Sun-Thu, 11am-midnight; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-1am
F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Canal St. to 23rd St., Ave. D to Broadway
Mexicali food was as rare as an East Village stockbroker when Benny's sold its first burrito. Twenty years later the vegetarian-friendly, inexpensive grub is everywhere, but Benny's remains a wrap star. Pink walls, lava lamps, and 60s artifacts lend an air of kitsch, and the noise level never sinks below a roar. Benny's is best-known for their burritos, and if you stick to that section of the menu you won't be sorry. The most popular is also the most basic—shreds of tender chicken, beans, rice, and jack cheese pack the Bay Burrito torpedo that's full to bursting. It dares you to disregard that old warning: Never eat anything bigger than your head. A less gluttonous option is the inside-out shrimp burrito, a deconstructed platter version of the dish that accentuates the lightly spicy flavor of the seafood apart from all the trimmings. For something more Cal than Mex, crispy avocado rolls are a simple, refreshing option: four spears of ripe avocado wrapped in fresh spinach leaves and flour tortillas, seared on the griddle for a little crunch, with warm tomatillo sauce for dunking. Wash it all down with the powerful, tart margaritas, bargain-rate if you’re here during the twice-nightly happy hours.Extra
If one chance for discount drinks is good, two must be better: Benny's has daily happy hours from 4 p.m.—7 p.m., then again from 10 p.m.—close.Recommended Dishes
Crispy avocado rolls, $8.25; grilled chipotle chicken burrito, $11.25; shrimp burrito, $14.25; bay burrito, $9.95