Benito's Hat, W1W 8LR
- 020 7636 6560
- 12 Great Castle Street, W1W 8LR
- 11.30am-10pm Mon-Wed; 11.30am-11pm Thu-Sat; closed Sun
A branch of the small Mexican restaurant chain, close to Oxford Circus (behind TopShop), which opened in 2011.
Tucked away off Regent Street, it's usually less busy than the nearby Goodge Street branch. There can be a queue at lunchtimes, but as a regular visitor Kat has never had trouble getting a seat. The key to this might be the extra seating space downstairs, which isn't immediately obvious when you walk in.
The setup is the same as most other London burrito chains: you choose your format and fillings at the counter, a team of servers construct your burrito or taco, you pay and then find a seat. The menu rarely changes (chicken, steak, pork or vegetable burritos or tacos), but there are occasional specials — on a visit in March 2013 Kat noticed a new Cactus filling but unadventurously opted for her usual pork burrito with black beans and guacamole (£6.60). A handful of (sometimes overly salty) tortilla chips are included free of charge. Warning: although the medium salsa barely registers, the spicy salsa is actually tongue-burningly spicy. Luckily a jug of tap water and glasses are always available on the counter.
Kat's verdict: this is probably my favourite out of the chain, perhaps because they always seem to play mambo covers of 90's dance-pop when I'm there.
Accessibility: Toilets are down a (wide) flight of stairs with a handrail.