As anyone who came to any of the 2017 national awards will know, street food is the most vibrant, exciting sector in European food right now, with young cooks turning out restaurant-quality menus at take-away prices. The Jamie Olivers of tomorrow are working – right now – on the streets. We were blown away by the talent on show in 2017, and have already signed up new countries who think they’re ready to compete in 2018. Things are looking very interesting.


Times are changing. The High Street is dying.

Cookie cutter food offerings just don’t work any more. If they ever worked in the first place. In Europe, we admire individuality. And we want spontaneity. From boutiques to burger bars, cinemas to spas – pop-ups are delighting us all over the continent.

Street food is about more than selling food on the street. So much more. And it’s success reflects a real change in our food culture. We don’t want starter-main course-dessert any more. We want tapas, and tasting plates. We want supper clubs and pop-up restaurants. We want a bit of fun served up with our dinner. And cafes, delis — food businesses everywhere — would do well to understand that.

Generation Y is not only changing the way we communicate – it’s changing the way we eat. The new breed aren’t so much about meat and two veg on the table at 6pm as “spontaneous meal occasions” from a diverse range of cuisines. According to research by Harris Interactive they are cost conscious and informal with a reformed palette, open to wider food tastes, and less likely to be loyal to brands. They also feel strongly about the local community. They are the street food demographic.

In the 2018 European Street Food Awards, we will show how the street food revolution is changing the way we live. Street food coming indoors as big business tries to capture that ‘on-the-run sensibility’ to give their food courts a casual, shareable vibe. Indoors and out, food in 2018 will be portable and flirty with a low level of commitment. Embrace the future, as FINALLY the world starts to understand that lunch doesn’t have to be a sandwich at your desk……