Describing themselves as 'street food pimps', Duncan Stanley from Brum Yum Yum heads up a team that's made a name for itself managing and promoting the best street food that Birmingham has to offer. So, when it comes to highlighting some of the city's more innovative offerings, there are few people as likely to be as clued up as him.
Recently starting a new project with New Amsterdam Vodka called #ItsYourTown, which celebrates the UK's most vibrant cities, Brum Yum Yum is encouraging others to share their stories and top tips for the best food, music and culture in their town.
'Over the past 12 months the Birmingham street food scene has exploded with some seriously strong menus and great new events,' says Duncan. 'As diners seek out fresh new flavours and styles, the best traders are becoming household names. Street food constantly evolves and the cream quickly rises to the top.'
Duncan shares his thoughts on eight Birmingham street food traders with menus you won't find anywhere else in the city:
White Heat Street Food
Gaz Oakes from White Heat likes to be different. From a fine dining background, he combines big BBQ flavours with, in his words, 'a touch of English refinement'. Not your usual meat-in-a-bun.
Only at White Heat: Home-Cured Pastrami and Pickles.
Yes, there are plenty of places in Brum to pick up a decent pie, but Jay Jones from Pietanic goes the extra mile. Every pie is made to Jay’s own recipe and raised by hand with love. A cut above the common pie.
Only at Pietanic: Bacon cheeseburger pie and mash.
Handmade vegan ‘junk food’ is a labour of love to Andy and Lisa. From the patties in their burgers to the ice cream in their sundaes, everything is made in house. This is the kind of meat-free munchfest that even carnivores crave.
Only at The Vegan Grindhouse: The Deathproof Burger Challenge – a stack of three quarter pounders, ‘bacon’, ‘cheese’, salad, gherkins, jalapeños and three sauces.
New kids on the street food block, Liz and Michael have shaken up the scene with the city’s only authentic Canadian poutine. If you’re yet to try this addictive combo of fries, gravy and fresh cheese curds, wait no longer.
Only at Caribou Poutine: Poutine! This is unique in Brum street food so seek it out.
All sorts of balls served in burger buns and bread bowls. Quality ingredients, homemade into unique dishes. That’s what Meat Heads is all about. Alex Blythe knows this and that’s why his meatball recipes are unique and popular.
Only at Meatheads: Crabbie balls – crab balls with capers and parsley beure.
Serving up since the early days of Brum street food, Carla and James’ authentic Filipino dishes are well known to the cognoscenti and unique in the city.
Only at Manila Munchies: Most things! Lechon, Sisig and Adobo are the favourites, but do explore the menu.
Cyd Tachdjian (AKA The Scarlet Pimpernel) is one of the scene’s real characters. Classically trained in Grenoble and with a twenty-year career in food, he fires up his crepe irons just once or twice a month. Unique fillings with the best quality ingredients are The Pimpernel’s speciality.
Only at Pimpernel’s Delights: Petit canard – confit duck laced with orange, chilli, ginger and Yellow Chartreuse.
Are these the best chips in town? Twice fried Maris Pipers finished with homemade sauces and toppings. James Hipkiss keeps it simple and seriously good.
Only at Fancy Fries: Italian fries with parmesan, parsley and garlic.
You can find these traders, along with many more at KingshEATh Streetfood Market on the second Saturday of every month. Follow @brumyumyum for the latest street food news or share your opinion at #ItsYourTown.
Read our suggestions for cheap eats in Birmingham.