01 | Jan | 17

Hugh Thomas

Market Share

A few years ago, The Guardian ran a story about the supposed disappearance of street food from the street. The journalist came along to the British Street Food Awards to research it. We had even written about our own concerns for the future, with a story about the dangers of supermarkets trying to package up the essence of street food and sell it on their shelves.

What we/they didn’t realise was street food evolves. It moves. Its true home is outside the home. And the wheels are still very much on the darned thing – 2017, particularly outside of London, is already shaping up to be a good year for getting out and experiencing new places to eat.

But let’s get the London bit out the way first – London Union are about to open their fourth site, at Canary Wharf’s Crossrail Place. Because, it seems, the capital’s far from having had enough of successful street food markets. It’s going to be Street Feast’s first seven-day-a-week market. One to rival KERB’s, we’d hazard, but Street Feast promises it’s the first of many.

Glasgow’s also getting a piece of the action, with two new street food markets launching in the city in 2017. The Big Feed (Glasgow’s first indoor, fully-licenced street food market, so they say) and Ross Street Market (who’ve now ganged up with Streat to host a collection of lunchtime traders from the 4th Feb) have both got the go ahead.

Then there’s Spark:York, which promises to be something akin to the North’s answer to Boxpark or Pop Brixton. It will be a community-driven hub to support ideas and small businesses, and many of North Yorkshire’s already top-notch street food traders. So there. I mean, could the cliché ‘food for thought’ be more apt?