G on 4 January 2006, 12:53 pm | Link

Dear all..
I have been followin this site for a long time.. a lot of new comers... welcome... I know how you all feel that is why I decided it was time London found out what you guys have been enjoying for so long over state side... So... I opened my own kitchen after eating an awful lot of rubbish. This is what I´ve got for you.. :)
EL PANZON opened for in November 2004. Not the usual setting or place you would expect to find great Mexican food in London. This kitchen is situated in a large traditional tavern called the Hobgoblin in Brixton. This kitchen has gathered a large following from the local community for its tasty Burritos & Tacos. EL PANZON serves food 7 days a week offering food to eat in, take-away and a delivery service. Every weekend a late breakfast/brunch is served from noon till 5pm. Sunday Latin Roast every week from 12:30 till it is all gone. Check out the full menu on our website. Menu specials are available daily. Buen Provecho!
Address: EL PANZON @ The Hobgoblin, 95 Effra Road, Brixton, London SW2 1DF Tel: 0207 924 9888
I look forward to serving you soon... Grant(Panzon)

Posted by Grant ËL PANZON¨ on 15 January 2006, 5:36 am | Link

We went to El Panzon last night. It is absolutely the best Mexican restaurant in London. Mestizo has dissappointed me a few too many times now and the service at Taqueria (along with the bland, small expensive nature of the food) meant I have only been once. As for La Perla, an enchilada can not be microwaved. When I left El Panzon last night I had to admit that this was better Mexican food than I can make at home. It was just wonderful. The ingredients are top quality and properly cooked. I can't wait to go back.

Posted by Amanda Vinson on 31 January 2006, 4:21 pm | Link

Thanks Grant! I can't wait to go to El Panzon soon and try your food, sounds delicious!

Posted by Paola on 13 February 2006, 3:29 pm | Link

It's has been very difficult to find a decent Mexican restaurant in London, after trying Taqueria and being VERY disappointed, I tried Mestizo which is a bit pricey for the quality of the food.
I went to El Panzon and wasn't disappointed.
It's the kitchen of a very local friendly pub 10min from Brixton station.
The food is absolutely lovely and as authentic as it gets.
The portions are huge and very good quality.
I must say that the food bill came to £21 and we were absolutely stuffed!
The service wasn't that great as the girl didn't really know the dishes well but that's my only moan!
It was absolutely worth the 1 hour trip and can't way to go and try the Sunday Latin Roast.

Posted by Paola on 15 February 2006, 11:43 am | Link

Hello - recently moved to London and just had my first fat friend visit me from the States. This weekend it dawned on us that the Mex scene is poor to horrible and worse, I miss it like michael bolton misses hair. All we could talk about was opening up a simple burrito joint, offerring burritos, quesadillas and tacos. Coke and beer would also be served. Simple and good and clearly, not found in London. No tapas, no big prices and nothing complicated would be offered.

I am game to open one. I work in commercial real estate, could secure a location and will be availble to secure initial financing. If you're in, let me know. email

Also, my girl friend is Mexican which transitively makes me authentic.


Posted by Will on 21 February 2006, 12:34 pm | Link

Does anybody know if the Texas LoneStar on Gloucester RD in South Ken. is closed for good? (Yes, I know it is not authentic, but I liked the people who worked there, who were mostly authentic mexican students -- plus the drinks were good. Are there any friendly suggestions for what I can do if I want decent corn tortillas to take away, and am tired of having friends in SF meet the tortilla truck from Modesto before they fly over here for a visit. Thanks, Grover

Posted by Grover on 23 February 2006, 8:42 am | Link

Dear all... After the fantastic trip you guys have given me over the last 16 months!!! (TIME FLIES!) I shall be moving to a bigger & BETTER LOCATION. From Sunday 5th of March I will be serving the last "Latin Roast" at the Hobgoblin :( , But know worries.. :) we should be reopened from Wednesday 8th... From Tuesday the 7th of March you will be able to get the new details from Thank you for your repeated support & custom.

Posted by Grant ËL PANZON¨ on 25 February 2006, 2:40 am | Link

Panzon, please move round the corner from my home/work!!
Jokes aside, I hope it's more of a central location and that the prices don't go up too much!

Posted by Paola on 27 February 2006, 12:13 pm | Link

Paola... Good news :) EL PANZON is moving from the "Hobgoblin" to the "Dog Star"!!! A bigger & better location :)The location is;
The number for the business is the same... You will be able to get all the details from Tuesday 7th/Wednesday 8th of March on our web site....
Come down and say "Hello" :) or drop me a line and join our mailing list..
See you soon....

Posted by Grant ËL PANZON¨ on 3 March 2006, 4:31 pm | Link

Woohoo! I'm only 30 minutes away, so I will definitely be paying you a visit El Panzon! I cannot,at all, find any markets anywhere nearby that sells mexican ingrediants. Since moving here from California and having an abundance of authentic mexican restuarants with actual mexican people working there (I'm a mexican-american myself), I am missing my hard shell tacos, proper guacamole, menudo and refried beans!

Ever since making chilequilas and enchilada casserole for my british fiance, he can't get enough of the stuff! Of course, I'm not feeding him too much as mexican food is calo/carbo-rific! And I am in desperate need of enchilada sauce, like El Pato's brand (salsa de chile colorado). My parents shipped me two cans, and proper white corn tortillas, not those crappy "old el paso" corn tortillas that won't get crispy (or taste like real tortilla chips) for anything when fried. But I've run out!

We tried "El Chico's" in Streatham as we're only 10 minutes walk away, and it was..... alright. It seemed more tex-mex then mex. But I'm still not sure yet. I had two hard shell tacos with chicken (the taco shells were the store bought ones) and I ended up eating it with a fork as one side of the taco had just melted from it being so hot. It was mostly just mushed together :(

So, I'm looking forward to El Panzon!

PS - sorry if this has double posted :/

Posted by Tet on 5 March 2006, 1:40 pm | Link

I am interested in looking into opening a Mexican Restaurant in London.
Anyone interested in doing some research with me?

Posted by Katie on 24 April 2006, 8:20 pm | Link

We are in the process of opening a Beach Buritto place in London, Happy to talk to you about what we have found to date.

Posted by Ivan on 26 April 2006, 9:17 pm | Link

I emailed Chipotle a while back about opening a branch in London. They said that they had no plans at the moment and were concentrating on domestic expansion. And to reply to an earlier comment chipotle is not about quantity at the sacrifice of quality, I can assure you.

Since today is Cinco de Mayo I was really hoping to go out for some good mex but it seems that will not happen. All of the decent places appear to be outside the city center, Brixton, Wimbeldon, Hampstead and Daddy Donkey is only a during the day place.

Mexican ingredients can be found at El Azteca which is by Elephant and Castle. Also they sell some stuff at Borough Market (coolchile or something like that). I am intrigued by this Beach Burrito place as I could use a good burrito, so hurry up and open! Haha.

Posted by Waco Kid on 5 May 2006, 10:05 am | Link

Wow! I'm about to go to the supermarket for the second time since arriving back in London from Guatemala, and googled 'mexican supermarkets and found this - after reading through all the links and menus, I'm finally feeling hungry for the first time since the plane landed!

Does anyone know the opening hours of La Azteca? Thankfully I work fairly near it, there doesn't seem to be anything out in Far West London (sniff). And is there by any remote chance any other (online) supermarkets that anyone's found?

And I'd gladly build websites for anyone setting up restaurants - anything to help spread *real* food across London!

Posted by Chantal on 6 May 2006, 3:19 pm | Link

Question for everybody: if you had one place in London where you could put a San Francisco-style quick-service taqueria, where would it be? In other words, where are all the people who have been crying out for decent tacos and burritos (ie, the "early adopters")? Many people believe it's where the Americans are. And there are number of them in the financial district (the "City"). But that area is limited primarily to lunchtime traffic. Are there enough people that want tacos and burritos in the City to warrant opening one up there? Where would you put it?

Posted by Tom on 9 May 2006, 7:22 pm | Link

Hi all,

Quick update on my quest for a decent burrito in London :)

- Daddy Donkey in Leather Lane market is still the daddy!

- Mestizo in Warren Street is great if you want really authentic mexican cuisine, but not really if you just want a burrito. More mex than tex-mex. Great decor and food though. Proper moles etc.

- New find: Green and Red in Shoreditch. Basic decor but great Jalisco inspired mexican food. Amazing range of tequilas, but the food is fantastic. Choose your meat (carne asada is fab, as is the carnitas) and roll your own tacos with fresh soft tortillas. Chocolate churros for desert and you're loving life...

So glad this tiny corner of the Internet is here, with like minds....

Any updates from you lot? :)


(p.s. The Cool Chile Company is a great place for ingredients - UK importer I think - my girlfriend uses them for chipotles)

Posted by Nick on 10 May 2006, 3:02 am | Link

Just seen the Mexifresh link - thanks for that!

Going to check it out tomorrow :)


Posted by Nick on 10 May 2006, 3:04 am | Link

Tom -

I'd put it somewhere in or around Westbourne Grove, or somewhere in West London near the american expat community.

You couldn't rely on the average brit wanting decent burritos, because they're happy with Break for the Border, or Chiquitos! There's clearly a hardcore of mexican food lovers in London, all who want simple tasty good mex or mexicali food.

The best used to be Zuni in Tufnell Park - Glynis served the greatest chicken burritos, duck tacos etc. I was a regular there on a twice-weekly basis! She's head back to the USA now and it has closed down...leaving a vacuum.

So, Notting Hill, Westbourne Grove - that kind of area...imho...


Posted by Nick on 10 May 2006, 2:34 pm | Link

I've setup a mailing list called MexiLondon for us all to use (save hogging up Phil's blog comments!).

You can subscribe to it at :…

This way we can all communicate new discoveries, recommendations, reviews, that kind of thing and receive it in our mailboxes, rather than remembering to check back here.

See you on the list! :)


Posted by Nick on 10 May 2006, 4:52 pm | Link

Thanks for that Nick -- I hope everyone finds it useful!

Posted by Phil Gyford on 11 May 2006, 10:35 am | Link

"Cantina Mercado" a new Mexican restaurant will be opening on Church Street in Stoke Newington, London N16, in the former home of the "Yum Yums" Thai restaurant. According to the gent that runs tiendita Azteca down in E&C it should be real comida cooked by real Mexicans. Looks to be opening in a month or so.

Posted by Adrian Casillas on 14 May 2006, 1:00 pm | Link

I've put up a website summarising all the places listed here at…



Posted by Nick on 14 May 2006, 5:30 pm | Link

I went to Mercado Cantina in Stoke Newington Church Street last night.

3rd day in, and some ordinary overcome-able teething problems - but the food was great and varied. I couldn't be more delighted!

They have a website, which is 'in development' too:…

Posted by David T on 23 May 2006, 12:03 pm | Link

Whatever you do guys don't go to Mestizo on the Hampstead Road. I'm from Mexico but live here in London and was really looking forward to trying the food there. I'd heard it was meant to be the genuine article and so excitedly made my way there with my wife. Unfortunately the food was disappointing and when I politely pointed out to the waiter that the Tacos al Pastor which had been put in front of me were not quite what I'd been expecting (cold, flaky tortillas, large tasteless pork chunks and tinned pineapple) he sent the manager/owner over to deal with my complaint. The owner rudely proceeded to ask me what the problem was, how she'd never had any complaints from other Mexicans, where in Mexico I was from (as if that had anything to do with anything) and began shouting at my wife when she stuck up for me!!! I then asked for the bill and after a few minutes the aforementioned owner came back telling me to forget payment but in a way that made us feel like all she wanted us to do was leave the premises.... So we did, never to return that's for damn sure !!!! You've been warned guys !!!!

Posted by Roberto Cervantes on 24 May 2006, 3:01 pm | Link

Thanks all!!!!.

I just moved from the Bay Area last month and am really Jonsing for Mex food. I have lived in Austin and Houston Texas before Cali, so Mex food has been a regular part of my diet for a long time. Not eating it is alien to my system and I am going through some serious withdrawals. Nothing like some hot enchiladas with rice, beans, chips and some very hot salsa. Not to mention a very large glass of Dr. Pepper filled with ice.
Why don't people here like ice????

This weekend Mex food is on like donkey kong baby!!!!!!!
I will probably eat too much, swear I've had my fill and go back for my next meal after six hours. Will let you know how it turns out......

Posted by BK on 25 May 2006, 6:39 pm | Link

Hi come to Dublin..... I have a little Mexican cafe Burritos 'n Blues ...delicious I must say....

Posted by Debs on 18 June 2006, 9:02 pm | Link

Here I was trying to find the name of that place by E&C and I have found a wealth of information and a new place in Stoke Newington. Will have to try that out very soon.

I remember the days not too long ago when trying to find refried beans was near impossible. Being born and raised in California and living off of Mexican food was going to make my life a bit interesting over here. Especially when there were daily trips to places like Picante and El Gordo in Berkeley, that place in the Mission by the BART station for the late night snack, and Olamende’s and Las Golondrinas in San Juan Capistrano. I read in the Guardian a bit ago that Mexican ingredients were set to overtake Chinese in 2006 here in the UK.

My wife (a French person who knows about & loves good Mexican food) and I took a trip over to Green & Red after a day at Spitalfields. We found the Chile Rellano to be a very strange interpretation. Never had one like that, but maybe someone will like it. The carnitas had the right flavour, but at £12 for a good deal of fat was a bit steep. The Salsa Verde and tortillas were tasty though. La Perla in Covent Garden or Charlotte Street will do in a pinch, but not great. I did feel as though I had cheated on my wife when I went to the Cool Chile taqueria though – really nice carne asada. My only complaint is that they didn’t do take away – DAMN CRIMINAL!

From what it sounds like there will be more Mexican treats for us to eat in this country – maybe the Aztec gods are smiling on us.

Posted by Jason on 20 June 2006, 5:45 pm | Link

As an American living in London for the past several years, I found the info on your blog to be quite useful. I'm glad that there are finally some good Mexican restaurants to try. Bless!

Perhaps the next search should be for a decent pizza joint? I'm originally from Chicago and (was) quite accustomed to excellent stuffed or deep dish pizza (ie, Giordanos) and thus far, I've had little (IOW, "no") success (Pizza Express and Pizza Hut don't cut it, I'm afraid - they're good if you enjoy cardboard with a bit of tomato sauce..)

So far, 'Soho Pizzeria' (in Soho) is about the only place I've found that's somewhat ok, although they only offer thin crust. ;-)

What say you fine folks? Do you know of any place to try? Or URLs of sites that have previously discussed this?


Posted by Brian on 25 June 2006, 8:07 pm | Link

Supposedly, Crazy Homies is quite good.

Posted by David on 26 June 2006, 10:48 am | Link

Oye compinches - Having spent the last 11 years in LA and after many trips to Mexico, I respectfully have to say: Ordering tacos in a sit-down restaurant will likely bring disappointment. An LA food writer called Jonathan Gold, who I think is married to a Mexican once said that tacos lose their essential "chi" if they're eaten more than a minute or so after they're prepared. They taste even better if you literally eat them standing up, though crouching curb-side is also an option. Last week I ate so many huitlacoche tacos in Condesa, DF I think it may be coming out my ears!

I guess what I'm essentially saying is that this Taqueria place sounds like everything a good taco joint shouldn't be. Think of shawarmas or gyros and how they're usually a loud steamy place with one counter, flying knives hacking off meat, guys throwing your order at you and moving replace "shawarma"/"gyro" with "taco al pastor", por ejemplo.

Good luck Londoners, and god bless Borough Market. By the way - who serves good tamales in London, if anyone? Do Cool Chile do them? Sorry if this is longwinded, but I guess I'm opinionated about tacos, etc. tj

Posted by TJ on 28 June 2006, 11:52 pm | Link

Hey does anyone know the location with street address for the new Beach Burritos place soon to open in Soho? Thanks

Posted by scott on 29 June 2006, 12:56 pm | Link

Scott -

Found this :

Beach Burrito Company
4 Berwick Street
London, w1f 0pa

Looks like it's opening on 15th July - thanks for the heads up :)


Posted by Nick on 5 July 2006, 2:54 am | Link

hey Guys
The Beach Burrito Cafe is open.
Stop by and say HI to Michael & David, the owners. They have done a great job decorating the place and sold out of food withing 2 hours of the first day of business.

Finaly we have a place to eat a GREAT Burrito

Posted by Ivan on 7 July 2006, 7:57 pm | Link

As someone who lives in SW London, I can say that mexifresh is hit or miss. Its rather expensive for a burritio and I find their beans a bit too spicey (I'm a bit of a wimp in that regard).

Their tortialla chips, however, are excellent as is their salsa. Ordering on a weekend night can take a while. Mostly we have been satisfied though.

Posted by shannon on 7 July 2006, 8:04 pm | Link

Oh, also. If you like tortilla chips:

I am kind of liking the super-cheap (19p a bag) tortilla chips from Sainsbury's "basics" brand, as they are thicker than any of the other crappy chips you can get here, including the foofy seasame seed blue-corn health food store shennanigans. They are a bit on the salty side, but still nice. If only I didnt have to make my own salsa to go with them though...

Posted by shannon on 8 July 2006, 11:31 am | Link

Ivan (or anyone), do you have a phone number or web address for The Beach Burrito Company in Soho? What's their menu like?

Shannon, if you find Mexifresh's pinto beans too spicy then try their black beans instead, they're a lot less spicy. I adore Mexifresh's Burritos! I think they're just as good as the ones I could get back in Cali!

Posted by JC on 8 July 2006, 1:36 pm | Link

There's a great new Mexican takeaway wagon on Chapel Market. It just opened this past week and it's called Poblano. It seems to have moved a couple of times on the market, but you can't miss the red Poblano wagon.

And the burritos are great. You can choose all the usual fillings. I'm quite find of the hot salsa (which definitely has a kick to it). Best of all, everything is fresh and good and market-like. And served with such a nice smile too! Check it out.

Posted by Perry Seymour on 10 July 2006, 11:10 am | Link

chapel market is just down the road from me so that's ideal.

has anyone tried that mexican restaurant on upper street opposite the church?

Posted by Matt on 10 July 2006, 11:47 am | Link

i'm in the beach burrito cafe on wi-fi right now and my endless summer salad and double espresso is spot-on. i'm no mexican expert but it's packed and a lot of happy faces.

menus haven't arrived from printers yet apparently, and i'm not typing out the "CalMex" menu from the board!

Posted by Robert on 10 July 2006, 1:34 pm | Link

Has anyone else been to Beach Burrito? Dying to find out about how their food is and whether anyone would

Posted by John on 10 July 2006, 11:09 pm | Link

Hey guys thanks for the info on Beach Burrito Cafe will be checking it out soon!

Posted by scott on 11 July 2006, 6:07 pm | Link

Can someone please post a phone number for the Beach Burrito Cafe/Company?

What kind of place is it? Does it have proper seating for example, or is it more of a take-away type place?

What's on the menu? Is the food authentic CalMex?


Posted by JC on 11 July 2006, 7:32 pm | Link

Hey guys thanks for the info on Beach Burrito Cafe will be checking it out soon!

Posted by scott on 11 July 2006, 8:28 pm | Link

Went to Crazy Homies last week - not the world's greatest burrito but it worked, just. Still not quite what I'm looking for, but if anyone is near Westbourne Grove it's worth checking out.

The soft tacos were fantastic - I should have ordered them....Deb had them and I nibbled at them. Likewise the ceviche was great too. Definitely worth a visit...just not a fantastic burrito ( I think)

Going to try Beach Burrito Cafe next...


Posted by Nick on 13 July 2006, 7:15 pm | Link

Just in from grabbing a chicken burrito at Beach Burrito Cafe. Whilst the burrito was good, it wasn't amazing - but it's certainly the best I've had to date in London (barring Zuni of course). They've only been open a week so I expect that they will tweak their menus a little.

If you're looking for it, it's down the market end of Berwick Street (i.e. right in the middle of the red light area) and you can't drive down there on weekdays because of the market. It's a cafe type place with large bench seats and looks like it's really there to cater to working lunchtimes - but I could be v. wrong on this.

According to the guy behind the counter, in the past week they've been rushed off their feet - hence no website ("we don't need one yet")...they're THAT busy.

Guac was a little too limey, chicken a little flavourless, but all in all a CalMex burrito that's definitely in the right direction. IMHO between this and Daddy Donkey is the best burrito that London currently has to offer (still need to get to El Panzon and a few others).

Happy hunting!


Posted by Nick on 14 July 2006, 2:56 pm | Link

Hi All
Just wanted to post to everyone that my brother and I have opened up a little trailer stall on Chapel Market called Poblano Fresh Mexican Takeaway. We've been wanting great burritos and soft shell tacos since moving here 5 years ago and so we decided to make it happen!

Chapel Market is situated just 3 minutes walk from Angel tube in Islington. It is the street that runs just along the big Sainsbury's there.

We opened on 1 July and are on the market thursdays, fridays, saturdays, and sundays with possible plans to open on wednesdays as well in August. We open from 11 to 3 pm most days (depending on how long the food and people last). We're serving chicken, steak and vegetarian burritos with all the fixings, or corn and flour soft shell tacos as well. We're in a bright red trailer that you can't miss, situated just near the Euphorium bakery on Chapel Market for those who know the area.

If you are nearby or visiting the market, come check us out! If you have any questions or need directions, feel free to call: 079 525 87107

Posted by Brendan on 14 July 2006, 7:48 pm | Link

I went back to Beach Burrito Cafe today as I happened to be in town anyway. Believe it or not, the burrito I had today was better than the one I had yesterday, and Mike the owner said to me that they are still tweaking their menu as they're so new.

This is definitely the place that you have been looking for! Proper burritos and soft tacos in a relaxed and easy atmosphere. Great value and amazingly tasty - has now gone in as the undisputed #1 burrito in London, and that's within a few days of opening. At this rate they will be producing incredible burritos within months.

If you're anywhere near Soho, you have to try it out. I asked about carnitas, but Mike said that he's trying to get UK people to know what it is first! No doubt somethign for the future...


Posted by Nick on 15 July 2006, 4:50 pm | Link

Mmm, couldn't agree more, the Beach Cafe is ace, it has become our local haunt this last two weeks!! Definately the best burrito I've had outside the states.

Top tip mind you: gets very busy 1pm onwards (like queues down the street), so to get a seat and served quick pop by between 12 and 12:30pm.

Nice to eat in too, feels a bit beachy :o)

Posted by Thayer on 24 July 2006, 6:53 pm | Link

The best place for mexican ingredients is Azteca Foods in Elephant and Castle.…

Their online and delivery service is terrible (as good mexicans) but the shop is amazing so better go in person.

From fresh tortillas, salsas verde, taquera, borracha, chicharron, flautas, chipotles, tequila, agua de jamaica, etc. Its worth the trip to Elephant and Castle for a bit of shopping!

And by far Mestizo is the best mexican.


Posted by Juan on 26 July 2006, 1:01 pm | Link

I've been going to the Beach Burrito Cafe at Berwick Street since day one. It's definitely what central London needs: a fresh, authentic CalMex feed for under 5 quid. And for all the burrito virgins in town (this stuff is pretty novel in a town full of sushi bars and gourmet sandwich shops) the handsome hunky guys behind the counter will help you out... provided that they aren't too busy serving the huge queue of customers. The salsa is amazing. And try the lemon drink that they make. It's awesome.

Posted by Drew on 27 July 2006, 8:16 am | Link

when is beach burrito actually open though? i've been down there about three times and it's been closed each time.

Posted by mk on 28 July 2006, 3:33 pm | Link

I think they cater mostly to weekday lunchtime trade from local business, but I went in last Saturday for a burrito lunch...

Try lunchtime - I doubt they're open evenings...but will check opening times next time I'm down there. I've been going there at least twice a week :)


Posted by Nick on 29 July 2006, 3:27 am | Link

Does anyone know the hours Beach Burrito is open? I will have to travel a distance to make it there and do not want to find it closed upon arrival.


Posted by John on 2 August 2006, 8:41 pm | Link

Hi everyone - My partner, Michael, and I own and run the Beach Burrito Cafe, and I just wanted to thank you very much indeed for your support. Michael is originally from San Diego, and is a fantastic chef (even if I am biased!), so we like to think he knows his californian/mexican food! We even employ mexican staff! We are trying very hard to establish a place with great food and a good vibe, so would welcome any comments you may have as to how things could be made even better. We have recently changed the menu a little - let us know what you think. We are usually open from 11am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, although we may have to shut earlier on the very odd occasion if we run out of food!
We look forward to meeting some of you soon - mention this blog when you come into the Cafe! :o)

Posted by David on 3 August 2006, 1:54 pm | Link

Im very much a tex-mex lover and work in Soho and have been to Beach Burrito EVERY day this week. Being a vegetarian i was pleased to still be catered for whether it be Tacos, The Taco salad or the yummy Burritos. My vote definitely goes with the Burritos. Generous filling by both London and Soho standards (a skinny wrap with barely anything in is only about 30p cheaper in Soho). The vegetable filling is very good, this week being courgettes and sweet potato amongst others. The Salsa is very good indeed, tastes very fresh thanks to a generous use of Coriander and lime juice and the Guacamole was equally impressive.

As for the Menu- Theres a selection of traditional lunch wraps, Burritos (vegetable, chicken or beef), Tacos (same fillings), Quesadillas, Nachos and a Taco salad.

Finally a place that serves decent tex-mex in London. Hopefully im gonna be able to stop off in Benny's Burritos in NYC this summer.

Posted by Pokey on 4 August 2006, 2:00 pm | Link

Wel I'm mexican and I haven't found a restaurant who serves REAL mexican food (Tex-Mex is not what we eat on a daily basis, indeed, is NOT mexican), unless you've been in Mexico as a tourist or live there for a short time you will realised that our food variety is so extense as each part of the country has a regional dish. I come from Puebla, and the most famous dishes are the Mole Poblano (best known as chocolate sauce),the "Chiles en Nogada" (Poblano chilly Pepper filled with "Picadillo" made of beef mince meat and covered. with Wallnut sauce) and the red and green Pipian, just to name a few. I would be more than happy if someone can tell me that is possible to eat "mole" somewhere in London. I am not normally homesick, it's just that sometimes I have this "cravings".

Posted by Norma Romero on 7 August 2006, 12:24 pm | Link

Norma -

Check out Mestizo :

"Real" mexican food in a great restaurant...


Posted by Nick on 7 August 2006, 1:21 pm | Link

Food is horrible at Mestizo, it's meant to be authentic but it's anything but. Go to Paris, they've got great Mexican restaurants there, certainly doesn't seem to be the case here in London...

Posted by Carlos on 8 August 2006, 3:44 pm | Link

There is a definate, concerted difference between real Mexican food, and what many (including myself) are clamouring for, which is california style mexican food (forget Tex-mex, that doesn't even come into the equation as far as i'm concerned).

I have only had "real" mexican food a few times, but not in London. For now at least, Beach Burrito Cafe is doing well to fill the big gap of West coast taqueria type joints which London has been lacking in. Hopefully this will grow in time, but this is what myself - and i think many on here - seem to really be hankering for - somewhere to grab a £5 foil wrapped burrito, you know what i mean?

Having been to Beach Burrito Cafe, i can heartily say it's the closest we now have to West coast style cali-Mex or whatever you wish to brand it as. Be sure to ask for a "hot" burrito, which comes with jalapenos and hot chipotle sauce, which is a nice addition. Hopefully they might do salsa piquante at some point too, so the hot heads amongst us get a salsa with a real kick to it.

Posted by Dave G on 15 August 2006, 1:32 pm | Link

I went to Mercado on Church Street in Stoke Newington last night and was very disappointed. It is exciting to see regional Mexican restaurants opening up, but the food here lacked much spark. There also seems to be a lot of trouble with the service. My table and the two next to our table all had to speak to the restaurant manager. One about the quality of the food, the other about the slowness of service and finally we had to complain because they refused to honor a special offer from It is a pity, as the cocktails are actually quite good, but I don't think it is worth going back.

Posted by Amanda on 21 August 2006, 3:50 pm | Link

On the recommendation of this blog I went to Beach Burrito Cafe today. (I went with an English friend of mine who lived in SF for awhile and learned to appreciate a proper burrito.) We loved it! Definitely the best I have had since I moved to London! But. . . my only complaint. . . where is the foil? We saw people eating their burrito with a knife and fork, that is just wrong! You should be able to walk in, grab the burrito and eat it while you walk away.

David, Michael, foil wrap those burritos and I will be there every day! ;)

Posted by Alexis on 25 August 2006, 1:27 pm | Link

I've lived here for 7 years, and there's definitely some movement in the market, just in the last year or two, which is great!
My opinions:
Taqueria: overpriced, portions too small.
Green and Red: authentic flavors, great place for premium tequila, lots of fun, good staff, 'London' pricing
Mercado: went there tonight - not perfect, but we'll be going back. Interesting menu. Drink and tequila prices very reasonable.

Will also be checking Azteca soon for ingredients (I hope I can stop filling my suitcase with dried chiles, hominy/pozole, oregano, canned chiles, mole' base, etc. every time I go back home now ;-)
and Panzon at Dogstar, maybe this bank holiday weekend.

Question: I'm really looking for *Mexican* chorizo for my eggs - does anyone know of a source? I've only ever found Spanish chorizo, which I like in that context, but not with Mexican food.

Posted by Mike on 26 August 2006, 2:11 am | Link

I am from Mexico City and was told to go to Taqueria in Notting Hill. What a total insult to Mexican food, to Mexican people. I was particuarly horrified by the man who served me who I assume was the owner, a rude, unhealthy looking British man, who was so rude when I asked for salsa, I thought he would shoot me. Not to mention the unsanitary toilets and the fact my margarita tasted like bath water. The food was ok until I was served the 'pastor' tacos which were so greasy I did not eat them. What a shame.

Posted by Elena G on 2 September 2006, 8:05 pm | Link

Having grown up in El Paso with family from Mexico City, Taco Tote was one of the best "traditional" chains we could sink our teeth into. I moved to San Antonio, and low and behold, a chain popped up there. Everyone from El Paso, Juarez, and any other Texas border towns, lined up to buy their delicious tacos. I'd like to contact there owner, they would make a fortune opening up a Taco Tote in London!

Posted by Annette on 3 September 2006, 12:28 pm | Link

Hi Guys... Just to let you know this coming Friday, 15th of September, is Mexico's Independance Day. We are running a special menu over the weekend to celebrate the fact...
Chiles en Nogada
& Pazole on top of my regular Menu. So if your interested in Celebrating come down and see me at the Dogstar in Brixton...
389 Cold Harbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LQ

Posted by Grant (Panzon) Winters on 14 September 2006, 12:50 am | Link

Beach Burrito Cafe has recently added carnitas to their menu - my current fave burrito there. As far as I know, they're the only place in London doing proper carnitas burritos...yum!


Posted by Nick on 17 September 2006, 2:25 am | Link

crazy homies is great! i've been there a dozen times, and while they don't have a good, traditional chunky tomato salsa, the other three are amazing -- as is the guac. i always get the pork gringa which has melted cheese and cispy/soft tortillas, and is the closest thing i can get to the tex-mex quesadilla i keep looking for too.....

you can make reservations downstairs which also helps, since the upstairs gets packed. (apparently it's expanding though.) ok, i think i need to have tomorrow's dinner meeting there!

Posted by sarah on 24 September 2006, 4:49 pm | Link

My name is Sol Flamberg and with my wife Monica we have started the website we sell those hard to find latin american and mexican food products that you can't get in the UK.

My wife is from Guadalajara, Mexico and when she moved to the UK we brought all the mexican food we would need for a few months with us...that soon disappeared and I started to hunt for various stock items that we needed in our mexican kitchen. I did find the things I needed but it involved around 8 different places...that's when we thought there is an opportunity here.

6 weeks ago we started work on the site and we went live over the weekend, our credo is that we are providing a service to our customers who are missing and looking for those hard to find mexican products that make up a mexican kitchen. We are caring company who focus on customer service and we are focussing on pricing our products to benefit our customers whilst keeping the company healthy enought to expand...our long term vision is to open a small store with a cafe/restaurant. But little by little ;o)

If there is something you are craving let us know via our forum and we'll scour Europe to find these products for you. We hope you can help support our fledgling business and look forward to seeing you on our site

Posted by Sol Flamberg on 3 October 2006, 9:08 am | Link

I live in the British Virgin Islands, and want to open a Mexican restaurant in Tortola, does anyone know where I can get a Taco maker like they have in Pappasito's?
Thanks for the help.

Posted by keith on 10 October 2006, 8:02 pm | Link

Your birth day soon ? we have found this MEXICAN RESTAURANT in wimbledon , TU CHICAS KHAYA at 12-14 Leopold Road , wimbledon , sw19 7bd . Our party of 29 had various remarkable cocktails/shooters , delicious food anda fantastic time . We have decided to have PARTY MENU @ £15/person which inluded a glass wine , choice of starter and a main meal !!! What a bargain . The restaurant was very busy all seem to be in a party mood. My complimentary birth drink with a sparklers and all restaurant singing HAPPY BITHDAY made my night special.

Highly recommended and we will return for a meal or an excuse to have another party there.

Posted by taner on 11 October 2006, 12:12 pm | Link

tu chicas mexucan restaurant in wimbledon.

Posted by taner on 11 October 2006, 12:14 pm | Link

went to beach burrito for the first time yesterday, was very good! planning on trying the one on chapel market in the next few weeks, as well.

i ended up having the regular burrito, with just beans, rice, cheese and guacamole...i found the veg filling (sweet potato, zucchini and carrots) to be a bit weird, and enjoyed it without. we got chips, salsa and guac just for kicks, and the pico de gallo and guacamole were great.

i picked up their menu/leaflet to fill in some blanks here...they take phone orders for orders of 3 or more, phone 10 minutes or more in advance of pickup. 020 7437 3010.

they're open 11-6 monday-friday, and the menu says 'soon to be open till 10pm' which would be great!

Posted by colette on 22 October 2006, 3:50 pm | Link

So, what is the verdict on Beach Burrito? Is it proper burritos, stuffed with chix, steak, beans, guac, etc?

Also - anyone care to comment on Mexifresh? It's in Wimbledon.


Posted by Will on 24 October 2006, 9:26 pm | Link

I've been to Beach Burrito several times for lunch. I always seem to get the chicken taquitos, which are delicious. It's the first time I've tasted the correct flavors here in the tortilla shells, the guacamole, and of course the chicken. It gets busy at lunchtime, but the queue moves very quickly, and the staff are great!

Posted by Mike on 26 October 2006, 5:08 pm | Link

I was recently in London and will be returning again soon. I found as you all note in the comments that a good Mexican restaurant was hard to come by. I tried the Taqueria in Notting Hill and was not impressed. Has anything changed sonce the last posting? any new places open up?
Thanks in advance for your comments.
London lover in the US

Posted by Jose on 6 November 2006, 4:54 pm | Link

are david and michael still reading this blog? beach burrito cafe is good, but the veggie options can get kinda weird. pumpkin in a burrito? i miss my world wraps from palo alto.

Posted by hussein on 11 November 2006, 5:40 pm | Link

Hi Nick!

Joel from Daddy Donkey here. Thanks for the mention. Felt I better add a few words on how things are going: really well! Am in the process of designing a much larger burrito truck, which will give us additional space to start office deliveries in the city area. However this won't be until early next year. All info. will be included in our new website. Anyone interested can drop us an email and we'll add them to our email database for future Daddy D updates:

See you at the stall,


Posted by Joel on 14 November 2006, 6:16 pm | Link

Does anyone know where I can find tomatillos? Are they seasonal? I am hoping I can get them year round in London.

Posted by John on 16 November 2006, 6:05 pm | Link


You'll find it difficult to find fresh tomatillos here. I've heard there's a business in the south of england (think it's devon) that produces them in green houses - along with chillies - which you can order seasonly via post. In london there's a wholesale business at new covent garden market where i've found them fresh in boxes. can import but cost about 30 quid a box and have to order specially in advance. Mxfoods do wholesale tinned tomatillos; and cool chile company create a tomatillo salsa you can buy in jars. Other than that i'm tapped. If you find a fresh supplier please let me know!!

(daddy donkey)

Posted by Joel on 20 November 2006, 5:44 pm | Link


Thanks a million for the reply and info. I am moving to London early next year and one of my favorite foods to make is fresh salsa verde. Sounds like I will have a difficult time finding fresh tomatillos, but a least I know what I am up against.

Thanks again,


Posted by John on 20 November 2006, 6:11 pm | Link

Hilarious to read expats arguing about texmex vs calimex vs mex! If you ever go to Houston TX, stop by at 100% Taquito for the best mexico city type tacos, or Melys for a the best tex mex. Dont bother with Chipotle; its crap. As for London, all new additions are welcome...

Posted by OS on 22 November 2006, 7:52 pm | Link

Beach Burrito Cafe is now open until 10pm. I do not lay claim to the years of experience or expertise possessed by some of the posters here but the burritos at BBC are by some distance the best I have enjoyed in the UK and certainly comparable with the best I have had in the US. Friendly staff, decent decor and music, surprisingly cheap and generous for the location -they deserve to succeed.

Posted by Rich on 22 November 2006, 8:53 pm | Link


I have been planning to move to London..and I have heard so many stories about not having good mexicans restauran it is very dissapointing..One of my ideas was to work for one I make awesome margaritas...and some good authentic mexican food..which I know people would love..would be happy to share receipies and if you open your restaurant keep in touch..would like to know more about it!

Posted by Angie on 1 December 2006, 11:17 pm | Link

Hey all,

I have a few food related questions for all you Londoners out there. My cousin and I are coming to London in either early spring 2007 or late fall 2007. We are planning to rent a flat for a month and were planning to cook most of our meals. Thanks to everyone who posted about where to obtain quality Mexican groceries. I don't feel so bad about wondering where we were going to find supplies when folks who LIVE in London were having similar issues. We're used to cooking up 'aracherra' here in Chicago. I'm told the cut is called a flank steak. Can I readily obtain this cut of meat in London, or am I going to have to make do with what's available? BTW: I am already ascribing taste/texture differences to the fact that we won't be eating Midwestern US raised beef and we won't extract the exact same taste from the meat no matter how well I season it (with beer, lime and seasoned salt).

Next, we're planning to have a real Mexican barbecue and I'm seriously thinking of bringing a little smokey joe barbecue from here and using it there. I've been to London a few times, but I've never shopped in your grocery stores. Can you readily get charcoal for grilling there? I found a smokey joe barbecue for like 3 times what it's retailing for at Wal-Mart. Trust me, if I'm packing for a month, a smokey joe will fit in a good sized duffle bag. Besides, I'm sure someone we know there will take it off our hands on our way back home. Anyway, thanks, in advance for any suggestions. And Happy Christmas everyone!

Posted by dj Los on 23 December 2006, 12:12 pm | Link

Just found this thread, I am a huge mexican food fan and I cant believe there are so many others who think the same as me, I thought I was one of few :-) I tasted an amazing burrito when I visited North Carolina to a place called Johhny B's ( if you are ever in that area you have to try this place, it still is the best I have ever had!!!
Since then I been searching in the UK for so many years and like many others have thought of wanted to create my own burrito place (infact I still do). I resorted to perfecting them myself at home now. I tried beach burrito last week and found it as close as I can get to the original, just lacking the spice and if they added some spicy pico de galio I think they will have it spot on (being a veggie thats the only one I have tried) After readings Nicks mexilondon place I am very keen/dying to try daddy donkey and also this place in chapel market which sounds the business :-)
I have been to mexifresh, and even though its good and has the right idea with really fresh ingredients it just doesnt hit the right taste buds (I feel like getting in their kitchen getting their ingredients and creating my own one) I also tried crazyhomies and I liked that place, even though the burrito was not the type I was after it was still good and they had spicy salsas and fresh, tasty guacamole and chips, I think for me it has to have great pico/salsa really spicy with lots of lime juice/flavour, and good mexican rice, guac, cheese, lettuce, veggies, chillis (being Indian I put some hot green chillis and also some fresh jalapenos for taste and texture) good beans and thats it as the main certainly seems like finally we may start getting some great mexican food here in London for the enthuisiast, it still is one of my favourite foods...

Posted by KD on 30 December 2006, 5:19 pm | Link

Hey DJ Los,
Bringing a smokey joe sounds like a great idea! (Can't believe your commitment if you're only coming for a month.) As for the beef, I don't know if the butchers call it flank steak here, but it should be available if you can show it to them on a chart maybe. And you're right about the flavor - it's clearly different, because most u.s. beef is grain fed, and aged, whereas here it's mainly grass fed. Heston Blumenthal (a fancy chef here) had a program on tv recently where he described the differences in detail. And let me know when you're done with the bbq - I might take it off your hands!

Posted by Mike on 16 January 2007, 6:26 pm | Link

Has anyone tried Exquisite in Finsbury Park? Great little place on Blackstock Rd that does an "exquisite" and very filling vegetarian burrito, among other dishes of course.

Posted by mk on 26 February 2007, 5:15 pm | Link

Thought you guys might find an interview I did with Joel from Daddy Donkey interesting! Enjoy.…

Posted by Krista on 10 March 2007, 10:12 am | Link

Have any Londoners or Americans been to BARBURRITO in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester? How does it compare to the Beach Burrito Cafe in Soho and proper Calmex back in the US?

It got a very good review in the Guardian recently:…

Website for Barburrito is:

Is it worth a trip up to Manchester especially?

Posted by MC on 22 March 2007, 7:10 pm | Link

"Mestizo" is an elegant and spacious Mexican restaurant in the center of London. Forget the Tex-Mex experience, this has nothing to do with that and enjoy the real thing. Around 20 pounds per person. As a Mexican, I recommend you the stuffed peppers,the steaks and the pozole (soup).

Posted by Lisbeth on 23 March 2007, 6:55 pm | Link

All of you should go to "Mestizo" restaurant in the Center of London (near to Warren street station or Euston station). It is real Mexican food, cooked by Mexicans and established by Mexican owners.

I recommend the stuffed peppers, the authentic taco tray, the steaks and the Pozole (soup). Normally I have a great time there, it is modern, spacious and has nothing to do with the Tex-Mex tacky stuff. Sometimes, it can get slow if there are many people but it is ok.

Book first because it could be full sometimes. Around 20 pounds per person.

After many years of waiting in London, enjoy the experience.

Posted by Lisbeth on 23 March 2007, 7:26 pm | Link

Can anyone comment on barburrito? I too have heard of this place and am wondering how it is?

Posted by Ian on 5 April 2007, 11:14 am | Link

I've been to Beach Burrito a few times since it opened, and I have to say I'm extremely non-plussed with the place. YES, it is great to finally have a burrito bar in central London but it's missing the mark in so many ways.

1) The menu is fairly limited, and doesn't allow for any customising of your food - actually you can order guacomole or sour cream as extras, but you pay for them!
No choice of different beans, hot or mild salsa etc etc.
2) They put lettuce and tomatoes inside the burrito, what?!
3) I went with a vegetarian, and the person making up the burritos was patting down meat on my burrito, seconds before handling the vegetarian one, needless to say my friend complained, left the burrito and took a refund.
4) packet bought chips are just WRONG. they're not even exotic packet types, they were doritos when I've been there, and they suck.
5) no foil on the burritos (as mentioned by a previous poster) meant my burrito was all over the place while I tried to eat it, plus it was cold pretty darn quickly - the inclusion of salad within the mix didn't help keeping it warm either.

I'm genuinely disappointed by the place. I know we need some Mexican food in London but why get over-excited about this place?

Posted by Jimmy P on 5 April 2007, 1:40 pm | Link

Thanks for the update Jimmy.

Can anyone comment on barburrito in Manchester? Before I make a trip up North I want to make sure it is worth it!

Posted by Ian on 6 April 2007, 11:47 am | Link

Has anyone heard of Freebird Burritos of Exmouth market? I came across them mentioned on another site. Anyone ever been there?

Posted by Paul on 7 April 2007, 2:45 pm | Link

I think I have to agree with Jimmy P here, as much as I love burritos they just didnt cut the mark, and it has sooo much potential. I think the best I have had in london is still Daddy Donkey by far and then Wrap it up in Liverpool Street, London, not even a mexican outfit but has all the right tastes. I am trying to find out about feebird in exmouth market too so if anyone does know I would love to hear about it

Posted by kd on 9 May 2007, 9:20 pm | Link

I have to recommend Oscar's in Whitely's shopping centre in Bayswater. Having been several times, there food is just truly fantastic.

Portions are also very large, and the service is also good.

A place to avoid is the Texas Embassy near Trafalgar Square. Their food is overly salty and drenched in oil. It makes me miss Taco Bell in the States even more!

Posted by James on 12 May 2007, 12:29 am | Link

I second the Daddy Donkey recommendation. Their burritos remind me of those I used to get at Freebirds in Austin, Texas. A bit pricey, but cheaper than flying to Austin.

I've been to El Mercado once and will definitely be back. I didn't think much of their margarita, but I'm just as happy with Negro Modelo, which they provided promptly. I was disappointed that they were out of guacamole, but relieved once I saw how big my plate of "Crepas de Cuitlacoche" (sort of like mushroom enchiladas; really damn good mushroom enchiladas). My partner enjoyed his meal as well. Something with meat and mole. I can't remember.

Does anyone do much Mexican cookery at home? Where do you get your ingredients? I had a friend send me a bunch of dried chilis from Texas, and I managed to find some way overpriced masa, chilis and tomatillos at the Cool Chile Company in Borough Market (and poblano peppers at another stall). Any other recommendations?

Posted by Monica on 13 May 2007, 7:50 am | Link

Hi, I own a Taco Place in Mexico, usual stuff: tacos al pastor, gringas, bistec, hawaianas, volcanes, frijoles charros, etc. They sell pretty well. Because of the lack of security in this country I am looking for a place to move my business and my family as well. Anyone interested in a business partnership? Been in the business for 18 years.

best regards,

Posted by FRANCISCO on 14 May 2007, 12:19 am | Link

anyone been to freebird burritos on exmouth market? i think there awesome but want to know if anyone else has been there or should i have just kept this little gem to myself....

Posted by brad on 17 May 2007, 7:36 pm | Link

Freebird does exist...yeaaah :-) I found them today at exmouth market. I have to say I was impressed. Very good burrito, one of the best I have had in London. Having only tried it the once I havent ordered it exactly like I like them (amount of chilli, pico etc) and have to say as a base model they did well. Daddy Donkey is not far from there so thought I would to a compare :-) well they have expanded to a larger outfit and I have that one down to exactly like I like them (having been there a few times) from spice level I have to give my vote to daddy donkey but freebird is such a close second. my third choice goes to wrap it up in liverpool street.
I forgot to ask what times freebird operate, if anyone knows I would love to know!!

cant believe finally london has some good quality burrito places

Posted by kd on 17 May 2007, 9:27 pm | Link

Hi, I have recently returned to the UK after 9 years in the US where I became addicted to the taste of mexican food (cali/tex-mex and authentic mexican). London definitely is crying out for more "exotic" cuisine and mexican/latin american food is posed to be the next big growth market. I believe there is a great opportunity here and am looking to either get involved in the growth of an existing operation (through funding/strategic development) or work with like minded individuals who have restaurant start-up experience to kick off a new venture.

Thanks to everyone for all the great recommendations. Tried the Tacqueria and was dissappointed. The food while well seasoned was cold and the meat reheated. I am impressed with Beach Burrito, but agree with others that it can be further improved. I am planning a trip up to Manchester to look at BarBurrito. Appears to be very similar to Chipotle so will be interested to see how it is doing. El Panzon and Daddy Donkey are on the list of things to do also.

Anyone interested in a discussion on business opportunities please get in touch through

Posted by Drew on 31 May 2007, 9:26 am | Link

Beach Burrito is currently closed :-( Not sure why, they've got a little notice outside saying they "hope to open soon"

Posted by Matt Freake on 12 June 2007, 3:14 pm | Link

What happened to Beach Burrito in Soho? Went with a few colleagues this lunchtime to get our weekly burrito-fix, only to find that a message was scrawled on their outside menu saying that they are closed.

Please Beach Burrito people, come back! :-)

Posted by Hot Tamale on 13 June 2007, 12:27 pm | Link

Unfortunately Beach Burrito Cafe seems to have closed down - they have a little notice outside saying "they hope to reopen". No idea what happened unfortunately.

Posted by Matt on 13 June 2007, 5:30 pm | Link

Perhaps unrelated, but the owner had mentioned (some months back) that Berwick street was going to be re-developed and he would have to move within the year.

No doubt it's for more unaffordable housing - or even better, another Pret, Tesco or Starbucks.

Posted by Jimmy Changa on 13 June 2007, 7:41 pm | Link

Is Wrap it up really any good? Love Daddy Donkey, Beach burrito but not sure of Wrap it up. Looks too corporate to have authentic taste and spices.

Anyone care to comment?

Posted by Stephen on 14 June 2007, 8:47 am | Link

I am a regular at Freebird on exmouth market. They are not the burritos as big as your head from Chicago, but I really enjoy them. Steak, pork, chicken or veggie with rice and beans. A choice of mild or spice salsa, guac and sour cream. A bit pricey @ a fiver a go, but more than enough food to last until dinnertime. They are there Mon - Thurs at lunchtime.

Posted by Emily on 14 June 2007, 1:46 pm | Link

Has anyone found out why Beach Burrito closed down? I want some fresh guacamole and am waiting patiently to see if they re-open!

Posted by Karen on 22 June 2007, 7:33 am | Link

Only a guess, but several months back, the owner of Beach Burrito mentioned that he would have to move within the year, as Berwick St was going to be re-developed. Considering that everything is boarded up along the street, this would seem to be the case.

At the time, he was talking about adding both a Chelsea and Covent Garden location. When asked if he would finding another location in Soho, he said that would be his intention.

So I guess we'll see what happens! :-/

Posted by Salsa on 22 June 2007, 11:16 am | Link

i used to go to both daddy donkey and freebird on exmouth market but daddy donkey now charge £6.5 for a burrito with guac that also seems smaller than freebirds which comes in at a fiver as someone above my mind anything above a fiver for a burrito is just a little too much. how much are they at beach burrito cafe?

Posted by Laura on 22 June 2007, 3:19 pm | Link

Hey burrito lovers

We're opening our burrito restaurant at 27 Upper St, Islington, in August. It's near Angel tube, and the N1 centre. To find out what we're up to, and hear about our pre-opening tasting events, join our group on facebook:…

The name of our restaurant is Mucho Mas.

See you there.

Posted by Dan on 10 July 2007, 7:41 pm | Link

Monica, I've found good ingredients at El Azteca foods, on Victoria Street right near from Victoria Station. It's in a little shopping area with all sorts of ethnic food stores. They have stuff in the fridge too, not just on the shelves. I bought masa for tamales there recently. The owner's from Chihuahua.
(frente a la estacion de Victoria)
Tel/fax: 020 7828 4937 /07956 433029 /07968 450568

Posted by Mike on 17 July 2007, 10:57 am | Link

A new Mexican place called Wahaca has just opened on Chandos Place in Covent Garden!

It looks quite good and the menu sounds fab!

Has anyone been yet?

It's meant to be more authentic Mecican than Cali-Mex or Tex-Mex.

Wahaca website and menu:

Posted by JK on 26 July 2007, 8:20 pm | Link

Barburrito is clearly "inspired" by Chipotle in the US, but it has none of the spice and flavor. I definitely wouldn't say it is worth a special trip from London, but definitely check it out if you're in Manchester.

Posted by Geoff on 30 July 2007, 6:39 pm | Link

Can anyone comment on Wahaca? Would like to know how it fares.

If more burrito, Mex & Tex-Mex places keep opening up in London, this blog will become obsolete....

Posted by Paul on 2 August 2007, 3:07 pm | Link

There's a photo of a Wahaca burrito, and a comment, here.

Posted by Phil Gyford on 2 August 2007, 7:31 pm | Link

And here's a review of Wahaca.

Posted by Phil Gyford on 2 August 2007, 8:08 pm | Link

And here's another review of Wahaca (mostly by me). I kind of liked it, and plan to go back once they've been open a bit longer.

Posted by Kake on 5 August 2007, 4:53 pm | Link

I have tried Daddy Donkey, Beach Burrito and Barburrito. Must say daddy donkey is by far the best. Blows the other two away.

Next will try Freebird and Wahaca.

Posted by J on 9 August 2007, 11:38 am | Link

I just wanted to let you all know that the owner of the former Beach Burrito Cafe will be opening a new burrito/mexican cafe just a little further up Berwick Street, in Soho, in about a month's time - called Mexicali. He already has a branch on Fulham Road, and a full margarita bar/restaurant with the same name/brand in Notting Hill - check out for details. So all of you who have been pining for your burritos won't have to wait too long!

Posted by David Brock on 31 August 2007, 9:43 am | Link

Mucho Mas is now open! Visit us at 27 Upper St, Islington for some great tasting burritos, tacos and salad, served in the familiar fast-and-fresh US format. More info at or call the restaurant 02077042123. See you soon!

Posted by Dan on 9 September 2007, 12:54 pm | Link

I was wondering if anyone else is hoping to discover who really has the best burritos in London - Daddy Donkey, Wahaca, Freebirds, Mexicali (formerly beach burrito), Mucho Mas, Luradoras, Taqueria, etc.???

Maybe we can get a panel to go and try each one, judging them all on a certain criteria such as size, price, taste, ingredients, free extras, etc.?

I would sign up myself but I do not live in London. It would be too dear for me to travel to each one of these places.

Posted by Ryan on 14 September 2007, 11:19 am | Link


Are you still reading this blog? If so, contact me at



Posted by pete on 19 September 2007, 6:00 am | Link

i was googling "best mexican food london" because i DESPERATELY miss the amazing mexican food we had in portland...and here was your page, phil! so...what did you find?


Posted by camille on 25 September 2007, 9:13 pm | Link

Hey Camille, small world! It looks like, finally, there are quite a few choices in London now. I haven't been to Mucho Mas near Angel yet, but it's hopefully good and is probably the closest to you. We should go!

Posted by Phil Gyford on 25 September 2007, 10:09 pm | Link

Hey Y'all!!

Whole Foods Market in Kensington has a mini burrito bar (a la Chipotle) in their food court on the top floor!

They do a selection of meat fillings (with a veggie option also available), as well as black beans and pinto beans and all the other usual suspects (coriander-lime rice, guacamole, choice of salsas, sour cream etc).

The burritos are actually pretty darned good and good value, considering that everyting else in the food court seems to be a complete rip off!

Prices are circa £5-£6 per burrito.

Well worth checking out if you are in Kensington and feel like a good burrito!

Posted by JK on 8 October 2007, 12:35 pm | Link

For anyone who hasn't been to Mucho Mas in Islington yet, you need to go NOW!!

No, make that YESTERDAY!!

Mucho Mas is the real deal, as far as Cal-Mex burritos are concerned.

Super-fresh burritos and tacos made for you just how you like them. With a choice of top notch fillings, made with top notch ingredients (the guacamole is a particular standout).

It's basically a British version of Chipotle. If you like Chipotle you're gonna LOVE Mucho Mas!

The BEST Cal-Mex burritos and tacos in London are available at Mucho Mas NOW! In fact, their burritos are as good as (I'm tempted to say better than!!) any Cali style burritos you'll find across the pond!!

Get yourselves to Angel Tube NOW, Mucho Mas is a only a short walk from there!! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!! ;-D

Posted by JK on 8 October 2007, 12:55 pm | Link

Anyone noticed another Cal-Mex place is about to open at Angel? Its just down from Angel tube and called tortilla. Their website looks pretty snazzy but can't comment on the food yet obviously!

With that plus Mucho Mas it looks like we're spoilt for choice now in Islington (comparatively speaking).

Posted by FJM on 31 October 2007, 11:40 am | Link

Mesa Mexican Foods is another online Mexican Food retailer that carries Authentic Mexican food spices and ingredients, and they ship internationally.

Posted by mexicanfoodlover on 17 May 2008, 9:04 pm | Link

Is there any restaurant in London serving tamales? I'm getting desperate!!

Posted by Katy on 18 August 2008, 6:35 pm | Link

Sorry to say, but I made a trip today to the El Azteca shop in the Victoria Village Centre, and they were just closing up shop! Apparently they went bankrupt, so I'm going to have to try to hit the Cool Chile Co. stand at the market this weekend for my peppers, masa flour, chocolate and other mole ingredients!

PS, Katy, I think the CCC sells corn husks if you're driven to desperation enough to make your own tamales!

Posted by kt on 27 August 2008, 10:47 pm | Link

More bad news to report, I'm sorry to say -- El Panzon is not at the Dogstar anymore, it looks like the bar is under new management and they appparently no longer hosting El Panzon in their kitchen. This was very disappointing to discover after reading all the glowing reviews on this page. Wahaca is delicious but a bit pricey to be a regular fix for my mole habit and the MexiCali burritos were a bit disappointing... since the MexiLondon forums are also down, if anybody is out there to comment on what else is a good option, it would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by kt on 20 September 2008, 6:39 pm | Link

Nineteen Ten do the BEST burritos and tacos in London! They are located in the food court of the Westfield London shopping mall.

Their barbacoa is the best I've ever tasted. Their steak filling was lovely, juicy and pink when I had it the other week too.

Their range of salsas and other fillings are all of a very high standard, as are their freshly made tortilla chips. Oh and their pinto beans are the best I've had in London!

They're my favourite CalMex joint in London now. Anyone else been there and is feeling the love?


Posted by Nomi on 14 December 2008, 5:43 pm | Link

I have found the UK's answer to Chipotle and we need it in London...
Barburrito! The layout, the menu, the food, is exactly the same as an Chipotle (even the logo colour looks similar!).

There are only three of them at the moment and they're in Manchester and Liverpool, I was in the Trafford Centre one on Dec 28th '08 and it was just like the real mexican food I was missing from California and New York.

Posted by Steph on 2 January 2009, 12:17 pm | Link

Hi all... nice to be missed. I´ve been getting telephone calls & emails daily for the last 5 months since we closed. Yes it true... EL PANZON is no longer at the Dogstar in Brixton. They didn't want us anymore. Same owners, different manager with new ideas for their business. (Good luck to them...) as for EL PANZON, we still have a stall which we opened last year in Inverness Street Market in Camden Town. We are open from Monday to Saturday lunch times. See you there

P.S. My web-site can be considered archive for the mo, untill we find another location.

Posted by Grant (Panzon) Winters on 21 January 2009, 12:51 am | Link

i was a student in manchester a couple of years ago when barburrito just opened. i'd been DYING for a burrito so I tried barburrito. menu concept and decor-wise, it's a complete chipotle knock-off, but really without flavor and the meat was dry. also, when i went, i couldn't have salsa AND cheese AND sour cream without getting charged extra. boo.

barburrito is not worth a special trip from london, but it sort of works if you're desperate and in manchester anyway. i remember i just wished i had bought a chicken kebab instead.

Posted by Lisa on 7 February 2009, 6:17 am | Link

To all the chipotle fans out there i have heard that there is one coming to london not sure if it is confirmed but i looked on the web site and seems as though it is coming to london. Thank god love this resturant. If u see one step in side and defo try it out it's different.

Posted by Nishi Patel on 22 February 2009, 11:06 am | Link

Hello there. My name is Morgan Beringer. I am an American who has been living in London for the majority of my life. I have always found it frustrating that all you can find is a greasy kebab or chicken joint when you just want a nice fat burrito!

I've recently made a short animation expressing the frustration of being unable to find enough good, yet cheap/simple Mexican food in London (Bree quesadillas??). I think you might find it amusing!

It can be found here:

Although the first 30 seconds seem quite unrelated (Sorry, I have an art degree) it quickly gets to the point!

-Morgan Beringer

Posted by Morgan Beringer on 16 March 2009, 8:59 am | Link

Hola!!!! Hey everyone my name is James, and I currently live in L.A. and I will be moving to London!!!! I am 31 yrs old and a cook with 15 years of expirence. Love mexican food and will be getting a catering trailer to cook the real tacos and burritos in london!!! Not tex-mex. this is my email address email me if you have any info that could get me to london quicker. I have duel citizenship, and want to come end this mexican food crisis!! any info would help!!!! Gracias!!!!

Posted by imgonnamaketacos on 8 April 2009, 5:57 am | Link

great news! chipotle is coming to london, officially.…

i have to say i prefer it over wahaca, it's a refreshing change to their baked and fried burritos.

Posted by katherine on 12 April 2009, 1:12 am | Link

Well until Chipotle arrives in London, there is Tortilla on Southwark Street, SE1, I think there are a few branches in and around London. Almost carbon copy of Chipotle's menu, very very good indeed!!! You won't be disappointed. Also there is a little Burrito van that plots up in Whitecross Street Market most days (Mon - Fri) that is also pretty awesome.

Posted by Nick StayGold on 16 April 2009, 5:57 pm | Link

Hi Phil, I've been following your website since the beginning, but hadn't realised that you and others were also out there searching for good Mexican in London as well. I quite like the burritos at Chilango (formerly Mucho Mas) near the Angel in North London; I felt theirs were better than the ones I tried at Tortilla. A Chilango has also opened on Fleet Street (terrible timing as I now no longer work down there).

Also, another source for tinned tomatillos, chiles and other essential Mexican food supplies is Lupe Pintos in Scotland I've been using them for years, but it's not cheap.

Posted by wisteria53 on 9 May 2009, 5:45 pm | Link

Barburrito sucks. The decor is good, that's about it. Very corporate. Daddy donkey on Leather Lane market rocks!

Posted by Tom on 19 June 2009, 12:58 pm | Link

We have real 100% Mexican salsas and refried beans, without forgetting the amazing Chilaquiles. You just need to add water without having problems of quick consumption like other brands.
"You use what you need"

Visit We are happy to ship to UK, we are located in The Netherlands.

As well looking for sales points within the UK.

Posted by Roxana on 14 July 2009, 9:27 am | Link

Having tried every single Mexican restaurant in London (or at least, it feels that way) after I moved here from the States two years ago, I found Mestizo only about a month ago. Wow, was that some brilliant Mexican food! Absolutely delicious. And the same family owns a fast(er) food place called El Burrito off Charlotte Street which does absolutely delicious and mostly affordable burritos.

Posted by Karen on 2 September 2009, 7:06 pm | Link

Heyyyyyyyyyyy I just need real mexican food I heard there is a place in Cambridge that do tacos al pastor any one nknow where ???........we are from acapulco and don't want tex mex crap just reallllllllllll mexican food any help out there ????/

Posted by vicky & Pingo on 20 September 2009, 8:09 am | Link

YO DUDES, I first tasted mexican food on my trip last year to the U.S. during the summer of 2008. Since then i have been going out of my way to find anything that compares to Chipotle in the UK. I have found the answer - BARBURRITO in the North West is immense. The restaurants are well styled and the food is nothing but exceptional. They also do some great salsas and price is bang on. Would recommend to anyone - also hear they could be opening more sites - bring it on. ENJOY!

Posted by Andrew on 2 October 2009, 8:18 am | Link

Mexican tacos in Chester!!! It is great food for great price, starting from 1.85pounds a portion with 2 tortillas. Tortillas are made in front of you, and we have pastor, chorizo, bistec, mole rojo, mole verde, quesadillas, tequilas, etc. It's a casual and friendly place. If you are around Chester one day, you should try it!!

Posted by Schell on 2 October 2009, 8:29 pm | Link

Hi everyone!! I'm so glad there are other people dying for good Mexican... must say, I'm stoked to hear that Chipotle is on its way over by the end of the year! I've been over here for almost 3 years now (I go to uni in New Cross) and have constantly been craving a decent burrito.
For anyone in SE, you know there's very little here to satisfy those particular Tex/Cali-Mex cravings, but in Greenwich there's a place called Desperadoes which isn't great but they've got decent fajitas. They do have great drinks though, my friends and I go there to celebrate sometimes. There's a Cafe Sol in Greenwich as well which I haven't been to but I've heard it's just okay.
BUT if you're looking for Mexican autentico - Santo Village on Portobello Rd is as good as any I've actually had in Mexico. Good tortillas, great guacamole and if you try one thing it should be the nopales en salsa verde. Nopales is basically cactus. But it's delicious. I would also recommend the enchiladas, they're really good, but stay away from the chiles rellenos - it was a bit tough to get through... Also, the service wasn't great; we had to wait for ages for our order to be taken. But I would go back again anyway for the nopales and the nachos (which were a huge portion and had loads of guac, cheese, sour cream, salsa and jalapenos on top - not very autentico but very tex-mex!)
Cheers guys, hope you find some good food out there!

Posted by rachel Lichter on 2 November 2009, 3:34 pm | Link

I want to cry tears of joy! I'm a Mexican-American living in London who was about to go bonkers. UNTIL, I found this lovely resource of Mexican food. ::Drooling:: Thanks!

Posted by Amy on 13 November 2009, 7:43 am | Link

While some of the above info is a little out of date, this is a really great resource for Londoners looking for Mexican food! For those waiting for Chipotle's arrival, they're hoping to open in April 2010 at 114 Charing Cross Road. I'll put any updates on my blog (www.fromchiletochocola…).

Posted by HP on 18 November 2009, 10:42 am | Link

Hi everyone, just discovered this place near Liverpool St the food is SUPERB!!!!! weekends, they do a fantastic brunch menu. I had the most amazing tasting chilaquiles.

Posted by Paola on 1 December 2009, 10:23 am | Link

I am planning a weekend trip to London in mid August and I cant wait to go to Mestizo as Ive read good comments. Since I am originally from Mexico I am looking for something that comes close to the real thing and not tex mex. I am open to new suggestions, thx

Posted by Janice on 24 June 2010, 3:53 pm | Link

Has anyone tried Flying Burrito on Middlesex street? There salsas are amazing! Specially like the pineapple and sweetcorn one. I'm completely addicted.

Posted by Jenna on 4 August 2010, 8:58 am | Link

I moved from California and miss taquerias terribly. Even in Detroit there are proper Mexican grocery stores. I have tried two Mexican restaurants and they were ok but nothing like the wonderful grilled meats marinaded in smokey spices. Like everyone else, both my husband I miss Mexican food. I have created my own spice rub to make chicken burritos. And I am really grateful to have stumbled upon this website. I am very excited and may take a stab at making my own tamales.

Posted by apryl on 14 September 2010, 10:52 pm | Link

Has anyone tried the Mexican food at Tomatu - a stall in the school yard at Broadway Market, London fields?

It's amazing! It's more Mexican taco stand than Tex Mex and we were super impressed with the Chicken Flautas and Tacos. They will apparently be serving Tomales at Christmas woohoo! I would definitely recommend this place as a change from other eateries that are more Mexican't then Mexican. lol


Posted by Karina on 26 September 2010, 9:22 am | Link

Hola a todos los mexicanos que escribieron en esta página. Llegue a Londres en Septiembre pasado y debo decir que la situación no ha cambiado desde el 2004(que son los comentarios más viejos que aparecen) sigue siendo una pesadilla encontrar comida autenticamente mexicana más bien venden Tex Mex. Vaya que los estados unidos ha esparcido un extraño concepto de lo que es comida mexicana pero al mismo tiempo demuestra la influencia que México a tenido en aquel país.

Posted by Ixchel on 13 January 2011, 11:39 pm | Link

Hola a todos,

Si les interesa la comida auténtica de México aqui en el RU, pueden encontrar lo que importo en nuestra pagina:

Tengo una tienda en Bristol donde llevo mas de 3 años trayendo productos de toda la republica. Tengo los productos en linea, pero pueden hablarme por tel para hacer ordenes, inclusive tortillas de maiz.

Nos pueden encontrar tambien en www.facebook/otomibristol

Saludos :)


Posted by Alejandro Orozco on 28 February 2011, 1:25 pm | Link

Hi .

I live in Aguascalientes Mexico, I speak both english and spanish lenguaje...I have been in gastronomic area since 2003 in a amateur way and i have been perfectig mexican taco 2 years from now. I can make the very best mexican salsas (suaces) and hand made tortilla, mexican fresh water and much more mexican tlacoyos, sopes, enchiladas, pambazos, etc. All kind of mexican tacos like: lengua, suadero, chorizo, carnea asada, tripas, etc. I own a little place that sale tacos fridays and saturdays 2 months from now and belive me it has been a really success.

I would like you to help me to find some investors to open a Real Original Mexican Restaurant.

I do not have the money to start up this new adventure, but I can offer my time, knowledge, and mexican food experience to make my dream come true.

If there is any one interested to participate in this project...feel free to contact me at

Posted by luis trejo on 15 June 2011, 4:58 pm | Link

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