Benito's Hat

Restaurants, Mexican Covent Garden
5 out of 5 stars
(26user reviews)
BenitosHat.jpg
Venue name: Benito's Hat
Contact:
Address: 19 New Row
London
WC2N 4LA
Opening hours: Open 11.30am-10pm Mon-Wed; 11.30am-11pm Thur-Sat; 11.30am-9pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square tube
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:19
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|26
2 people listening
Tastemaker

You can't go wrong with Mexican food and at Benito's Hat, it's done it fabulously. There are six branches across London serving up instagrammable Mexican dishes including our faves like burritos, quesadilla, tacos. It's colourful, it's quirky, the staff are incredibly friendly. I'd go for the beef brisket barbacoa with onion, coriander and smoked chipotle salsa and spicy shrimp with garlic chipotle mayo. There are not many branches but those that do exist, they are really well located in places like Covent Garden and Oxford Circus. The margaritas are on point too - simply refreshing. I would eat here again.

tastemaker

I came here as part of the Timeout brunch deal which included bottomless margheritas (Or bloody Marias) and bottomless tacos.

I'd like to start off by pointing out I had an absolute nightmare trying to make a booking. The voucher gave us a dedicated email address but they only responded once with timings available. When I replied with a time and location booking they never replied to confirm, nor did they respond to my chaser emails or my voicemails left on the number on the email signature. It was only when I asked Timeout for a refund that they bothered to reply. Anyway let's put that to one side for now and just focus on the experience on the day.

It's a bright, airy, and boldly decorated place but it's difficult to look past the fact that it's predominantly a fast food place. It doesn't feel overly inviting as somewhere you'd like to sit for a couple of hours and catch up with your mates but there are places to sit and that's what we did. We found the table with the piece of paper and my name on it so we sat down as all staff were busy behind the counter making takeaway burritos. Even when it quietened down we weren't able to catch anyone's eye so had to go up and ask what it was we were supposed to do. Fortunately, the waters and waitresses were very attentive after that. We ordered pitchers of margheritas which were continuously refreshed as soon as we had finished.

We were given a card and pen each to tick off which tacos we wanted. There was a choice of 6 or so and we could order as many as we wanted each time. We started off with 3 each. As a vegetarian my choices were limited to the one veggie and one vegan option. The vegan option was also bundled together as the gluten-free option which wasn't ideal as I didn't much like to the taste of gluten-free tacos and what about meat-eating gluten intolerant customers? However, I wasn't expecting a huge range of choice and they did do their best to customize although it made it harder each time we ordered due to only having the same tiny card each time and having to cross out our previous order and annotate with "please add cheese" etc.

As for the taste of the tacos, well to be honest I've had far better. Perhaps it was the play doh like gluten free tacos that put me off. Whilst bottomless tacos might seem appealing, how many can you really eat? We barely managed 6. So it was all about the bottomless margheritas.

I'm afraid I can't recommend this place for the bottomless brunch. They should stick to what they know - takeaway burritos.

tastemaker

For Benito’s Hat’s 9th birthday, they held a promotion for £1 tacos and £1 beers from 5PM to 8PM on Wednesday 11th October at all their branches except King’s Cross. Upon hearing this through a Time Out article, my friend and I decided to head down to the Covent Garden branch after work for her and uni for me.


We got there around 5:30PM and there was already a crowd, although it did get even more packed as we had our dinner. It was relatively quick to order and receive our food given that it works like a fast-food joint, where food is ordered and prepared immediately for payment and collection. I went for the following items and only had to pay £5!


  1. Chips & Guacamole – A classic Mexican starter and perfect to share between me and my friend. We’re both massive fans of avocado so guacamole was the ideal dip for tortilla chips. I liked how the guacamole was chunky in some parts and smooth in others. It tasted fresh with the fresh cilantro and bits of tomato chunks too! A perfect accompaniment to our tortilla chips.
  2. Super-Slow Braised Pork Taco – This flavours in the pork were absolutely amazing! It was packed with intense spices, which gave it a prominent and very delicious taste. The pork was also really tender and the toppings were kept simple in the taco, which I liked so I could really appreciate the flavour and taste of the pork.
  3. Chipotle-Grilled Steak Taco – Another divine creation! The beef in this taco was super flavourful too and originally comes with sour cream on top, which I omitted to keep my taco dairy-free. It had a good bite to it but was also easy to chew and swallow. I opted for the spiciest salsa on top, which had a good kick but not a lasting spiciness.
  4. Sol Beer – A Mexican beer would have only been appropriate with this meal and given that it was only £1 too. I had one to try and was actually pretty impressed. It was light and refreshing, which I enjoyed because I’m not a fan of beer in general but the lighter ones are more palatable for me.

Overall, this is a great option if you’re looking for a quick meal or snack. The food is prepared to order and very quickly so you won’t have to wait long. You can also see them preparing your food, which allows you to customise your order (eg. making it dairy-free like I did) and to get the best out of your meal. I liked that they also had a small bar area at the back of the joint, which had really cool neon lights and decor! Wouldn’t be a bad place for a couple of casual drinks or happy hour.

Tastemaker

Easily my favourite fast-food chain in London.
Cheap, welcoming, filling, vegetarian friendly; the Covent Garden branch is everything you could ask for in terms of casual dining. The staff at this branch (although not the others in my experience) are fun and cheerful and ready to engage you. 

Food is ordered "Subway style"; you pick your wrap, rice, beans, toppings etc and it's made in front of you, so it's super easy to customise. 

And the margaritas, oh my word, if anything has brought me back time and time again it's the delicious Tommy's Margarita. Pop in on a Monday to take advantage of their 2-4-1 Happy Hour deal and totally wreck your Tuesday. 

They also have an excellent loyalty scheme that will regularly reward you with free burritos and sides. 

Tastemaker

I love coming here for their half price margaritas before 7pm every day of the week. The food it also nice, and good value. Benito’s Hat has a causal atmosphere, where you order at the counter and your food is made right in front of you. It’s handy for a quick bite in the West End before a show, and a change from Pret if you’re looking for something fast.

Tastemaker

Without a doubt, Benito's Hat is my favourite place to eat in the whole of London. The atmosphere at this particular branch is buzzing with really great music, interiors and the most friendly staff you could wish for. The food, as with all of their branches, is fresh and tastes absolutely beautiful. Every dish is fully customisable, as you walk along whilst n watching them put together the burrito, taco or salad and are able to request as much or as little of each food as you wish. Don't miss out on the refried beans! The food is excellent value for money and even more so are the cocktails as part of the daily happy hour between 5-7pm. I would recommend the Covent Garden branch in particular for visiting with friends as it is one of the most spacious, with both individual tables and long benches. Although small, the turnover is pretty high so you will never be waiting for a seat, despite never feeling rushed to leave. The turquoise and orange colour scheme of the interiors creates a warm and happy atmosphere which is also enhanced by lively music - overall Benito's Hat is friendly, tasty and I cannot wait to go back!!!!  

Staff Writertastemaker

I loved the first Benitos Hat I visited a few years back but I think the quality has started to suffer as the brand has scaled slightly. On my most recent visit the food was pretty bland.

The tomato salsa is great- get extra on everything. The guac needs way more lime guys, seriously!!

Good little chain if you’re passing (or in need of a good Friday lunch) but now they’re growing im not convinced the flavour I first fell for will remain!


Best Burritos Everrrr !!! Not expensive, Friendly staff that recognizes us every time we go and knows our preferences. Highly recommended !


Best and most authentic mexican food i have tasted outside of Central America! fantastically well run with wide variety of dishes keeps me coming back for more!


Best place for burritos and margaritas! Friendly team too - lots of great nights here


Best burritos ever! Great food, great drinks and great staff, especially the girl at the bar, Claudia!


Always enjoyable, perfect sized portions with the option to have a 'baby' size burrito, and pretty decently priced too.

Tastemaker

One of my favourite places to go after a good evening of drinking and get one of my favourite burritos in central London.


This time the entire staff surprised me because they heard my friends saying it was my birthday and all came out singing 'Happy Birthday' with a piece of cake (with a strawberry on top) and a tequila shot, it was a beautiful and surprising gesture.  


Highly recommended!


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