One of my favorite fast food eateries in America is Chipotle. As with most American imports, the food here is priced by replacing the $ with a £, thus making it overpriced. I patronized a London Chipotle once and vowed to never return.
Today I discovered Tortilla and finally satisfied my craving for inexpensive Mexican food! They essentially offer the same options as Chipotle, with minor differences:
- Spanish rice (in addition to cilantro/lime rice)
- Diced onions
- Shredded AND chopped lettuce (oh boy!)
Anyways, though the food isn't anything to write home about, I gave Tortilla 4 stars because of the price point. The medium burritos and burrito bowls are only £4.95. It's much cheaper than it's competitor Chipotle, and affordable on my student budget. Also this location offers tons of seating on the main level and upstairs, or you can go outside and enjoy the views of Bankside.
This is my first review since living in London and it had to be for a Mexican place. I would like to say that I am quite hard on Mexican places since I've lived in Souther California my entire life up to now. I have to imagine that this is the best London has to offer.
Now let me just say I've eaten Mexican before here, and it's honestly best to avoid, I'm sorry to say, so only go if you are dying for Mexican. It's comparatively expensive as well. This is Chipotle style Mexican as opposed to hole-in-the-wall Mexican, but pretty good considering. The biggest problem with Mexican in London is that there are no flavors. In San Diego there's almost too much flavor. Spices are sought from the deepest regions of the amazon just to hit my flavor crystals. Tortilla was the first to make them tingle a little here.
The Bad: Price (okay for london in general, but not when are used to paying $4 for a burrito). Being nickel and dimed (or I guess penced and penced) for carne, guacamole.
The Good: Cilantro Rice. Pollo. Hot sauces.
The Great: Jalapeños (Take a lesson Chipotle). The tortilla. Large windows and layout of restaurant.
The Amazing: Being able to have something I consider Mexican food.
I really think that his is a perfect 3.5 stars, but it's been a month since I've had Mexican so I'll give the benefit of the doubt. Actually the extra half star is for the option of bottomless drinks and more importantly Cholula on the table. I almost cried. I'll probably go 1-2 a month. Definitely better than the hat.
Yeh I'm afraid I wasn't impressed with this place. I like a Burrito as much as the next man, maybe a little more but this was below par and over priced.
I really disliked the over zealous portion control they had going on; you had to pay extra for guac (this is a Burrito right?) and if you order chips (which were overly salty and cold) you have to pay extra for a tiny pot of Salsa. Why would I want chips sans salsa? Surely in a Burrito place the salsa should flow freely from a huge vat in the corner with questionable health and safety issues?
Add to the mix that the steak in my beef Burrito was tough and the door was broken so the cold wind kept blowing it open and I was less than blown away. (excuse the pun).
9 times out of 10 I find myself in line with an American or Canadian, often lamenting the lack of affordable Mexican food in London. Tortilla fits the bill, up there with Chipotle back in the States. At £7 a pop (if you go big like I do) it's actually quite a bargain, enough cow to last me a whole day.
Being from California, a state that has a half mexican population, I feel as though I'm entitled to say that I'm a connoisseur of this type of cuisine. Maybe it's because I was eating rice and beans before I could speak, maybe it's because I have always tried every tacqueria within a 20 mile radius of every place I've ever called home, maybe because the more my mouth burns of salsa, the happier I am. In any of those cases, let me tell you, Tortilla is one of two restaurants in London that can call themselves real mexican food.
A few things to note: they have Cholula sauce, they have delicious fresh guacamole, they know how to do carne asada and shredded chicken very well, they give a guide on how to eat a burrito (since everybody in England eats everything from pizza to tacos to shawarmas with a fork and knife), and they make a decent margarita. All of this points to a very serious attempt to being mexican food to the flavorless UK.
My margarita is raised to you, Tortilla.
I go here quite regularly, and it's very variable.
Everything from ingredient quality to portioning to quality of burrito-wrapping changes from visit to visit. The quality of the guac is generally a good indicator of if it's going to be a good day or not. If it looks unripe / pale / brown, get your ass out of there and come back another day.
They do a fairly good cali-mex burrito--not quite as good as Daddy Donkey or anything you'd find in a decent Mission place in SF, but ranging from the just-passable to the pretty-damn-good.
Would recommend the steak of all the meats; tends to be the most reliable. Juicy and often still slightly pink, it's generally pretty good. Probably not worth it for the veggies out there; thanks to the way they burritos are constructed and the extra-unreliabless of the guac and optional peppers-and-onions combo, you're likely to end up with a lukewarm and unsatsifying mess.
++points for the chilli sauce, though -- be sure to ask for extra hot sauce (Chilula, generally) and fresh chillis at the end if you like it hot. They don't cost anything, but you have to ask for them specifically.
They also get points for a great North American beer selection; it's a rare thing even in London to get Anchor Steam and Pacifico, which do go down a treat on a Friday lunchtime.
I'm going to give these guys an extra star because not only are the burritos tasty, they're good value and they're always consistent. I've never had a bad meal here!
No, not quite as good as Chilangos or Benito's Hat, but very good for somewhere that's just round the corner from the office.
Took a friend here for lunch and she was more than happy. Success.
Working around southwark, I've had to try a bit of everything in the area. I really like this burrito place, but to be honest working in Southwark I can't be too picky, so I'm content to say that I like the burrito enough to keep going back. No there aren't any Mexicans, but really when was the last time you saw a Mexican person in London? :P
I have only had the veggie version but it was very yummy!! The drinks are re-fillable too. This place gets really packed at lunchtime so get there early if you don't want to queue and if you want a seat, there isn't that much space.
If you want something out of the ordinary for lunch without having to break a tenner, then come to Tortilla. The foiled wrapped parcels of goodness won't leave you hungry or disappointed! I would say that if you are a true connoisseur of Mexican food, it probably isn't the most authentic tasting food. But if you're freezing your face off, it's Friday lunchtime and you're stuck near Blackfriars Bridge, this place will really make you day!
Pre book your food online to avoid a huge queue!
I've noticed that most people are giving this place a 4 star or a 2 star, but the thing is, having had to search for a decent burrito across London and Paris because my boyfriend has a burrito obsession, I have to say that this is my favourite place. Not only is the flavour the best I have had (anywhere), but the price is also the best in Europe.
£5 for a medium burrito, £6 for a large. For me, the medium-size was enough. 50 pence extra if you want steak instead of chicken or braised pork. If you want guac, it's 70 pence extra.
The set up is exactly like Chipotle's: pick your food (burrito, fajita, naked), pick your meat (chicken, pork, steak, veg), pick your toppings through the assembly line of workers.
The steak....wow...so flavourful and juicy. I've never had burrito steak tips so tastily marinated. The cut of the meat is not as tender as the one as Chipotle, which I personally love more because it's a bit more fatty and chewy.
There's two types of rice: mexican (with beans) or cilantro. They ask you if you want beans or peppers (they don't have refried beans). I opted out of the beans and picked the peppers with cooked onions. Also very flavourful!
Three types of salsa: mild (tomatoes and onions), medium (verde), and hot (roja).
Other toppings: sour cream, cheese, lettuce (iceburg AND romaine), fresh onions, and jalapeno peppers.
Also hot sauce at the table.
Oh, and, um, refillable soft drink? Am I still in London?
IMO, waaaay BETTER THAN CHIPOTLE'S
Very similar to other Tortilla's, this is not my favourite from this chain.
It's quite a small one and due to all the offices in the area, this is usually very busy sat lunchtimes.
Tasty and filling, it is worth a visit, they have a good selection of beer and you can make your dish to your own specifications.
The staff are all efficient, with the exception of one of them (the first man in the line who takes your order), so is both efficient, friendly, often funny and very approachable. He turns what could be a glum experience into a pleasant (often interactive) break from work. I hope he never leaves.
I had lunch here today and it was so good. I had a chicken burrito which was about £4.50 and myself and my friend shares a bowl of tortilla chips and guacamole, which was about £3. Everything was so delicious, and the chips were warm and really salty which I love. It was also really filling so completely worth every penny. We went at 1pm and because a lot of people go for takeaway we got a seat straight away despite the long queue for service.
My favourite thing about it? Free refills on soft drinks. I went a little overboard on the coke and got really full so be warned! The cups are paper though so when you leave you can take another gulp for the road, that is so rare for London. In a way I'm sad I've discovered this place so close to my house because I'll be here all the time now!
I came here on a "Hey I heard this place was good you should go" sort of whim. Bad idea.
It's almost as if they don't even try though.
1) No black refried beans for the burrito, not even regular refried beans. I want my Mexican food to promote my glutunous and ravenous desires for a burrito. A Mexican burrito house that only serves pinto and black is right off the bat, a failure.
2) Margaritas from a Slurpee machine? This might be amazing from a Fraternity point of view, pero no creo que es bueno en un restaurante de Mexicana comida.
3) No Mexicans. I understand we are far from Mexico and there was a reason that while in San Francisco most of the Mexican places had Mexican people there. Yoshlov and Katinka the nice people who made my burrito and took my money might want to invest in a trip to Mexico, maybe for the weekend, and call it a business trip. Just a suggestion, make up new Mexican names for your name badges. I don't give two bananas what your real name is, and seeing a Russian dude with a Mexican name badge would be good fun. It might be so much fun i will forget how awful the burrito you made me was.
Go to a nearby bar, ask them for a burrito, watch them laugh at you and throw you some peanuts. You'll feel better about yourself and it will be a better usage of money.
Wow - I think I've found a new favorite place for lunch!
Tortilla is a fast food style Mexican. You queue up and order your burrito how you like it, in a very similar fashion to subway sandwiches (except you're choosing between meets, cheese, types of rice and beans, choice of three salsas etc.). As a bonus offer at lunchtimes a bottomless soft drink is only 50p. Beers are also available. This style is something I've experienced in Mexican places in California, but not in London.
You can opt for takeaway, but they offer a lot of seating on two floors as well. The restaurant itself is very clean and modern and is a pleasant place to eat. Quiet music plays in the background.
They make a big thing about how all the ingredients are fresh, and their meets are home marinated - and I think this is really reflected in the quality of the food because the burrito I had was delicious.
We arrived at 12:15 and there was not much of a queue. However we noticed that the queue built up quite a lot over the next 20 minutes so would recommend arriving a bit early.
I'll definitely be going here frequently (I'll add more photos on my next visit)
I'm a big burrito fan and when my sister came to visit London for the day recently I thought it was a good opportunity to share the Mexican love, so we planned to meet at Tortilla for a bite to eat before an afternoon at Tate Modern.
The place was practically empty when we arrived around 3pm, which made for little ambience but fast and attentive service. The veggie burritos were very nice but I could have eaten another one right after I'd finished and kept casting envious glances at my sister's one until she finally gave in and threw me the last bits of hers. Maybe it was just an especially hungry day for me!
In this world, you can't go far wrong with food that starts with a flat circle of stuff. Pizza is awesome. Pancakes are awesome. A kebab can get you through in a tight situation. Pasties are quite popular, and that's just a Cornish pizza that's been folded in half. And I ain't met nobody who would ever say no to a decent Burrito.
Though Tortilla was a little hard to find initially (if you approach it from one direction all you can see are the signs for the Health Club rather than the source of Mexican goodness), and it looks like the kind of mainstream chainy type place that lovers of fine lunchtime cuisine tend to avoid - once you've tried their burritos I almost guarantee you'll be back.
In fact, the ordering process on the 3 times I've been there in the last 6 days does have me wondering what element of the presentation I've missed. Despite signs around showing you what the workflow & options are, I still feel like the staff are making it up on the spot. But even then, IT'S SO GOOOOOOOOD!
The food's fresh, tasty, affordable, healthy-ish, and did I mention tasty? I'm yet to master the art of eating a heftily-sized burrito without sending my Mexican spicy rice distributing itself all over the table and up the arm of my shirt. The chicken and the pork have been incredibly flavoursome - with that woody/smoky flavour that you don't get anywhere near with "bing cuisine".
The restaurant - well you wouldn't really call it a cafe? - is quite spacious, and has all the atmosphere of an airport departure lounge, although to their credit they haven't spattered it with spray-on Tex Mex kitsch, preferring just to get on with the business of making tasty lunchtime nosh.
These things might not even be very authentic, but damn they're good. I'm going back tomorrow.
I am now officially a fan of Mexican fast food, following my recent visit with fellow Qypers to this branch of Tortilla.
Ostensibly there to try their new range of American beers (to add to their Mexican ones), the real star of the show for me was their tasty burritos. Freshly prepared in front of you, they come with a choice of delicious fillings including lemon and coriander flavoured rice/Mexican rice, pinto beans, black beans, peppers and onions, sour cream, cheese, guacamole and various strengths of salsa (as well as a choice of meat fillings for the carnivores).
Perhaps the beer tasting had given me courage, but I went for the hottest salsa and didn't regret it. The hot pepper sauce on the table also proved popular with the Qypers.
On the beer front, they have an excellent range of American and Mexican: my favourite was Blue Moon, brewed in the Belgian style, which had a lovely coriander and orange peel flavouring reminiscent of the Hoegaarden style.
I had severe Burrito cravings in the days following my visit here (I just wish there was a branch in Stoke Newington!). The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was the slightly disappointing margarita, which was served warm to me. But ice was quickly provided on request. The service was very friendly and accommodating and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
oh yum, wish i was back there now sipping on a margarita from the slush puppy machine they have. I went here the london duck tour with qype and i was impressed.
Freshly made tortilla wrap or burrito all made in front of you like subway.
Very nice staff may i add that were happy to accomodate requests for slight deviations from the set fillings.
YOU need to be HUNGRY for this as they are HUGE!!! but oh so tasty, unfortunately none near me -hint hint you need to open in wimbledon PLEASE!!!! lol.
For £5.70 you get a large tortilla filled with rice,beans,meat,salsa,cheese,sour cream and guacamole. there are about 4 branches i think, once near oxford circus and one near Angel
Tortilla is a great little Mexican/Californian burrito chain with five or six outlets dotted about London and I'm very lucky to have one on my route home. This branch is on the ground floor of a modern building in Southwark Street just behind the Tate Modern. It has an additional seating area on the floor above, but this is only opened at lunchtime to cope with the swarms of hungry office types who are queuing out the door.
It's a cafe like space; clean, tidy and efficiently run. You are not likely to want to linger for too long once you have scoffed your Mexican snackage but I guess that's part of the point. You will be as happy here as a solitary diner, a couple or with a larger party - I have visited with B and on also on my own.
Anyway we popped in last Thursday night, I think it is open until 9pm, as we made our way along the Thames after sampling the delights of the Cologne Christmas Market on the Southbank. It always seems to be reasonably quiet if you drop in any time after the lunchtime rush and we received a warm welcome as we mulled over the menu on the wall by the serving area.
Like most of the Mexican grill type places you decide if you are going down the burrito or tacos route, then move onto putting together your dream filling. I'm having a bit of taco love-in at the moment so I went for a couple of the little corn beauties, with the mouth-watering carnitas pork which had been slow cooked to within an inch of its life. I built this up with some hot salsa, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and shredded iceberg lettuce. B went down the burrito route and had a bad boy stuffed with pork, rice, pinto beans, cheese and a good hit of the medium salsa. A bowl of the freshly made, very zingy, guacamole with a bag of the excellent tortilla chips on the side and we were good to go.
This is mighty, mighty fine fast food using excellent ingredients and lovingly prepared. There are large bottles of chilli sauce on the table should you need it and there a few foodie bits and pieces you can buy to take home should you fancy making your own Mexican feast.
If you are in the mood for a beer then you are in luck as they have an excellent range of both Mexican and American brews. I had a bottle of the Anchor Steam Beer and B washed the bad boy down with a lovely Mexican bottle whose name has completely slipped my mind (not the usual Corona or Dos Equis so I will have to make a return visit to check up on this slight omission!!)
Three quarters of an hour later we left wearing a couple of very big grins with our hunger nicely sated and my wallet less than £20 lighter result.
Not the best burrito I've had but perfectly acceptable!
Pretty good price compared too many other Mexicans, but I think this reflects in the food.
You have to love a fast food place where the unmissable sight when you're choosing your food is a grill full of proper steaks . In reality, this is pretty much a function of the small size of this outlet ( there's no convenient corner to hide the grill behind, but there you go. Also, the burritos come in two sizes, for those who want to manage their intake of the goodies. I have to say, the small steak burrito I had was one of the better ones I've tasted in London- but ( there's always a but), why oh why do all the chains insist on charging extra for guacamole ? It's like charging extra for butter in sandwiches just not really on
The food at Tortilla is average, nothing really worth going out of one's way for. There are definitely better burritos in the area (Chilango on Fleet Street springs to mind).
Service is perfunctory but nothing special, on the whole. The place can get very busy at lunchtimes being that there are a lot of offices in the area. It's worth a visit if you're in the area, but don't break your neck to go.
This is the British version of "Chipotle" which has taken the US by storm. There is the additional selection of "Spanish rice" and salsa is called "chilli" but other than that, there's not much difference between the two. A basic selection of Mexican beers or frozen margaritas. And the best part, no indigestion afterwards!! (unlike Chipotle)
I was lucky enough to be on a 2-in-1 event yesterday. Following a ride on the Duck Tour we went on a bit of a walk around Southwark to end up at Tortilla. It does exactly what it says on the tin: tortillas (as well as burritos and tacos, but you get the idea).
I must admit that I am not a big fan of food you eat without cutlery, and this is essentially a very smart fast food chain (apparently there are branches in Islington and Canary Wharf as well). What is different is that the wraps are prepared right in front of you. The ingredients are fresh and delicious, and the staff are extremely friendly and patient (I asked far too many questions as i can never make up my mind). I ended up with the perfect burrito! On hindsight I should have gone for the smaller option, though, as it may well have been a little less messy.
The theme of our event was actually a beer tasting (as illustrated by the pictures I just uploaded) as Tortilla has just introduced a selection of American beers not usually found in London. We sampled our way through half a dozen, followed by four Mexican beers. We all had our favourites, but they were all excellent and much stronger (all 5% plus) than most mainstream US lagers.
Not sure if I would come here for a night out, but I wish a branch was closer to work as the burritos make for perfect filling lunches.
Yeee-haa! The authentic taste of Americana - Mexican food that is!
We visited Tortilla at Southbank as a group to try their newly-released range of American beers that help complete the Mexican experience. It was a hot afternoon and I for one was dying for a cold beer to quench my thirst. In the past their Mexican beers have been great ( Pacifico Clara, the ubiquitous Dos Equis, Negro Modelo and Modelo) but now with the choice of American artisan beers too, the range is huge!
First we tried Goose Island India pale ale from Chicago, a malty, fruity light taste, swiftly followed by the smoother, creamier Sierra Navada pale ale from California. I love this beer as it reminds me of good times sitting on the beach in LA!
Next we moved on to the Blue Moon wheat beer from Colorado, a light, Belgian-style beer that went well with my food later. Moving on the heavier stuff we tried the amber Brooklyn lager and the full-flavoured Samuel Adams amber beer. It was hard to decide which I liked the best - (especially as we were lucky enough to try the Mexican beers too) but I still think the Blue Moon folowed by Sierra Navada is for me. Easy to drink, summery and still with a strong alcoholic content, what more could I ask for! When it came to our choices for food, I decided on the beef burrito with black beans, rice and guacamole in a medium size. I can't imagine I would ever get through the large size at all, but definitely good to share with a friend.
Others tried the pork burrito, chicken tortilla and corn chips with dips.
I have to say the service was amazing, really friendly girls looked after us and was super-patient when we asked many questions on combinations and for their advice.
Definitely a well-priced alternative to 'fast food' - the burritos were delicious, beers varied and interesting and I love the fact that you can buy a huge range of chilli and hot sauces there too. Well worth stopping by one of their many branches to try it for yourself.
I liked the fact that the burritos are really overstuffed so you do get a lot of bang for your buck although the steak was slightly chewy. The hot sauce is also properly hot go carefully! But on the whole I like this place, it's fast, fresh and affordable.
Being from New York, it's traditionally been pretty hard to find a good ole burrito joint in London. Luck is changing though and there's quite a few places popping up all over the place. Tortilla is great for picking one up at lunchtime though it's a darn hard decision to choose between chicken and beef...
What a wonderful place. The staff are so friendly and the food is devine. I had the burrito- a large one. The burrito starts with a tortilla. You then choose a variety of ingredients from rice, beans, meat/vegetarian, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and salsas of varying heat intensity. At Tortilla, you can order a medium (£4.70) or a large for only £1 more. Quick, fresh food with a smile for under a fiver- I will be going back!
Because it's geographically quite handy for me, I've been here a few times. It's a nice place to go if you're
after a relatively cheap and cheerful meal in the area two of you can
have a burrito each and a pitcher of (very tasty) margaritas for around
£20 which is pretty good value in London.
a fantastic place to go. readymade frozen margarita in slushpuppie machine. huge tastey burritoes
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