Street Food Spotlight – Issue #5

From wood-fired pizza in Cornwall to Chilean food in Norwich, these are five street food vendors in the UK that deserve your attention.
STREET LEAD IMAGE ISSUE 5

Getting to write these lists and champion all the brilliant street food stalls across the UK is just one of the many highlights of my job. It’s not only a great way to shout about some of the best burgers and pizzas around but it’s an ample opportunity to show off just how diverse the street food scene is across the nation.

A rare rump steak doused in vibrant chimichurri might not be the first dish that comes to mind when you think of walking around a food market with an appetite and a tote bag in tow but I hope that you, like me, are the sort of person who gets very excited at the sound of that. Because there’s a lot of excellent eats to be had if you’re willing to put yourself out there and take your stomach outside of its comfort zone every now and then.

This Street Food Spotlight is stuffed with some brilliant chefs making food you can eat in the street with glee. Check out Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3, and Issue #4 for some more big hitters and make sure to let me know about your local faves that deserve a shoutout. In the meantime, I’ll keep my ear to the ground for the best street food in the UK.

Dotbagels

Our bagel culture in the UK might not match the yanks just yet but the more that we see spots like Newcastle’s Dotbagels continue to be a success, the brighter the nation’s bagel future is. Boasting five locations across the city, Dotbagels started as a lockdown project from founder Craig Robinson and has since turned into a delicious little doughy empire. The Dotbagels USP is that they fill their freshly baked bagels with a range of flavours that span from classic Reuben and lox with cream cheese to a parmo situation that’ll leave you full for hours. Handmade and handsome, that’s what these bagels are.

Wild Bake

A well-made wood-fired pizza is capable of covering every one of your five basic tastes. The sweetness of the tomato sauce should play off the sour lactic tang of the cheese, the bitterness of the charred base, and the savouriness of some kind of cured meat topping in a way that most Michelin-starred dishes could only dream of. A good pizza will satisfy all of your senses and Wild Bake is a Cornish street food operation that makes just that: good pizza. The owner (and chief pizzaiola) Lewis Cole has been keeping it local since 2013 by providing Cornwall with quality slices out of his mobile pizza oven. A proper street food hero. STEAL IMAGES FROM IG.

Cocina Mia

One of the best things about the UK is how multicultural and diverse it is. Nothing sums up that melting pot dynamic better than Cocina Mia: a street food operator in Norwich Market that serves traditional Chilean food. Expect hefty bronze empanadas to come stuffed with a mixture of slow-cooked spiced ground beef with onion, raisins, olive and a quarter of a boiled egg or tender chunks of chicken cooked with onions and sweet peppers. Both are delicious, as are the range of hot Chilean sandwiches made fresh to order with generous mounds of rump steak and a slick of chimichurri. STEAL INAGES FROM IG

Mao Chow Express

I’m not the biggest fan of Boxpark (read: I don’t like Boxpark at all) but I am a big fan of Mao Chow. Specialising in proudly vegan and proudly inauthentic Chinese food, the group’s latest takeaway hatch in Shoredtich is worth traversing through the crowds of skinny jeans and Tommy Hilfiger t-shirts for. The dan dan noodles are a lip-numbing delight and the omnipork dumplings are so eerily reminiscent of meat that some hardcore vegans might actually find them offputting. If that means more dumplings for me, then I’m more than okay with that.

Keralan Karavan

Operating out of sunny Cardiff, chef Pankaj Krishnan’s Keralan Karavan offers one of the best opportunities for you to get a real taste of Kerala without booking the next flight over. This pop-up doesn’t have a reglar base camp but you can find them moving about all over the shop, so following them on IG is the best way to keep track of their whereabouts, As for what’s on the menu? Southern Indian street food staples like pani puri, chana puro, and homemade samosas are all in attendance alongside modern riffs like their popular Bombay tikka taco. All worth ordering.

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