In Europe, street food is reinventing the way we eat. For the better. And here at ESF we wanted to get the word out. So, in 2017, we decided to partner up with the coolest partners and launch the European Street Food Awards – the biggest street food competition in the world – plus an app to show off the good stuff, with all the latest news about this exciting new market.

We’re a team of food journalists, chefs and event organisers who are obsessive about our street food. We’ve cooked it, eaten it, and written about it for years. Then cleared up afterwards. We don’t want starter-main course-dessert any more. We want tasting plates. We want pop-ups. We want a bit of fun served up with our dinner. We are the street food demographic.

All across Europe, street food traders are the new rock stars – food heroes, in cool vans, trucks and trailers, engaging with followers on instagram and twitter. Nothing corporate – it’s all about ‘keeping it real’, serving restaurant-quality food at supermarket prices.

Traders in Europe are taking traditional street foods – whether it’s banitsa from Bulgaria, herring from Estonia, karjalanpiirakka from Finland, Liege waffles from Belgium, gelato from Italy, burek from Bosnia or churros from Spain – and repurposing them for a new generation. The streets are becoming a laboratory for hot new food ideas.

The influence of street food is even spreading indoors. In Trinity Kitchen in Leeds for instance, vans are being lifted onto the third floor of a shopping centre. And street food ‘brands’ are starting to breathe life into the dying High Street. We have put street food into pubs. And outside Euston station. Street food businesses promise independence and authenticity – something different from the cookie cutter food offers around them. And we are intent on finding the best that’s out there.