Street Food is Soul Food

Street food – it’s exciting, tasty and affordable, and it’s becoming a popular way to dine, with a staggering 2.5bn people per day enjoying it across the world. From pop-up restaurants to underground cafes and market stalls, the food scene is certainly changing in the UK; these days, you don’t necessarily need to go to an expensive restaurant to get a memorable meal.

For some, the term ‘street food’ conjures up images of fried onions, greasy burgers and late-night kebabs, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Believe it or not, some of the best food is actually being served straight from the back of trailers, vintage carts and vans. One of the greatest benefits of street food is that the vendors often work alongside the seasons, using only fresh and local ingredients. The delicious meals they deliver are also prepared and cooked right in front of you so you know exactly what you’re buying. And street food has been a major source of inspiration here at URBAN eat, which endorses the principles of real food, hand crafted.

So why is street food popular? Author of Street Food Revolution, Richard Johnson, believes that people like the idea that the trappings of a dining room are negotiable. He also believes that pop-up restaurants and supper clubs are so popular because we want our dining experience to be relaxed. Perhaps it’s the convenience too; nowadays many of us are far too busy to book into a restaurant, sit down, wait for food, pay for the bill, and leave. On-the-go food is quick and easy, plus customers aren’t losing out on quality either. Street food really is good for the soul.

In the UK, there are a number of hot spots for street food, and London in particular. Some of the best food in the capital is surprisingly served on plastic plates or in paper napkins, in the middle of the street. London has some amazing independent chefs serving mouthwatering food from fresh seafood and Asian inspired dishes to the classic burger or Mexican burrito.

London’s Borough Market dates back to the 13th century and is the city’s most famous food market. Bringing together some of the country’s best artisan producers and fine food retailers, the market is one of the best places to find lunch for no more than a fiver. It isn’t just here, however, that you’ll find a unique eating experience; street vendors can be found dotted throughout the city but be sure to visit the markets of Camden, KERB, Berwick Street and Brixton too.

Street food has long played an important role in cuisine throughout the world. Much of the food on Britain’s streets today has various influences and inspirations, some of which have been inspired by big American cities like LA, New York and San Francisco where for many years the food truck craze has been steadily growing into a huge industry. Thailand, Vietnam, India, Singapore, Mexico and Italy are also just some of the countries that have provided influence for the range of food available in the UK.

It seems that that every culture has its own nostalgic street food and one thing’s for sure, there’s no sign of the growth slowing down.