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, the Argentinian Steak Sandwiches (laced with the lush chimichurri sauce), and the heavenly and, oh yes, very large macaroons.
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 – 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 mushroom 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!