Restaurants, Street food Covent Garden
 (© Rob Greig)
© Rob Greig
 (© Rob Greig)
© Rob Greig

A Covent Garden street food market showcasing start-up artisan street food producers and businesses.

Think of a new street-food stall as a fledgling, learning to fly. Even when the idea is fundamentally sound, it takes time to get the details right. How do I quell queues, what margins do I need to survive, is my pastry/paella/pastrami recipe as good as it can be? 

Now, think of Startisans as providing a nest where the fledglings can get their act together. Since opening in November last year, over 100 vendors have passed through. Some are just starting out, while some have established premises elsewhere in London. 

Buying from brand-new vendors does not mean you’re being experimented on by novices. Some of the best chow actually came from the newbies. 

The roster of lunchtime vendors changes daily, but on a Wednesday we had two spectacular meals. One was from Redtent Enterprises, using recipes from the owner’s hometown of Nazret in central Ethiopia. Try the sambosas, similar to samosas, and lushly savoury curries. 

The other was a sensational salad box made by Wow Savannah Taste. Brand-new when we went, if our selection was anything to go by it has a great future ahead of it. 

Startisans is not what you would call a well-kept secret. When we arrived at 1.09pm to sample the highly regarded paella from The Spanish Lab (Thursdays), it was all gone. That tells us something. We consoled ourselves with a good beef empanada from Chango, but arrive early to get your heart’s desire – and also to get a place to sit, as there is only seating for up to 25 people. You may also avoid the worst of the queues; we had to wait a good 15 minutes before getting served at Redtent. 

Some people we talked to here complained that prices used to be lower. But paying between £5 and £7 for meals of this quality seemed perfectly reasonable to us, and even the complainers admitted that they still eat there every day. We can’t blame them. In Covent Garden, top-quality food at these prices is not easy to come by. But do be an early bird to get the best from these fledglings. 

By: Richard Ehrlich


Venue name: Startisans
Address: 77 Shelton Street
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Startisans represents a spot to develop innovative ideas to help small artisan that want to challenge themselves to become entrepreneur, promoting their products in strategic spots in the city. Meanwhile it offers a venue for people to taste artisan-made specialties otherwise hard to find in the most important grocery stores.

Always such great and varied variety! Such a nice change from the mundane high street, I especially love the Greek Souvlaki stall that occasional cooks up a storm!

Startisan is simply offering The best street food Offer in london ! Every day new traders and Dishes With small Price (£5-£8)! This place is perfect to have a Nice lunch and talk to new start-up owners !

A chance to find the newest food trends in London! Wonderful staff - whats not to like?!

Startisans offers up a wide breath of quality food from different nationalities across the world. Each day is a different set of market traders so you get unbelievable choice which is unmatched elsewhere. The food is consistently delicious, the service professional and passionate, which is what you'd expect from people producing their own food.

Great food, Great prices and Great staff.... I go every Friday i love it that much!!!!

Huge range of delicious food from the best street food traders in London! Best place for your lunches... Fresh and healthy food.

The only place in Covent Garden where you can find a variety of great and tasty Street Food from around the Globe under one roof!

it is a great hub of independents traders, you can find something new and tasty every day! love it!

Not only do the traders supply top quality and original food. Startisans provides a place for young startups to build a customer base and showcase their best offerings.

Best place to pick up something tasty on your lunch break, with many different cuisines to pick from.

Staff Writer

This is a great new addition to the lunch options in Covent Garden that brings a variety of street food under one roof. I like the Indian and Ethiopian options, but also great salads, quiches, cakes and coffees, served by newcomers who are very eager to please. Not loads of table space and cash needed - and you can see the popularity will make the lack of space and queues worse -  but with brilliant fresh food for around £6, from new producers, and in the centre of town, I have no real complaints.

Staff Writer

When I don't know where to go for lunch, Startisans is my go-to because it offers quite some choice in a single place. Stands vary every day of the week so you're find a good mix of foods. My favourites are the Japanese katsu and the French croque-monsieurs.

Every single time there has been a treat, highly recommended!

Staff Writer

The food in here is amazing, and that's based on just one visit. I'm definitely going to be going back on a more regular basis now.

The menu changes on a rotation every day so there's always something different to try. For the portion sizes as well, it's pretty decent for the quality.

I had the Godzilla katsu curry from the Juzu stall and it was honestly the best katsu I've ever eaten. It will take you a while to get through the whole list but I'd definitely recommend Startisans to anyone in the Covent Garden area, or further out.

I work in Covent Garden and this is the place I go to try new foods and snacks every lunch time. The choice and quality is excellent and I love supporting small up and coming food companies. I would recommend to anyone who lives or works in the area to go check it out!

Staff Writer

Great place for lunch if you are near Covent Garden. A few regular stalls, but also a good rotation and newcomers. My favourites: the Japanese noodle stall on Fridays; the Ethiopian mix; the experimental pancake + meat + fresh herbs stall; the quiche + salad stall.

Love this place. Always something new on offer and always fresh. Love the paleo stand and the friday brewers market too!

I love startisans, they always have such interesting, unique, delicious food. A great place to go if you want to keep an eye out on future trends coming to the London food scene.

Been here a few times and it's a great place to try new foods. Love the vibe I get from all the traders who love what they do. The beer market on Friday evenings is worth a check too

Fantastic brewers market every Friday. A great place to visit after work and sample the latest offerings from London's finest microbreweries