The 100 best dishes in London 2012 - street food



Add +

Hot, quick and cheap eats – be sure to taste our fast food favourites

Food stands and stalls, now joined by ‘food trucks’ (vans), are dishing up grab-and-go grub that’s sometimes up to restaurant standards - for a fraction of the price.

The best street food in London

  • Banh mi at Banhmi11 Banh mi at Banhmi11 - © Rob Greig

    Banh mi at Banhmi11

    From £4.50, Banhmi11, Berwick Street Market, W1F 8TW (07775 029365)

    Since their emergence in the capital in 2009, Vietnamese baguettes have become so mainstream you can buy them in EAT, but we like them best from the original Vietnamese-run stalls. Banhmi11, the second street-food stall to have specialised in the Vietnamese fast food, has now become a weekday lunchtime fixture on Berwick Street Market. The crisp-shelled baguettes are filled with a choice of freshly grilled meats, fish or tofu and topped with carrot, daikon pickle, cucumber and coriander. Our favourite, the Imperial BBQ, mixes sweet caramelised barbecued pork with the fresh aromas of lemongrass, coriander and fish sauce, finished of with a kick of fiery chilli heat.

    Read more about Banhmi11 at
  • Chorizo sandwich at Brindisa Chorizo sandwich at Brindisa - © Keiko Oikawa

    Chorizo sandwich at Brindisa, Borough Market

    £3.75, Brindisa stall, Borough Market, 18-20 Southwark Street, SE1 1TJ

    Back in the days when Borough Market was still a wholesale market, a handful of food enthusiasts banded together to create an irregular fine-food market selling directly to the public. Among them was Leila McAlister, who created the now iconic chorizo sandwich. She’s moved on to Shoreditch to head up the excellent Leila’s Shop and café, but her buns live on. Join the salivating queue waiting for the renowned griddled Spanish Alejandro chorizo buns, oozing with piquant paprika oil, complemented by silky piquillo red pepper and peppery rocket – all for a very reasonable £3.75.

    Read Brindisa restaurant review
  • Cochinita pibil taco at Buen Provecho Cochinita pibil taco at Buen Provecho - © Rob Greig

    Cochinita pibil taco at Buen Provecho

    £3 for one or £6 for three, Buen Provencho, Lower Marsh, SE1 7RG (07908 210311)

    Street food at its messy best, Arturo Ortega Rodriguez’s tacos are as close to the real deal as we get in London. The best of the lot is the juicy Yucatán-style cochinita pibil, in which pork comes marinated in orange juice with achiote (annatto, a red-coloured seed) for that deep burnished colour. Load up your taco with as much salsa and guacamole as you like – the combination of the pork with added chilli, sweet red onion, tomatoes, lime and roughly crushed avocado makes for an explosive mouthful. Note: open Monday to Friday 11am to 4pm only.

    Read more about Buen Provecho at
  • Hot dog at Big Apple Hot Dogs Hot dog at Big Apple Hot Dogs - © Eva Barton

    Hot dog at Big Apple Hot Dogs

    From £3, Outside 239 Old Street, EC1V 9EY

    Hot dogs were considered to be lowbrow food in the UK until this little stall set up on an unlovely stretch of Old Street. Free-range pork, prime beef and judicious seasoning are used in custom-made sausages that banish all thoughts of weak and watery canned wieners. Even the buns are made in Hoxton. If you can eat one and keep a clean shirt you’re doing well – either way, you’ll be happy.

    Read Big Apple Hot Dogs restaurant review
  • Lamb jalfrezi burger at Bhangra Burger Lamb jalfrezi burger at Bhangra Burger - © Ben Rowe

    Lamb jalfrezi burger at Bhangra Burger

    £6, At Eat St: King’s Boulevard, N1; 11am-2.30pm Tue-Fri (07859 004628)

    There are hundreds of food vans – sorry, 'food trucks’ – roaming London these days, and it’s hard to pick just a handful. But heck, we had to try. Of the dozens we’ve sampled, the dishes of Bhangra Burger stand out, especially the lamb wrap with lime pickle, or as they call it, ‘crazy lamb jalfrezi burger’. Lamb mince is marinated in spices, then served with mango chutney, raita and sharp lime pickle, and rolled in a Lebanese khubz flatbread. Among the van’s locations are Eat St at King’s Cross, StockMKT in Bermondsey, and StreetFeast off Brick Lane.

    Follow the Bhangra Burger food van at
  • Mutton roti at Jerk City Mutton roti at Jerk City - © Ed Marshall

    Mutton roti at Jerk City

    £7, Jerk City, 189 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZD

    We like Jerk City for its home-style Caribbean dishes, many of which are Trinidadian and influenced by the island’s Asian population. The mutton roti is a case in point. Jerk City’s floury, flaky roti is a thick and heavy flatbread, the curried mutton spicy, the portions large. Service can be haphazard, so avoid the lunchtime rush unless you’re happy to lime with the crowd at the smattering of brown wooden tables – or join the many who just pop in for a takeaway.

    Read Jerk City restaurant review
  • Som tam at KaoSarn Som tam at KaoSarn - © Rob Greig

    Som tam at KaoSarn

    £4.90, Units 2 and 96, Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PR

    This Thai café in Brixton Village Market is a good place to relive the backpacker experience. KaoSarn’s som tam (green papaya salad) is just like the street vendors in Thailand would make it – complete with slivers of bird’s-eye chilli that assault your palate with their heat. The sharp citrus crunch of green papaya is given sour notes by the addition of ground dried shrimps, with crushed peanuts adding nuttiness.

    Read KaoSarn restaurant review

Users say

Alan Wright
Alan Wright

One of the best chinese places for cheap food eat in or take away ,you may have to share a table,it gets very busy but the food is great ,big portions too, its called the sticky bowl on kensington high st ,opposite the kensington gardens hotel.


What a load of tosh. The Kerb brand overrepresented yet again - 90% hype, 10% quality!


what about west london for street food reccomendations?