Chipotle has more than 3,000 restaurants around the world – but only 10 in the UK.

Chipotle has 10 restaurants in the UK. I went to one to try its food for the first time.
I thought my burrito bowl was a little expensive, but I liked how customizable it was.
Although its menu is much shorter than Taco Bell’s, you can adapt dishes to your tastes more easily.

Chipotle has more than 3,000 restaurants around the world – but only 10 in the UK, all in London. Rival taco and burrito chain Taco Bell, in comparison, has about 100 in Britain.Chipotle has 10 restaurants in the UK.

Sources: Chipotle Q1 earnings, Chipotle UK

After moving to London recently, I visited one of Chipotle’s restaurants near Leicester Square, the city’s equivalent of Times Square. I went at a Saturday lunchtime and the store seemed busy.I visited Chipotle for the first time.

The menu is based on four core dishes – burritos, bowls, tacos, and salad – with a choice of fillings and toppings.The Chipotle menu.

Many fast-food chains let customers order at digital kiosks and their adoption accelerated during the pandemic. However, customers at the Chipotle I went to can only order at the counter.You could only order at the counter.

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This made it seem more personal, however. You can, for example, ask a staff member for recommendations or for more information on ingredients. It also makes it easier to customize your meal.The Chipotle menu.

I ordered a bowl from Chipotle, and got to choose which rice, beans, protein, and toppings I wanted. I went for its plant-based sofritas, coupled with brown rice, pinto beans, cheese, lettuce, and mild tomato salsa. I paid to add guacamole, which at £2.40 ($2.94) I thought was a bit pricey.My bowl from Chipotle.

My friends had also been given free grilled peppers and onions, too. I went back to the counter and a member of staff was more than happy to give me some.My bowl from Chipotle.

At a recent visit to Taco Bell, in comparison, I was able to customize my order on a digital kiosk by removing ingredients or adding extra ones, but there wasn’t as much choice. Plus, at Taco Bell, I had to wait for my order to be brought to my table, whereas at Chipotle they made mine as I watched. The staff member who served me at Chipotle didn’t have to juggle my order with digital orders, too.The digital order screen at Taco Bell.

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My burrito bowl from Chipotle tasted really good. But at £7.95 ($9.75) without the guacamole, and £10.40 ($12.75) with it, I thought it was expensive for fast-cast dining.My meal cost £7.95 ($9.75).

I’d never tried sofritas before, and wasn’t exactly sure what they were. The texture and appearance reminded me a lot of ground beef, but a bit mushier. Chipotle has sold them since 2014, and they’re made from organic shredded tofu which is braised and marinated with chipotle chiles, roasted poblanos, and spices.I ordered my bowl with sofritas.

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While there are some smaller tables, the upstairs of the store is dominated by one long shared table. This may be a more efficient use of space, but it made the dining experience seem less personal. Some people were sat outside, too.The interior at a Chipotle restaurant in London.

There were some intimate tables available downstairs, though. They looked quite different to the dining areas you usually see in quick-service restaurants, though the flat wooden tables were a bit of a give-away.The decor at a Chipotle restaurant in London.

The decor inside was fun and poppy, a bit like at Taco Bell, with some bright colors and neon signs.The decor at a Chipotle restaurant in London.

Taco Bell has a much bigger menu, with dishes including quesadillas, the Crunchwrap Supreme, and the Cheesy Gordita Crunch. It also offers desserts – churros and cinnamon twists in the UK – unlike Chipotle. And Taco Bell has a lot of deals, product bundles, and special offers that I didn’t spot at Chipotle.Part of the menu at Taco Bell.

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But in some ways, Chipotle actually gives customers more choice. Vegan and vegetarian customers at Chipotle can choose between grilled vegetables and sofritas for their filling for tacos and burritos, unlike Taco Bell, which only offers beans. And Chipotle has more options to customize your dish, which makes the whole experience seem more personal. In terms of price, Taco Bell’s dishes seemed cheaper but the portions were smaller, too.A Chipotle restaurant in New York City.

Chipotle’s menu may be shorter than Taco Bell’s, but it’s easier for users to craft the exact dish they want. Shame it doesn’t offer dessert, though.I preferred Chipotle to Taco Bell.

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