London’s legendary vegan spot Cookdaily pioneered the vegan street food trend when it came to BOXPARK Shoreditch in 2017, converting young Londoners and UK musicians into vegans including JME, Professor Green, and Skepta, to name a few. Their signature and most popular dish was their Pad Thai, bursting with warming Asian flavours.
10 years of BOXPARK – 10 best street food trends
— 14 Dec 2021, 17:15 by Tashia Cameron
London is the world’s biggest melting pot and home to some of the best street food, offering cuisine from all around the world.
Street food has come a long way since its inception, from traders popping up in car parks with food trucks to having their own spot at any of London’s modern street food markets. We believe BOXPARK has played a key role in the evolution of street food and London’s food halls as it went from being a dining destination to a leading culture and entertainment hub, with street food at its heart.
In the last 10 years, we have been home to over 300 incredible, independent street food traders – some of which pioneered London’s biggest food trends and favourite dishes. Here’s our top 10 selection (in no particular order) of iconic food trends and dishes, from Cookdaily to Soft Serve Society...
1. Cookdaily - Pad Thai
2. Poptata - Lucifer
The Poptata story began in May 2015 with a temporary gazebo set up during the weekend in Portobello Road Market. Italians, Marco and Luca wanted to share their passion for Fries with Londoners, they knew they'd love it. With a modern style, Poptata presented a new fresh snacktime alternative taking his wares to London markets and festivals. Now Poptata serves up the most delicious chips and cheesy fries in London, including its popular loaded fries served with a rich and creamy mayonnaise with red pepper for an almighty flavour combo.
3. Black Bear Burger - Chicken Nuggets
Black Bear Burger was created in 2016 by husband and wife team Liz and Stew who shared a passion for cooking. Stew grew up on an organic, grass fed beef farm in Devon and always had the freshest home-grown and homemade food and a mantra of cooking only using the best produce. Once back in the UK, Stew and Liz moved to London and decided to set up a street food stall focusing on their favourite food - burgers. Black Bear Burger’s famous dish is their Buttermilk marinated chicken breast pieces made with a signature spice and flour mix.
4. Coqfighter - Fried Chicken burgers
Since Coqfighter arrived at Boxpark Croydon the chicken game was changed forever. Troy and brothers Deacon and Tristan moved to London, from Melbourne, to introduce 'life changing' chicken to the capital and, boy, did they succeed. From killer vodka battered chicken wings to the seriously tantalising, Korean-inspired, panko fried chicken burger; this menu has everything a real chicken connoisseur could ever want. There's fresh bao buns and delicious fries too and all of this can be washed down with a selection of quality craft beers.
5. Soft Serve Society - Ice Cream
A hipper Mr Whippy, BOXPARK Shoreditch’s idiosyncratic dessert bar has reinvented soft-serve ice cream and sundaes for the Snapchat generation. There are four basic flavours (vanilla, matcha, charcoal and coconut) but the thrill is in the photogenic toppings, which are arranged in petri dishes on the counter ready for sprinkling – perhaps berry candyfloss, Oreo crumbs, salty popcorn and smashed Pocky sticks (chocolate biscuit).
6. Bao Bao - Bubble Tea & Bao Buns
Tawinese restaurant concept Bao Bao opened its first outlet in BOXPARK Croydon five years ago and is still standing strong today. They serve authentic Taiwenese street food with traditional staples such as Bao buns, noodle soup and its hugely popular bubble tea. Students, young couples and local residents flock to Bao Bao for their regular dose of bubble tea, with a variety of flavours.
7. The Athenian - Souvlaki
A Greek trader at BOXPARK Shoreditch who source their products from independent Greek and local producers, with the aim to keep their footprint low and support the local economy without compromising on their unique Mediterranean taste. Served with its signature sauce, The Athenian’s souvlaki delivers a taste of Greece, whilst supporting local and independent producers.
8. Salt Shed - Pastrami Burgers
Salt Shed is famous for its cured salt beef, inspired by the Bricklane salt beef bagel. The business started as curing meats but then the barbecue aspect really came into play. What started as just pastrami, they now serve an array of cuts that are slow smoked or hot grilled with some very complementing sauces. If you’re looking for something filling, meaty and absolutely flaming dish, Salt Shed’s Pastrami Burgers are the one.
9. What the Pitta - Vegan Doner Kebab
What The Pitta is a cult classic amongst vegans and non-vegans alike, bringing a meat free twist on the classic British Kebab. Winner of the 'Best London Takeaway' for the Kebab Awards 2020, What The Pitta has fast become a cult favourite and has gone on to feed the likes of JME (UK Grime Artist), The Happy Pear (Vegan Chefs), FatGayVegan (Blogger) and superstar footballers. Its signature food is itsVegan doner kebabs made from soya pieces marinated in our secret spices, served inside a fluffy pita with tomatoes, lettuce, red onions, paprika fries and a signature sauce.
10. Humbledough - Vegan Cookie Dough
Humbledough is London’s first vegan, gluten-free cookie bakery specialising in hand-crafted, freshly-baked cookies, cookie dough. They make raw, edible cookie dough and vegan cookies with a conscience. A scoop of chilled cookie dough topped with their own homemade whipped coconut creams, freeze dried fruits and chocolatey creations.