London's best burritos
Looking for the best 10 burrito joints? Look no further
© Tricia de Courcy Ling
Blazing saddles! Tania Ballantine has eaten her way along the borderline – 15 burritos from different hombres across London. Here are her top ten – and if there are better to be had in London, she’ll eat her sombrero.
The top five
At last, proof that pork doesn’t have to be pulled. Bucking the trend, the piggy option in this burrito comes chopped into rustic chunks, with deliciously charred fatty edges. Not wanting to miss out, tomatoes are equally rough-cut. As for the salsa, he’s a mild-mannered Mexican. For a more fiery hombre, add the Chilango hot sauce.
- 27 Upper St, N1 0PN
A David among local Goliaths – if it weren’t for the emphasis on traditional dishes, you’d never guess this plain little burrito joint was owned by the crew behind smart, colourful Mexican restaurant Mestizo. Our burrito teamed tender, tangy cochinita (slow-cooked pork) with a pico de gallo (a tomato, onion and coriander salsa) as fresh as a slap in the face.
- 5 Charlotte Place, W1T 1SF
When the queue for a burrito stall looks like passport control at Heathrow, you know there’s got to be something good waiting. Happily, the line moves quickly (40 people in ten minutes), thanks to an ultra-efficient production line of burrito-builders. We like the fajita option here, substituting beans for the colour and crunch of grilled onions and mixed peppers: a terrific foil to the chunks of juicy shredded pork.
- Leather Lane Market, EC1N 7TE
It’s right up there with sightings of UFOs, Bigfoot and Elvis: a Friday lunchtime burrito spot that doesn’t have a queue. Not that the food isn’t good – far from it – but the slick takeaway counter inside the Canary Wharf and Charlotte Street branches of Wahaca allows for a swift getaway. Our wraps featured pork with warm, mellow spicing and quality ingredients such as thick sour cream.
- 19-23 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RL
- Rated as: 4/5
- Price band: 1/4
- Critics choice
Fresh, funky and friendly, branches of this mini-chain are a good shout if you’re after a proper pitstop rather than racing straight back to the office. The wraps can take a little longer to make, but are worth the wait: ours featured creamy refried beans, moist, well-marinated pork and a zingy pico de gallo.
- 56 Goodge Street, W1T 4NB
The five runners-up
It might share its name with a Lynyrd Skynyrd hit, but it’s about the burritos not the beats at this Goodge Place snack stop, which gets the flavours just right. Ours came loaded with a pile of tender pulled pork, slow cooked in a tangy, fragrant marinade. The generous size (though it can occasionally be too heavy on rice) was all the more pleasing given the price: a mere fiver.
- Goodge Place (junction with Goodge Street), W1T 4LZ
For now at least, these winged burritos only roost in the City, at three locations near Liverpool Street, Monument and Petticoat Lane. The burritos are built to more traditional recipes: we enjoyed the fragrant, warm spicing of the pulled pork, though chunks of bland tomato were a disappointment. A spoonful of sweetcorn and pineapple salsa added a sweet touch.
- 122 Cannon Street, EC4N 6AS
Westminster isn’t especially well-served by burrito joints, so it’s no wonder people make the pilgrimage to Picante. Wraps come neatly constructed, with a generous meat-to-wrap ratio, fragrant salsa and mellow beans. Yet, surprisingly, given the name (picante means spicy), fillings are a walk on the mild side; if you like your burrito hot, say so.
- 18 Greencoat Row, SW1P 1PQ
Ponchos one to seven are nowhere to be seen, but number eight is a fun-filled burrito bar. Staff here are both friendly and fast, meaning you can be in and out in lightning speed, though it’s a funky spot to dine in, too. Our wrap came with a terrific pulled pork filling that was both tender and warmly spiced, and there were two types of lettuce (the standard cos, plus the addition of radicchio introducing a nicely bitter edge). Only the slight imbalance of ingredients (with a little too much rice) left room for improvement.
- 11 Queens Head Passage, EC4M 7DZ
A favourite among American expat west Londoners, the burritos from Whole Foods on High Street Ken are a well-kept secret (until now, that is). Ours came filled with high-quality pork (and plenty of it), though the spicing was on the tame side. Equally, the rice was a touch dry, so if you want a burrito that’s both hot and wet, ask for plenty of salsa. Being part of a US outfit, it should come as no surprise that this burrito is super-sized: probably the largest in the capital.
- 63-97 Kensington High Street, W8 5SE
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Ugh! Enough of this b.s. about Chipotle! Chipotle is not on this list as it is the equivalent of McDonald's in terms of burritos. In fact, it was literally owned by McDonald's until a few years back. It is a fast food burrito chain with over 1500 locations, and though it may serve up a palatable meal, it doesn't serve up anything close to an authentic burrito. Therefore, is not on this list. In other words, if I serve you a awesome ham sandwich in a tortilla and call it a "burrito," it will not make it onto a 'best burritos' list just because I've identified it as a burrito, and people find it tasty.
Wahaca is a good shout, but surprised to see tortilla missing from the list. £5 - £6 for one of their incredible and hearty burritos is exceptional value for money.
Try Mamacita in West Hampstead - they are the only place I know doing 'gourmet burritos' so you get all meat options. Forget bland rice and beans... my fav is their three little pigs (pulled pork, chorizo, bacon). They also do surf and turf, seafood and Californian options (which include curly fries inside!). Just so much better than this foil wrapped cheap take away options. Interested to see that the only ones on this list are the 'cheap burrito counter' end of the market - what about dine in and restaurants.
I'm quite a shock to see Chikango on Top! Where is Chipotle? Where is Catrina? Funny that they mention pork doesn't need to be "pulled" this is not unique, it's boring, easy, lazy cooking! That's all I have to say, hot beers, cold food and bad,very bad service! Forget about the taste! It isn't there! Don't waste your time or money! Funky location for aborning place! Sorry if I offended anybody but I have given this place a couple of chances and every time is the same! Never going back
Hmm! There are some amazing Burritos out there Luardos and Catrina specially (5 star rating), haven´t tasted a burrito so good, you see rating sites should really show the small hidden places in London, not the commercial ones we all know, specially when they are not that great!, well for all those burrito lovers, Catrina, Luardos, Tortilla and Chipotle are way way better than all those rated in the top 10!
I am really surprised you did not put down Tortilla. Its as good a burrito as you will get this side of the Atlantic
you dont know the top secret burrito place, its wrap it up, they have the best meat and a lot more on offer then all these put together...