Get back to the streets for a real taste of London
Forget the fancy restaurants for now, the best place to try new food in London is on the streets. And while plenty of trucks and stalls have popped up over the last five years, these are top of the list. From hangover cures to refined ribs, there are endless options for every type of food snob.
Brick Lane Market is a hub of activity, and perfect for the starving. Seek out The Rib Man for a really good meal. His slow cooked rib meat rolls, from £7.50, are legendary and he’s become a popular character. He arrives at the market at around 3am every Sunday to start slow-cooking his meat before opening at 9am – but arrive early because when he sells out, he leaves! If it’s hot dogs you fancy instead, find Big Apple Hotdogs. These delicious American-inspired dogs are made using 100% free range pork, which means they’re the best quality and the best tasting. They have two locations near Old Street, EC1 and Kings Boulevard, so keep an eye on their Twitter feed to see where they are popping up.
Brick Lane Market; every day but the best day is Sunday; 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QR
Borough Market is the obvious foodie destination of choice when south of the river. Crammed with every dining possibility, it’s the market to pick up fresh produce or an amazing lunch at the same time. One stall that you must find is Kappacasein which takes the humble cheese sandwich to next level, hangover-curing dimensions. Your grilled toastie comes with three types of cheese, five types of onion on sourdough bread and is to die for. Dairy intolerant? The Honest Carrot pops up at Borough market and others all over London throughout the week. Their speciality is healthy, hearty, gluten-free and vegan treats. Among the best are the London Roasts; beetroot balls crammed with potato and roast veg.
Borough Market, Full market Weds-Sat, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
The best street food in East London is to be found over three incredible floors at Hawker House every weekend until April 11. The palace of street food – no really, it’s huge – is the brainchild of the Street Feast crew, who have gathered all London’s top eats and drinks and placed them under one roof. Genius. B.O.B’s Lobster rolls are highly recommended. Further down the road is another street food kingdom, Urban Food Fest, which happens every Saturday night from March 28. Not only is there amazing grub but there’s also live music (including bands and DJs) and they have a dedicated V-corner where vegetarians and vegans will be well looked after.
Hawker House; 5pm to midnight; Fri/Sat/Sun until April 11; 260-264 Kingsland Road, E8 4DG
Urban Food Fest; 5pm to midnight; Saturday only from March 28; Euro Car Parks, 162-167 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6HU
Got a sweet tooth? You need Churros Garcia! Every Saturday at Portobello Market, the family-run business serves the addictive Spanish donuts rolled in sugar and cinnamon and with a side of hot melted chocolate. Advice: one portion is divine but two will definitely make you sick. If you need dinner before dessert, Jamon Jamon also has a stall at Portobello Market serving huge portions of seafood, meat and veggie paella. It’s sticky, filling and incredibly satisfying. Get going!
Portobello Road Market; Fruit and veg weekday but with extra stalls at the weekend; Portobello Road, W10 5TE