As much as I love London, the Mexican food here makes me want to take the first Virgin Atlantic flight back to California. Contrary to what a disturbingly popular chain would lead you to believe (ahem, Wahaca), Lancashire cheese, new potatoes, feta, English peas, and savoy cabbage DO NOT belong in tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. After months of trying different "Mexican" establishments here only to find the offerings too bland, too greasy, too sweet (Benito's Hat's beef), or just too incorrigibly wrong, I was elated to discover Chilango in Angel.
The first time I tentatively ordered a chicken burrito with black beans and guacamole here, I grimaced when I saw how carelessly the burrito was wrapped. Despite this shortcoming in technique, however, Chilango makes one fine burrito. The grilled chicken is juicy and flavourful, and the guacamole is the best I have had in London (outside of my own kitchen, of course ;)). With liberal dousings of hot sauce, the Chilango burrito is the closest you can get to the exceptional burritos found in San Francisco's Mission district. If you are in the mood for something lighter, the salad with grilled chicken and guacamole is also a winning combination that you can eat for lunch or dinner without worry of contracting a food baby.
I would love to give Chilango five stars, but there are just a few minor issues they need to sort out first:
1) The arrangement of ingredients inside the burrito: the ingredients are not well dispersed across the tortilla, so it might take 10 bites of pure chicken before reaching any guacamole.
2) The wrapping of the burrito: they could take a lesson from Bombay Burrito on how to tightly wrap a burrito so that the bottom is not a soggy, sloppy mess that inevitably ends up running down your hands. Maybe this post would help? http://www.thekitchn.com…
3) The consistency in their seasonings: recently I had the chicken salad with guacamole and black beans twice within a week (don't judge), and the second time was considerably less flavourful than the first. The first salad was purchased on a Thursday evening, and the second on a Tuesday for lunch. Tuesday's lunch was the first time I noticed the inconsistency, so hopefully it was just a fluke.
Overall, I am so happy to have found Chilango in London. As long as they never compromise on their ingredients and recipes, I will remain a loyal customer.
(Most recent visit in October 2013)
What can I say....I love burrito eat in's / take out's. This place is brilliant. Real south american style decor. The food is great, probably the best quality of meat ive had from a burrito joint. The prices are the usual £6 or there abouts. Try the flat lemonade drink with fresh mint and lemon slices.
Yeah, I'd say it's just another good Tex-Mex place... Nothing in particular makes it the "Number 1 Mexican place" they claim to be...
A good solid meal though...
It's great when a restaurant maintains it's quality of service and standard of food! I'm also loving the new salad options!
Great Burritos, I doubled the meat, added guacamole and had every side possible and the fella serving still managed to roll it up. Fair play. Tasty, reasonably priced and filling, for a fast food type bite on Upper Street it's definitely the place to stop.
How? How have I not reviewed Chilango yet? It's one of the mysteries of life, to be sure.
Let's just get one thing out of the way: I'm from Southern California, which is basically Northern Mexico, and I know good Mexican. I will bow to the UKs superior curry, but for whatever reason, this country cannot produce really good Mexican. A+ for effort, C- for actual execution.
That said, Chilango is tasty. Oh, and can we talk about the word 'chilango' for a second? That is a fairly loaded word, kind of like calling a gypsy the p-word. Dude. Wikipedia is your friend, amigos.
Anyway, I digress. Yes, it's tasty. The new addition of pork belly was a veeeeeeeery welcome one, and I will now cross the street from Chipotle to snarf it down. I get the nachos with pork belly and dig in!
The decor is interesting, all graffitied luchadores and Virgin Mary statues.
Points taken off for the removal of the soda machine and the good hot sauces on the table.
I'm a fan of the Chilango down on Holborn, so my review of there is applicable here... What makes the Angel one great though is that they are open on Sundays! That means when I need a ridiculously heavy hangover cure and can manage to make it on the train up to Angel, I can grab nachos and eat myself out of discomfort through tortilla chips piled with goodness.
This is a long and skinny Chilango, with plenty of room for queuing. They have seating downstairs, which makes it much more appealing as well, since some people want to sit down and enjoy the food right away. Can't really go wrong here, but I'm partial to the: nachos with cheese, black beans, chicken, hot and mild salsa, shredded lettuce and sour cream. Tell 'em I sent you.
When one is in London good Mexican food is not what comes immediately to mind. Well, here's a definite exception to that line of thinking. This restaurant, located in London's trendy Islington/Angel district, makes a great burrito. Ours were tasty as well as being ample. The establishment was clean and the service was prompt and very friendly. John Taitt took care of our order and is an excellent ambassador for Chilango. If you're ever in this area of London and have a taste for a burrito, look no further than Chilango. You will leave with a smile on your face.
Chilango is the type of mexican food that you can find is similar to Chipotle. I had nachos (cheese not melted) and guacamole. The guacamole was a let down because the avocado was overwhelmingly masked by onion. An hour later I can still not get rid of the onion flavor in my mouth, cool if you LOVE onion, not so cool if you don't. A big plus is that they stock Jarritos and they are all about recycling and using eco-friendly products! Their fresh salsa and the Chilango hot sauces were okay.
Coming from Indiana, U.S.A., I am well versed in the Chipotle (and the by-degrees-lesser Qdoba and by-orders-of-magnitude-lesser Moe's) concept.
And also in having it cost $6 instead of £6.95, mais je digresse...
Thing is, Chilango is C.A.T.E.G.O.R.I.C.A.L.L.Y. better than Chipotle. Period. Periods. Lots of them. Full stops, many full stops at Chilango, full of bloody red rare HAIL LES ROSBIFS steak and fried pork belly (PORK BELLY!!) and subtly enticing salsas and eyebrow-cockingly tangy cheddar and my goodness the flag the stars and stripes gone white, my eyes my homeland I surrender, all white, the nightmare bloodstained dripping, leaking raw bloody steak I chew dribbling on the foetal burrito to end them all so good so bad so and but
Yeah. And you pay a few p LESS than at Chipotle. London takes the Mexamerican baby-sized burrito food meme and...does it better.
I think it's official: I'm a snob when it comes to Mexican food. Whether it's real down-to-earth Mexico-Mexican, slightly Americanized Tex-Mex or California-Mex, or just random burrito houses that just throw things in a tortilla, roll it up, and call it done Mexican, I'm a snob. I can't help it. I lived far too long in New Mexico.
Anyway, I stopped by Chilango before heading to Karaoke to meet some friends. Ashley V. had the same idea as she was already there working on her burrito when I came in. I went up, ordered a burrito and joined her! I had the pork belly with beans, "hot" salsa, and cheese and guac. First of all, the pork was slightly chewy. Tasty, but chewy. Second, the "hot" salsa is not hot. Why advertise something has hot if it's not. I get that people have different levels of tolerance, and they like different things, but that's why you also have a mild and medium salsa, yes? So make your hot salsa HOT.
As I ate my burrito, I started putting their habanero sauce on it as well. I watched Ashley look shocked at the amount I put on. I think she thought I was crazy. Or as it turns out, their "very hot" habanero sauce isn't really very hot at all. It's definitely spicy and added a great flavor and some heat, but it wasn't very hot.
I'd probably go back and try it again or if I needed something quick in the area. Personally, I don't understand what the excitement is about. It's a pretty standard burrito. I'm sure there are worse out there, but I know I've had a whole lot better.
I can only speak to the steak burrito. The meat had really nice flavor. I was told that the burritos were huge, but upon ordering I was underwhelmed. It's a subjective thing, but I left hungry and it was quite pricey. Quirky atmosphere.
The only other option in the UK that I will compare it to is Mission Burrito. In my mind Mission Burrito wins hands down for overall flavor and value for money. Fortunately for Chilango, Mission Burrito isn't in London yet.
I went back to Chilango's this week with a new, 10-months-in-London perspective, and what a difference some time makes (one star to be exact). This place is pretty great and I know of no other similar enterprise. It really offers something no one else really does here -- fast, fresh and delicious burritos that are as big as your forearm.
This time I tried the braised pork and FAR preferred it to the steak. It was juicy and marinated to perfection.
I would also like to update everyone that I can now finish an entire burrito in one sitting. Huzzah!
I only went in due to the advice of other yelpers, so I read and so it came to pass that the advice of yelpers sticks even when I'm drunk on a night out...Thats just how damn good you guys are!
Upon entry I did wonder whether the last pub had slipped some LSD in my drink, the colours inside were so bright with huge plastic (non tacky) flowers ( and for want of a better word) sculptures. An eating area seemed to be inspired by Sergeant Pepper and the Kaleidoscope left taste and touch as the only principal sensations to potentially bugger up.
The yelpers are always going on about how there is nothing Mexican in London of any value and yet more and more burrito places keep popping up. This is probably the most convenient for me and the psychedelic decor makes it the most memorable. The food is fresh and reasonably priced as takeaway food with excellent, great and friendly service.
The grilled chicken burrito was a bit of a tardis, small and shiny on the outside but cavernous on the inside. It was also far tastier than the alternatives in the area. The only downsides were that the tortilla chips were a little expensive and when we went there was no guacamole.
I would definitely return and this time time I won't be confused by the decor....I promise
A bit overpriced for cheap Mexican food.
They do have a slightly fun and bright interior, which makes eating a less healthy meal more enjoyable. Their outdoor seating is also a nice touch on a sunny day.
I've gotten their salad and tacos before, meh, very mediocre with cheese that you could tell that's.. not of the best quality. Chilango- their spiciest salsa, is spicy, but not SPICY-SPICY. Portions aren't great, but do get your tummy filled. Mm, don't know if I'll come again unless I'm craving to spend money on inexpensive, un-health-concious food.
Chilango is in my opinion one of the best burrito places in London, and I really enjoy their shrimp version which makes it stand in comparison to Chipotle and Tortilla (which must be their main competitors in this market). However Chilango is a lot nicer when it comes to all their fillings and is pretty much on level with what I have had on the other side of the Atlantic. Price wise Chilango is comparable with it's two main competitors here in London, which means it isn't exactly super cheap.
Only minus with this place would be that if you come relatively late they might be out of shrimps, or guacamole (which happens at Chipotle too). The place itself is very nice in Upper Street and the decor and split-level with a round stair-case, (fire-fighter style) makes it look pretty cool.
Buritto review: ingredients used are fresher and juicier compared to that of Tortillas. The carne asada/grilled steak is also tastier and more tender the meat from Tortilla. Nice atmosphere as well as quick and friendly service. Definitely satiated my mexican-loving taste buds.
Verdict: we will come back.
This Chilango is massive!
... and so were the queues around 2100 hours on a Friday evening. In fact, it was such a happening place that there were hordes of people stood outside, and virtually all the seating on both floors was nearly filled!
Regardless, the staff here have their craft down to a science, and the queue moved along at a steady clip. It wasn't ten minutes before I had my braised pork burrito in hand.
At the cash register, we immediately discovered why this venue was so rammed - two-for-one pitchers of margaritas! You bet your sweet ass we nailed ourselves two of those puppies. Uh. Between four people. I mean... we had some upcoming nuptials to celebrate, after all. And celebrate we did... in style and kl@$$, no less.
Lessons learned here:
1) Even the 'spicy' salsa at Chilango isn't spicy. Grab yourself a bottle of hot sauce if you want to feel a tingle.
2) Two-for-one margaritas are brilliant... if you have more than four people in your party and/or have an extremely fatty liver already and/or don't mind a stumble or two on the spiral stairs to/from the basement toilets.
3) Chilango is -so- much better after having a cocktail or three at The Nightjar!
I was hungry when I came here, and you know that kinda hunger that actually feels like your insides are eating themselves? Well that was like what I had, only what I had was worse because it was me!
This place filled me with the goodness that only BRITISH Mexican food can. It was hot (both in temperature and spice) and huge. I had the wrappy thing with everything in it (the American give this some funny name but as this is a British review I'll leave it at "wrappy thing") and it was tasty but it is quite clear that this is not a resting place. The food here is fast. it's made in front of you like a Mexican sandwich bar and then you sit and eat. Not that leisurely, which is why I knocked of a star, that and the fact that I have had better Mexican food, but yes everyone, probably not in London!
In my never ending hunt for good Mexican food in London, I came to Chilango in Angel on a whim. Happened to be walking by, there was an employee standing outside offering crisps and salsa, so I sampled. Seemed good and decided to give the place a try.
Two tacos, a burrito and a bag of crisps, I was sold. Chilango makes my list of Mexican places that I actually like. So far, it is only rivaled by one other place (Wahaca).
The service was quick and friendly and they make everything to order, right in front of you! My only complaint was that regardless how good their salsas and guacamole are, the crisps I had were extremely stale. Wasn't sure what to think when they gave them out in a pre-packaged bag. However, they fully redeemed their selves by having Pacifico available, which is my absolute favorite Mexican beer.
"Eat Like A Mexican"
Now there's a tag line of champions.
I can just see them all in the marketing war room now... "By gum, I've got it! Neon, and lots of it. Oh, and offensive remarks are so hot right now. Totally trending. That'll really get 'em through the door!" (Met with cheers, high cincos, and a round of frozen 'ritas)
Just a little something I forgot to mention in my previous review.
I'm going to suggest that their Islington branch tagline is laughably offensive:
Chilango: Eat Like a Mexican.
I'm getting a picture of it before they get some sense and change it something innocuous like the Fleet Street branch ("Fresh Mexican Kitchen").
Nonetheless, Chilango's selection of burritos (chicken, beef, veg) is standard and the toppings are average (sour cream, guac, cheese, lettuce). I've yet to find a honkin', massive burrito like you'd get in the Mission on 16th St in SF, but Chilango will do in a pinch.
But, seriously, that tagline...
I was always a little dishonest with myself when it came to burritos. Sure, I loved them. Sometimes I had them for lunch, then again for dinner. I've certainly had weeks in which I consumed at least one every single day. But I could live without them. Right?
After all, I had no choice: I was moving to London. Hardly the world's burrito capital. Burritos would have to be replaced by mushy peas. Otherwise I'd never survive.
Well, it turns out that the no-burritos plan was an arrogant fantasy. I need burritos. I can't imagine being without them. When I'm not eating one, I'm certainly thinking about eating one. They consume me, just as I consume them.
Fortunately, London is now teeming with burrito options. Sure, they may be the equivalent of methadone to SF's heroin, but there is a reason methadone exists: because it is a perfectly satisfactory fix.
Thus, this may seem to be a backhanded compliment, but here goes anyways: as far as London burritos go, this is just about the top of the line. All ingredients appear and taste incredibly fresh. Good tomatoes, guacamole, meat, etc. They certainly feel healthier than burritos from home. Consistency is high, which is important considering how often I eat here. Finally, I've noticed more than a few times that the service is particularly friendly in a relaxed, unforced sort of way. Good vibes all around.
So thank the good Lord that this place is just down the street from me, as I'm not sure I could survive the upcoming winter without it.
I've been going here on-and-off for a few months now, and I just can't seem to get enough of their Carnitas...soo good. Like many Mexican restaurants, it's a cantine-style affair, where you order your food at a bar and then find somewhere to sit (or take it away).
The food, on the whole, I think is pretty excellent. There are a few things I'd try to stay away from (their Margaritas look disgusting --though I've never been brave enough to try one). As Kristen M. mentioned, they have really amazing Guacamole. I can't fault their food at all really, it's fantastic.
However, siding with the other voters here, the décor really is somewhat offensive. I don't think I need to detail why (everyone else has that pretty much covered), but suffice to say this is why my review isn't a 5-star. But hey, it's not exactly pricy!
Chilango! you are NOT burrito! and your DEF not Chipotle! but you do have cholula, with enough Cholula anything can taste amazing.
I do like the colors/themes of the restaurant, but seriously? has anyone been there? have you LOOKED at the pictures they have? they are so offensively tryin to be "look I went on Holiday to mexico! I took mexican pictures!" one of the pictures is literally a blown up print of a picture that someone took of a billboard in Mexico. that's it.= ART!
But the burritos were average. I'm not going to pull the mexican elitest card, b/c it's been yelped into the ground. but I probably wont eat there again if I have a choice. but I didn't leave angry... so that's a good sign.
After reading many of the reviews, it seems pretty clear that anybody giving this place more than 3 stars is only basing it on the fact that you really can't find good Mexican food in London (so this place kinda just has to do). Anybody who is PROPERLY reviewing this place most likely is basing it off of PROPER Mexican food and acknowledging that this is simply NOT Mexican food. When you come from Southern California and lived within a half hour drive of the Mexican border, it's just not right to rate such a place with anything higher than 3 stars. I would be wronging all the Cali restaurants ending in -bertos that I've come to love.
I do think it's interesting how there are loads of 'Mexican' joints popping up all over London, but I wonder if they're actually owned by any Mexicans??
As another Yelper put it, this is basically Chipotle, which can be good if you're itchin' for a gringo-ized version of Mexican food. (which actually sometimes, I do...and that is why I didn't give this place any lower than 3 stars)
Chilango has fantastic burritos and guacamole as well as a fun ambiance and a great staff who are super upbeat. Service is always super speedy! Chilango is a chain and has a great loyalty card scheme so you can earn free burritos.
Considering how many times I've go here, I think I should update my review to a length more appropriate to the number of check ins I've got, after all I am the duke (mwa ha ha Laura N, just you try and topple me).
Chilango has ruined my Angel dining habits. Long gone are the days when popping into Angel meant trying out another of its many restaurants. Now it's all about one thing - the grilled chicken burrito. I'm addicted. It's been over a week now and I'm getting the shakes... tonight I'm dining at Pied a Terre for my birthday but if someone said to me "Hey, what if we just grabbed a burrito at Chilango rather than splash out on all that fancy food?" I'd probably buckle.
And don't even think about talking to me as I tackle my tortilla wrapped kilo of chicken, pinto beans, peppers, salsa (both mild and medium), cheese and sour cream with a few extra chips and mexican beer. I'll talk to you afterwards.
I go here so often, I swear that slightly annoying (but endearing in a 'I love my job' kinda way) guy who shouts "welcome to Chilango" when you walk through the door is thinking - oh you again. I have even been known to go here twice in one day for both lunch and dinner, I would go for the treble if they were open for breakfast.
So thank you Chilango, you are depriving me of all sorts of experiences in Angel that I now blindly walk past, but do I care? Ummm, no.
Thank God for Chilango!
Having lived in the USA for a number of years where I was fortunate to sample some excellent Tex Mex food at very modest prices, I approach any Mexican / Tex Mex or anything in the UK with that sort of theme with trepidation having been disappointed several times, including places that are supposed to be good but just aren't.
Chilango ups the game for decent burritos and I would say it's almost on a par with the famous Chipotle in the US although haven't tried the London branch of Chipotle yet...
They are doing all the right things, making all the components on site, using fresh, good quality ingredients and a star for having decent tortilla chips, for once.
The pork isn't quite as full flavoured as the Chipotle US 'carnitas' but the other components are spot on.
Service is friendly and organised and the place is well run.
The bright funky interior is also way better than Chipotle (sorry for the constant comparisons but the overall formula is very similar). I also like the fun design and style with the little Chilango Characters.
A regular stop for me when I am hungry which is all the time.
Chilango's prove that it's actually possible to have good, cheap mexican on this side of the ocean. I'm pretty picky about my mexican too! I love that they will let you mix whatever you want, my fav it both the steak and pork. I have eaten here so many times the staff actually remember me. But for £10 I can get an awesome frozen rita and a hot n spicy dinner. Total winner in my book!
Awesome side note: they will make a frozen rita to-go!!
MARRY ME CHILIAGO!
I'll say this about Chilango, they're growing their customer base the 'right' way. I've had positive interactions with their staff - including serving me right at closing time - and online with their new twitter account (@chilango_uk).
When you've got an itch for burritos, Chilango will scratch it.
As good a burrito as one can find in London. Fresh ingredients, all customizable and made to order. And yes, they use relatively authentic salsas.
But be forewarned, this is a Chipolte masquerading under another name and not much more.
4 stars for the burritos, but 2 stars for the tortilla chips. Seriously Chilango we need to get you out to the new world to see how tortilla chips should taste!
A good solid burrito that will fulfill a craving. What more do you want? Just a bit more punch, some more play with latin spices (cumin is our friend) and give me some HEAT! My mouth never got warm from the salsa they put on it.
Other than a decent burrito you can enjoy some nice margaritas here as well. Nothing says happiness like a nice margarita.
I won't go out of my way to grab a burrito from here but I won't say no if a friend suggest we go in for a bite, assuming we're passing through.
I HAVE OFFICIALLY FOUND REAL GUAC IN LONDON!!!
After eating my way through gross containers of avocado paste that Tesco and Sainsbury's are claiming is guac. I went here on Monday for dinner and had a delicious steak burrito with cheese, pico de gallo, and guac and was quite pleased with the helpful staff and clean atmosphere.
However I give this place three stars because the place oddly wasn't crowded during dinner time, as in I was sitting in Chilango for 45 minutes and not one other person came in-no one during prime dinner time. So did I not get the memo that you aren't supposed to eat here, or that someone didn't make it out alive...
London has made me realize that really Im the girl who orders everything but a burrito at the mexican place. So somewhere that only really focuses on burritos is not the place for me.
Reminds me of Chipotle back home. Ordered the grilled chicken burrito and had them put pico di gallo and medium salsa (would have been entirely too dry otherwise). Seemed pricey for the squat little thing I got but it was fairly tasty and for sure filling.
Meh. Might come back if invited and order nachos instead.
The spiral stairs up to the dining area is cute. :)
TALK ABOUT A LET DOWN :[
everybody and their mother keeps hyping this place to me, so when i finally walked by it a few days ago, i was pumped to try it. sadly, it was shit. seriously - it was inedible. i don't even understand how this crap passes as mexican! the tacos were in a gross, overly corny shell (and i love corn tacos) that just tasted really cheap and the pork filling wasn't very good either. we paid 70p extra for guac, which i didn't mind, but they didn't put much on and the tacos themselves were teeeeny. plus the mild salsa is made with huge chunks of tomato, so you're basically just having tomato chunks, not salsa. sooo0o0o wack
the "famous" chicken burrito was equally bad. burned chicken in a soggy old el paso tortilla... ew. and the decor is the most un- mexican decor in the world. the bathrooms are super mexican, and then the rest of the place is just all colorful like a candy shop or something... WTF CHILANGO
When I want a burrito in London, I come here. Not too frilly, not to expensive, spicy, tasty vittles. Cholula hot sauce!
This is the burrito British style, but that doesn't make it bad, my Americans in London looking for some grub, It just makes it a little different.
One of my favourite places to eat in Edinburgh is a tex mex fast food place called Ilegal Jacks. I've recently moved to London and have heard lots of good things about Chilango's, so decided to drag my (still Edinburgh based) friends here to see if it could become a worthy substitute for Jack's.
Whilst it didn't beat my love of my old haunt, it held up pretty well. The ingredients were fresh and very tasty, the additional guacamole I got was really so good, and the servers didn't look at me funny when I requested no beans and no rice (I normally get laughed at this for this!).
I will definitely come back here for a fast dinner, and perhaps a cheeky frozen margarita or two!
My pork burrito was so good I almost went against eating it and rubbed that meat wrap from heaven all over my body. Seriously the wrap was STACKED with tastiness. It was a behemoth. The counter assistant asked me if I wanted a filling I said yes. Everything they offered, I took it. For £5.90 I had a meal in a delicious flour tortilla. and it made me really happy.
Now there is talk that this is not authentic Mexican food. It is supposedly some form of chipotle. This means nothing to me. All I know is that when I bit into the thing and those flavours hit my taste buds, I clamped my lips together to suppress the soul wrenching moan of pleasure that was erupting within. It was good. It was real good.
For the less hank you can get smaller taco's for around £1.80, or tortilla chips and salsa. But for me it will always be a stacked buritto, drenched in Chilula. Next time I may order a Corona with it too.
I've been searching for a place for a goood burrito in London, and I'm glad I finally found it here.
The people were friendly, the burrito was fantastic and can I get an AMEN that they had Cholula. I don't know if it is because every "mexican" place I've eaten at in London has been atrocious or because I was starving, but that chicken burrito they made me was amazing.
It's a 20 minute train ride away form me, 52 minutes if you factor in emotional and salivatory buildup anticipation. I'm legitimately heading back there right now......
Stop reading this and go get a burrito. You're welcome.
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