Monday, 10 May 2010


CHIPOTLE DAY! Arriving with very little fanfare, except for a smug web post I found, Chipotle opened its first London restaurant today. Obviously I couldn't miss out on something as important as this. Every review of London Burrito places always has some American ex-pat whining that nothing is as good as Chipotle. LET'S SEE 'BOUT THAT HUH?

I guess there are enough Burrito freaks and obsessive American tourists in town because the queue was massive. Forty minutes later I had got to the front, pretty sick from the awful pop-reggae that was being churned out. Service was great, chirpy and fairly fast. The serving size looked a little stingy but I was happy to put my trust in the good ship Chipotle. Urgh. Price was sad. £6.95 for a steak Burrito and if I've got it right, £1.40 extra for Guac. It was free today, but that takes the price up to £8.35 for a steak Burrito with Guac which is CRAZY TOWN.

FOIL OFF. The hot salsa was the first hit. Decent enough burn and an earthy, smoky flavour. Great Job. I then got some steak. The first piece was alright, fairly tender, but the next piece was gristle. No good. For all the protestations that their meat is the best, most free-range, cared for and hugged dead stuff in the whole world, this wasn't a good sign. All the steak after this was really chewy and I even got another piece of gristle. The marinate on the steak tasted pretty good but it was cooked really badly.

The coriander/lime rice was tasty and perfectly cooked. Black beans also perfecto and the portion size of each was spot on. Unfortunately the rest of the extras got swamped, I think mainly by the amount of salsa or there just weren't enough of them. I only got one hit of the cheese halfway through, which admittedly was really decent and sharp tasting and the Guac was also pretty sparse (but ace), although this was partly down to it being spooned into the burrito badly.

So, overall, not a great Burrito. The meat was really poor, the serving size seemed stingy and it's more expensive than other Burrito places in London. The restaurant is a decent size and we found somewhere to sit despite the queue, which is good, but the Burrito making part needs improving. One last fail is the choice of Tabasco as a table sauce. They do have three varieties, but they're all as crap as each other.


- meat flavoured well
- tasty rice
- hot, smoky salsa


- steak cooked badly
- too small
- too expensive
- tabasco
- extras didn't mix well

114-116 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JR





  1. This post is valid as a grand-opening-experience-record. I had the pleasure of eating at Chipotle yesterday (3 days after opening). Yes, the price is obscene: add guacamole and a drink and your lunch is at £10+. This is bad. However, I hope they'll learn that El Burrito on Charlotte Place is a good burrito joint and operates at about half the cost. I noticed that the people making the burritos/tacos/etc. are being trained. So we have to go through learning pains until they get the process right and smooth. Other than that, I ordered the Featured Burrito: Chicken with all the fix-ins. It was amazing. All of the ingredients were really really good. I have no complaints on taste and presentation considering Benito's Hat on Goodge Street makes half size burritos and charges a lot for it as well. So i'm against the Chipotle price, but I'm for their food.

  2. Cheers for the comment. I'll definitely give them another shot at some point, but yeah, the price is a big thumbs down. El Burrito isn't far away either, so I'm much more likely to head up that way. Ten pounds will also get you a fixed menu lunch somewhere decent in that area, so it's way too much for fast food. Even £5 is something of a luxury for takeout lunch, so it's totally crazy. Glad you had a good one. Mine was all fine except for that crucial element: the meat! I'm sure it'll get sorted. Chicken next time..When I'm feeling like splashing out.

  3. Yeah, this is supposed to be a cheap option in the States, isn't it? What is with this expensive pricing? I was excited when I first saw your post but now I'm just...meh.

  4. Chipotle said the prices are due to the location...I don't know if this was meant to make me feel better about paying stupid money for a Burrito. Wahaca and El burrito are really close and a lot better. They also don't have irritating mantras written all over the walls.