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Street Food London

London is the world’s biggest melting pot and home to some of the best street food, offering cuisine from all around the world. There are few cities that rival London’s impressive food scene, making it the capital of street food.

Despite the boom of the capital’s street food culture in the last ten years, street food in London is no fad. It has been around much longer than most people think, predating back to the Roman times. In fact, Leadenhall Market was originally the centre of Roman London – a street food square in the 14th century offering meat, oysters, and shellfish aplenty. 

Street food has come a long way since then, from traders popping up in car parks with food trucks to having their own spot at any of London’s modern street food markets. Nowadays you can find street food indoors at a food hall, or in many shopping centres.

Is ‘street food’ really a revolution?

History proves that street food has always been loved by Londoners and a consistent feature of the capital for thousands of years. But the ‘revolution’ is not about eating food that is affordable, quick, and easy to consume; it is the quality and type of food produced by modern-day traders and chefs, and the movement to food halls.

21st century Londoners have high expectations for street food with both varied and refined tastes. Whilst cravings for a greasy burger and fries will always exist, people want more than that; they want to discover new, exciting cuisines and unique flavour profiles. The ideal street food market will have everything from Greek gyros, Brazilian churrasco, Trinidadian doubles and a gluten-free vegan cheeseburger all under one roof. 

The rise of London’s street food markets

The UK’s casual dining restaurant industry was experiencing a significant decline with thousands of restaurant closures in the last three years. But 2019 saw a glimmer of hope on the horizon for the sector with an influx of food halls and street food markets sweeping in at an alarming rate, particularly in London’s dining scene.

With a bustling, social atmosphere, a wide variety of choice, affordable dishes, and the opportunity to discover new cuisines and support upcoming foodie entrepreneurs, it is obvious to see why food markets are so appealing. People are seeking lively destinations that will provide a great dining and social experience.  

Many food halls aim to capture the real spirit of communal dining by hosting events and acting as social hubs for local communities. BOXPARK is a prime example of this. 

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Street food at the heart of BOXPARK

BOXPARK’s flagship venue in the heart of Shoreditch launched towards the end of 2011 to coincide with the Olympic Games. It quickly became a popular destination although not in the way that was expected. Although the independent pop-up shops on the ground floor were performing well, it was the street food traders that attracted most of the crowds. 

Initially the development was built on the concept of housing independent retailers, however with the street food revolution kicking off simultaneously, BOXPARK experienced a significant increase in demand for its diverse selection of street food and drinks. 

Based on these learnings and the rising popularity of street food in London, BOXPARK Croydon opened in 2016 with a primary focus on food and drink, becoming the biggest food and culture outlet of its kind in London. The venue is made up of over 30 mouth-watering street food restaurants and bars; featuring some of the capital’s favourite eateries such as MEATliquor, Breakfast Club, and Chilango. Its third venue in Wembley is a sibling concept to Croydon but was the first to introduce a leisure offering. 

Street food is the beating heart of BOXPARK and its entertainment, shops and leisure are the heart strings keeping everything together.

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