Everybody knows that on any given visit to Wagamama at least 80 percent of the table will order chicken katsu curry, because it's freaking delicious. Japanese food van Yu Kyu played an absolutely genius move by putting crunchy panko-crumbed chicken breast and fragrant katsu curry sauce into a burger bun, and the results are just as tasty as you're imagining. And to top it off they do a mighty fine line in sweet potato fries.
Don't miss: Curry Katsu Sandwich (£6.50).
Find them at: Kerb.
But first check: @_YuKyu_
It may be a trend of the past these days, but sometimes all that will truly fill your belly is a big, fat burrito. Luardos stuff theirs with flavour – the chicken option is poached in garlic and bay, the pork slow-cooked with fennel and orange – and traditional pico de gallo, smooth guacamole, crunchy lettuce and Monterey Jack cheese all join in to make this mealtime a food fiesta.
Don't miss: Chipotle brisket burrito (£5).
But first check: @Luardos
Donde está la street food fiesta? At the Schoolyard, of course, where Mexican-born and LA-bred Andrew Ramirez flogs fish tacos under the guise of Mission Mariscos. Fleshy morsels of fish are battered and laid onto authentic Baja-style soft shell tacos, with a lively mango salsa, shavings of white cabbage and pico de gallo (tomatoes, onions and coriander). For extra ‘fuego’, a selection of garnishes is on standby alongside the customary wedge of lime. As the stall’s name would suggest – ‘mariscos’ is Spanish for seafood – you can dive in with prawn or scallop tacos, too. Elote complete the Mexican street food vibes – deep-fried corn on the cob coated in parmesan and chilli.
Don't miss: Fish taco (£5).
Find them at: The Schoolyard, Saturdays.
But first check: @MissionMariscos
There's more than one top-notch fried chicken outlet on this list – London must use a lot more buttermilk than it used to – but as well as making crisp, juicy poultry Butchies are good at piling up the toppings. The buns, which are named after cult TV characters, involve additions such as kimchi, chicken crackling and garlic- and lemon-flavoured Thai basil sauce. This bird comes with some fancy accessories and tastes all the better for it.
Don't miss: Rust Cohle – smoked streaky bacon, chicken crackling, cheese and homemade barbecue sauce (£7).
Find them at: Broadway Market.
But first check: @Butchies_London
Marinated ox heart isn't something you'd expect to be eating on a drizzly lunchbreak in King's Cross, but Filipino barbecue connoisseurs BBQ Dreamz serve up their signature skewers, cooked to taste and served with a spicy cane vinegar, at Kerb's lunchtime markets across the capital. These succulent morsels, along with the lechon kawali (deep-fried pork belly) and lumpia (prawn, squid and ginger spring rolls with banana ketchup) also on the menu, are adding some serious sophistication to London's street food scene.
Don't miss: Lemongrass ox heart skewers (£2.50 per skewer, £4 for two).
But first check: @BbqDreamz
We'd have happily included these guys on merit of their name alone, but that's not how this list works, so we were delighted to discover that their food is just as great. Crispy hand-cut chips are topped with squishy, creamy blobs of cheese curds and then drenched in gravy made from veal stock (or mushrooms, if veal freaks you out) to create the classic Canadian dish poutine. Chips, cheese and gravy never had it so good.
Don't miss: Small poutine (£3.50).
Find them at: Rupert Street Market, Fridays.
But first check: @HotMessPoutine
Up until 2012, the Scottish street food scene was as miserable as a soggy sporran, limited to deep-fried Mars bars and a tin of Irn-Bru. Then came along the haggis toastie, getting the kilts of the capital’s sandwich fiends in a right old twist. The Macbeth from Deeney’s melds cheddar with hot haggis, the rich, oaty morsels offset by sharp caramelised onions, tangy mustard and peppery rocket. Haggis-phobes may change their mind after trying one of these bad boys between granary bread, but if you’re not for turning, they also whip up a mean veggie haggis version in the Lady Macbeth.
Don't miss: The Macbeth (£5).
But first check: @Deeneys
How good can a cheese toastie really be? Judging by the length of the queues that line up beside Kappacasein’s stall in Borough Market, they can be pretty damn gouda indeed. These gooey treats are made with a carefully selected combination of three cheeses – Ogleshield, Montgomery cheddar and Comte – which are added to a sharp mix of leeks and onions and melted until bubbling between two crisp slices of sourdough bread. There’s also a raclette if that somehow doesn’t turn you on, but we recommend going for the toasted sandwich – Cheesus Christ, it’s good.
Don't miss: Toasted cheese sandwich (£6).
Find them at: Borough Market, Thursday–Saturday.
But first check: @Kappacasein
There are more jokes about balls than we have space to make here, but let's start by saying these ones are massive. They're meaty, too. And saucy. They come piled on a relevant carbohydrate and garnished with ingredients that shouldn't really work but totally do. You can go classic with a pasta/tomato combination but we'd advise you grow a pair and pick something a little wilder.
Don't miss: Green Thai chicken balls, coconut curry sauce, chilli jam and steamed rice (£6).
But first check: @TheBowlerUK
M Moen & Sons is a posh butcher and delicatessen in Clapham. On Saturdays they branch out with a popular hog roast in the nearby food market. This often has a queue; when the weather's good, they sell hundred of portions. A Portuguese-style water roll is loaded with wild rocket, own-made apple sauce, and herby roast pork that's carved in front of you. Even with the ever-changing and very tempting array of food stalls at Venn Street Market, Moen's big beast remains a fixture.
Don't miss: There is only one dish, the roast pork in a roll (£5).
Find them at: Venn Street Market on Saturdays.
But first check: @MoenButchers
For what looks like a stir-fry made with leftover crepes, Sri Lankan street speciality kothu roti sure has a lot going on. Strips of a flatbread called godhamba roti are piled with vegetables, egg and curry on a hotplate and chopped up using a pair of metal blades. The result is a pile of lightly curried comfort food that brings a new flavour with every mouthful. Just don't stand too near the chefs if you've got a sore head – those blades don't half make some noise.
Don't miss: Mutton kothu roti (£6.50).
Find them at: Kerb.
But first check: @Kothu_Kothu
It feeds poor students, it comforts of a rainy day, it's one of Italy's major food groups, but pasta isn't often gourmet. But these handmade pastas, with their traditional but enticing sauces and toppings prove that it's a staple not to be overlooked. Ingredients change according to season (and cravings, probably), but are always expertly matched with the perfect accompaniments and pasta shape.
Don't miss: Nettle tip gnocchi with creamy gorgonzola sauce, hazelnuts and rocket (£6).
But first check: @PastaeBastaLndn
James from Le Swine serves up his ‘#pigpimpin’ menu from a hand-restored '60s ambulance van. His aim was to reinvent the humble bacon butty, and it’s mission well and truly accomplished. He’s upped the ante even further with the Swine Burger: a meat-lover’s dream, the gammon patty is served with bacon butter, a fried duck egg and 'swineapple' chutney. It’s a messy one, but definitely worth the extra napkins.
Don't miss: The Swine Burger (£7).
But first check: @Le_Swine
Don't be deterred by the vegan credentials of this pot's nutritious layers; it's so tasty you'll be rubbing your belly like a happy little buddha. A rich massaman curry sauce covers new potatoes, pineapple, soya chunks and brown rice, with carrot and kimchi pickle and steamed seasonal greens adding some colour and crunch. Non-vegans can add some grilled halloumi. Add a seed sprinkle garnish and you've got yourself a wheat-free, gluten-free, guilt-free lunch that's better than any salad.
Don't miss: Small Buddha Bowl with halloumi (£5.50).
Find them at: Whitecross Street Market.
But first check: @veggie_heaven
A Malaysian burger may sound like a dubious concept – hell, we've only just recovered from last year's ropey Japanese rice burger trend – but shelve your judgement until you've tried the delights at Mandy Yin's Sambal Shiok stall. Serving up some of the tastiest ingredients you'll find sandwiched between two buns in the capital, Sambal Shiok's patty de résistance is the chicken satay burger. A soft brioche roll holds succulent chicken smothered in a deliciously nutty satay sauce, which is then topped with crisp, fresh cucumber, sweet pickled red onion and a splash of SS's signature sambal chilli sauce for extra zing. It's a freaking taste sensation.
Don't miss: Chicken satay burger (£6 for a single, £8 for a double).
But first check: @SambalShiok
London’s come down with a serious case of crabs. From Kent to Kerb at King’s Cross, Crabbieshack brings fresh soft shell catches from the Folkestone coast, covers them in a Maryland-inspired Old Bay batter and serves them up in fluffy seeded buns. The result is a crunchy burger leagues lighter than the queues at nearby Platform 9¾. A few variations on the burger are available, with fillings changing to suit the seasons. Nevertheless, each riff on the bun is refreshing and zesty, with coriander and own-made mayonnaises applied liberally but never overpowering the crustacean star of the show.
Don't miss: Soft shell crab burger with pickled cucumber, coriander and wasabi lime mayonnaise (£6.50).
Find them at: Kerb.
But first check: @Crabbieshack
Cure spend three weeks (yes, three) curing their meat, and hand-turning it daily, to ensure it lives up to its namesake. The minimalist menu of pulled pork or pastrami sandwiches on handmade breads means every plate is spot on. We challenge you not to drool as you watch them stacking on that melt-in-the-mouth meat, juicy slaw and pickles. They even throw in a few sweet potato fries for garnish – how’s that for value for money?
Don't miss: Hot pastrami on rye sandwich (£6).
But first check: @CUREbyforbes
Goat isn’t particularly common on British menus at the moment, but that’s all set to change according to the experts predicting that we’re about to see this succulent meat popping up in food joints across the country. And there’s nowhere better to get on board with the craze than Gourmet Goat, where you can enjoy generous lashings of slow-roasted kid with tzatziki and salady bits in a soft and deeply satisfying pitta wrap, or just on its own in a takeaway tub. The results are simple but utterly moreish.
Don't miss: Pulled kid in Greek pita (£7.50).
Where to find them: Borough Market, Wednesday–Saturday.
But first check: @Gourmet_Goat
Just when you thought that the toastie was just about as delicious as carbs-dairy-carbs could get, Grill My Cheese go and pack an extra carb layer in the middle. Their sandwiches come stuffed with macaroni, or spiced potatoes, or sausage and beans; basically whatever it takes to make the ultimate comfort food even better. Add to that some pun-tastic titles (Jay Cheese and Bean-oncé, just for starters) and you've got a lunch that'll put a smile on your face.
Don't miss: Baby Got Mac – mac 'n' cheese, pulled pork, barbecue sauce (£6).
Find them at: Leather Lane Market.
But first check: @Grill_My_Cheese
When it comes to chicken wings, crisp and tangy aren’t usually the adjectives to aim for. Buffalo wings, however, are an altogether different beast: deep-fried morsels that get coated in a spicy cayenne pepper and vinegar sauce until they’re as orange as David Dickinson (but far more enticing). This van is showing London chicken fans how wings are done stateside, and we’ve got to admit that we’re into it. Especially that creamy blue cheese dip that comes with them.
Don't miss: Snake in a Basket – seven original wings and one super-hot 'viper' wing (£6).
Find them at: Ely's Yard, Old Truman Brewery.
But first check: @OrangeBuffalo
The options at Makatcha are those of an airline kitchen: beef, chicken or veg. Fortunately their rendang is so completely packed with fragrant flavours that it doesn't matter which you go for. Here the coconut and lemongrass-packed Indonesian speciality comes with a pile of fluffy white rice and some crunchy, gently pickled veg. A billion times better than plane food.
Don't miss: Beef rendang (£6).
But first check: @Makatcha_Eats
Like a Eurovision entry amidst a sea of indie bands, The Grilling Greek's truck is cheerful, colourful and fiercely patriotic. Which figures, given it serves up a fine menu of Mediterranean classics such as giant Kalamata olives, red pepper hummus and really bloody good souvlaki. Fresh, soft pitta holds tomato, red onion, a good dollop of 'Mama's Tzatziki' and juicy, smoky chunks of grilled meat (or halloumi). If only British cuisine was this much of a winner.
Don't miss: Chicken souvlaki in pitta (£5.50).
Find it at: Kerb.
But first check: @thegrillinggreek
Even a terrible cook can create a passable toastie – you just put your bread together and melt – but believe us when we tell you that The Cheese Truck have reached new heights in the art of melted sandwich fillings. Each portion is packed with more dairy than you’d deem reasonable to have in your fridge, and the filling combinations are near impossible to choose between. Goat’s cheese, honey and walnut; stilton, bacon and pear chutney; queso Chihuahua, chorizo and rocket… it’s a veritable cheese board of oozing options.
Don't miss: Cropwell bishop stilton, bacon and pear chutney (£5.50).
Find them at: Maltby Street Market every Saturday and Sunday.
But first check: @CheeseTruckLDN
Bel Shapiro’s black rye bread sandwiches and Brick Lane bagels are all variations on a theme. Fortunately that theme is some darn good salt beef. Pickles chosen especially for their crunch sit alongside the soft, moist meat and a layer of blowtorched cheddar in the bread option of your choice. This handsome handful sure rings our bell.
Don't miss: The Lord Rupert – salt beef topped with pickled cabbage, gherkins and melted cheddar (£7).
Find them at: Kerb.
But first check: @brisketbel
Sometimes all it takes is one person to do something brilliantly to put everyone else’s efforts to shame. Such is the case with Scotchtails – take one bite of their generously meaty, perfectly gooey scotch eggs and you’ll shun the lesser offerings of your local pub for life. There are 15 varieties to choose from, (three of which are vegetarian) and they don’t slack on the sides, either – their crisp sweet potato fries make ideal soldiers for that bright orange yolk.
Don't miss: The traditional cumberland sausage scotch egg, served with sweet potato fries on a bed of rocket (£6.90).
Find them at: Borough Market throughout the week and occasionally elsewhere.
But first check: @Scotchtails
In his efforts to bring authentic Atlanta-style barbecue to a meat-hungry audience, Pitmaster G (more formally known as Gianluca Ivaldi) will never compromise on his smoking techniques. Fuelling smokers with lumpwood charcoal and oak gives his pulled pork, beef brisket, Cajun catfish and ribs a remarkable flavour, which is only enhanced by being served with the bare minimum – barbecue sauce and coleslaw. This is a meat feast that knows how to please.
Don't miss: Black angus beef brisket sandwich (£9).
Find them at: Kerb.
But first check: @misspsbarbecue
Airstream caravans aren’t an uncommon sight in the street food game, evoking as they do that dreamy sense of old school Americana that so often spills over into the food. But despite the chrome trailer out of which it operates, novelty junk grub couldn’t be further away from the remit of this classy operation, which serves up a range of bistro-style British dishes centring around chunks of grilled meat and veg. More grown up than most, then, but it’s all in line with the expectations of the suited and booted punters. More importantly, it tastes amazing.
Don't miss: Crispy chicken with warm crushed potatoes (£7.50).
But first check: @Streetkitchen
Maybe it's because we've had one too many drunken Chipotles on our way home from the pub, or that guacamole is just way too healthy for the weekend, but it seems that Mexican street food is all too often overlooked. But if there's one Baja-style dish worth setting your triple cheese and chorizo toastie aside for it's Breddos' fish tacos. Freshly fried, crispy fish (it varies all the way from cod to squid) sit on a soft, spicy haberno-smothered taco, before being sprinkled with crunchy pickles, fresh tomato and fresh lime. This is a taste of Guadalajara you definitely need to try in Lewisham this summer.
Don't miss: Baja fish tacos (£6 for two).
Find them at: Model Market.
But first check: @breddostacos
Remember when you didn’t know what tabbouleh was? Luckily Levantine cuisine is everyday fare in London these days, though there’s nothing everyday about Oli Baba’s lunchboxes. Big piles of fresh, herby salads, crunchy sweet potato fries, smoky Turkish-style flatbreads and a big pile of super creamy hummus make up the sort of meal that would make even a butcher consider going veggie.
Don't miss: Sababa box (£6).
But first check: @Oli_Babas
Mother Flipper's thing is putting their patties – all served medium – onto the grill as balls, and then smashing them down with a spatula to give them a good crust. Some come topped with huge wedges of avocado, others dripping oozy Swiss cheese: but they’re all pretty damned hefty.
Don't miss: The Dirty Barbie – double patty, double cheese, candied bacon, candied onions, barbecue sauce (£10).
But first check: @MotherFlipperuk
If you thought the oily slop dished out by your local curry house represented the pinnacle of Indian cuisine in London, these guys will make you think again. Rola Wala offers a range of chewy naan rolls and flavoursome hot bowls that’ll leave your taste buds tingling, just like the street-side snacks served across India. The menu offers as much for vegetarians as meat eaters, with tantalising ingredients like slow-cooked beef brisket and beetroot, coconut and chana dal served alongside tangy chutneys and piquant pickles to create an explosive flavour combination that few other street food stalls can match.
Don't miss: Kashmiri chicken tikka naan roll (£6.50).
But first check: @RolaWala
Two of the biggest food trends of recent years collide at this cheery Italian-owned operation, with burgers and American-style sandwiches being passed through the prism of sustainable, nose-to-tail cuisine. All burger patties are made from a 50/50 blend of dry-aged beef and ox heart, and are cooked to a wonderfully succulent medium rare as standard. Elsewhere, an Italiano riff on the lobster roll mixes oft-overlooked cod cheeks with cherry tomatoes, capers and olives.
Don't miss: The Original Heartbreaker Burger (£6.50).
But first check: @tonguencheeks
Thanks in part to a certain high street sandwich giant, meatball subs have a bit of an image problem. When done properly, though – with generous amounts of provolone in a semolina hero bun – the result is an Italian-American treat of such beauty it’d reduce Tony Soprano to tears of joy. Should your idea of a good lunch not include covering your chin in marinara sauce, try the meltingly tender slow-cooked beef barciole (pronounced ‘brah-shoal’) with zucchini fries and a fried pickle.
Don't miss: The nine-inch meatball hero (£7).
Find them at: Kerb (back in King's Cross from May 29).
But first check: @Capishfood
There's more to fried chicken than the limp, flabby chunks of crunchy grease you chow down on at 3am on the way home. They only taste good because you're wasted. Ever eaten that shit sober? It's horrifying. But at Mother Clucker, they do fried chicken right. These soul food specialists do crispy, spicy coating and tender, juicy chicken like no-one else. This is Southern cooking the way it should be – and very few people in London do it as well. Combined with a side of mac and cheese, it may not be diet food, but who wants to eat diet food? That crap's for rabbits.
Don't miss: Southern-fried chicken strips (£5).
Find them at: Ely's Yard.
But first check: @motherclucker
King of meats and winner of dinners, we'd eat steak all the bloody time if we had the bank balance to throw at it. Which makes The Beefsteaks' sandwiches extra appealing: they're packed with tender strips of rich, high quality British butcher's steak and yet will leave you with change from a tenner. The charcoal-charred meat is complemented by onion marmalade, watercress and a choice of peppercorn sauce, béarnaise or chimichurri. If sandwiches aren't your thing, the triple-cooked chips that turn it into steak frites are a real treat, too.
Don't miss: Béarnaise steak sandwich (£8).
But first check: @TheBeefsteaks
Photo © Scott Grummett
Champagne slaw? Ooh la la. That’s just the tip of the fusion food iceberg at Le Bun, where the U-S of A meets Francais. The Le Bun boys, under the tutelage of former Sunday Times chef and Street Feast regular Gizzi Erskine, have given some French classics the all-American twist, with Le Duck Frites and truffled mac 'n' cheese among the many options. But plump for the Le Bourguignon Bun and you’ll be rewarded with six-hour braised beef, truffle mayo, bacon salt and that aforementioned champagne slaw, all placed neatly in brioche. Je voudrais Le Bun, s’il vous plait.
Don't miss: Le Bourguignon Bun (£9.95).
Find them at: Kingston Upon Thames, Street Feast Dalston Yard.
But first check: @LeBunUK
Wheeling their wood-fired oven around town are pizza-loving brothers Charlie and Rory Nelson. They place serious emphasis on the wood-firing process, having crafted their own oven for the task of whipping up pizzas like mama used to make. Try the Napoli (tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, capers, black olives, basil) for the full effect of these Neapolitan-style wonders. But even if you order up a simple margherita, you’ll taste the oaky, smoky flavour of dough that’s been left to bake for a mere 90 seconds inside that red-hot oven.
Don't miss: The Napoli (£7).
But first check: @FundiPizza
Fortunately no birds’ mouths were used in the making of Bill or Beak’s stonking pair of sandwiches, both of which are innovative versions of much-loved poultry classics. The Beak option involves grilled corn-fed chicken thigh topped with caesar dressing, tempura capers, rosemary and garlic croutons and parmesan, which certainly puts the ubiquitous salad it’s inspired by to shame.
Signature dish: Bill – braised duck and pork in viet dressing with mint, coriander, spring onions and tempura shallots (£7).
But first check: @BillorBeak
Nice buns just don’t cut it for these guys; the carbs they’re cooking up are nothing short of fantastic. Each fluffy, steamed pocket holds a stack of ingredients that’s more enticing than a bacon sandwich on a hangover. Choose from roast duck with spiced plum and duck scratchings; Japanese fried chicken with tarataru sauce and chilli dressing; the not-to-be-overlooked portobello mushrooms with miso glaze and walnuts or any of their other charming little flavour grenades.
Don't miss: Slow-roasted belly pork with cucumber, spring onions and hoi sin sauce (£3.50).
But first check: @yumbun
When it comes to turning two bits of bread and a pile of grated cheese into something really special, Morty & Bob's have the magic touch. A secret blend of three British cheeses is combined with a secret cheese sauce for extra ooze and some finely chopped onions for a gentle alium drop kick at the end. You can add bacon or sautéed mushrooms with truffle oil, or go 'Straight Up', but you'll always get a juicy, crunchy pickle on the side.
Don't miss: The mushroom and truffle one (£6).
Find them at: Netil Market.
But first check: @MortyandBobs
American barbecue is notoriously difficult to get right, and Lord knows London’s got more than enough claggy pulled pork to prove it. When David Carter bought a 4.5-ton smoker from Texas he was in pursuit of nothing less than smouldering-hot perfection, and it’s fair to say he’s mastered the art of flame-grilling. Carter believes that USDA-approved cuts make for better eating and sources his meat accordingly. US classics such as beef brisket are smoked just right and coated with gently sweet sauces that really bring out their flavour. Simple dishes which are simply delicious.
Don’t miss: the St Louis Pork Ribs (£7) which are thick with meat that’s just begging to fall off the bone and into your belly. The ‘house rub’ and barbecue sauce glaze ensure that you definitely get food all over your face. And that you’ll be running back for more.
But first check: @smokestakUK
In a city that’s in love with the noble chicken shop, ditching your jobs in a successful Exmouth Market restaurant to sell poultry from a van doesn’t seem such a silly idea. And we’re lucky Justin Unsworth and Ross Gardner (ex-head chef and owner of Medcalf) went for it, because the chicken they’re selling is seriously good. The original line was in free-range rotisserie birds, but their fried chicken is now stealing the show (though occasional guest appearances from jerk pork belly-topped poutine see the queues lengthen considerably, too).
Don’t miss: the buttermilk fried chicken bap (£6). Massive pieces of crispy coated, buttermilk-marinated chicken in a soft white roll, with crunchy coleslaw and a slick of Korean-style hot sauce to keep your tastebuds on their toes.
But first check: @SpitandRoast
Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it sucks, and these guys aren’t half proving it. Kristina and Davide met while working in a restaurant and decided to start their own business filling a wholesome gap in the street food market. Using hearty ingredients, they sell lunchboxes that are full of food to make your mouth water and your mum proud. The queue for their stand is always worth the effort – the results are incomparably better than the supermarket salad-bar equivalent and you get a welcoming smile rather than a self-service checkout at the end of it.
Don’t miss: anything. You can choose between chicken and halloumi, but why would you when you can go for both? Each box (£5) comes with fresh spinach leaves and four different salads. We advise trying them all: we’ve never had a dud yet.
Find it at: Berwick Street Market Monday to Friday lunchtime.
But first check: @savagesalads
Proof that you’re better off starting a business because you’re really bloody good at it than because you think it’s on-trend, Mark Gevaux has been selling ribs on the streets of London since 2007. He qualified as a butcher at the age of 15 but following a serious car accident his leg was amputated, meaning that business insurance was out of the question. Meat, however, was not, and he started cooking ribs on disposable barbecues as samples at farmers’ markets. Demand was high and The Rib Man was born – his smoky, succulent baby backs have been shredded, piled high into white baps and drizzled with some insanely spicy sauces ever since.
Don’t miss: the chance to prove your heat tolerance. Gevaux’s Holy Fuck sauce is a delicious addition to the rib rolls (£7) and more manageable than it sounds. The Christ on a Bike version will blow your face off, though.
Find him at: Brick Lane every Sunday (but beware it usually sells out before 2pm) and at The Boleyn Tavern (E6) before every West Ham home game.
But first check @theribman
This seafood venture began life providing food to a posh wine merchant (hence the name: it stands for Bedales of Borough), but it was such a hit that BOB’s Lobster crawled from its pot and into a natty red-and-white VW camper. As well as the eponymous crustacean, Rob Dann and team serve crab tater tots, ahi tuna tacos, fried oysters and an uber mac and cheese that’s made with four cheeses, lobster bisque béchamel, chunks of lobster tail and crispy fried shallots. BOB’s makes some of fine dining’s most exclusive confections affordable and it serves them wearing a bowtie and a smile.
Don't miss: the lobster roll (£11), obviously. Stupidly soft, buttery brioche holds a quarter pound of fresh lobster tail, claw, sweet knuckle and lobster coral that’s dressed only in a little van-made mayo, some celery salt, a dash of smoked paprika and a squeeze of lemon.
Find it at: Street Feast Dalston Yard.
But first check: @BOBs_Lobster
If you’re fully on board with the use of pomegranate arils as a garnish, you need to make a trip to south-east London, stat. Mike Richardson studied design at Goldsmiths before realising that his calling was in creating magnificent flatbreads. Ollie is no longer a part of the operation but the name had already stuck, and let’s be honest, calling a food stand just ‘Mike’ would be pretty ballsy. Richardson will be opening a 30-seat bar in Camberwell this autumn, but for the original experience you’re best off making a pilgrimage to Lewisham one Saturday for freshly made wraps full of such treats as pan-fried Eastbourne mackerel fillet, beetroot-braised shallots, rhubarb hot sauce and homemade pickles.
Don’t miss: the lamb flatbread (£7). A lightly charred, fluffy organic bread is piled high with slow-cooked spiced lamb shoulder, fresh seasonal fruits (we got lucky with blood orange on our last trip), salads and Lebanese spices. This is the street-food world’s Ottolenghi.
Find it at: Brockley Market on Saturday mornings.
But first check: @mikeandollie
Five years ago a lawyer named Zan Kaufman had the best burger she had ever eaten in New York City’s East Village. These days she is serving Londoners her own best effort from her black food truck (a permanent stand in Old Spitalfields Market), and even in our patty-packed city it’s knocking the ball out of the park. The only thing fancy about Bleecker is the meat: rare-breed, pasture-fed, dry-aged beef becomes juicy burgers with beautifully pink middles. Other than that we’re talking sesame seed buns, American cheese and Bleecker St’s own secret sauce.
Don’t miss: the Bleecker Black (£10), which was added to the original menu following its winning turn in 2014’s London Burger Bash. Its double beef, double cheese and fried onions are wedged around a thick slice of black pudding.
But first check: @bleeckerburger
Ben and Gaz have been putting soul into submarine rolls for a year now. Things generally kick off with a fist bump, then there’s the difficult menu decision while Ben wafts a freshly made sub under your nose; a dash of silly small talk keeps you entertained while you wait; and finally there’s a delicious party in your mouth. Their soft bread batons come with glorious filling combinations – seared scallops, pulled pork, calamari and parsley mayo join together to create a gentle version of surf and turf that’s a genius treat for the palate.
Don’t miss: the Subterranean (£5), a vegetarian dreamboat with woodland mushrooms, melted stilton and thyme and white truffle flourishes.
But first check: @subcultsubs
Shing Tat Chung, his sister Wai Ting and his girlfriend Erchen Chang have just opened a restaurant in Soho (53 Lexington Street), but in street-food world a visit to their stand in Hackney’s Netil Market has long been unmissable. Their brief menu of Taiwanese treats is all-star: handmade steamed milk buns piled with ingredients we never even knew our English bellies were craving, and nuggets of soya milk-fried chicken which are what KFC would be like if deities had deep-fat fryers.
Don’t miss: the pork belly gua bao (£3.50). The slow-cooked meat is stickily savoury, but coriander, crunchy pickles and caramelised peanut shavings turn it into an expertly balanced wonder-snack.
Find it at: Netil Market on Saturdays.
But first check: @bao_london
What do you get when you cross the punchiness of Korean cuisine with the Mexican folded wonder that is the burrito? One of Kimchinary’s incredible wraps is what, in which every element is laced with a flavour you didn’t see coming. Hanna Söderlund’s fascination with fermentation is part of what led her to create this unique and winning menu. Using staple East Asian ingredients like kimchi, gochujang, ssamjang and nashi pear, she’s turned familiar foods like pulled pork, kale and aubergine into something remarkable.
Don’t miss: the slow-braised bulgogi ox cheek burrito (£6). The rich, soft beef and its kimchi-fried rice, sesame slaw, spring onion relish and grated cheese form what is essentially an edible carnival tidily tucked within a tortilla.
But first check: @kimchinary
See the top ten
Here we count down Time Out's top ten street food vendors, so you know which dishes are worth the messy fingers.