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 launched the British Street Food Awards back in 2009. So we know how to throw a party. Over the years we’ve learnt that the world is growing tired of ‘starter-main course-dessert’. These days, we want tasting plates, pop-ups and a bit of fun with our dinner. We want street food.
All across the continent, street food traders are the new rock stars – food heroes, in cool vans, trucks and trailers, engaging with followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Nothing too corporate – it’s all about ‘keeping it real’, serving restaurant-quality food at canteen-style 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 Leeds, in Northern England, we lift vans onto the third floor of a shopping centre. We have put street food into pubs. And outside railway stations. Street food businesses giveindependence and authenticity – something different from the cookie cutter food offers around them. And, through the European Street Food Awards, we are intent on finding the very best that’s out there.