You're very welcome my dear! xx
Covent Garden, London
66 Chandos Place, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4HG
- Charing Cross Tube Station (0.1 km)
- Charing Cross Station (0.2 km)
- Charing Cross Railway Station (0.2 km)
- Contact us:
020 7240 1883
Contact via email
- Opening hours:
Mon-Sat: 12pm- 11:00pm
Sun: 12pm - 10:30pm
5 Langley Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JA
“Cafe Pacifico is London's original Mexican Cantina opened in Covent Garden banana warehouse in 1982. Since that time, Cafe Pacifico has provided great value for money, friendly service and a lively atmosphere. The long wooden bar and Mexican...” more...
87 reviews of Wahaca in English
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
Was lucky enough to win a meal in the Covent Garden branch of Wahaca where we could sample the new summer menu. The restaurant itself has a young and bustling vibe, with a fairly simple but bright cool decor. The menu consists of three types of dining style, nibbles, 'street food' and big plates.
We had a selection of dishes from the summer menu and it was great to be able to eat tapas style dishes and have so many different tastes - every dish was delicious and fresh. . We tried chicken mole taco, shrimp and scallop ceviche tostadas, summery new potato taquitos and broad bean and feta quesadillas which were all fabulous. We also had a new noodle dish (completely forgotten the name of it) – it was ok but probably the weakest dish. Finally finished off the meal with a lovely salted caramel ice cream dish – yummy!
This food is authentic, understated and excellent. It all tastes fresh and healthy – you can almost kid yourself there are hardly and calories lol.
The margaritas are great, and there is a lot of choice tequila-wise. We ordered about 4 things to share between two of us which was just the right amount. The only criticism is I don’t like taragon and it made the tacos taste weird. This is probably just me being fussy however!
I also have the book now, and the recipes taste just as good at home. The vibe in the restaurant is worth the trip though!
I was inspired to write this review after recently visiting an awful tourist trap of a 'Mexican' restaurant called Lupita that can only be described as the most god awful food I have ever eaten in my life. The whole way through I kept thinking 'Wahaca do this so much better' and wishing I was there. I have lived in London for 5 years and Wahaca is still my favourite restaurant...I could rave about this place all day long. Whether you are a tourist or a regular, the food is consistently amazing and the staff exceptional. You can't book, but don't let this put you off. If you turn up and they don't have tables, you can have one of the amazing cocktails by the bar (Wahaca Mule is the best) or they will give you a buzzer if you want to go elsewhere that will go off when your table is ready. I have almost eaten my way through the menu by this point and can recommend pretty much EVERYTHING. Start by ordering the guac and chips, you won't regret it as they're both home-made. If it's your first time then maybe go for the reasonably priced Wahaca selection to try a few of the tapas dishes. If you're feeling more adventurous then go for one of the huge burritos or the chicken mole, which has a million different flavours. My favourite small dishes are the pork pibil tacos, black bean and cheese quesadillas and chicken taquitos. As for sides...the frijoles are made with black beans and are amazing, as is the green rice, as is the spicy slaw. For afters get the churros - best I've ever had and wash it down with a fresh mint tea...there really is nothing better. You seriously cannot go wrong with this place. It's British produce at its best with really fresh ingredients made into some of the most flavoursome Mexican inspired dishes I've ever tasted. I urge everyone to go here.
Really enjoyed a meal here on Friday night. You cant book, and we were told that the wait would be over an hour. We ordered drinks, nachos and guac and the bar, and ended up being seated after about 40 mins.
English Steak the Mexican Way and the Slow roast pork were both excellent.
Lively atmosphere, friendly staff and not too expensive - all good!
Tasty grub, good prices, quick service (although not most attentive but they're friendly at least), casual and cute decor. Can't really go wrong here!
-Pork tacos: perfect amount of spice, slightly smokey, quite filling
-Ceviche: nice light n tangy seafood combo
-Guac: very yum
-Quesadillas: big and filling
-Queso fundido: just awesome
I have been to several Wahacas across London and have never been disappointed. the food is excellent the service outstanding and fun. if you did not know - Wahaca is an all female franchise.
You go girls!!!
Reviewed using Blackberry. Get the app
This place is a little bit like the TARDIS when you enter, as from the front it does not appear that such a tiny shop window can house such a large basement dining area.
This restaurant chain is the Mexican equivalent of WAGAMAMAS and as such has its good and bad points. The place was comfortable and appeared to have a nice atmosphere, with the interior very neat and tidy.
The staff were very friendly and helpful albeit not very attentive once the place started to get a little bit busy (it didn't help that our waiter finished his shift halfway through serving us!) and unusually very slow to come and collect the bill!!
The food portions appeared small at first glance but when you started to tuck in it was apparent that there was plenty to eat and all at a reasonable price, especially for central London. The food (spicy roast pork)was excellent. Its been a while since I've had Mexican but I was not dissapointed.
The only real issue with the place is the same issue as you get at Wagamamas; your food and the food of your fellow diners does not arrive at the same time. I cannot see how it would be too difficult for the Chefs to ensure that a tables food was prepared at the same time. My wifes food arrived over 5 minutes after mine, which appears an eon once you have started to tuck in.
If you can see past this though its great for a plate of tasty wholesome grub!
Wow(haca), 84 reviews already?! Well, I'm not quite sure how much I can add, except to say that this was some of the tastiest food I'd ever eaten.
OK, so you have to queue for a table, but when you're queuing with a tequila mojito this is no bad thing! Plus we were seated within half an hour, so no biggy. And they don't rush you when you are seated, either. It's all very laid back.
A slight incident occured when my dining companion picked up her (second) Wahaca Mule cocktail, only for the bottom of the glass to come off. Said Wahaca Mule went EVERYWHERE, but the staff were quick to mop it up and bring a replacement, and they took the drinks off the bill without asking, which was a welcome bonus.
I'd recommend ordering 2-3 'street food' dishes per person, then tucking in and sharing everything around. YUM. I'd be interested to see what the Soho and Westfield branches are like, but the atmosphere in the flagship Covent Garden one was great.
I love Wahaca. Have been to the Covent Garden and Westfield branches, and both are great. I wouldn't suggest going there on a first date, but with a group of friends there are few places better. We went with a group of 10 and, although we had to wait for over an hour to be seated, were served without any of the problems some places have with larger groups. The wait was, in a way, good though, as we were able to have a drink and look through the menu and decide what we wanted.
I can't say I have a favourite dish, as everything I've tried has always been great. I do love the sweet potato wedges though, along with the mole. Added to that, the chilli seeds you get to take have actually grown, giving me some lovely chillis for my own versions...
Mexico without the Mexicana
A visit to Wahaca is not a visit to a more typical Mexican (or, that poor imitation, Tex Mex) restaurant. There are none of the sombreros, worn cowboy boots, dusty guitars, or any other such tat. Instead, there are plain tables populating a massive basement restaurant, bustling with waiters and conversation, food smells and laughter. The menu is the table cover, simple and effective. The service is swift and helpful, enthusiastic and professional. The atmosphere is friendly, relaxed and gratified. The food is market-bought, fresh and bursting with flavour. The food is more than that though - it is, rightly, the star of the show. Everything else could be awful, and Wahaca would still have its queues. For any one of the items that regularly star on the changing menus, Wahaca would be worth repeated visits. The molė tacos alone deserve their own restaurant, the crab tamalas could have been freshly caught and made on a Cancún beach mere seconds before. The slow-cooked pork drips with more flavour, and the salsa verde is more piquant than any other London rival produces. Even basic table dishes like the salsa and the guacamole make the meal.
For all of these strengths, Wahaca has one real weakness. It is far too cheap. They could charge twice the amount, and the only thing they’d lose would be the hour-plus peak-time queues. Right now managing to get a table for 12.30 or 7.00 is no longer merely a challenge, and instead more of a sport - and one with plenty of spectators. But I hope they don’t change any part of their formula - there’s nothing better to get you out of the house and taking part in a sport than the promise of delicious food afterwards.
Wahaca needs to get it's queueing system sorted. We're all aware that they don't take bookings and that any time of day you're looking at a 20+ minute wait (whilst you have a drink or two.) No problem there. When, however, you issue buzzers to clients and a number of these are on the blink at the same time, you've got a problem.
On Saturday (late afternoon) we became aware of many unhappy customers waiting in line with ourselves. Eventually people were approaching the staff to ask what the problem was. It turned out at least 3 buzzers were faulty and we had indeed been 'called' already. Given that at least 2 of the groups had not moved more than a few metres from the 'reception' area ... a simply calling out of our names would have sorted the problem easily.
Most concerning was the apparent lack of concern on the staff's part. One group were so tee-ed off that they left in a huff - likely never to darken the doorstep again .... plus tell all their friends.
Wahaca needs to be careful of resting on it's laurels.
Food was tasty and had a nice bite. Our waitress was very quick and knowledgeable; and as I've always maintained: Everyone deserves a second chance.
Great Mexican venue! The food is good, staff is very friendly and the place is beautiful!
You can rather take a main course for yourself (around 6-7£) or choose to share lots of little courses with your friends which is lovely!! It's something like 3£ per course and so you can try a lot of different type of food from little tacos to quessadillas... and I found the food really good!
Good venue to go with friends to celebrate something and drink Tequila after diner (or during lunch like us!!!)
I am not really sure why Wahaca is so popular. They have managed to take mediocre Mexican street food, inflate the price massively and sell it to trendy people who think it's all so cool.
They've also sold out. It's supposed to be spelt Oaxaca but they've spelt it Wahaca so that English people can pronounce it correctly. Marketing genius for sure, but still a sell-out.
If you want a Burrito or some real Tacos, skip Wahaca altogether and go to Benito's Hat, Chilango or Chipotle. If you want first class authentic Mexican food and don't mind paying a premium price for quality, go to Mestizo. If you want to be hip and trendy and be able to tell all your friends you've been to Wahaca just for the sake of being able to say it, go to Wahaca.
They do have some nice drinks and a good selection of Tequila, but the menu is a little confusing and it's difficult to know what you're ordering. When it arrives, the food is not bad, but it's not great either.
Loved the food here, and especially all the staff. It was really busy and loved everything about it, especially the menu. Its great that its authentic Mexican food and not Tex Mex. I had the pork tacos and quaesadilla for starters which are mini sized portions, then had a pork burrito which was unbelievable. If you dont fancy anything big i recommend getting 3 or 4 small dishes at about 3 - 4 pounds each which is reasonable.
I loved this place. I visited recently with a good pal who I hadn't seen for sometime and we were looking for somewhere a bit different in town for dinner and a leisurely catch-up. A friend at work (thanks, Penny ;-) ) had recommended Wahaca as somewhere which served tasty Mexican food, had a cool and modern atmosphere and vibe, but above all else, good service. We weren't disappointed!
We arrived early as we were told mid-week evenings tend to be busy and that it can be difficult to get a table at 'peak' times. We put our names on a waiting list, were told a table would be available in 20mins, ordered ourselves a Mojito and grabbed a space on the bar bench seating.
It was steadily getting busier (just past 6pm on a Weds eve), but we were seated within 15mins. We were lucky enough to have the most upbeat and enthusiastic waitress who couldn't do enough for us and who really made our experience rather exceptional!
Our waitress explained the different sharing options and how we could put various dishes together to share for each course, which was helpful as there are quite a few 'mezzo' style dishes to choose from.
Tables are well spaced, furniture is minimalist, toilets immaculate and menus are laid-out in a similar newsletter style to Wagamamas. You can take away the menus for future ref or to pass onto folk who you think may also like to visit. Clever marketing eh?!
Modern, relaxed, great service and brilliant attention to detail. Food was scrummy and great to share. Definitely a top tip for meeting-up with a pal or a group of friends.
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
Comment 1 comment on this review
PennyW26, 25 October 2010:
Cheap 'n cheerful, good atmosphere (lively) ... have to wait for a table but it's a nice wait as you are in a bar with a beeper and it's well organised. Lovely cocktails, authentic Mexican street food. Good fun night out and something different.
I want to clone Thomasina Miers and have her make me food everyday!
I finally made it to Wahaca after about a year of waiting to get a table. Ok that is a mean joke on my part, but for whatever reasons it has taken me until now to make it there. I will be back and I can't wait for the branch on Wardour Street to open either as that shall help with the being able to get a table.
Luckily on Sunday when I went we only had to wait just under 20 minutes. We had a wonderful meal of tacos, quesadillas, soup, salad and churros! The cocktails were mindblowing and very stimulating on the senses and they also served Modelo Especial which brings back happy memories for me of eating Mexican food in San Francisco.
I was there with my beloved and my sibling and we had a very relaxed meal and I must say although there was a little wait there was absolutely no pushiness for us to leave our table or to hurry up. The spirit of Sunday was upon the place and I found the staff very helpful in terms of explaining the menu and I found everything we had really beautifully cooked.
The Steak tacos were moreish as was the quesadilla, we had tostadas too and the mixture of textures as well as fresh flavours made the food addictive as they were served in tapas sized portions.
I really liked the taco soup too as it was poured in front of you and all the other garnishes in the bowl seemed to become 'activated' when the soup touched it. I loved these little elements of theatre and the soup was very flavorsome and palate cleansing too.
It was the perfect thing to have before another beer, some lime, mint and sparkling water and churros!
They are indulgent but when shared between three the guilt goes away. I am pleased that they weren't drowned out by cinnamon and had a lovely crisp bite as well as a silky chocolate sauce. My only tip for having them again is to bring a straw as you won't want to waste a single drop of that lovely chocolatey goodness.
After going once I can see why people will queue for hours and why it is worth queuing for hours. Still I am more than happy to see more branches of this place as once you go you want to go again and again!
The prices are very pocket friendly and the small plates aren't so microscopic that you shall leave feeling hungry.
We went here for dinner for a friend's 'back in London' party and it was lovely. As we were a big group we got there quite early and managed to score the last large table! The staff were very accomodating locating extra chairs when non RSVP'd people showed up and wanted to join us. The food is pretty good value also. My fiance and I shared the tasting plate and we were both stuffed at the end of it.
Since dining here we bought the recipe book and have been feasting on Mexican food ever since!
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