Street food has always been popular in London – we’ve got multiple markets dedicated to the stuff – but with restaurants closed for months, takeaway food being our only way to eat out, and people pivoting to new businesses during lockdown, we’ve flocked to the traders like never before. These are the new wave street food stalls you need to get on your radar.
Auntie Banh Mi
This Laotian pop-up is serving up some of London’s best banh mi with a menu featuring the likes of sweet ‘n’ spicy pho beef brisket, grilled chicken laap and 24-hour roast pork all being stuffed inside next level bread. Auntie Banh Mi is popping up all over the city, from Chelsea to Shoreditch, so she’s sure to be in your neck of the woods at some point.
Dough Hands is slinging some seriously good slices of pizza ALL across London’s markets (including Westgate St and Brixton). And as well as traditional toppings, there’s also some funky specials hitting the menu, like the brekkie special (think mozzarella, spinach, jammy egg, smoked salmon, lemon creme fraiche and dill) and one loaded with chorizo, pico de gallo and avocado crema. Sounds good, ‘eh?
Toum & Tahini
Toum & Tahini specialise in fatteh, a Syrian dish of pulled chicken, flatbread, crispy chickpeas and a good slathering of garlic yoghurt – what’s not to like? If you’re out west you can pick up one of these bowls at Brook Green Market and Fulham Farmers Market.
Chef Farid Filali is bringing salt beef bagels to the people of South London via Fazzy Stacks at Mercato Metropolitano. As well as classic salt beef and Reuben sarnies, they’re also doing salmon & cream cheese, crab & avocado and avo & shallot bagels and some very naughty looking Reuben loaded fries.
There are stuffed pittas and then there are stuffed pittas from Pockets. These babies are absolutely jam packed with falafel, salad, zhoug and tahini, and are topped off with a crunchy fried potato and a giant chilli, and they’re totally plant-based too. Grab one of these whoppers at Netil Market.
If you believe that there’s nothing that can’t be improved by being battered and deep-fried then you need to get down to Small Fry. They sling seafood and vegetable tempura, soft shell crab burgers and eel dogs, and you can find their fry at Westgate Market in London Fields.
Shuckin’ hell these guys serve up some good oysters. Rocks sells a range of fresh oysters from across the UK and Ireland by the single, half dozen and dozen, alongside fried oyster buns and other seafood treats. They had a pop-up at the Lordship Pub in Dulwich and now trade at the Horniman Market in Forest Hill and Canopy Market in King’s Cross.
As well as turning out pickles and ferments like wild garlic kraut, fresh turmeric piccalilli and daikon, jalapeño & dulse kimchi, small batch fermentary Missy is also knocking up mega cheese toasties at Pretty Decent Beer Co in Forest Gate.
After trading as Pollo Feliz and specialising in chicken, and then making and selling tortillas during lockdown 1.0, this stall was reborn as Sonora Taqueria and these guys now serve up some of the best nopales, barbacoa and chicharron tacos, burritos and quesadillas in town. Queue for them (it’s worth the wait) at Netil Market.
GROUND is a new climate positive burger brand created by The Ethical Butcher and founder of STAKEhaus Lily Bovey – the meat used for the patties comes from The Ethical Butcher’s UK farmer network who all use regenerative agriculture methods and all the other ingredients come from companies that share the same sustainable ethos. Get your hands on one of these buns, along with scotch eggs, corn riblets and cheesy chips at The Spurstowe Arms.
From The Ashes
For some people Del Piero will always be a footballer, for others it will be the smoked pork shoulder & nduja doughnut from From The Ashes. The team specialises in all things BBQ so as well as those doughnuts, you can get smoked beef buns, BBQ burnt end beans, beef fat roast tatties and larger cuts of smoked meat. Pick up the goods from their hatch in Hackney Wick or at Two Tribes’ Campfire in King’s Cross.