Beginner’s guide to London’s street food markets

Oh London! One of Europes liveliest cities. A city where you can never get bored, every day there is an event happening or a new trendy bar or restaurant is opening. All the different mixes of cultures and nationalities, which fulfill the British capital, have made its food scene so popular all around the world. Home of exactly 70 Michelin starred restaurants London is every foodies dream destination.. Unfortunately in most cases a meal at those restaurants costs a fortune and after paying your bill there, you will probably have to live on toasts and canned soup for the next week. Luckily the inhabitants of the city have figured out a smart and cheap way in which you can try and enjoy incredibly delicious gourmet-worthy food, without doing a serious damage to your wallet. It’s a well-known fact that London’s street food scene is growing and growing and the standards of the food trucks and stalls are rising higher ans higher. Most of the street food markets are crowded with people, who love the mixture between well-prepared food with a friendly atmosphere. Due to this fact New markets are popping up all around London with more street food vans and vendors offering all type of British and international cuisine. Whether you are craving Korean fried chicken or some classic fish and chips, London’s street food scene has it all. During my recent visit to the vibrant capital I made it my goal to make a special guide for all of you curious foodie lovers and guide you through some of Londons best street food markets.

1. Borough market – Established in the 1850s, Borough market still remains the most preferred market in this metropolitan capital. Every day you can see massive crowds of hungry locals and tourists, who are on the hunt for the best street food. From locally grown fruits and veggies to international delicacies, vegan dishes, a range of spices and Asian street food, there is plenty of delicious indulgences, which you can try at one of Londons oldest street food markets. During all my visits to London, I have always taken some spare time and go to this market. Every special treat I have tried has always left me more than satisfied, but honestly my favorite thing about Borough are the free food gourmet samples.

Variety of fresh fish

2. Maltby street food market – Just a few minutes away from Borough, you will find yourself in this small outdoor market. Hiding between the big modern buildings Maltby market offers all sorts of incredible foods and beverages, which will satisfy every foodies expectations. Opened about 8 years ago the market has already become a well-known weekend destination and can get pretty crowded when the sun comes out. When we went there we were quite hungry, so predictably we went a bit over board with our orders. We wanted to taste as much as we could, so everyone got something different. I personally am a big fan of gyozas, so when I saw a food stall, which specialized in gyozas, I immediately pulled my wallet and got their bento box. It costed me exactly 10 pounds, but the taste and the portion size were worth it. We also got some Korean fried curry chicken, grilled cheese sandwich with chorizo and my absolute favorite duck burger with goat cheese. Maltby market may look small in comparison to some other markets, but offers a rather wide range of food choices.

Grilled cheese with chorizo

Korean Curry Fried Chicken

Gyoza Bento Box

3. Shoreditch boxpark – Heading to East London(the hip side of the city), you shall surely make a pit stop at the Shoreditch boxpark. This contemporary art building made out of shipping containers plonked underneath the well-known Shoreditch High Street Overground Station is known to be Londons first pop up mall. On The second floor of the unusual “mall” you can experience several food and beverage stalls all hidden in small containers. The food park is home of the famous bubble waffle ice-cream, dirty fries and many other international stalls. The dish that blew my mind was the vegan pad-Thai from “Cookdaily”, which contained plant-based prawns. Having my first bite from this vegan madness, I couldn’t even realize that the prawn didn’t come directly from the sea. It really looked, tasted and even had the same texture as a real one. Even my father and sister, who are the biggest meat lovers I know couldn’t spot the difference.

4. Old Spitalfields market – Next stop on your foodie trip should be Spitalfields market. The market is one of Londons busiest shopping destinations and as you could probably guess it also has an amazing food court. Whether you are in the mood for something healthier like a poke bowl or want to enjoy a special meal on your cheat day, you will find several food options for every taste. My family and I are big fans of Asian cuisine, especially the dumplings. For this reason we decided to get the shrimp wontons with chili sauce from the “Dumpling shack”.

5. Brick lane market – Just next to Spitalfields market you will find yourself in the buzzing Brick lane market. The market is known best for its wide range of trendy vintage clothes. Despite that you can also enjoy a changing selection of street food that will keep you well-fueled while you browse through the several second-hand shops and retro goodies. I personally snacked on some sweet potato fries.

6. Kerb Camden market – the last stop on our street food adventure was Kerb in Camden market. From Chinese to French, KERB street food market holds 34 food stalls, which all offer mouth-watering dishes from all around the world. The food choices are endless and will leave even the pickiest eater happy. After wandering around the food stalls and trying to decide what I want to eat, I finally chose the atomic cookie ice-cream from “Chin Chin Labs” I enjoyed my scientific food creation along the beautiful canal.

Well, with an overfilled stomach and an unforgettable after taste, my foodie trip to some of London’s best street food markets ended. This guide is supposed to help all of you first time visitors, who want to enjoy the ultimate street food experience.
xoxo,
Afterthetaste

Carrot and orange soup

Whether you are aware or not, two weeks ago I came back from my Moroccan adventure. Despite the many sights we visited, we also managed to try all kinds of traditional dishes. One soup in particular got my taste buds going mad! We had it served in a beautiful restaurant in the medina in Marrakech and I can still taste the deliciousness of this bowl of soup whenever I think about it. This particular soup was made with pumpkin and orange. At first it sounded like a rather strange combination since it was made with pumpkin and orange, but after taking my first bite, I kept craving more and more. Even after coming back to Sofia, I still wanted to have the lovely soup, so I decided to put my own spin to it and recreate my own version. Because it’s not really pumpkin season, I used carrots and it tasted even better. Even if you are not a fan of soups in general, I can guarantee you that you will most certainly adore this one.

Ingredients:

10 medium sized carrots

1 onion

1 clove garlic

1 tsp thyme

1 orange (zest+juice)

What to do?

1. You start by putting your finely chopped onion into the pot and sweat it off

2. When onion is softened, add the minced garlic

3. Add the thyme and chopped carrots to the pot

4. Cover with water and let it simmer until your carrots are soft enough

5. Either use a hand mixer or just put everything in your blender and pulse until it is all well-mixed

6. Move back to the pot and add the juice and zest of your orange, salt and pepper

Voilá! That was is it. I personally also like to top it off with some roasted pumpkin seeds for some extra crunch. As you can see the soup literally requires a few basic ingredients, but tastes magnificently.

Vegan falafel salad

One of my favorite cuisines is the well-known Arabic oriental. The first dish that made me fall in love with this enriched world of flavors was a portion of falafels. Traditionally falafels are made from chickpeas and spices, and then rolled into small balls and deep fried until crisp and golden on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside. This balance of textures makes the dish so enjoyable for many people. As I’ve mentioned before, I try to follow a healthy diet, which doesn’t include fried food. That’s why I challenged myself to make this fatty indulging dish into something as delicious, but better for my body and health. I came up with the idea, instead of frying the falafels to bake them and surprisingly they turned out tasting amazing. Complimented by some leafy greens and my special garlic tahini sauce, this falafel salad is bursting with fresh bright flavors from the cilantro and greens. It still makes a hefty hearty meal due to the protein rich chickpeas and fatty tahini dressing. Another great thing about baking falafels is that they can stay in the fridge for up to 5 days. Even if you are not a big salad lover, you can still have them on their own or serve them in some pita bread. Trust me after trying this recipe you will want to have this falafel salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Ingredients:

Can of chickpeas

2 garlic cloves

1/2 onion

1tsp. Cumin

1tsp paprika

1/2 tsp spicy paprika

1/2 cinnamon

1/2 lemon

1 tbsp. Flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup of Parsley

For the garlic tahini dressing:

1/2 lemon

2tsp tahini

1 garlic clove(minced)

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp honey

What to do?:

  1. In a food processor blend the onion, garlic and parsley
  2. Add the spices and mix until nicely blended
  3. Pour the thick mixture in a large bowl
  4. Put the chickpeas in the food processor and blitz
  5. Add the chickpeas to the spice mixture and stir until combined
  6. Add a table spoon of flour
  7. Form small thick patties and place on the baking your generously oiled baking thin, so they don’t stick
  8. Place in the oven for 30minutes in total
  9. After 15-20 minutes turn the patties over and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes
  10. Meanwhile make the sauce, combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic and cumin in a glass and stir
  11. To loosen up the dressing gradually add water
  12. When your falafels look golden brown, take them out of the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes
  13. Lastly plate everything and serve

There you have it! Your healthy version of the traditional falafel recipe. To make the salad taste even better I added also some hummus and chopped tomatoes.

* If you want crispier outside here are my tips:

  • Make small thick patties
  • Refrigerate the mixture before forming into patties
  • Oil the baking pan
  • Let the falafels cool slightly before serving

Morning Inspiration: Healthy and easy breakfast ideas

The only thing that motivates me to wake up every morning and leave my cozy warm bed is breakfast. Without it, my whole day feels incomplete. I just don’t get people, who skip breakfast just because they don’t feel hungry or don’t have enough time. Breakfast is not only my personally most adored meal, but it also fuels your body with energy for starting the day. Continue reading “Morning Inspiration: Healthy and easy breakfast ideas”

Vegan ginger cake

Every year right before Christmas our school organizes a special food bazaar , where students can sell their own homemade dishes. As you probably already have noticed I love cooking and that’s why I was one of the first students, who signed up. I wanted to make something that uses natural ingredients and will prove my classmates that healthy food can also taste good. So that’s how came up with this easy ginger cake recipe, which uses just a few ingredients , but is still very rich in flavor and texture. My fellow students really liked it and kept coming back for more and more, but unfortunetly I had just prepared one batch.

So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 spelt flour(whole wheat should also do)

1/2 cup chestnut flour(if you don’t have use just regular spelt)

1/2 cup honey(if you have a sweeter tooth use 1cup)

1 tbsp. Melasa

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp ginger powder

3 tsp. Baking powder

Nuts for topping

What to do?

1. Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl

2. In a separate bowl sift and mix all the dry ingredients

3. Add the wet to the dry

4. Fold the mixture gently, so it stays airy

5. Transfer to a baking tray

6. Sprinkle with nuts and coconut sugar

7. Bake for 35-40 minutes in a 180 oven

8. Leave it cool in room temperature

Voila! I hope you like the recipe and let me know what you think. If you want to see more recipes, subscribe