Wishes, Whitecross and Street Food

Whitecross Street

Sometimes if you’re a very good girl, and you want something really badly, and your want is pure and genuine and innocent, the Gods see fit to shine their light upon you and grant your wish.

I wanted street food in London. When visiting N in NYC, I think I spent 35% of my time whining at the lack of cheap, authentic and accessible ethnic street food in London, 20% of my time getting ridiculously excited about hot dog vendors and pretzels, and 10% of my time gazing longingly at the numerous random street food festivals you randomly encounter in New York City.

It wasn’t fair – in fact, it is a true injustice to a city that is supposed to be experiencing a new culinary awakening and influxes of new citizens from all over the world that they aren’t sharing their delicacies on every corner. And yet, a mere week after returning to London from New York City, and after living in London for almost a year, my wish came true. I was taken to Whitecross Street.

It was like my own personal, outdoor room of requirement. Almost as if I had wandered back and forth across the entrance to the street 3 times thinking hard on my desire to have pad thai served to me from a cart – my wish came true. For all of you who yearn the way I did, I feel it is my duty to inform you that there is a street in London where the street food is plentiful and not limited to market days.

Although I have yet to try them – the burrito truck was the first thing of beauty to catch my eye.

burrito truck whitecross street

The option of pulled pork as opposed to ground beef gives me faith that they might actually be vaguely ‘mex’ as opposed to the normal London bad versions of ‘tex-mex’. Here is the front of the truck so you can fully understand its funky awesomeness.

Burrito Truck Whitecross Street London

There is also a jacket potato man, although he told me when I took the picture that he won’t be back on the street until the fall (summer being a bad potato season). He is extremely serious about his potatoes, they are slow roasted for up to five hours before he serves them, and my co-worker will eat jacket potatoes nowhere else.

Jacket Potatoes Whitecross Street

There are also two Indian stalls (this is Britain afterall). One of them actually sells idli sambhar — a South Indian dish not widely found in London — while the other serves lovely vegetarian thalis. Both usually have lines around the corner, and they smell oh-so-good.

Indian Food Whitecross Street

There are also 2 Thai stalls and one Jamaican stall on the street on a weekly basis. One Thai stall always has a much longer line than the other, but I’ve eaten at them both and I haven’t really found a difference between them. Neither come particularly close to the better versions of Thai food I’ve had around the world, but hey – beggars can’t be choosers and most of the meals there are under £4.

Thai Food Whitecross Street

I would, dear readers, have pictures of the food I ended up buying (that day it was Thai) – but after taking pictures of all the stalls, I couldn’t wait any longer, once the food was in my grubby paws, to eat it.

Its hard to explain exactly, how knowledge of this street has affected my psychological perception of life in London. It is a comfort (like a geographical security blanket) knowing that whenever I feel like I really need a burrito – there is a place I can get it. It was a sense of security I didn’t even know was missing from my life here, but I feel like I can now live life fuller, be more adventurous and more daring. I am liberated simply by the knowledge that street like this exists.

Whats even more exciting is that on the first Friday and Saturday of every month, Whitecross Street has a food festival and markets. I went this past Friday, and although I promise forthcoming pictures, I can at least tease you with the knowledge that it was orgasmic fun – and with half the crowds of Borough Market. Oh, be still my beating heart.


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10 Responses to Wishes, Whitecross and Street Food

  1. N says:

    Dios mio, those baked potatoes (yes, even with the conversion) are cheaper than they are in New York! B, bad potato season or no, you are a lucky gal.

  2. JEP says:

    I have found your blog via Serious Eats. I always enjoy & look forward to your comments when I post “talk” questions. Plan to read thru your archives!

  3. abby says:

    i was pleased to find a burrio stand by the up market off of brick lane this weekend!

    there are loads of food stalls there on the weekends.

  4. Dear Gods, I really really genuinely want to win the lottery!

    steamy kitchen

  5. Susan Smillie says:

    Oooh Whitecross Street – looks good, I should get down there. Cheers.

  6. Bron says:

    Also worth trying the food from the couple of little Italian stalls – the guys who sell from tables with homemade pastas, polpette, fresh salads and occasional sweet things. Seriously good but you must get there early – they’ve usually sold out by 1pm.

  7. supercharz says:

    Ooh, thanks for the tip-off! I’ll check it out when I go back to London. I’m in Hong Kong now, so street food is in abundance… ;D

  8. B says:

    Bron – I know the Italian stalls you’re talking about – they look so good and smell even better. I didn’t take pics of them because their presentation is usually minimal and they are surrounded by huge crowds of drooling onlookers so pictures are difficult.

    Charz – I’m jealous of your Hong Kong street food access…the grass is always greener…

  9. Krista says:

    I too love Whitecross Street–at any time of day really, but particularly during lunchtimes during the week and now during the monthly food market. I professed my love in a post last year…http://kristainlondon.typepad.com/dining/2006/10/why_i_love_whit.html

    Love the blog!

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