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STTSfood-10-06-21street foodSCOT

Edinburgh Evening News logo Edinburgh Evening News 2 days ago Gaby Soutar
a sign above a store © The Fat Flamingo

Thanks to groovy vehicles, monikers that sound like band names, and colourful grub, street food vendors are the cooler younger sisters of restaurants.

a hand holding a piece of food © Chicken waffle cone from Chicken Skoop

This year’s Scottish Street Food Awards at The Pitt, Edinburgh, on June 25-27, will be hosting Scotland’s best, with judges including Stuart Ralston of Edinburgh’s Aizle, author of Scottish Street Food, Ailidh Forlan, and Campbell Mickel, chef patron of Merienda.

a train with graffiti on the side of the road © Soulfull

We tell you a bit more about the Edinburgh contestants, below, and apologies to the wonderful Moskito, Barnacles & Bones and Rost, but we ran out of space to include you

www.britishstreetfood.co.uk, www.thepitt.co.uk

Soulfull (Instagram @soulfullgrub)

Who are they?

Owned by Ryan Arton and James Wright, this 14-month old business offers “local ingredients cooked with soul”. They’re big on vegetarian and vegan options, which are served from their big blue truck, painted with a psychedelic logo that’s reminiscent of The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album. (Baby, you can drive my street food vehicle).

Where can you find them?

You’ll find them popping up at The Pitt, Campervan Brewery, Nauticus Bar, The Leith Walk Police Box, all in Edinburgh, or various Scottish festivals.

© John Kelly in the Antojitos Truck

What’s on the menu?

Homemade vegan doner served in a locally baked Levantine flatbread with blood orange, cucumber, pomegranate and mint salad, toum (garlic emulsion) and red chilli sauce, or Wisconsin Style Beer battered cheese curds with buffalo and ranch.

a bowl of food on a plate © Soulfull's crispy tofu tod

Antojitos Truck (Instagram @antojitostruck), www.antojitos.uk

Who are they?

Siblings John and Louise Kelly are behind this vegetarian and vegan Mexican street food operation, which was set up during lockdown. As their van was written off after an accident, they now operate from an on-site gazebo, though a new vehicle is in the pipeline.

Where can you find them?

They get around. Of course, they’ll be at The Pitt for the Scottish Street Food Awards, but they’ve recently been at Livingston Village, West Lothian and delivering in Edinburgh.

What’s on the menu?

They can whip you up a mean smoked barbacoa seitan, which includes a homemade bbq sauce, and is served in a quesadilla. Or, they do vegan fish tacos featuring banana blossom that’s been marinated in lemon juice and zest, all battered in a gluten-free beer batter.

The Peruvian (Instagram @theperuvianscotland)

Who are they?

Carlo Carozzi is the owner of this business, which won a couple of prizes at the British Street Food Awards, in 2018 and 2020. It’s four years old - a geriatric in street food terms - and they serve their Peruvian street food from a gazebo.

Where can you find them?

They’re currently at The Neighbourgood Market in Stockbridge, until July 11, and they’ve also been spotted on Middle Meadow Walk, as well as at Nauticus and The Pitt, as well as further afield.

What’s on the menu?

So many delectable things, from chicharron (like pork scratchings) to Peruvian rotisserie chicken and tequenos (fried cheese sticks). There’s also their lomo saltado. “It’s a Chinese-Peruvian fusion dish - a stir fry of steak, red onions, tomatoes, spring onions and coriander which is served over rice and chips”.

Free the Chilli (Instagram @freethechilli)

Who are they?

Pals Jamie and Jonny restored an abandoned food truck that they found by the side of the road. Now they take their mouth-searing food on tour. As the name suggests, they serve all things hot. They make their own sauce out of Scotch bonnet chillies, and sell it by the bottle. If you use it too generously, you may cry.

Where can you find them?

They’re regulars at The Pitt and also have a residency in the kitchen at The Dog House pub on Edinburgh’s Clerk Street.

What’s on the menu?

Chicken or jackfruit wings, buffalo chicken burger or their Nik Nak Mac, which contains chilli hot sauce, jalapenos, pickles, chimichurri, crispy onions and Nice ‘n’ Spicy Nik Naks. Seriously.

Chicken Skoop (Instagram @chicken_skoop)

Who are they?

This three month old business, owned by chef Liam Green, blends a love of chicken with hip-hop culture.

Where can you find them?

They’re newbies, but pop up at The Pitt and have served their goodies at cafe The Walrus on Leith’s Easter Road. They’ve also got a new location in the works, so keep an eye on their social media and follow the sound of their ghetto blaster.

What’s on the menu?

Their signature item is the stuffed chicken waffle cone. Among others, choose from Cone Thugs N Harmony (with Korean bbq sauce, toasted sesame seeds and chilli) or Coney Starks (with blue cheese, hot sauce, crispy bacon and salted pretzels). You probably won’t need any salt ‘n’ pepa.

The Fat Flamingo (Instagram @the.fatflamingo)

Who are they?

This lot haven’t had much luck, as their original trailer burnt down. Now they’ve risen, like a flamingo from the ashes, with a new horsebox, which has its own bbq. They call themselves “global spice curators”.

Where can you find them?

They’ve been at Nauticus, Bellfield Brewery and other hot spots.

What’s on the menu?

If your only dietary requirement is XXL portions, this place can help. Their speciality is adobo brisket, though you can also order The Fire Dog, with bbq wild boar hotdog, curtido pickles, brisket stock grill sauce and pickled chillies.

Taberu (Instagram @taberuscotland)

Who are they?

Owned by Frederick Brice, this nine-month-old green and pink van used to be an army truck, with a platoon of kawaii animals, include their racoon dog mascot, along its counter.

Where can you find them?

Leith Community Croft, Lauder Community Leisure Centre, Fife’s Adventure Golf Island and The Pitt, obviously,

What’s on the menu?

Kushi katsu - deep fried skewered meat on sticks – or okonomiyaki, which is a fat pancake stuffed with cabbage and spring onions and topped with katsuoboshi and seaweed.

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