There’s a time and a place for fine dining, but when all you want is a grilled cheese sandwich or a towering sub, London’s food trucks are the place to go. From crunchy falafel wraps to Korean/Mexican burrito mash-ups, here’s our pick of the best street food vans in London, guaranteed to add the wow factor to your grab-and-go meal deal…
Gone are the days that lobster had to be served on silver platters, BOB's Lobster does away with snobbery and literally serves the stuff on the side of the road. Catch their street food at Street Feast's Canary Wharf location, hire their lobster van for special occasions or visit their hotly-anticipated first restaurant, which is opening later this year.
Find BOB’s Lobster at Street Feast, Canary Wharf
Born & Raised Pizza
Wood-fired pizza from the back of a converted Land Rover Defender? Yes please! This quirky set up serves some of the best British pizzas around. The menu features a range of seasonal toppings, served atop freshly stretched sourdough bases. Example menus include beef brisket with horseradish cream and watercress; cobble lane pepperoni with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil; and Somerset goats’ cheese.
Find Born & Raised Pizza at various KERB Markets across London
Donostia Social Club
You’ll find a variety of top-notch, tasty Basque pintxos at Donostia Social Club. Pull up a pew at London’s only street food ‘sit-down’ bar, and work your way through an array of Iberico pork and piquillo pepper classics. The van can also be hired out for private events.
Find Donostia Social Club at various KERB Markets across London
Engine Hot Dogs
American-style hot dogs are served up from this vintage fire truck, choose from the Yoshi Dog – Japan-style beef dog with takoyaki sauce, crispy onions, engine wasabi mayo and chopped seaweed; the Chorizo – grilled chorizo sausage topped with roasted red peppers, rocket and chilli jam; and Bugsy Malone – mobster pork dog with spicy Italian nduja salami, homemade triple mother cheese and crispy onions.
Find Engine Hot Dogs popping up all over London and the South East
Those with a penchant for griddled Greek souvlaki should hop over to Kalimera’s family-run street food van, to indulge in the very best Greek wraps, moussakas and skewered meat salad boxes, all hand-prepared by chef Telemaque Argyriou, who puts his own signature twist on classic Greek cuisine.
Find Kalimera at Broadgate Circle on Mondays and Fridays and various KERB Markets across London
On paper, this bonkers mash-up shouldn’t work – Korean-Mexican-Swedish burritos? – but it does. Choose from burritos or tacos filled with tasty toppings including slow braised bulgogi brisket/ox cheek; gochujang and soy pulled pork shoulder; grilled bulgogi hanger steak, radish kimchi and sesame slaw; and grilled aubergine and ssamjang sautéed kale.
Find Kimchinary at various KERB Markets across London
Grab some delectably naughty buttermilk fried chicken from Mother Clucker, either in the form of a Cluckwich fried chicken thigh sandwich, served with pickled pepper, iceberg lettuce, hot sauce, lime mayo and Texas toast; brined, buttermilk breast strips; or a combo of strips and Cajun skinny fries.
Find Mother Clucker at various KERB Markets, The Truman Brewery, The Hoxton Seven, Street Feast Hawker House and Peckham Springs
Despite their rather modest selection – falafel, halloumi or both – Nazari serve some of the most flavoursome wraps around. Drawing inspiration from Al-Andalus Moorish cuisine, their falafel is a triumph, paired with fresh salads, pickles and zesty sauces, and topped with a scattering of fragrant fresh herbs.
Freshly made with meticulous attention to detail, Sub Cult are the masters of the American sub. Their mouth-watering, New York-inspired sub rolls come piled high with toppings. Signature subs include the ‘Skandi Sub’ – oak smoked salmon, peppered cream cheese, Pama beetroot kimchi, lemon, and dill; the ‘Sub Contractor’ – smoked back bacon, white pudding, and free range egg; and the ‘Dub Sub’ – slow-cooked pork shoulder, pickled pink onion, jerk BBQ, and crackling. And for vegans, there’s the ‘Sub-Conscious’ – spiced vegan patties served with raw veg chop, pickled ginger, and toasted sesame; and the vegetarian ‘Sub Terranean’ was named ‘Best Vegetarian’ at the British Street Food Awards in 2015.
Find Sub Cult at Brockley and Maltby St markets over the weekends, and Monday – Friday at their new shipping container site on Whitecross Place, just off London’s Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate
The Cheese Truck
Since 2013, Matthew Carver, founder of The Cheese Truck has been serving up his signature cheese toasties to music-loving festivalgoers and shoppers at Maltby Street Market, from the comfort of his vintage yellow converted ice-cream van. You’ll find tasty, British-sourced cheeses packed into golden slices of toasted bread. Choose from Keens Cheddar, Ogleshield, bacon and onion mix; Rosary goats’ cheese, honey, walnut and rosemary butter; and Queso Chihuahua cheese with spicy chorizo and rocket. There’s now also a permanent site in Camden where you sit down and really take your time over a toastie.
Find The Cheese Truck at Maltby Street Market and various festivals across the UK