Street food provides an exciting alternative to tragic al desko egg mayo sandwiches. But even when it’s £7 or £8 a pop, do we stop to consider what goes into its making? These traders are proving quick and delicious street-side comfort food doesn’t have to be unethical.
Three-quarters of the world’s population eat goat meat, yet it’s seen as an inconvenient by-product of the dairy industry in Britain, with most young billy goats are slaughtered at birth. Last year’s BBC Food & Farming award-winners Gourmet Goat are on a mission to change that, with some seriously good Eastern Med-inspired fare: think kid goat kofta with chilli salsa and tzatziki in a pita wrap (their signature dish). It’s feel-good food made better by the fact it supports small-scale dairy farmers make a better living.
Find them at: Borough Market.
What’s this? Tea-brined, free range, twice-fried chicken strips, served out the back of an Army Ambulance in Shoreditch? Of course! The Cluck Truck broke down in Truman Brewery’s car park a few years ago. It’s been there ever since, slinging hot sauce and lime mayo-anointed Fosse Meadows chicken to fortunate passers by. Living proof that happy birds taste better.
Find them at: Truman Brewery, KERB Camden, KERB West India Quay.
Ah, yes. The thorny issue of eating animals and what they produce. Do we eat less of it, or none of it? Club Mexicana are about the latter, but not in a nothing-but-superfood-salad kinda way: their food’s sexy, a bit filthy, and has comfort food written all over it. Go for the beer-battered to-fish (tofu) tacos with chimichurri, pink onions, pickled chillies, sour cream and hot sauce, and you’ll see what we mean. The best vegan street food vendor in London? You’ve just found it.
Find them at: KERB Camden, Dinerama.
I first came across Dan the man with the street food van in 2015, and I’ll admit it was the first time I was properly introduced to the true extent of how delectable – let alone mindful – a full-throttle approach to nose-to-tail cuisine can be. The Roadery make things like sous vide ox tongue taco, line-caught cod cheek burger, and dry-cured ox heart salad. Even better, it’s all served out the back of a handsome blue Renault Estafette. What a way to honour the animal.
Find them at: KERB markets and events (but not in winter).
For the most part, it’s China who appreciates the richness and sweetness of British crab meat – most crab caught in the UK ends up there. The Asian market would probably rather things stayed that way, but CLAW are doing a good job showcasing the best of sustainable British-caught crab to those on their own shores. CLAW source their crab meat from Favis in Salcome, a family of crabbers fighting back the industry’s gung-ho tendencies for overfishing.
Find them at: festivals in London and around the UK. Since the time of writing, CLAW have opened their first restaurant on Kingly Street in Soho.
Can’t get enough of street-eats? Meet the farmers shaking up street food up and down the country or take a trip around the world’s greatest food markets.
This post was originally published in November 2017.