British Street Food Awards 2013
Urban Food Fest: Nominated as The Best Street Food Event at The 2013 British Street Food Awards.
Nominated only 6 weeks after the launch of the first Urban Food Fest street food night market.
Ranked Number 1 On Time Out London's Hot List
Time Out Hot List: The biggest and best things happening in London
Urban Food Fest: The tastiest street food around
Time Out Magazine
5 Star Rating
The Urban Food Fest Shoreditch: Food & Drink Festival
Tuck into the tastiest street food around. A revolving cast of dozens of food stalls and trucks serve a frankly intimidating variety of global cuisine at the Euro Car Parks in Shoreditch.
Jerk chicken, wood-fired oven pizza, pad thai, halloumi souvlaki, sushi, schwarma, fried chicken, burritos - we could go on. And we will, quickly, to make special mention of the deep-fried frogs' legs at Geaux Cajun. Those things are amazing.
Visitors will also find plenty to drink, along with a 'V Corner' for vegans and their day-walker counterparts, vegetarians. Up-and-coming bands and entertainers round out the experience, while the Fest’s ever-evolving line-up ensures second and third visits are well worth the effort. Entry is free.
Listed as the top event in The Going Out Guide: Cool Things To Do This Weekend In London.
Sample some of the city's top street food vendors while listening to live music as part of this Saturday night food fair.
A plethora of street food traders will be congregating around the Shoreditch area, for an extravaganza of street food, entertainment and music.
Among the foods on offer will be wood oven pizza from Streetzza, Indian street food from Ok Horn Please, the Cooking Cooks with their Italian delicacies and much, much more.
The Oktoberfest Special Event
Street feasts: Oktoberfest at Urban Food Fest
London is packed with moveable feasts: join in the Oktoberfest fun on Shoreditch High Street where there'll be schnitzels, sauerkraut and strudel alongside Jaeger bombs and lots of lederhosen.
PART 1: To listen: http://www.hoxtonradio.com/urban-food-fest/
Review: Hungry diners should head across to the high street for the next few Saturday’s as Urban Food Feast assembles a mighty selection of vendors for your dining delights.
Its no surprise they’ve been picking up headlines across The Standard and Time Out with the likes of Burger Bear Tom, Hix Dogs and the Streetzza Wood Oven Pizza Monster van.
The bar is also bubbling with cocktails, Prosecco and wine with English cider and cheap beer for the ice road truckers of the gang. They also have bands playing live and DJ’s so get ready for a long and fulfilling evenings worth of food and fun.
Hoxton Radio caught up with Jess who organises the event and gave us a taster of what’s in store and where she likes to go for food in East London.
PART 2: To listen: http://www.mixcloud.com/HoxtonRadio/jordan-senseless-interview-with-jess-urban-food-fest/
Review: Occupying a small car park, just north of Shoreditch High Street Station, Urban Food Fest is well positioned and easy to find with brightly coloured food trucks squeezed together in a tight arrangement leaving you to gape at the bewildering choice on offer.
Closing my mouth and wiping the dribble from my chin, I opted for the vendor with the shortest queue. Clearly, Shoreditch residents live on the edge, but not close enough to try frogs legs and sweet potato fries from Geaux Cajun. It’s a shame because the legs are like small tender pieces of chicken, clinging to a fragile bone, coated in a hot dry dusting of spice – simply delicious. The fries are a nice warming accompaniment, too delicate for fingers, great with a forkful of coleslaw to cool a previous mouthful of hot frog.
The second course was the goal of my quest. Once again, Twitter provides a useful marketing tool for vendors. No sooner had Busan BBQ tweeted about their double-fried chicken in sweet sticky chilli, than I had the date down in my diary. We went for a soy marinade in the end – those frogs still tingled my tongue – and the chicken arrived in a dry, almost tempura-like batter, piled in a paper tray above a small dribble of the marinade for some dipping action. An excellent choice alongside a cold beer.
Tempted next by an Argentinian Empanada, I realised the limitations this would pose upon pudding and went instead for a final course of yet more batter. Lightly sugared with a chocolate dip, churros from Churros Garcia is one of those foods I could eat continuously until caught by a heart attack.
Urban Food Fest gives residents and visitors to Shoreditch options come rain or shine on a Saturday evening. It’s a good place for a snack, three course meal, or, if you get your drinking hat on, the start of a night out.
Cosmopolitan Magazine has visited and reviewed the Urban Food Fest in East London, which is on every Saturday night 5pm to late this summer.
Cosmo says: Its an amazing street food party and food crawl.
The foodie pop-up scene has exploded this year. No longer is the standard food festival the norm, now anywhere and everywhere holds potential for a pop-up location... Metro has listed the Top five pop-up restaurants in London this summer: From Fishy Business and Smokey Tails, and the Urban Food Fest.
The Urban Food Fest:
Sample tasty global food from the likes of Pizza Pilgrims and Hix at this street food night bonanza. Located just off Shoreditch high street, a car park by day, every Saturday night this summer street vendors take over. This pop-up is outdoors under scattered gazebos with sets from live bands entertaining the patrons. A mix of up and coming homemade produce stands and popular street food heavy weights, you will be hard pressed to find the same vans twice. Delicious macarons, spanakopita, Po’ Boy sandwiches, and authentic Hungarian sausages: A variety of cuisines from the new and the established, definitely worth a repeat visit.
The Urban Food fest is London's newest street food night market in the centre of Shoreditch. Located at the Euro Car Parks on Shoreditch High Street, 1 minute from Cargo, Shoreditch House and many great bars, the fest is every Saturday night from 5pm to midnight for the next few months.
At east Fest there is a brand new selection of the coolest street food trucks and stalls, including a monster pizza van (Streetzza), a yellow H van (Hix Restaurant's Fish Dog), a bright pink truck (Bhangra Burger), converted horse box (Bell & Brisket), Chicken Calzone (Cheeky Italians), wasabi and grapefruit macarons (The Crumbery) and many more.
The best part is the cheap bar with a wide variety of classics including beer, cider, wine, mizers, jagerbombs, proseccos as well as quirky cocktails such as elderflower, fruit rum punch and creative bellinis.
This area is packed on a Saturday night, so the event will get a huge amount of passing footfall due to its location; as well as those that have come especially to the event.
The Urban Food Fest has been all over the press; in newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and is being tweeted about by the main Street Food journalists.
The event is also a platform for new bands on the circuits, featuring 4 new bands each Saturday to accompany the evening with some great live music.
Get yourself down to Shoreditch and discover the best night time street food market in London.
London Pop Ups: Detailing all of the pop-up restaurants and gigs in London
Shoreditch High Street in East London is every hipster's Saturday night location of choice....and now also the residence of the free entry coolest new street food night market: The Urban Food Fest.
This street food market has an ever changing selection of London's street food trucks, including famous traders such as Streetzza Pizza, Arancini Brothers, Rare Str'Eat, Bhangra Burger, Bel & Brisket and Hix Restaurant's Fish Dog; as well as London's best stocked car park bar! Drinks include: beer, english cider, flavoured cider, pimms, elderflower cocktails, bellinis, prosecco, various wines and usual classics. Prices are very cheap, ensuring a good night out with friends.
Every weekend 4 different live bands and singers perform at the event. These are the rising stars of 2013: some are already signed to record labels and some are up and coming. Additional fun activities include face painting, massage chairs and caricature artists.
The event was started by Jessica Tucker, previously a City lawyer. Jessica's vision for the Fest was a street party featuring all her favourite things: "Eating fabulous delicacies from around the world, great music, bargain priced drinks and a cool spot to meet old and new friends."
London On The Inside: The hippest trends, coolest bands, social events & industry secrets
The Urban Food fest takes over Shoreditch with some of the tastiest street food around from Daisy Green Food, Horn Ok Please, Mei Mei Street Cart, Gray & Feather and more!
Where is this happening? Well it’s the outdoor Euro Car Parks, a prime Shoreditch hotspot right on the High Street this Saturday, to taste the best ribs in London, Big ASS hot dogs, killer burgers, ice cream and loads more!
Plus a drinks bar, music, fantastic lighting and surprises throughout the night. Saturday night’s alright on the night!
Olive Magazine: The stylish monthly food magazine
Recommends Urban Food Fest: street food night market on Shoreditch High Street.
KweekWeek had the pleasure of attending London’s current most popular street food market – Urban Food Fest – organised by the lovely Jessica. A lawyer by trade, Jessica has taken over Euro Car Parks in Shoreditch every Saturday bringing you a real summer treat.
“The Urban Food Fest is unique in the street food industry. Not only do we have the best location bang on Shoreditch High Street, we have the trendiest street food traders in the UK, great up and coming bands plus quirky entertainment like face painting and on-site massage girls”
KweekWeek says: 'Jessica The best thing about it… it’s on every week until October!'
The Team KweekWeek are already looking forward to going back!
This Is Local London (40 Local Newspapers)
The Urban Food Fest street food event will be a fantastic showcase for street food currently in the capital.
Popular street food traders are confirmed to attend. There will be live music and entertainment throughout the night.
The Is Local London high suggests attending the Urban Food Fest.
The Urban Food Fest is London’s newest street food night market in the centre of Shoreditch. Every weekend you’ll find 15 of the coolest street food trucks. We visited Saturday and were lucky enough to try all of them (I know, I know!!) and can whole heartedly recommend The Grilling Greek for his halloumi wrap & triple cooked feta chips. Or the super friendly duo behind Chapatti Party, serving, yep, you guessed it, Chapatti’s filled with all the best bits of an Indian feast.
The Urban Food Fest was set up by Jessica Tucker who also just happens to be a lawyer. We pinned her down to ask her a few questions….
Jessica, can you tell us a bit more about why you set up the fest? " I qualified as a Solicitor two years ago and have always been entrepreneurial. I thought the Fest seemed like it would be a lot of fun to do: tasting street food, listening to great bands and having a party every Saturday night to which I could invite all my friends!"
Sounds like the perfect reason to us! So what do you think makes a good food fest? " For me, The Urban Food Fest has all the elements of a perfect Fest and Saturday night out: 15 delicious street food trucks serving gourmet cheap dishes, cocktails, wine, beer, live music and fantastic entertainment such as massage girls, face painting and caricature artists; as well as being able to meet lots of new people. The Urban Food Fest is a destination party venue."
If you didnt get peoples attention with cheap dishes and cocktails you definitely have with massage girls! Why did you choose Euro Car Parks as your location? " Being in the heart of Shoreditch, opposite the famous Shoreditch House and 30 seconds from Shoreditch Overground Station, and 5 minutes from Liverpool Street Station – it speaks for itself."
Any vendors not at the food fest that you would like to be involved? " The fun of the Urban Food Fest is that every single week we have a brand new line up of the best UK street food traders. All the famous faces have already been to the event; Hix Restaurant’s Fish Dog, Streetzza Monster pizza van and Bhangra Burger to name a few. We have many more amazing traders in the pipeline including Burger Bear Tom and Mei Mei Street Cart."
There are so many great names there and lots that many will recognise. 2013 has definitely been a year of the rise of the food vendor, and especially food fests, in London. Where do you think things will go in 2014? Is it a scene that’s going to grow or will it get replaced by another foody trend? " Everyone loves cheap but delicious home-cooked food, with the possibility to try crazy dishes such as frogs legs. With the live music and the opportunity to meet new people on a Saturday night, I don’t see the street food trend dying anytime soon!"
Is food the most important thing at a food fest? " On a night out everyone likes good food, cheap drinks and a good time. The Fest encompasses all these things, meaning there is something for everyone!"
If you had to snog / marry / kill 3 food vendors. Who and what would you do? " Haha good question… I adore each and every one of my food traders. I hand pick the vans and stalls that come to the event, so I love them all!"
Ahhh, good cop out! Thanks Jess – see you (again) Saturday!
Made In Shoreditch Magazine
Dining in Shoreditch: Interview with Jessica Tucker the Founder of Urban Food Fest
G: Tell us about the project? What did inspire this project? The Urban Food Fest is London’s newest and coolest street food market, bringing together London’s hipsters to one location. There is an ever changing line up of 15 street food traders who come from across the UK with an incredible drinks bar to compliment the food, as well as live bands and entertainment. After travelling the globe and tasting fabulous street food in Mumbai, New York and Tokyo to name a few, I realised London is majorly missing out on the street food craze. So, I thought it was about time that a gourmet ever changing street food market was brought to the centre of London. Hence the launch of the Urban Food Fest.
G: What is unique about the project? No other street food market in the UK combines so many cuisines whilst encapsulating what Shoreditch is about, plus the unique extras of live music from up and coming singers and bands.
G: When and where it will be happening? Every Saturday night from 5pm until midnight, up until and including the 12th of October, at the Euro Car Parks at 163-175 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6HU. Come hungry!
G: Have you got any special events planned there yet? Each week is special as we have a unique line up of street food traders. Some of the weekends are themed, such as the Oktoberfest Food Fest on the 28th of September.
G: What are the main challenges in launching this project and how are you overcoming them? The main challenge was launching a brand new event. However within the first week the Urban Food Fest was getting incredible write ups, in all the major newspapers, magazines, food blogs and journals, so we very quickly overcame that problem!
G: Why did you choose Shoreditch to launch this project? East London is the birthplace of British street food and so it was obvious that our first location needed to be there. We were exceptionally lucky to find a location right on Shoreditch High Street, so close to three major stations, ensuring huge amounts of passing trade, as well as absorbing that incredible urban Shoreditch vibe.
All In London
Weekly on Saturday nights- the newest street food market featuring some of London's most popular street food traders....and is PACKED on a Saturday night.
The location is Euro Car Parks – 163-175 Shoreditch High Street E1. The car park is a prime Shoreditch hotspot: on the High Street, next to the clubs and opposite Shoreditch House and Pizza East restaurant.
A 30 second walk from Shoreditch High Street tube station, 3 minutes walk from Liverpool Street tube station and 5 minutes walk from Old Street tube station, the Urban Food Fest will be a fantastic showcase for street food currently in the capital.
Just Opened London: The Latest Bar, Restaurant, Hotel & Cultural Openings In London
A Gastronomic street food festival with live music on every Saturday night for the next couple months, hosting 15 of the best street food vendors.
Londoners love a market. Londoners love a festival. So we know Londoner's will love the new night market, Urban Food Fest in Shoreditch. Taking over the car park on Shoreditch High Street, Urban Food Fest is set to be the best night market in town - you should never stay in on a Saturday, after all.
Urban Food Fest is in a league of its own when it comes to food. Founder Lawyer Jessica Tucker says, 'Our uniqueness stems from the fact the Fest is a destination venue in the heart of Shoreditch. Paired together with an extensive bar, live acoustic bands and singers.'
As well as a vibe that only Londoners can create, Urban Food Fest has solved our Saturday night need of eating, drinking and dancing all in one East London trendy spot. With street vendors including Bhangra Burger, Mooshie, Chapati Party, Arancini Brothers, Rare Str’Eat and Buen Provecho, we think that’s quite the offer.
The Urban Food Fest brings only the most funky and quirky street food traders (vans and stalls) to the heart of shoreditch on a Saturday night. This includes indian burgers by Bhangra Burger, wood fired oven pizza by Streetzza, triple cooked fries & feta by The Grilling Greek and frogs legs by Geaux Cajun. All finished off by ice cold beers, somerset brewed cider, pimms, prosecco, peach bellini cocktails, mojitos, chilled wines, vodka shots, jagerbombs and more. Basically every type of street food you could ever want to eat or try!
The Fest features amazing live bands, including the very talented Doll Face. Their music is rocking.
Organiser Jessica Tucker says: "The Urban Food Fest brings together everyone's favourite past times: eating incredible food, listening to brilliant music, as well as being able to part-take in entertainment; all whilst hanging out with your friends in the heart of Shoreditch."
The Press has gone crazy for the Urban Food Fest, and rightly so - its the best street food market in town!
London's coolest Boutique in Shoreditch highly recommends the Urban Food Fest.
East London is where it's at people!
I Love Markets
I paid a little visit to the lovely people at The Urban Food Fest. If you have never heard of it, it is London's newest street food night market and number 1 on Time Out London's Hot List. It features some of the best street food traders, a fully stocked bar, plentiful seating area with live music and entertainment also thrown into the mix. It’s given me the hunger and I will defiantly be visiting again, this time on an empty stomach! Here are some of the lovely street food traders that kept all the eager, hungry and maybe slightly tipsy foodies happy.
The Crumbery makes and creates handcrafted Pastries, Macaroons, Cakes and Confectionery. Some conventional… some not so conventional. Unfortunately by the time I arrived most of what the Crumberry crew called conventional had been snapped up (rightly so). I ended up faced with a Wasabi and Passion fruit macaroon. Now, I do not enjoy and therefore consume either of the ingredients, but after a few convincing words from there master-chef Vincent, which mainly consisted of “pretend it’s not passion fruit and wasabi.” I decided to go for it and you know what, it wasn't half bad!
Golden Sunshine's family run business keeps to its traditional roots mainly selling rice and jerk chicken. Luckily they still had some remaining for me to try! The jerk sauce came with an amazing kick. I was being polite and just took a small portion, and yes… I live to regret the politeness. True home style cooking turned street food!
Comptoir Gourmand is a fast-growing traditional French patisserie company. When I popped to their stall the choice was impossible. After a lengthy decision, breaking the ‘oh no it’s still sunny in September diet’ and holding up the queue, I opted for a Vanilla Slice. A decision I will never regret. Now I just need to visit and see them at the market for more tasty treats.
First thing to say about Streetzza is WOW! This monster/horse box/wood-oven was rolling out non-stop amazing pizza all night long. There was nothing but queues of hungry people constantly all waiting to taste the delights that a wood oven in a horsebox can make!
Portena, Portena, Portena… my favorite of the whole evening. I was lucky enough to arrive in time to a fresh batch of chicken and beef empanadas. To be entirely honest in my naivety, I wasn't entirely sure what I was eating. But I sure am glad I did. It was the most prefect, flavorsome easy to eat street food. My boyfriend insisted to go back and buy more! Also, to make my day even better the lovely chef told me they trade at Borough Market, YEY! As the I Love Markets are situated just down the road.
The Busan BBQ is an AmeriKorean food trader. They specialise in marrying American street food classica with Kaorean marinades to make awesome favour combinations. When speaking with them about their food and how it was made, these flavorsome feats sound enitrely unique to Busan. I'm still dreaming of trying their spiced pork belly burger now, i will be hunting them down at the next Urban Food Festival in hope of trying one!
Mooshie is a new concept of Gourmet Street Food which showcases various types of Wild Mushrooms. If you are a mushroom and burger lover, Mooshie food is your dream. However not so much mine! Personally I am not a fan of mushrooms, however the Urban Food Fest people obviously were as they were fresh out when I arrived and their chef was on the run trying to sort out a delivery of more stock! Obviously an unusual and popular choice!
Hackney Hive: everything Hackney
Not too long ago I remember thinking that London, unlike many other European capitals, somewhat lacked a street food scene. Well, that is certainly not the case anymore. Street food stalls and markets have taken over the city in the last couple of years, with new additions popping up all over the place. And East London seems to be a popular destination for the many vans, stalls, trucks and markets looking to bring all sorts of deliciousness to hungry fans of alfresco urban dining.
The latest addition to the mix is the Urban Food Fest, a night food market located at the Euro Car Park in Shoreditch. It started a month ago and it is booming. The vendors offer a variety of global cuisine that is likely to appeal to the pickiest of foodies – we’re talking serious gourmet offerings here. Traders change every week and the highlights of my last visit were most definitely the Korean Beef Barbecue from Busan, the Argentinian Steak Sandwiches (laced with the lush chimichurri sauce) from Porteña, and the heavenly and, oh yes, very large macaroons offered by the wonderfully named The Crumbery.
There’s something for everyone and not just in terms of food. The up and coming live bands, masseurs and face painters make a visit an all-round fun experience. With its phenomenal location – smack bang in the middle of Shoreditch High Street – the market attracts dozens and dozens of passers by, lured in by the wonderful smells and the buzz of the young, animated crowd.
Urban Food Fest is the brainchild of Jessica Tucker, a former City lawyer, who told Hackney Hive, numbers are practically tripling every Saturday and that unfortunately meant, I didn’t get to try the Cajun fare offered by Geaux Cajun – I heard their deep fried frog’s legs are simply To. Die. For. They were sold out by the time I got there and so were the Mooshie Burgers, this week’s star of the V Corner, Urban Food Fest’s dedicated space for vegetarians and vegans. Well, never-mind, I am so coming back!
Urban Food Fest- Weekend Adventure
The Urban Food Fest will be coming to Shoreditch every Saturday in September and October. If your a lover of great food and good vibes, Urban Food Fest is where you need to be. This is going to be a weekend hotspot throughout autumn, we can feel it.
The event will be filled with Amazing food from 15 traders, good drinks, live music and a awesome atmosphere. This is the perfect event to drag some friends and enjoy the vibes as you eat some of the best tasting street food around town and chill in their provided seating area.
Entry to the Urban Food Fest is absolutely FREE, so all you need to worry about is what your going eat and how much your going to eat. They will be serving desserts and great pricing alcoholic drinks for those that just want something light for the night.
They will also have a vcorner for all you veggies, specialising in raw foods and vegan dishes. If your a fan of face painting and great massages… you guess it, this will be at the Urban Food Fest.
Hints and Tips: If you cant make a saturday you can always make the next saturday.
If you’re looking for a pop up with a difference, you may want to visit Urban Food Fest. A car park by day, every Saturday throughout September, up until mid-October it gets over run with various food stalls offering cuisines from around the world. A mixture of established well favoured vendors and introducing smaller vans still building their brands, Urban Food Fest keeps it varied. Every Saturday the vendors change, so you’ll never be short of something new and adventurous to try.
Located outdoors on Shoreditch High Street, with live music sets performing , I sampled wraps from the Chapatti party, authentic Portuguese custard tarts, Mooshie aubergine and truffle burgers, frog legs and risotto balls. If you act quick, this weekend Galbi Bros debut their newly created Ramen burger.
Style Card iD
Here’s all you need to know—a food festival, in Shoreditch, taking place each Saturday until mid-October. Great food, drinks and music are guaranteed, so what are you waiting for?
The Urban Food Fest has it all. 15 street food traders make the line-up every week. The bar serves everything from funky cocktails, to English cider, cheap beer, wine and prosecco. Live street bands provide entertainment as you relax with friends and try the delicious variety of street food on offer.
The street traders are amongst some of the most prestigious and well-known in the UK. So far they have featured Arancini Brothers, Schwarma Shack, The Crumbery – macaroons made by Head Pâtisserie Chef of several Top 5 star hotels, Ok Horn Please cooking up indian street food, Bel & Brisket providing hot salt beef sandwiches, Born and Raised, Pizza Pilgrims, Cooking Cooks making italian delicacies, Bangwok’s authentic Tuk Tuk providing thai food, Parsons Nose farm produced sausages and burgers, Barista Baby coffee cart providing tea & coffee, Krep Me Up savoury & sweet crepes and Dutch Pancakes. There is also entertainment in the form of massage girls with custom made massage chairs, famous make up artists doing face paints of monsters and flowers and a coconut shy.
The event is managed by City Lawyer Jessica Tucker, who founded the event to fill a gap in the market. There are very few street food night markets and certainly none that have live street bands and unusual entertainment right in the heart of Shoreditch. The Urban Food Fest brings this all to life!
Streetzine Street Food News
The Urban Food Fest is going to take place in Shoreditch, London on Saturday nights from 5 pm to Midnight. 15 street food traders, a bar and entertainment make the line-up every week. The bar serves everything from funky cocktails, to english cider, cheap beer, wine and prosecco, which you can sip whilst listening to the live street bands, having a massage or getting your face painted – there’s something for everyone!
All dates are outside at: Euro Car Parks – 163-175 Shoreditch High Street E1 6HU – so bring a coat (and maybe a brolly). The venue is a 30 second walk from Shoreditch High Street tube station, 3 minutes walk from Liverpool Street tube station and 5 minutes walk from Old Street tube station.
Halfway Up A Hill
In non-politics news, I went to the Urban Food Fest in Shoreditch this weekend. It is based in the car park next to the Texaco garage on Shoreditch High Street. Don’t let the dubious sounding location put you off though. It was really very good.
Often these things are an excuse to showcase one or two good stalls, with eighty percent of the stalls feeling a bit like whatever could be thrown together on the day. Not so with this one – every stall had something delicious looking, which forced me to eat four dinners and a pudding. The range was fantastic: from Korean ramen burgers to Cajun frogs legs, via a cake stall and jerk chicken. The best of all, however, was Scotchtails, who did the best scotch eggs I have ever tasted.
The prices were much lower than I had expected at all of the stalls. I even saw some real tears on the faces of some of the visitors when the pulled pork van ran out. A nice touch was the table drinks service.
All in all, well worth a visit!
Urban Food Fest – making Shoreditch car park your new dining room
You gotta love the strap-line: Urban Food Fest: Turning the car parks of Britain into your new dining room.
Urban Food Fest is essentially a street food festival slash night market complete with live music hosting 15 of the best street food vendors.
Taking over the car park on Shoreditch High Street every Saturday evening, Urban Food Fest is in a league of its own when it comes to food.
Founder Lawyer Jessica Tucker says, “Our uniqueness stems from the fact the Fest is a destination venue in the heart of Shoreditch. Paired together with an extensive bar, live acoustic bands and singers.”
As well as that cool Shoreditch vibe, Urban Food Fest has given us our Saturday night fix of eating, drinking and dancing all in one London hot spot. We normally just do all that in the wee hours of the morning at our local kebab shop…
I Love Cake And Tea
Hungry? Amazing bar? Live music? Seating Area? Fantastic trendy crowd? The Urban Food Fest has it all. 15 street food traders make the line-up every week. The bar serves everything from funky cocktails, to English cider, cheap beer, wine and prosecco. Live street bands provide entertainment as you relax with friends and try the delicious variety of street food on offer.
The street traders are amongst some of the most prestigious and well-known in the UK, featuring Hix restaurant’s Fish Dog, Streetzza Wood Oven Pizza Monster van, Arancini Brothers, Schwarma Shack, The Crumbery – macaroons made by Head Pâtisserie Chef of several Top 5 star hotels, Grays & Feather providing Pimms, Champagne and Prosecco, the renowned Rare Str’Eat from Borough Market making rare breed lamb burgers, Ok Horn Please cooking up indian street food, Bel & Brisket providing hot salt beef sandwiches, Born and Raised, Pizza Pilgrims, Cooking Cooks making italian delicacies, Bangwok’s authentic Tuk Tuk providing thai food, Parsons Nose farm produced sausages and burgers, Barista Baby Fidshcoffee cart providing tea and coffee, Krep Me Up savoury and sweet crepes and Dutch Pancakes.
The event is managed by City Lawyer Jessica Tucker, who founded the event to fill a gap in the market. There are very few street food night markets and certainly none that have live street bands and unusual entertainment right in the heart of Shoreditch. The Urban Food Fest brings this all to life!
The Part-Time Traveller
There’s no denying that the street food revolution is making its way into cities that don’t have such a rich history of street snacks. Urban Food Fest embodies the spirit of the revolution, quickly establishing itself as
the place in London to eat on the street. The rules of Urban Food Fest are simple. Bring friends, lots of them. Bring cash. Bring a healthy appetite and a desire to try something new. Wander through the heaving crowds of people, circling your way past the stalls and eyeing the menus as you do so. Buy as much as you can. Be adventurous. If you haven’t heard of Jhal Muri before then all the more reason to buy it – you won’t regret it. Find a spot on one of the tables, or sit on the kerb, or stand amongst the crowd and dig in to your purchases. Share with your friends. Compare notes. Discuss buying one more hotdog, one more pizza, one more drink. Do it, and be overwhelmed with that deliciously sickly satisfying feeling when you’ve eaten too much good food and you feel oddly, nauseatingly wonderful.
The stalls at Urban Food Fest are constantly changing. Veggie-friendly options have included the startlingly delicious Jhal Muri from Jhal Muri Express, the doughy jalapeno and mushroom pizza without cheese from Streetzza, and the revelation that is the hotdogs from The Mighty Fork. There is always something here for everyone, whether you want to go a little crazy and try something new or you want to stick to the trusty old burgers and fries.
I’m here for one reason and one reason only: vegan hotdogs. I’m determined: I make a beeline straight for the yellow stall, my wallet already out of my pocket.
I’ve already looked at The Mighty Fork’s menu and decided what I’ll order, but I check with the servers just in case. They confirm that not only are the Brew Dog (£5) and The Big Chilli (£6) delicious, but they’re also the most popular choices (and even their own personal favourites). I hand over my money eagerly.
Biting into new foods is always exciting. The first bite of my Brew Dog does not disappoint: the bread is doughy, the sausage is yummy and the sauce is tangy. I bite into The Big Chilli and almost have order envy – that chilli is tasty! The best thing about these hotdogs is that they’re not lacking in toppings, with the chilli dripping into the bread. I can see why they’re served with a fork. They also feel surprisingly healthy, free from the all of the fat associated with their regular meaty predecessors.
We take the time to explore the other stalls once our hotdogs are finished. It seems that the stalls change regularly (according to The Mighty Fork’s website, they’re not here every week) but there are always veggie options, ranging from mushroom burgers to sweet potato maki to aloo tikki chaat wraps.
In need of dessert, we make our way to the Churros Garcia stall and order churros to share – while the dipping chocolate isn’t vegan, the churros themselves are. With all the oil and sugar, these definitely don’t feel healthy, but they’re yummy nevertheless. One £4 pot is more than enough to share between two, especially after hotdogs. Full, we leave the festival after one last glance at The Mighty Fork’s stall and a promise to each other that we’ll return to try the other flavours.
Shoreditch’s brand new foodie extravaganza the Urban Food Fest has been billed as much more than just another food festival. There’s live music, make-up artists and caricaturists as well as a bar for a few pre-dinner drinks as you peruse the dinner options.
Admittedly it is in a car park right beside a petrol garage, so not one for impressing a first date, but on my visit I couldn’t fault the atmosphere.
The options include all of London’s street food favourites, from gourmet burgers and burritos to more adventurous options like Geaux Cajun’s famous frog’s legs and that Ramen burger by Galbi Bros. There are also plenty of patisserie stands for pudding and some absolutely incredible macaroons by The Crumbery, including one that looks like a cheeseburger. Imagine!
On our visit we tried a few options, with boy inevitably options for a burger by Burger Bear Tom – the taste I think was improved by the dancing burger chefs. Boy says it was one of the best burgers ever.
We also had a taste of Louisiana in the form of Geaux Cajun, a street food stall serving up gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boys, frog’s legs, sweet potato chilli and cajun chicken (my preferred option!) The chicken comes in hot, hotter or bloody hot. I went for the first option, because I’m a bit of a wimp – and it was certainly hot enough for my needs! The sweet potato fries too are pretty damn good – especially when paired with their spicy chicken.Boy also couldn’t resist a gigantic custard filled doughnut monster from Flavours of Portugal.
The Verdict: A fun, cheap night out with some exceptional food. Car park dining never tasted so good.
Interview with Jessica Tucker - founder of the Urban Food Fest
What were the reasons for starting Urban Food Fest? I love trying new cuisines from around the world, so I thought it would be a fantastic idea to do a street food night market, so that I could try them all out! The spiritual home of British Street food is East London, so my first location needed to be there. When I saw the Euro Car Parks car park on Shoreditch High Street, so close to Shoreditch Overground, Old Street and to Liverpool Street Stations, I knew it would be the perfect first site as it's such a prime location with huge footfall.
How difficult was the first one to set up? I made sure from the first event that I had a mixture of famous street food traders, as well as brand new trading trucks. The Press got wind of the first event, and we had fantastic reviews in all the major newspapers, magazines and blogs on the Monday morning. The feedback we have been getting from visitors, the Press and the street food traders themselves has just been fantastic. The event has just been incredible, with thousands of Londoners coming every Saturday night and the Fest being featured on the front page of Time Out.
How do you choose which traders participate? The first test is obviously taste. Each and every dish needs to be first class, restaurant quality mouth-watering food. After all we are called the Urban Food Fest! Secondly it’s aesthetics. Each truck and stall needs to be fun, creative and fit perfectly into the quirky Shoreditch look. Based on food some of my favourites are Portena's Argentinian ricotta empanadas - simply divine - and Geaux Cajun's frogs legs, as well as Comptoir Gourmand's chocolate chip giant cookies. Based on looks I love Streetzza monster pizza truck's hand painted monster design, which was created by Shoreditch based artists, and comes with a mini green monster which sits outside.
Street food was originally intended to be cheap, when it becomes restaurant quality do the costs go up? I check that all the dishes are very cheap and value for money. The cheapest is £1 but the most expensive is probably a gourmet chorizo pizza at £7, but all the portions are huge. It’s never at restaurant prices, and the drinks are always cheaper than the local bars. We do every kind of alcoholic drink you could ever want. We do regular beers and craft beers, cider from niche breweries, wines from Italy, prosecco from France, as well as our own unique cocktails such as Elderflower and raspberry and much more. Street food is not just about the food, but also about the traders, their personalities and the stories behind their trucks. They all have a genuine passion for their food.
Tell me about your plans for the Oktoberfest themed event on the 28th September? I’ve always been a huge fan of the world famous Munich beer festival, the Oktoberfest, so I thought it would be a lot of fun to do an Urban Food Oktoberfest. We will all be wearing dirndls and lederhosen and there will be German and Austrian food stalls. The Speck Mobile is making schnitzels with sussersenf, German pork dumplings and kaspressknoedel followed by apfel strudel. The Fleish Mobile is doing crispy Frankfurter sausages with sauerkraut and beef goulash with red cabbage slaw. The Mighty Fork is cooking juicy vegetarian tofu German hotdogs. The Batch Bakery are specially making Bavarian cakes such as chocolate sacher torte, The Crumbery are making themed macarons, such a kirsch and German chocolate; and Fluffy Puffs are specially creating Bavarian inspired marshmallows. Of course no Oktoberfest is complete without ice cold German beer. There will also be Oktoberfest style benches, traditional music and much more. We want all our Fest goers to get into the spirit of the event and come in costumes. There is a prize of a giant bottle of champagne for the coolest one.
Eat Shoreditch: Eat Budget, Eat Impressive, Eat Pop-Up
Urban Food Fest is London’s newest Street Food Night Market. Listed as number one on Time Out’s London Hot List - quite the accolade for an event launched only at the beginning of summer.
For the past few months Saturday nights in Shoreditch has seen around 15 street food vans set up base and feed the hungry Shoreditch punters. Jessica Tucker, founder of the UFF said “No other street food market in the UK combines so many cuisines whilst encapsulating what Shoreditch is about.” And she’s right.
Last weekend's selection included everything from Cajun-spiced deep fried frogs legs, Korean burgers, vegetable sushi, Bajan Paella, Caribbean curries, the finest macaroons, Italian pork burgers with gorgonzola and quite possibly the best Scotch Eggs I’ve ever eaten (Chorizo & Black pudding!). The stands change each week, which definitely creates a level of exciting mystery – who knows what you’ll be able to try from week to week. Maybe you’ll sample the next big thing in the foodie world!
The central space is kitted out with plenty of seating so you can at least sit whilst scoffing any number of aforementioned treats. The atmosphere is great, a few hundred people packed into a foodie heaven. Friends share, chat and giggle over the food, wiping sticky hands from dripping burger juice.
If you’re a foodie, looking to sample different foods from all over the world, or just want an interesting night out – head to Euro Car Parks, Shoreditch High Street.
Shoreditch Hype had a chat with super friendly Jessica - organiser of Urban Food Fest! Have a read! G. How do you discover new stalls? J. Prior to the launch of the Urban Food Fest I scoured every corner of the UK in search of the best street food traders: both aesthetically and taste-wise. The Urban Food Fest has a combination of trucks and stalls. Some of the trucks at the Fest have included Bel & Brisket's converted horse box from which Bel sells salt beef bagels, Streetzza's monster van which was hand-painted by Shoreditch graffiti artists, Gurmetti's custom-made Italian mini van and Maki Matcha's old school H van which has been redesigned into a boutique sushi shop.The Urban Food Fest is not just about the gourmet street food, but the trader's stories behind the food and the concept behind the design of their set up.
G. How is Urban Food Fest different from other markets? J. The street food we have combines established and famous traders such as Streetzza pizza van and Hix Restaurant's Fish Dog, with brand new traders that are fresh to the foodie scene such as Galbi Bros Korean Burgers, Geaux Cajun who do frogs legs and mouth-watering gumbo and Portena who make yummy ricotta Argentinian empanadas.
G. What was the most awesome moment of the event? J. There have been many totally awesome moments since the launch of the Fest in July this year. These have included seeing the Fest packed out from the first event, being able to try some of the most obscure and delicious dishes ever created and of course getting first class reviews by all the major Press!
G. What is the strangest place you visited in Shoreditch? J. I have always been a huge fan of Shoreditch and have spent many fantastic nights out in the area. I'm not sure that I have been to any 'strange' places per se, but recently I very much enjoyed up and coming artist Kara Bieber's pictures at the 'I don't wanna be famous' exhibition at the Loughran Gallery in the Box Park, which is a 30 second walk from the Urban Food Fest. Her artwork fits perfectly with the Hackney vibe - it is unique, breaking away from the mould and uber cool. I am a huge fan of Shoreditch House, which is opposite the Euro Car Parks. Their cocktails are out of this world and their swimming pool is great fun in the summer.
G. How Urban Food Fest deals with rainy Saturdays? J. Due to the Urban Food Fest team spending the majority of the week doing an anti-rain dance we have thus far managed to only have one rainy weekend! In case our anti-rain dance fails, we have pop-up gazebos to keep everyone nice and dry! The street food trucks and stalls also provide their own coverings.
What is the most daring dish you ever had in Urban Food Fest? J. With regards to quirkyness some of the highlights include: Scotchtail's scotch eggs with chorizo, Flavours Of Portugal's chocolate salami and The Crumbery's Wasabi and Grapefruit macaron. I look forward to welcoming all the Shoreditch Hype fans to the Food Fest soon!
London spoils us for choice with food. Hundreds, hundreds and thousands of restaurants sprinkle its streets, like so many sultanas in a tea loaf on Sunday. At times it’s enough to drive me to anxiety. My to-do list expands daily at the rate of my loosening belt notches and I eat and I eat and I eat, pursuing an impossible completion.
But finally, a solution to my frustration. New street food market Urban Food Fest brings the best of London street food to Shoreditch High Street in a Saturday night food market-cum-party, providing budding eaters with an ever-changing range of consistently excellent grub. Founder Jessica chooses a select range of quality vendors, vetted and rotating from week to week, to ensure that no Urban Food Fest is ever the same. Imagine my glee – in one fell swoop of a delicious evening, 10 of my to-dos utterly, and greedily, ticked off.
Last Saturday saw me munch from Peru (the moistest, spiced chicken skewers by Peru Sabor) to Argentinian empanadas (Portena) and on to Mexico (moreish, moist burritos by crowd-favourite Luardos) and Italy (Panuozzo puffed bread sandwiches stuffed with salty salami, cheese and basil and cooked live in a pizza oven by….Panuozzo). I dipped from mushroom burgers with truffle mayonnaise by Mooshie into ramen burgers (yes….burgers between ramen noodle patties) slapped up by Korean street food chefs Galbi Bros and even into gator balls and Cajan fried frogs legs by Geaux Cajun….or should I say ‘hopped’? More highlights included exquisite Portugese custard tarts (Flavours of Portugal) and the best, just the best, Oreo cheesecake brownies. Like nothing you’ve ever eaten. Every bite was accompanied by live music and DJs, every swallow washed down by cocktails and by the time I literally rolled out down the high street, I was more than a happy bunny. I’ll be back, you should come too.
Yes, ladies and gentleman, London has finally got its act together so good quality street food is no longer found at the fringes of one’s dreams but has become an easily accessible actuality. Following this trend is the Urban Food Festival. In the crowded space that is Euro Car Parks, street food trucks and stalls present a vast array of global cuisines from Korean to Mexican, from Argentinian to Indian, with a bar, some music and dash of street art thrown in for good measure. Social points are earned by how many different dishes you manage to cram in, or whether you’re brave enough to sample the ‘gator balls’ from Geaux Cajun (not testicles as we’ve been assured). All in all, Urban Food Fest makes for a fun, foodie evening. As for the food, one must expect THE trendiest dishes in town, given that the market is in Shoreditch. It was with little surprise, then, that we encountered croughnuts (croissant-doughnut hybrids) and ramen burgers that have recently spread across the pond from New York.
Galbi Bros: Ramen, the popular Japanese noodle dish, is very trendy in the West. Burgers are also a big food fad of the moment. So what should we do? COMBINE THEM.
Streetzza: Everyone likes pizza, but Streetzza takes it to a whole new level of total awesomeness. How about pizza fresh from a wood fire oven in the back of a converted horse box… covered in street art? Yes, that’s right!
Luardos: Luardos is a bit of a Mexican street food legend on the London scene. Expect dangerously lush burritos. Muy rico indeed.
Batch Bakery: I’m having a love affair with their brownies. The salted caramel brownies are so gooey and rich that I practically drank them out of the paper bag and I am shuddering with pleasure just from the memory. For something really unusual, try their Lemon Meringue Blondies.
The sweet treats from The Crumbery will also change your life. Their macarons are otherworldly. How exciting can macarons be, you might ask. The answer is very, very exciting. How about Lychee, Raspberry and Rose? Or Peanut Butter and Jelly? Or Cream Cheese and Rosewater? The flavours are beautifully executed as is the presentation; they are truly works of art.
One Minute London
Lederhosen: Oktoberfest at Urban Food Festival
For a long time now, Urban Food Fest has been on our radar as the place to be for foodies. A night market in the midst of super-cool Shoreditch, we can’t wait for the chance to get down there. And, what should fly into our inbox yesterday but the perfect excuse - they’re throwing an Oktoberfest-themed party!
Never one to do anything by halves, Urban Food Fest founder Jessica Tucker is going all out on the 28th September with food, drink and music all from Germany. You can expect schnitzel and sauerkraut from The Speck Mobile, Frankfurter hot dogs from The Fleish Mobile, steak sandwiches, kaspressknoedel and many more mains. Sweet treats like sachertorte and Oktoberfest-themed cakes (yeah, we’re intrigued by that too…) will also be available, alongside classic German beers and litres of Jagermeister.
If the promise of all that food hasn’t been enough to whet your appetite, the promise of live music and the whole Urban Food Fest team speaking fluent German should be enough to persuade you that this really is going to be the hottest Oktoberfest celebration that September will see!
Still not convinced? Okay, there’s the opportunity to dress up as well; the traders and staff will all be sporting dirndls and lederhosen and they’re keen for attendees to get in on the fancy dress action. So keen in fact, that they’re giving away a magnum of champagne for the best outfit - as if you needed another excuse! C’mon, anything goes in Shoreditch!
“I’m going in,” I informed my London friends, and pumped up my shoulders to barge my way through the salivating crowd in front of me. Before I could go Rambo style on the older woman blocking my path, my ears pricked at a seller yelling from his stall, “Scotchtails!” I stopped, confused, as my mind broke under the din from my stomach yelling “FOOD!
I am at the Urban Food Festival at Shoreditch, London in the middle of the evening on a Saturday. Flicking through the London guides on the tube earlier on, I heard about this street food night market that has sprung up in outdoor Euro Parks on the High Street in Shoreditch. What’s more, there was a bar, some live music, and seating areas with live bands providing entertainment to trendy crowds, on whom I could inflict my awful chat up lines. However, Urban Food Festival had me at food. I love food. If you had to measure my love, try thinking how Cookie Monster obsesses over biscuits. Got that? Multiply that by infinity and square that.
Walking in the car park in the glow of the beautiful sunset, I was happily checking out the many stands around the perimeter like an excitable dog that’s lost its ball. There’s so much food to choose from. I now know how Veruca Salt at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory felt. Should I try Peruvian skewers, battered frogs legs, pulled pork, Portuguese samosas, scotchtails or even sushi? And that’s not forgetting the macaroons that glinted ever so temptingly next to me as my eyes played across London’s night kitchen. No, my mother told me to have dessert last…
It’s a truly international affair, with blends of culture reflecting truly the multicultural history of the East End. London has seen many changes since Britain’s colonial days. There was no time to decide as I spied Korean burgers – or should I try Caribbean jerk chicken? My eye was caught by the twirling moustache of an Italian who reminded me of Luigi of Nintendo’s Mario Bros. He was trying to sell a group of happy American travellers some Italian pastries. Luckily for me, the Urban Food Festival is open until midnight, so I had hours to gorge until these foods were coming out of my eyeballs. That’s how serious I am. First, we needed to cleanse our palates with a nice bottle of Old English Cider (it was needed). The bar was staffed by beautiful people who had me coming back for more just to have that interaction. After downing the sweet beverage, I was ready to rumble. You could tell the Urban Food Festival was popular. The crowds overwhelmed the stands and sellers were hard-pressed as the food fairly flew off the shelves.
I first decided to go for the Battered Frogs Legs, but this is where I found myself in a predicament. What next? Pulling myself together, I decided I would have a scrumptious feast, all at once. It would be a London gourmet street food extravaganza! Ordering Peruvian Ox Heart Skewers covered with papas a la huancaina sauce from Peru Sabor, a Black Pudding Scotchtail Egg from Scotchtails, Japanese Salmon and Avocado Handrolls by Maki Matcha, Battered Frogs Legs from Geaux Cajun, Korean Pork Belly Rolls at Busan, and topping it off with macaroons from The Crumbery had me in food heaven. I suspected the Urban Food Festival was a divinely orchestrated event. I was so happy!
Much to the dismay of my over-burdened digestive system, I still wanted more. But you know what? It’s open every Saturday until the 12th of October. You’ll see me perched on the side of the table with a mountain of international food every Saturday until then. Just don’t talk to me, because I’ll be stuffing my face with food.
I agree with Time Out: “Tuck into the tastiest street food around. The Urban Food Fest’s ever-evolving line-up ensures second and third visits are well worth the effort.” Well said. Meanwhile, maybe I can have one more dish before I go home.…Caribbean Jerk Chicken anybody? The Urban Food Festival is managed by City Lawyer Jessica Tucker, who founded this event to fill a gap in the market. It takes place in Shoreditch Euro Car Parks.
Food Diaries London
There’s a new food trend that’s slowly catching up in London- street food markets. They’re quite popular because a day off spent lazing around a food market, eating and drinking in the company of friends feels like bliss. Located in the land of hipsters aka Shoreditch High Street you cannot miss this place on a Saturday. I would advise you come here with an appetite as getting through 15 food stalls isn’t for the faint hearted! The place had a great buzz and everyone was enjoying themselves. Unlike other street food markets I’ve been to, the people here were thankfully much more civilised and laid back. Hats off to Jessica (founder extraordinaire behind Urban Food Fest) for starting such an amazing venture. A great way to bring the community together and I loved the level of detail in everything she has done with this food event- from the logo of Urban Food Fest to the research done on every single street trader manning their food stalls. Each stall was from a different country with a proud display of their delicious food.
The first stop on this food coma inducing food fest was Peru Sabor. I’ve never tried Peruvian food before but I have to say- I am sold and will definitely be trying more of it. For all the health conscious people out there- quinoa mixed with fresh salad, grilled chicken and a side of crunchy nuts; you can’t really go wrong with that can you? The Argentine style empanadas by Portena London were one of my favourites. Their beef empanada was packed with flavour. It was juicy and the meat was so tender it melted in my mouth. I would’ve tried every single one of them if I could… From a pocket pizza cooked in a dome shaped oven on site by Panuozzo to a delicious vegetarian burger by Mooshie Food that was made of aubergine, portobello mushroom and (get this!) truffle mayo dressing(!!)- I was in a state of euphoria. By this point we were begging the guys to make small portions or else being rolled around was a close reality.
I’m quite proud of myself as I never thought I’d be adventurous enough to try FROG’S LEGS but I did! Geaux Cajun’s deep fried frog legs tasted like chicken wings. Flavours of Portugal had a delicious spread of sweet and savoury foods. I loved the Pastel Del Bacalhau which is a fishcake made of salted cod. It had a really soft and creamy texture. Yum…I was pretty much full at this point. Anything I ate beyond this point was very much Man Vs Food. Before I move onto the desserts, the stars of the whole food fest (and what everyone was queuing up to try) was the much anticipated Ramen burger by Galbi Bros. Was it worth the wait and hype!? Definitely! Even though I was bursting at the seams, I made sure I had a good few bites of this burger. Not only is the burger absolutely delicious, these boys came up with their own special packaging. Two of my favourite desserts were by Batch Bakery London and The Crumbery. The Batch Bakery had the best, chocolatey, gooey Oreo cheesecake I have ever eaten! I am a fan. The Crumbery is a husband and wife duo. They do an amazing selection of macaroon and the ever popular cronuts (cross between a croissant and a donut=cronut!) Their macaroons are not run of the mill and they have some very unusual flavoured ones like one that has wasabi in it (what?) and a beautifully crafted mint macaroon that was inspired by a dress at London Fashion Week. How amazing is that!? It had intricate flowers drawn on every single macaroon. You can’t help but be amazed at the craftsmanship.
So even if you’ve been to one before, you’ll find a different set of stalls each time you visit. Take your friends and family to this street food fest and I guarantee you will love it. I had the most amazing time here and who knows you may find me eating myself into another food coma this Saturday!
Gelati For Breakfast
Events such as this are one of my favourite things — a perfect excuse to try a variety of delicious food you wouldn’t normally come across, always in the most happy of atmospheres and often with your most adventurous friends. The Urban Food Fest certainly did not disappoint. Upon arrival we were greeted by a small sea of colourful tents, a musician providing ambient background music amid the hum of pleasant chit chat and an urban background of typically Shoreditch buildings.
The first stall at the entrance sold macaroons — a very good omen. Flavours ranged from blueberry to butter popcorn to PB&J (by the way, the PB&J was superb). We spent a good five minutes at this stall, my camera just loving the pastel-coloured display as we attempted to decide which we would purchase after we filled ourselves with dinner. We made an excessively slow circuit of the festival, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the many options available and constantly repeating: “oh, I think I’ll have that. Or maybe that”. Indian, Peruvian, Mexican and German cuisine was all spoken for, along with more speciality items such as Scotch Eggs, Chinese crepes, Jerk Chicken, burgers and wood-fired pizza. Between us we sampled items from about half the stalls and it was all outstanding. I settled on a duck Chinese crepe followed by a serving of sweet potato fries and of course, a dessert of macaroons. I hear this festival is going to become a regular thing — and I am sure to be a regular at it.
Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park recommends: Urban Food Fest - Oktoberfest
The latest installment of the Urban Food Fest residency comes in the form of Oktoberfest tomorrow evening. Located near Shoreditch High Street Station, head there from 5pm and revel in the authentic Bavarian atmosphere and enjoy a delicious cold 1 litre beers.
Urban Food Fest is the brain-child of City lawyer, Jessica Tucker. In the heart of Shoreditch on Saturday night, a mundane looking car park is transformed into a grotto of international delights. Bringing food from each corner of the globe to hungry Londoners, Urban Food Fest caters for every taste bud and is even free entry. With an eclectic mix ranging from ramen burgers from Korea to Austrian Schnitzels, Jessica has curated a global buffet for Urban Food Fest.
Alongside these culinary adventures there is also live music, including bands, djs and solo acts, which creates a fun and buzzy atmosphere. Jessica says of the project “I wanted to create an event that enabled Londoners to try the world's best street food, whilst drinking incredible drinks and having a great night out.” With the classic combination of fine food, drink and music, it would be hard for it not be a great night out.
Jessica has recently given an Oktoberfest theme to the Urban Food Fest. Bavarian specialities including German Beer, bratwurst and pretzels were on offer as well as traditional Oktoberfest music and lederhosen to boot.
If you do make it down be sure to try Bunnychow, South Africa's answer to a kebab and Hix's Fishdog, a hybrid of fish and chips and a hotdog, served with tartre sauce and mushy peas. Batch Bakery offered every flavour of brownie imaginable, including salted caramel, a personal favourite. With each vendor having a quality product as well fascinating back story and international origin, the Urban Food Fest will leave you wanting to come back to try more.
My Time London
Just when you thought all the fun of Summer was over! Let me introduce you to Urban Food Fest (if you’re one of the few who hasn’t ventured there yet). They have been running their food festival in the heart of Shoreditch for the past few months and people have been loving it.
You’ve probably seen the instagramed pictures and hashtags on twitter, but that definitely doesn’t do it justice. Big hitters of the street food world such as Hix’s Fish Dog, Bel & Brisket and Pizza Pilgrims (to name only a few) have all made appearances, and you’re guaranteed at least 15 traders to make the decision of what to eat even harder!
Not only do these guys have the food sorted, but up and coming musicians play live music to keep you entertained and to drown out the chorus of “oh my god’s” and “that is sooooo good!”. It’s a great experience in all and one you should definitely head on over to. Go hungry and leave happy! To quote the great Louis Walsh “It’s new. It’s fresh. It’s different. And I lllllove it!”
As I stand at the entrance of the Urban Food Fest in Shoreditch, it’s easy to see why there is so much fuss surrounding street food these days. With the inviting sound of acoustic music drifting towards me and the air heavy with a heavenly aroma of spices, I entered what can only be described as a food emporium.
The brains behind it is Jessica Tucker, a lawyer who saw a gap in the market and acted on her vision for a “perfect night out” of cheap but quality drinks, homemade gourmet food, live music and an incredible atmosphere. The concept is simple: each week fifteen traders appear at the event ready to serve up their grub to eager market-goers, while various musical acts provide the entertainment. The twist? This is a night market, held between 5pm and midnight, resulting in a vibrant feel which adds another element of excitement to the event.
Given just how packed out it is, it’s surprising that it started out just three months ago - and within six weeks had been nominated for Best Street Food Event at The British Street Food Awards. But just what exactly is the appeal of these pop-up events? Predominantly, it means foodies everywhere are inundated with opportunities to try new foods, often at much lower prices then the average cost of a meal in London which is always a bonus. And the variety. Within two hours I’d greedily sampled tasty Peruvian chicken skewers from ‘Peru Sabor’, tangy currywurst from ‘Berlin is Sizzling’, and a Chinese duck crepe bursting with flavour from ‘Mei Mei’s Street Cart’. My particular favourite had to be the unbelievably delicious Goan-style pulled pork wrap from ‘Rola Wala’ filled to the brim with punchy, tender meat and complimented perfectly by pear and tamarind chutney.
To sample everything would leave you filling a little worse for wear, as the portions are huge and incredibly filling. And that, of course, is the whole point of these events. Sharing is encouraged, and food as a shared experience is exciting. It brings people together. Food is life; it’s relationships, it’s a sense of community, and the buzz of trying something new together. And while you can of course do this in a restaurant, there’s something that bit more thrilling about taking the chance to do it somewhere you know won’t be around forever.
The Urban Food Fest is London's newest street food night market bringing together thousands of people to enjoy the UK's best street food traders, beer, cider, wine, prosecco, pimms and a cocktails bar, seating area and live music from urban musicians.
Blue Tomato by Felicity Spector, Channel 4 News
Summer might be over, but that doesn’t mean the end of London’s evening street food markets. The Urban Food Fest has been taking over a Shoreditch car park on Saturday nights – and it isn’t shutting its doors just yet. The Fest boasts an impressive lineup of food and drink trucks, along with live music from around four different bands each week, a seating area and all sorts of entertainment. There’s a huge revolving cast of top-end traders, from Hix’s fish dogs to Cajun frogs’ legs and Portuguese chorizo – and it’s not all ribs and burgers – there’s a special section for vegans and vegetarians. And, of course, a fully licenced bar.
I caught up with former City lawyer Jessica Tucker, who dreamt up Urban Food Fest, to ask how it’s going. “I got the idea this summer and within a couple of months I got the show on the road...and great reviews in the press drew large crowds."
She’s already been nominated for best event at the British Street Food awards: “To think what started as a vision at the start of the summer and now has the honour of such an accolade within a few weeks, is beyond my wildest dreams!”
A few one-off events are in the pipeline, starting with Oktoberfest on October 28th, showcasing traditional German food like speckknodle, schnitzel, and apfel struedel – with music to fit the theme and an invitation to come dressed accordingly, if you happen to have a pair of lederhosen to hand. Jessica says her legal training has already come in handy when she started planning the new venture: “It’s working out great! The Fest has flowed from the start, the feedback has been immense and there are lots of other exciting plans for the future too.”
The Daily Telegraph
Listed the Urban Food Fest's Oktoberfest Special as the No.1 Top Thing To Do in the Something For The Weekend section:
Oktoberfest is one of those celebrations that we adopt pretty lazily in the UK. A touch of lederhosen here, a few pretzels there, a bunch of slightly uncomfortable looking waitresses in low-cut dresses behind the bar... It's almost as if the clothes and music are just amusing cultural accoutrements to the main event – chugging giant foaming mugs until the Bavarian hall resembles a nightmarish, thronging mass of sweaty, chanting men giving in to beery abandon.
It's strange that we're so rubbish at it, because importing a festival of beer to Britain should be like putting on a carnival for tea or a Hanukkah for oxygen.
Anyway, finally somebody's bothered to bring it to London in a setting far more appealing than the city's handful of Bavarian-themed basements. Urban Food Fest is a weekly street food festival in Shoreditch that will, for one night only, marry a very promising sounding stab at Bavarian cuisine with the enormously successful nighttime street food scene. It's been founded by ex-City lawyer Jessica Tucker who promises cheap drinks and gourmet food, with specialities including schnitzels, schweinebraten (roast pulled pork), chicken knodel (dumplings) and red cabbage, bratwurst (German grilled sausages) and sauerkraut, reiberdatschi (potato) and Bavarian apple strudel with compote. And of course lots of beer.