The unbeatable joy of truly good street food

It’s fast, it’s tasty and it feels you with a deep satisfaction once you’ve finished chowing down. A whole host of street food traders are creating exceptional dishes with ethics at their core. You just have to know where to find them…

Market Hall in Fulham opened this month in the former Edwardian entrance hall to Fulham Broadway station; a beautiful building that dates back to 1880. As bright sunlight flooded the food market from the glass roof on opening day, we had our fill of Massaman curry and prosecco cocktails (not at the same time!) and we got to thinking about what makes truly great street food…

Butchies: The best fried chicken in London?

And there are some great food stalls at the Market Hall in Fulham, including incredible fried chicken from Butchies, who source their meat from Castlemead Poultry which has some of the highest free-range policies in the UK; Thai street food from Thima by Farang, which has super-tasty vegetarian options as well as sourcing its meat from H G Walter, the butchers of choice for many Michelin-starred restaurants; and the all-female team at Calcutta Canteen, which gives opportunities to women with great cooking skills but no formal training.

How do you know what’s truly good food?
Generally-speaking, the traders who are sourcing truly ethical meat will have actually visited the farm and be able to wax lyrical about it. They should know how the animal was reared, what it was fed and what age it was slaughtered. Someone that can’t tell you much more than it’s “free range” is very possibly using this generic label to pretend their food is higher quality than it actually is…

 

Yum Buns: fluffy steamed buns stuffed with slow-roasted pork belly, crispy cod or crispy tofu

Elsewhere in London, Street Feast‘s Model Market is now re-opened in Lewisham. Up in My Grill is passionate about where it gets its rare-breed meat from; while Yum Bun no longer serves prawns because it can’t both source them ethically and make it work commercially.

A prego from Growlers: a strip of steak ‘nailed’ to a piece of bread, originating in Portugal

Also, The Growlers at Kerb uses meat from Scotland where the cows are free-ranging during the summer months and kept in open barns and fed homemade silage during winter. It uses compostable napkins and boxes, and are aiming to be zero-waste. All of this information is available on their website, but they’ll talk to you for hours about sustainability, too…

28 Well hung: 28 day dry-aged steak from 100% grass-fed British heritage breeds

Finally, Pop Brixton’s 28 Well Hung‘s whole focus is British meat from heritage breeds “properly free-range and pasture fed and where the abattoir employs the strictest practices in humane handling so the animals aren’t stressed.” Now that’s beef I can get on board with.

This is just a the start of what the best of street food has to offer. Know of any others that should be on this list? Let us know @bicbim!

Main image: Market Hall, Fulham

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