La Bodega Negra
I love Mexican food. And in London there’s always good Mexican food on offer. But there is one place that I have totally fallen in love with that means it’s always top of the agenda… La Bodega Negra. The café-restaurant is based off Old Compton Street, so it’s beautifully central. It’s quite small though, so be prepared to wait if you don’t book ahead.
The tables are formica-topped style up against wooden benches. The feel is very much based on the street food style that it does so well (the café part offers street food and a slightly different menu to the restaurant). The menu itself is fairly limited as well – there are more varieties of tequila than there is food. But it also is hugely adaptable for gluten-free – there are corn tortillas, which means you can eat pretty much anything on the menu. Just ask when ordering.
I started with a chicken quesadilla – packed full of chicken, achiote and crema – followed by a steak fajita. If the quesadilla was good, the fajita was out of this world. Steak, onions and peppers arrive on a sizzling hot plate, served with fresh tortillas, salsa fresca, guacamole, sour cream and plenty of jack cheese. These things are so incredibly delicious you’ll wish you get more than the three you start out with (although it’s all so filling that you might be too stuffed to try).
The margaritas are pretty delicious too. Go for a classic flavour if you want the traditional, but they also do some pretty tasty fruit flavours that you can try. Just don’t try them all at once – these things are strong! A particular favourite is the blackcurrant and orange, which is delightfully sweet to counter the spice of the food.
The atmosphere is brilliant, the food is incredible, and the margaritas go down super easily. This is the perfect place for dinner with your friends, especially when it’s still warm out and they open up the windows so you feel like you’re sitting out on the street (with none of the weird sitting out on the street in central London thing). The prices aren’t exactly cheap, but it’s worth the extra few pennies for brilliant food. I absolutely adore La Bodega Negra, and it’s always my first choice for central London eating.