Bodega Rita’s, the affably chaotic King’s Cross sandwich shop and deli from Rita’s Dining duo Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce which closed in 2020, will reemerge in Clerkenwell this summer. It will open at 91 Cowcross Street on 22 June, preceding the arrival of Soho restaurant, Rita’s, which will open on Lexington Street later this summer.
Its range of carefully messy sandwiches, which take influences from global cultures without minimising them to tropes, made it one of the best sandwich shops in the city in its initial iteration and will likely make it a strong contender again. This iteration will also feature a return to tacos — a mainstay of Rita’s, the Mare Street restaurant which closed in 2016 — with carnitas and suadero, a slow-cooked beef taco popularised in London by Surrey Quays taqueria La Chingada, anchoring the menu.
The focus on natural wine will also endure, alongside a creative iced coffee menu, chipotle-chocolate oat milk, and a lychee cola, as well as some of its signature margaritas.
Bodega Rita’s followed a sort of mini revival for Rita’s at Redchurch Brewery in 2018 and allowed them, according to Flynn, to do something “way more stripped back than anything we’ve done before.” It also followed a hiatus of research, travel, and honing of what they want Rita’s and its smaller sibling to be, and now, she says, it’s time to take that full circle, “to deliver the menu that we’ve always wanted to deliver, and to pull together all the references and ideas we’ve collected and built up over the last few years.”
Pryce said at the time of its opening in King’s Cross that while the brand and their culinary style at times precedes them, the hope is always to diverge from what’s come before: “I think we always hope to avoid defining ourselves by an existing operation or a previous operation or stick to one thing. A new Rita’s would be great and I love the bodega and what it represents for us, I’d love another one somewhere else.” And now, another one somewhere else is on the way.