Ditch the fancy; fork out for flavour. From currying favour with aromatic delights to rolling out the red (and green and yellow) carpet for veggie treats, London's street markets and food halls are where culinary dreams meet budget-friendly bites – no silver spoons needed, just wooden forks and big appetites. So, grab those wet wipes and hit the streets; this guide to London's best street food dishes will have you trend-savvy in no time. Bon appétit.
Apple Crumble and Hot Custard: Humble Crumble
A cult destination that's the scuttlebutt of London Town, Humble Crumble dishes out supremely sweet crumbly delights like the apple crumble and hot custard right in the heart of Old Spitalfields, Borough or Camden Market. Concoct your dream dessert using tablet order and pick your fruit-to-crumble ratio with pile on toppings like torched meringues, custard galore (of course), and a luxe drizzle of dark chocolate. Fear not; custard comes in hot, cold, or frozen, whatever the mood or the weather.
Potato Mozzarella Corn Dog: Bunsik
Conquering the viral realm time and time again with their insane cheese pulls, Bunsik's legendary potato mozzarella corn dog is sweet, savoury, chewy, and crispy, all rolled into one magical bite. These cheesy delights trace their origins back to the '80s with their simple yet genius skewered sausage, oozy cheese, or a blend of both, dunked in cornmeal batter, coated in breadcrumbs, jazzed up with crispy toppings, and then fried to golden perfection. Located in Leicester Square, Camden, Embankment and Westfield Stratford, with a cheese pull so epic, it'll have you queueing for more.
Fettuccine Alfredo: Cheese Wheel
Saucy, cheesy and downright delicious, Cheese Wheel in Camden, arguably London's best street food market, plates up a mean fettuccine alfredo. Their pasta wizards swirl up ribbons of tender hand-rolled dough inside a hollowed-out beast of a grana padano cheese wheel before serving to you for just a fiver. It really couldn't get any cheesier or creamier or gooey or, well, you get our point.
Bacon Butter Burger: Burger and Beyond
Burger & Beyond's journey from street-food stardom to three bustling joints in Soho, Shoreditch, and Borough is the real deal. Their secret to success and the best flippin' burger in town, you ask? Top-quality meat sourced from a Swaledale farm, aged with love right in the middle of Essex. Crafting irresistible burgers like the meaty bacon butter (£12.50) and hot honey oozing with flavour, it's not just their burgers that are fab—think bone-marrow gravy fries, killer fried chicken, and dark-rum milkshakes. Yum, yum.
40-Day Aged Beef: BAO Borough
Next on our food hit list is a dish that'll make you scream OMG in real life. Picture this: a hefty helping of 40-day-aged beef, blushing, tender and sliced to perfection, accompanied by a glistening soy-cured egg yolk nestled atop a bed of buttery Taipei rice. This meaty dish (£14) has been an online sensation ever since Bao kicked off its market-side journey. With each mouthful of juicy beef, it truly lives up to its digital hype.
Japanese Soufflé Pancakes: Hefaure
Hefaure's hit the sweet spot in Chinatown, becoming a cult dessert darling thanks to their Japanese soufflé pancakes. These plump, pillow-like wonders start with a batter fluffed with whipped egg whites, then piped tall on the griddle for that signature jiggle. Forget your usual pancake texture—these are like biting into a cloud of dreams. The toppings? From matcha red bean to fresh strawberries and cream and gooey brown sugar boba syrup, these ain't your regular ol' American pancakes; these are jiggly, fluffy, cloud-like soufflés ready to dance on your taste buds.
Birria Ramen: Birria Taco
At Birria Taco in Kensal Rise, it's all about their adobo-marinated stew. From tacos to loaded fries and ramen, they've got it all and then some. Our flavour fav, their spicy birria taco in a bowl (£9.50), is a beautiful concoction of soft ramen noodles and shredded lamb birria, topped with crisp onions and cilantro swirled around in a meaty broth. Pro tip: let the noodles soak up the broth for a bit before digging in for maximum flavour. It's like a big, warm hug on a plate.
Cheesy Fried Chicken Flatbread: Piadina Mia
Authentically Italian, halal and one of the cheesiest things you'll ever witness? Sign us up. Piadina Mia at Camden Market is filled to the brim with massive made-to-order artisan flatbreads packed with goodies like fresh pesto, prosciutto, grilled vegetables, marinated chicken and heaps of pecorino parmesan cheese. That cheese pull, though, Drool-worthy.
Rib Meat Rolls - The Rib Man
London's barbeque scene is on fire thanks to The Rib Man, who grills his epic baby-back pork rib meat rolls topped with a lava-like dollop of his fiery custom hot sauce made from Scotch bonnet peppers and naga chillies in Brick Lane Market. Pricey at a whopping £8 per rib roll, but for a bite of BBQ goodness from ''the godfather of street food'' himself, we'd say it's more than worth it.
Sriracha Mayo Hash Stick: Hash Hut
Jazzing up the crispy, shredded potato in all shapes, sizes, sauces and garnishes, Hash Hut elevates the best bit of brekkie - the humble hashbrown to gourmet level at Seven Dials Market. Born from the genius of Masterchef Professional 2023's James Sharp, this spud-tastic stall lets you be the boss of your own dish. Choose a hashbrown shape, cover it in your fave sauce, and top it off with any two toppings. Crispy onions, parmesan, truffle mayo, nori flakes - you name it, they got it. We'd recommend the gooey sriracha mayo hash stick. Yum.
Prawn Wontons in Chilli Oil: Dumpling Shack
Dare we say the best dumplings in the capital? Dumpling Shack serves up killer plates of their infamous piping hot shengjianbao, boasting bold Sichuan flavours in the open-air atmosphere at one of the best street food markets in London, Old Spitalfields. As one of the longest serving tenants at the market, it's true what they say about the best things coming in small packages or something like that. Don't forget to try a portion of their prawn wontons (£6.60) for a slap of spicy goodness.
Smashed Patty Cheeseburger: Bill Or Beak
A beefy revelation and one of the finest smashed patty cheeseburgers gracing London's food-filled streets, Bill or Beak Camdens patties are juicy, bursting with flavour and oh-so-delicious. Just imagine: double-smashed beef patties hugged by layers of oozing cheese, a hint of caramelized onions, and a sprinkle of pickles; we cannot contain ourselves.
Crème Brûlée Donuts: Bread Ahead
Located south of the river, Bread Ahead's extra special sweet treat in Borough Market, the crème brûlée doughnut is a puffy globe filled with silky vanilla custard and a golden, sugared outer crust. These notoriously delicious balls of fried dough have Londoners in a chokehold, and we can't lie; we've taken the sugar hit, too.