I was curious about London street food. Is it on par with NY, LA or Portland? What are some of the best food trucks? Who has the best Cornish Pasties? What is your favorite street food in London? Thank you.
I just got back from London a couple of weeks ago, and can say I honestly didn't see much "street food" that wasn't in a market. I was probably in the wrong neighborhoods - or wasn't looking - but it did not reach out and smack me with its presence, that is for sure! I don't remember seeing any food trucks of the sort that are beginning to pop up here in Seattle, like that crazy steel pig on wheels, or the wood-fired pizza joint in a parking lot next to a vitamin store.
We did see booths outside of St. John's Fulham (near Stamford Bridge Stadium - Fulham Broadway tube stop) that looked awesome. One was serving mounds of meat carved from an ENTIRE PIG, roasted until the skin was crackling caramel brown, for four quid a pop! The other two had something with stir fry/rice/veggies/lots of good smelling brown sauce. I think they were part of a Christmas fete, though.
We also saw wonderful food within markets, as noted above. Borough Market has the most amazing paella stuff that's simmered in ENORMOUS black pans - we saw a paella stand at Covent Garden, too, on the lower level.
At the Stables Market there is a TON of food - again, booths in a market rather than food trucks.
Portland's street food is pretty awesome - it actually is getting almost on a par with NYC (I'm a New Yorker, and that, for me, is saying a LOT).
I will be very interested in hearing what others have to say. It's not like I walked around London for 9 days with my eyes closed - but I can't remember seeing a food truck and thinking "YUM - must eat that!" And I know that I have heard a LOT lately about food trucks in London and in Paris, so.... what am I missing?
The food truck thing hasn't really taken off in London outside markets. There is KERB (http://www.kerbfood.com/), but their main location by Kings Cross station is closed for January.
Pitt Cue has moved from under Hungerford Bridge into brick and mortar near Regent Street and Liberty's. Wahaca still has their van - although in all the years it has been around (3 now?) I've never actually seen it - they are popping up like mushrooms in brick and mortar. They do still have the 8 shipping container temporary structure on the South Bank. Kings Cross is supposed to have good street food just east of the station at lunchtime but I never get past the brick and mortars in KX and St Pancras.
Good stalls but not trucks in Exmouth market, the area between the Saatchi Gallery and Partridges off the Kings Road just west of Sloane Square (Saturdays only), Berwick Street Market, and the fabulous collection of stalls at Borough Market - but no trucks.
Cornish Pasties aren't really street food in London. Pies, maybe, but not pasties. They usually are a brick and mortar chain operation.
Most food stalls are ethnic, or sausage, cheese, burgers (ostrich or meat or veggie), and sometimes organic.
Thanks for the info Kira. I will look into those markets definitely.
KERB is what I'm looking for Philip. Thank you. All that variety in one place. Sweet.
I had to google " brick and mortar " Nigel. Thanks for the education. I usually learn something new each time I read your posts.
I havent seen alot or any "street food" vendors, yet. most of them as others have said, inside markets and such. There are little kisoks inside train stations and such too.
So far all of the UK food ive had is sort of on the bland side. Its just something that is UK?
It will be interesting to see if the food carts take off over there.
Two sites that I have bookmarked are:
This is just the blog of one Londoner, but she does have posts about a number of food stalls and trucks.
The real food market on South Bank
Also, try checking the UK board on chowhound.
I don't really have any favorite street food in London, but I always make a trip to Ottolenghi (usually the Notting Hill location) and get some food for takeaway:
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi have gotten a ton of recent foodie press in the U.S. due to their best selling cookbook "Jerusalem".
And let us not forget the good old fish and chips wrapped in newspaper - the ultimate street food, especially after an evening of pubbing!
be careful with the kerb website - some of it is just a tad out of date
Look at Time Out guide and BBC Radio 4 annual food and farming awards (street food category)
I second the recommendation for the Borough market, amazing food! I really enjoyed the paella with chorizo and prawns, also there are amazing steak sandwiches (look for the stall with the really long line). Some excellent desserts as well, I had amazing chocolate tort.