15 May 2015
Making Sense Of The Cardiff Street Food Scene
Far removed from the burger vans of old, the gourmet food truck revolution began the other side of the Atlantic with vendors popping up in New York and Los Angeles spawning a renaissance in the mobile catering scene. With high-end chefs finding themselves out of a job following the recession, mobile catering became an inexpensive way for them to ply their trade and before long this grew into a nationwide food truck phenomenon.
Bolstered by support from inner city hipsters as well as the influx of TV shows like Man Vs Food and Diners, Drive-thrus and Dives, it wasn’t long before the UK started seeing pop-up street food events offering a similar fare to their American cousins.
When Urban Food Fest started setting up shop in a carpark in Shoreditch every Saturday in May 2013, it became evident that street food had arrived. And, following the Summer release of Jon Favreau’s food truck road movie Chef in June 2014, Cardiff welcomed its own foodie extravaganza when former warehouse-turned-installation space The Depot opened its doors to Street Food Cardiff through every weekend in December.
Spearheaded by local promotions company Something Creatives, the brains behind a number of super-cool events around South Wales, the event featured a variety of vendors and cuisines (although all the businesses were from Wales with many from Cardiff itself) the weekly event took the city by storm. With long queues every night of its residency, it’s no surprise that both The Depot and Street Food Cardiff were keen to do it all over again!
Starting May Bank Holiday weekend, they did just that. Only this time, two separate events running in direct competition with the other...
Burger & Lobster at Street Food Circus, Cardiff by konamikode
This time joining forces with Cardiff-based No Fit State Circus, they set up Street Food Circus behind the John Street training space and adjacent to No Fit States own big top where they’ll be showcasing their heavily toured Bianco. Featuring many of the same vendors that took part in the December event, such as Jol’s Food Co, Chucks, Dirty Bird and pop-up favourites Hangfire Barbecue alongside new additions from lauded local curry house Purple Poppadom as well as chain restaurant Burger and Lobster getting in on the action.
Along with the abundance of food trucks available to choose from, they also offer a circus tent bar area with two bars offering local beers from Pipes Brewery along with seating and enough room to cut some rug if the tunes take your fancy.
The Depot, Cardiff by konamikode
Not wanting to miss out on the action after parting ways with Street Food Cardiff, The Depot are running their own street food pop-up throughout May also. With a greater emphasis on being a destination for your night out as opposed to just somewhere to catch a bite to eat, they're branding their evenings The Weekend. However, that doesn't mean that they're not competing on the foodie front with more than a dozen options to choose from, including Cardiff burger specialists Got Beef and Science Cream, who are featured in our current TV ad.
Just to confuse matters, there's also Street Food Warehouse who ran their own street food pop up at the Cardiff Arms Park throughout April; look out for their next event coming soon to an as yet unnamed park in the Welsh capital.