22 | Aug | 23

Richard Johnson

We Are The Champions

Thousands of applications turned into hundreds of competitors. And – at Hackney Bridge this weekend – it all came down to The Final Sixteen. Our amazing judging panel – Michelin-starred chefs Tom Brown and Andy Beynon PLUS the best selling cookbook authors Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Richard Jones AND the street food legend Ranie Sirah – had the unenviable task of choosing our 2023 Champions.

And? The winners? And 2023 British Street Food Awards Champions? Going to represent the UK in Europe? Choola (Fife, Scotland), who brought the UNBELIEVABLY authentic flavours of Nepal to London. In second place were Syiok-Lah (Nottinghamshire, England), purveyors of the definitive beef rendang, and – in third place – ultimate burger specialists ? Cafe 77 (Hertfordshire, England). Amazing. The lot of them.

The People’s Choice – chosen by everyone who attended the three-day event – were Amani Kitchen (Hertfordshire, England), with their mouth-watering twists on classic Arabic/Middle Eastern classics. Followed by El Cabron Tacos (Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales) in second and It’s All Gravy (London, England) in third. The Champions and the People’s Choice now go to the grand finals of the European Street Food Awards in Germany on September 29-October 1.

We attracted a lot of attention. Sunday Brunch didn’t just want ONE lot of finalists. They wanted two. On consecutive weekends. BBC Radio London wanted the lowdown of course. And everyone from the Evening Standard to Time Out – and everyone else – wanted to shout about it. But after the fuss on Steph’s Packed Lunch and the Awards on Dragon’s Den, we knew 2023 was going to be unmissable.

It was an amazing list of finalists. And they entered extraordinary menus for judging. The winners of Best Snack were Fred’s Backyard Barbecue (Midlothian, Scotland), while Bia (Midlothian, Scotland) took Best Main Dish. Best Burger went to Cafe 77 (Hertfordshire, England) and the Spice Award – sponsored by Cobra – went to Oi Dumplings (Yorkshire, England). Best Sandwich went to It’s All Gravy (London, England), Best Vegetarian was El Cabron Tacos (Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales) and Best Dessert was Day’s Bakes (West Glamorgan, Wales).

The Best Looking Award – sponsored by Majisign – went to Igloo Pizza Co (County Antrim, Northern Ireland). The Sustainability Award – judged by the Sustainable Restaurant Association – went to Gamekeeper for their extraordinary and traceable venison burgers. Closely beating Earth to Oven, Tiny Idea, Wild Street Kitchen and Saving Nemo. And Best Food Hall – for the second year running – went to Cutlery Works in Sheffield.

That just left Future Food Legend, for a trader who promises to really CHANGE the industry – which went to Smoking Lobster (Isle of Wight, England). Plus The Extra Mile Award for a trader giving something extra in their pursuit of excellence, which went to the amazing LJ Hugs (Somerset, England). And the Entrepreneur of the Year, for a genius concept and execution, went to Hash Hut (London, England).

Just time for a quick sit down before we turn our attention to the 2023 European Street Food Awards and the inaugural USA Street Food Awards – launching in LA this November!