The popularity of street food has grown through this millennium from a niche movement to an omnipresent phenomenon. This trend is immediately evident in York, where it has been fully embraced, and the city is all the better for it. At collective set ups and standalone traders, street food stalls are found all over town serving cuisine from all over the world.
Right now the lure of street food is even greater, at a time when cafes and restaurants begin to reopen and outdoor eating is encouraged. The weather warming up helps too! So, as the council intend to open up more of the city centre to street food this summer, we took a taste of York’s current street food hotspots.
Shambles Food Court
Beside York’s famous ancient street Shambles is the city’s historic Shambles Market, home to dozens of traditional traders. This charming step back in time had a harmonious modern energy injected by Shambles Food Court, a collection of global street food stalls in a social outdoor space.
The set up works for a variety of purposes, whether stopping off on a shopping trip, grabbing lunch at work, or meeting friends and family. And the vendors, positioned attractively around casual communal benches, provide an irresistible choice of mouthwatering meals for every taste and appetite.
These include food court success story Los Moros, whose North African wraps and shawarmas were loved by the city so much that they also opened a restaurant nearby without leaving their original home. And Nukkad too has gained a tasty reputation in York, which has seen it pop up at times in Leeds and in Harrogate, by folk spicing up their lives with their Indian dosas and chaats.
There are authentic dishes from different parts of Europe too, with Krep in particular elevating humble food to expert levels. Their sweet crepes and savoury galettes are lifted to delicieux heights by a French master and a creative chef, and the result surprises and satisfies equally. And from Greece, Stam and Maria are new York favourites, attracting queues for their authentic gyros, and becoming the latest food courters to spread elsewhere in the city through their cafe and planned restaurant.
Like nothing else in York, Spark was a welcome and impactful addition to the city when it arrived in a shipping container filled with fabulous independents. Now a lot of the units are cooking up great food and drink, and the ample social seating creates both a comfort to eat it in and a vibrancy to revel in.
A lap of the ground floor will make it hard to choose between the various sights and scents. Do you try South American at homemade Colombian kitchen Tricolor or at vegan and gluten-free Mexican Dog’s Nose Taqueria? Or perhaps Portuguese at Frango Eduardo, who are reclaiming their nation’s traditional piri piri chicken from a certain high street chain by blending, marinating and chargrilling to spicy perfection.
Upstairs takes you to Japan, where sumptuous ramen and unctuous bao are served up by Shori. Or back down to the more familiar but no less enjoyable cuisines of Sloppy’s Burgers and Rad Pizza Shop who do what they’re called very well. Whichever you choose, it can’t be wrong.
This popular modern brewery on Walmgate produces an eclectic range of fantastic beers that can be supped on site at their impressive tap room. To go with the ales, Brew York have teamed up with a street food couple creating Asian dishes that complement the drinks a treat.
Yuzu are an ideal set up for kitchen takeovers of craft beer venues, and their recent permanent spot here is made all the more welcome by the addition of an outdoor area, Brewer’s Yard. Take a seat there, pair those local brews with those gyozas and donburis, and thank York for its street food.
Images: Krep, Frango Eduardo, Shori, Yuzu