Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ve probably noticed a street food explosion throughout the UK. It seems like you can barely move for pop-up shops, trendy restaurants and stalls all selling their take on street food inspired by cuisines from around the world.
This doesn’t seem to be a temporary trend either, as more and more opportunities are coming around for us to try new foods, and we all seem to be loving it – well we are anyway. Street food definitely looks like it’s here to stay and it has left us wondering why that is.
While we’re sure everyone has a different reason for loving street food, just as they do for enjoying any particular foods, but here are some of the reasons it seems that street food is here to stay in the UK:
All the food is amazing
This is probably the best part of the street food craze – the amazing dishes you get to try. With so many varied dishes and cultures being represented through food, you can find amazing flavours, cooking techniques and ingredients coming together in meals that make your mouth water.
While you probably have you favourite types of food to eat when it comes to street food dishes – after all, we can’t all like everything – there’s no denying that food from this trend looks and tastes absolutely brilliant. With meals tending to be small and easy to eat, it is all about the flavour and quality, which means you get a burst of deliciousness with each mouthful, even if the item you choose is reasonably simple.
A great example is this fab recipe from Tinned Tomatoes for beetroot, rocket and feta fritters, which can be served as a starter or in a wrap on the go. They may sound complicated but they are super easy and incredibly tasty, making them a great option for street-food inspired dishes at home.
Brings back memories
One of the best parts of any holiday is the food, especially when it leaves you wishing you could bring it back home with you. Street food is a great way to recapture those days when you were exploring another country, even when you’re stuck in the UK.
Not only does the food help remind you of being somewhere else, but the place you get it from can help too. With street food being such a big part of so many places, even the act of grabbing a dish from a market, stall or pop-up can help bring back all those great memories.
Of course, you can also recapture your holidays at home if you can’t find somewhere that serves up a similar dish to one you enjoyed while travelling. This is exactly what Eat Like A Girl did with her recipe for Georgian garlic chicken – also called chkmeruli).
Great social food
With street food being all about small portions or platters, it’s a great way to enjoy a social meal while also trying out several different dishes. Even just grabbing something on the go while you’re out with friends allows you to make the most of a meal, especially if it’s just a quick lunch in the middle of your work day.
When it comes to restaurants that are all about street food, you get to enjoy a great atmosphere, large tables that you can share with groups or strangers and a more relaxed meal than you’ll get at more traditional restaurants. Luckily, this social aspect of street food is fairly easy to mimic, with picnics or sharing meals at home allowing you to enjoy the same fab food and a relaxed atmosphere.
Dishes like these loaded Mediterranean street cart fries from Pinch of Yum, Bun Cha from Supergolden Bakes and Greek Chicken Souvlaki from The Sugar Hit are all great options for getting stuck in with friends and family, not to mention the fact they are all super tasty options!
It's something different
There’s a very real chance that when you look at a street food menu, there’s plenty on there that you don’t recognise. With cuisines coming from all over the world and countries having a whole host of different dishes depending on the area, there is so much for you to try.
Those who love a good bit of food exploration usually find that street food is the best way to indulge, with the mix of options being fairly huge – not to mention pretty affordable. Although restaurants now offer a lot of different foods beyond what you expect to see, you can’t deny that street food is a bit more exciting, especially when you have no idea what a dish is.
You get to try cuisines from countries that you’ve never even been near, combinations you wouldn’t have thought of and totally new ingredients, all of which seems great to us. If you want to do this at home, try African Bites’ Caribbean dumplings or these mushroom and kidney bean koftas from Amuse Your Bouche.
With street food bringing all of this with it, we aren’t surprised that it’s so popular in the UK right now.