Increasingly, London’s chefs see it as a rite of passage to take their trade to the city’s markets and festivals before investing in a bricks-and-mortar business. Here are five of the best restaurants that started out on the streets.
Grilled cheese, in toasted sandwiches, from a truck – it’s a simple-but-successful combination that propelled this start-up into a permanent home in Camden Market, where it melts fine British cheeses with creative additions like pear chutney or rosemary butter.
Breddos, whose shack first appeared in a Hackney carpark in 2011, was part of an early Mexican wave of places that showed Londoners how tacos were meant to be done.
Its Clerkenwell restaurant has branched out into wood grills and tostadas.
Its little three-wheeled van can still be seen in Soho’s Berwick Street, but the Pizza Pilgrims mini-chain now bakes superlative Neapolitan-style pizzas for the masses across the city.
They’re relentlessly authentic, with pliable bases and toppings of the best Italian ingredients.
It’s all about the meat in this dark, hip Spitalfields joint, where nose-to-tail cuts spend serious time in a smoker and the barbecue is always burning.
The signature smoked brisket bun with pickled chillis and punchy ketchup is practically compulsory.
NT stands for Night Tales – a summer-season street food and cocktail bar market – which has now found a permanent home in this scruffily romantic top-floor bar.
In the evening watch the sun set over the tracks of London Fields station outside, as you sip their subtle twists on classic cocktails.