10 | Jun | 24

Richard Johnson

The Beautiful South

Forget about July 4 – THIS is the election that really mattered. The southern heats of the 2024 British Street Food Awards. From Cornwall in the West, to Kent in the East, the best traders traveled to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth to win a place at the UK finals. And this was how the voting went down:

1. Flats
2. Degchi
3. Bhajis Ldn

1. Chicken George
2. Justasia
3.= Bhajis Ldn and Sourdoughlicious
4. Mandala
5. Dirty Boys

Our judges (Andrew du Bourg, head chef at the Elderflower Restaurant and local influencer Elly in Southsea) were tasked with choosing our champion. And the public chose our People’s Choice. Both winners now go through to the final???? of the British Street Food Awards in London on September 13-15. And, maybe, the final of the European Street Food Awards in Saarbrucken on October 4-6.

While the action was going down at Gunwharf, the rest of Europe was getting involved too. Last weekend it was the Slovakian Street Food Awards. This weekend the Danish Street Food Awards, at Reffen in Copenhagen, were busy choosing their champion. But the UK’s heats were just as hotly contested. How do you BEGIN to choose from a list of the finalists like this…

Chicken George Jr – the best strips in the business
Baraka Falafel – vegan gf bites of Egyptian deliciousness
TNT Tacos – radical flavour bombs
Loluli’s – local fish cooked fresh over fire (Saturday only)
Humble Kitchen – BSFA Best Sandwich winner from 2022 back to go one better
Justasia – local Filipino specialists
Naakaa – food adventures with a fresh attitude to fusion
Sourdoughlicious – pizza from Cornwall with dough to die for
Dirty Boys – burger bosses from Gloucestershire
Degchi – slow-cooked biryani and chai
Flats – vegan doughnuts
Bhajis Ldn – Indian wrap specialists
Woosabi – Korean Fried Chicken – and beyond
Mandala – Himalayan dumplings

With DJs and the fully-stocked Bones Bar from Roll ‘n’ Pour PLUS live music AND the unlimited vibes in the sun, it was sometimes easy to forget about the serious business of choosing a winner. But we all managed. Next up? The Welsh Street Food Awards with Street Food Circus in Llandeilo. Onwards!