Our History

Welcome to Las Iguanas, your ticket to celebrating life the Latin American way..

We started small in a quiet Bristol street in 1991 and became something of a local institution, introducing boldly spiced Mexican and South American food cooked from scratch and a heavyweight menu of premium cocktails. We added intoxicating Latin rhythms and the rich colour palette of the southern hemisphere to the mix and that’s still true of Las Iguanas today. We’re still independent-spirited, with familiar faces running the show because we love what we do.

We’re passionate about sharing the distinctive energy, authentic flavour and spirit of Mexico and South America. Our travels have taken us to some of the most exciting kitchens in the world, from the beaches of Rio to the Amazon rainforest, from urban Buenos Aires to bustling Mexican markets, where we’ve discovered delicious dishes cooked from amazing ingredients. That's what we endeavour to bring back with us to Las Iguanas. Our skilled chefs cook from scratch making our classic salsas, sauces and curries by hand each day, creating your food with love and care just like the cooks we've met on our travels.

Our ethos is refreshingly simple. We want to celebrate the flavours, pleasure and joy of Mexico and South America every day – in a place that lives and breathes it. We source responsibly and have been with some of our suppliers for many years.

We proudly support Latin American businesses like our cachaça partners, Magnifica de Faria, a family business who grow our very own sugar cane which is mixed only with local spring water during distillation.

We are also proud to work with grass roots charities throughout Central and South America through our partnership with the LATA Foundation, and have previously supported a number of charities at home including End Youth Homelessness, Women’s Aid and Orchid Male Cancer charity.
Of course we take the same care of our people – our most important ingredient. Our outstanding training and development is way above the industry standard and backed up by our our rankings; #26 on the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for 2019 list and #11 on Glassdoor's Best Places to Work 2020.

We work hard to ensure our menu is fully inclusive with a choice of halal and non-halal dishes, gluten free dishes and a separate vegetarian and vegan menu. Our chicken, lamb & goat are halal in all of our branches, other meats are not halal including beef and chorizo. All halal poultry and meat is pre-stunned in line with EU guidelines and our commitment to animal welfare.

Palm oil used in our dishes is certified sustainable and palm hearts are ethically sourced. Due to recent supply chain challenges we are currently using a plantain on our menu that contains genetically modified soya oil as a temporary measure.

We purchase all shell and liquid eggs to free range standards and also adhere to the 'Five Freedoms' principle proposed by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee. We are collaborating with our suppliers to have 100% of eggs used in secondary ingredients guaranteed free range by 2022. In 2017 our parent company was awarded the Good Egg Award at the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards, run by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).
As with many other food companies and restaurant groups, we continually seek, and listen to, advice from welfare organisations, independent experts and supply partners as to the best approach in moving to ever-higher standards and welfare systems.

The sustainable sourcing of our food is hugely important to us. We require all suppliers to source fish products from sustainable fisheries, and some have already started the process of having these products independently certified. We've recently been awarded a Three Blue Fish Fish2fork rating for our sustainable sourcing, and our aim is for all fish products to be sustainably certified as soon as operationally possible. Our suppliers can provide evidence of sourcing from well managed sustainable fisheries and any relevant certification at any given time to support this commitment. In addition to this, we do not use or will accept any red-rated endangered fish species in any of our dishes.

We are working on a plan to ensure that the work done to date and our future commitments are clearly communicated to our customers. As part of this, we hope to work with the Marine Stewardship Council to better understand what needs to be done to ensure we can use the MSC label in our communications in a proper and accurate way. We are committed to ensuring that information about how and where our fish is sourced from is readily available through menus, websites and through our restaurant teams.

We are always pleased to answer any queries you may have about the menu.