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Top 16 UK Street Food Stalls | The Best Street Food in the UK

The UK is awash with fantastic street food stalls selling everything from toasties to tacos, so we've rounded-up our pick of the best available

France

Nationale 7, Greater Manchester

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“French food is considered fancy and expensive, but that is completely wrong,” says Nationale 7 co-owner, Emily Bremond. “French food is simple, seasonal, fresh and that is what we’re trying to do.” From their hut at Altrincham Market, Emily and Amaury Neury sell free-range rotisserie chickens flavoured with garlic, thyme and rosemary to take home or eat-now with roasted vegetables and swanky salads, as well as epic sandwiches such as their pulled chicken with homemade tarragon mayo and pickled red onions. “In France,” says Emily, “there’s a rotisserie on every corner and it’s insanely popular.” Meals £4.50-£8; @nationale7deli


Cuba

Cuban sandwich factory, Northern Ireland

Clued-up Belfast foodies love the Cubano-style pressed, toasted sandwiches at Carlos Arguelles’ friendly takeaway-café. On Saturdays, the Factory also pops-up at St George’s Market, where shoppers wolf-down his stacked beef brisket and roast pork sandwiches. Go for anything that involves Carlos’s vibrant chimichurri sauce. It’s a zinger. From £4.50; @cubanobelfast


British

Cheese toastie, southern England

You already know Tom and Henry Herbert, The Fabulous Baker Brothers. But now another brother from the Hobbs House baking dynasty, Archie, is spreading the slow-fermented love with his self-explanatory Cheese Toastie stall. You can catch him at festivals such as Wilderness (4-7 August 2016) and Reading this month, where he will be filling the tangy Hobbs House St. Martin sourdough with a cheese mix which includes Barbers’ punchy 1833 Somerset cheddar. You can also add home-smoked beef brisket or Wiltshire ham to what, at last year’s Big Feastival (Aug 26-28), Jamie Oliver described as: “The most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten in bed.” Listen to episode five of the olive magazine podcast for more info. From £5; @HobbsHouse


Italy

Bertha’s pizza, south-west

Like many street-food slingers, when Graham and Kate Faragher set-up Bertha’s they were searching for a way out of the 9-5 rat race. They were looking, as Kate puts it, for: “A vocation not a chore.” Their salvation came in the form of wood-fired pizza. After a couple of years roaming the South-west in a bright yellow pizza truck, this month will see Bertha’s open a bricks ‘n’ mortar pizzeria on Bristol’s Cumberland Road. That progress is testament to the Faraghers’ fastidious approach. Their sourdough is proved for a whopping three days, their pizzas blast-cooked in 60 seconds. The toppings are prime British ingredients (mozzarella from Glastonbury, tomatoes from the Isle of Wight) and foraged ingredients. “When the first of the nettles appear they go straight on a white pizza with cream, cheddar and chilli,” says Kate. £5-£7; berthas.co.uk


Jamaica

Mama’s Jerk Station, London

It now has permanent sites at Camden Market and Pop Brixton, but the roots of Mama’s Jerk Station go back generations, to Jamaica. There, in her kitchen garden, owner Adrian Luckie’s great grandmother, Mama Charlotte, used to grow the ingredients that went into her jerk marinade, a secret family recipe which today puts the sweet, aromatic heat into Mama’s 48-hour marinated BBQ chicken wings or its chicken wraps with fried plantain and tropical mayo. A jerk marinade usually includes fresh thyme, allspice berries and scotch bonnet chillies among other ingredients, but Mama’s goes that extra mile in its barbecuing, by mimicking the pimento tree wood that is the traditional BBQ fuel in Jamaica, “We add pimento flavour to the coals and wood in the drum smokers to give the food an even more authentic flavour,” says Adrian. Mama’s also cooks at Street Feast’s Model Market, Lewisham, London SE13. Dishes £3-£7; mamasjerk.com


Chile

Yakumama, national

Best Street Food winner at the 2015 Young British Foodies awards, Yakumama takes classic Latin American dishes (many of them family recipes from Chilean co-owner, Marcello Sandoval), and gives them a compelling creative twist. This month, you can try its beef empanadas mined with olives and sultanas or its choripan sandwiches (chorizo, sweet pickles, homemade aïoli, chimichurri) at the Southbank Centre Food Market (12-14 August) and Bristol’s Tobacco Factory (21 August). Don’t miss its spiced pork rind chicharrones. They’re seriously next-level pork scratchings. £2.50-£7; @yakumama00


Thailand

Brother Thai, Wales

Andrew Chongsathien admits that not everyone is ready for the ferocity of hardcore Thai cooking. “Spice is a very hot topic!” he says. “We try to allow people to customise the heat so long as it doesn’t compromise the dish. But with the rise
of street food, this is a good time for real Thai cooking as western palates are open to new flavours.” You can regularly find Brother Thai turning-up the heat at Cardiff’s Depot street food parties, where its dishes such as pad thai and that classic Thai street food dish, pad kra pao gai (chicken with holy basil, topped with a crispy fried egg), are winning over Wales one hot, lush, mouthful at a time. From £5; @brothaicardiff


India

Manjit’s Kitchen, Yorkshire

Given the burgers ‘n’ ribs boisterousness of early street food, Manjit Kaur sometimes felt she was swimming against the tide with her vegetarian Punjabi snacks. Not anymore. Such is Manjit’s popularity these days that, as well as cooking at events such as Sheffield’s Peddler Night Market (5 & 6 August), she’s about to launch a café in the new Leeds indoor market. It’s been hard work (the masala that dresses the paneer in her chilli wraps begins in the cooking down of 50kg of onions to make a base sauce!), but it’s well worth it. “Watching carnivores munch on a cone of bhel puri gives me immense pleasure,” says Manjit. £4-£7; @Manjitskitchen


USA

Bleecker St., London

A New York corporate lawyer-turned-burger evangelist, Zan Kaufman’s uncompromising approach (50 day-aged grass-fed beef; handmade sesame seed buns; homemade burger sauce), has very much impressed London’s patty perfectionists. Refreshingly, Zan likes to keep her burgers relatively simple. The Bleecker Black which sandwiches black pudding between two chunky, loosely ground medium-rare burgers swaddled in gooey American cheese is about as elaborate as her burgers get. Bleecker has quickly spawned a mini-empire that includes sites at Old Spitalfields Market and a new shipping-container diner under Hungerford Bridge on the Southbank. From £6; bleeckerburger.co.uk


Greece

Eat like a Greek, south-west

“It’s all about transporting people back to Greece, even for a few minutes,” says Ruth Petralifis who, with husband Michalis, goes that extra mile (or thousand) to ensure that their grilled souvlaki meat wraps carry an authentic taste of the Aegean. The meats may come from Devon, but they’re marinated in organic olive oil, herbs and spices from the Petralifis’s family farm on the island of Samos. Catch them, this month, at Wiltshire’s Fieldview Festival (4-7 August)
or at Bristol’s Temple Quay Market every Thursday. From £6; eatlikeagreek.co.uk


Austria

Alplings, Scotland

Martin Auer’s native South Tyrol is officially part of Italy, but the region retains its distinctive Austrian character. Knödel bread dumplings are huge there, and in Edinburgh now too, thanks to Martin’s Alplings stall. It sells three dumpling varieties (beetroot, spinach and cheese) dressed with nutty butter, parmesan and served with cabbage salad. It is a veggie dish with a “satisfying, oomph factor” says Martin. Catch him at Leith Market (13 & 27 August 2016). £5; alplings.co.uk


Malaysian

Sambal Shiok, London

When asked why her laksa noodle soup is so damn good, Mandy Yin answers: “Because it’s my laksa!” One in which, for example, the base spice mix is made from scratch using dried shrimp, belacan (shrimp paste) and chilli, giving it a profoundly spicy flavour. “I’ve worked hard to bring a true taste of Kuala Lumpur to London,” says the Sambal Shiok founder, and London appreciates that effort. Sambal Shiok’s latest pub pop-up at Soho’s Sun & 13 Cantons was recently extended until 2 October, such is the demand. At weekends, at Street Food Union and Southbank Centre Food Market, the original Sambal Shiok street food stall serves the famous Malaysian ‘burgers’ (chicken slathered in spicy satay sauce; beef rendang laced with that addictive, eponymous sambal chilli dressing), that first made Mandy’s name. £6-£8; sambalshiok.co.uk


China

Ah Ma’s Dumplings, South West

Anita Cheung is on a mission to popularise fresh, delicate, full-flavoured Cantonese cooking. A regular at several Bristol markets, Anita’s silky, ginger-laced prawn, scallop and leek dumplings or her slow-roasted pork belly bao, wow everyone who tastes them. As do her meat-free dishes: “We once had a vegan come back to check there was no meat in the shiitake and cashew dumplings, presumably because the shiitake makes them taste so umami and meaty.” Listen to episode two of the olive magazine podcast to hear more from Anita. £2.50-£7.50; ahmasdumplings.com


Canada

Hot Mess, London

Given the simplicity of Quebec’s favourite dish, poutine (it’s just chips, gravy and cheese curds), every detail needs to be perfect. Chef Matt Carter uses a classy veal demi-glace to make his gravy, triple-cooks his chips using changing seasonal potato varieties and makes his ‘curds’ fresh from organic, non-homogenised milk. “It’s not curds as we know them, but a freshly set cheese made with a cheddar cheese culture. The texture is similar to halloumi,” explains Matt, who is at Hackney’s Visions Festival (6 August). Matt describes his poutine as a huge hit of “pure indulgence”. £3.50-£5; @HotMessPoutine


Mexico

Habaneros, Birmingham

Blame the British weather (and councils), but most UK street food traders don’t trade on the street. Habaneros, however, is keeping it real. Located on Temple Row, it dispenses top-quality burritos Monday to Friday, packed with slow-cooked beans, salsas, hot sauces and chipotle slaw. Look out for specials such as slow-cooked mutton or try its tasty pulled pork. It uses free-range Saddleback pigs from 19 Gales farm near Tamworth. From £4.50; habvan.com

Lebanon

Papa Ganoush, North Easy

Tim and Tom Monkhouse are Newcastle’s answer to Ottolenghi; a father-and-son team whose love of Levantine cuisine inspired them to take to the streets with their pomegranates, tabbouleh and falafel. Nothing is left to chance in their chicken shawarma and lamb kofta wraps, with pretty much every element – flatbreads; hummus; pickled veg and vivacious salads; harissa and mango amba sauces made from scratch. They also sell dangerously good halloumi fries.
Find them at Newcastle’s Quayside Market every Sunday and the North Shields Proper Food and Drink Festival (20 & 21 August 2016). £4-£6; papaganoush.co.uk


Word on the street

10 of the coolest street food markets and parties across the UK

Belgrave Feast, Leeds Monthly hoe-down (2nd Sat) in hip arts venue Belgrave Music Hall; belgravemusichall.com

Grub, Manchester Check its boutique monthly at Runaway Brewery (3rd Sat) and Sadler’s Yard (1st Sat); grubmcr.com

Street Feast, London Undisputed kings of the night market at Dalston Yard, Hawker House, Dinerama, Model Market etc.; streetfeastlondon.com

foodPark, Cambridge Roving weekly lunchtime markets and pop-up parties after-dark; foodparkcam.com

Digbeth Dining Club, Birmingham Celebrates its fourth birthday on August 26; digbethdiningclub.co.uk

At The Market Ltd, Edinburgh Top weekly markets in Stockbridge, Grassmarket and Leith; stockbridgemarket.com

Street Diner, Brighton A raft of traders offering Friday lunchtime treats in Brighthelm Garden; @StreetDiner

Depot, Cardiff Weekly Saturday warehouse shindig with six Welsh street stars; depotcardiff.com

Kerb, London Saving the capital’s office workers from sad lunches in Paddington, King’s Cross and more; kerbfood.com

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Food Slam, Liverpool Noisy late-night larks at Camp & Furnace (August, date TBC). DJs, booze, boss food; campandfurnace.com