Top 7: Winter Street Food Spots in LondonBy Alicia Grimshaw
Street food and winter is hardly a match made in heaven; unpredictable weather, the bitter cold, and generally eating outside is not a recipe for a good night out. However, the kind folk behind some of London’s finest street food arenas have transformed their homes into winter paradises boasting all the warming mod-cons, and housing some of the tastiest street food vendors in all of the land. It’s time to wrap up, and get eating.
What: Street Feast’s Shoreditch outpost, Dinerama, is now roofed, weather-proofed and perfect for winter feasting and drinking. The rooftop bars have also received a winter makeover; head up to the cosy cocktail bar and check out the fantastic new winter menu full of boozy warmers and other seasonal tipples.
Eat and Drink: If it’s liquids your after, try the tangy Grapefruit Margarita or the classic Clover Club, then potter across the pier to Dick’s Magic T-Bar for log-burning fires, hot wine and frozen toffee vodka shots. Find a candlelit corner in Winerama and tuck into a rotating menu of reds white, rosé and fizz, but remember to pop into the House of Bamboo for rum-fuelled cocktails and some winter sunshine. Downstairs, there’s eight of London’s best street food traders – expect wood-fired pizzas from Fundi, fluffy bao buns, juicy burgers from Burger and Beyond, live-fire Swedish barbecue and loads more.
Where: 19 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3EJ
What: Themed around an urban après skate bar, Skylight is open for the winter season and is now home to London’s first rooftop ice rink. Located on the Tobacco Dock rooftop, Skylight is now home to ice hockey shooting, indoor and outdoor heated areas, drinks, fondue, street food and the best views in the city.
Eat and Drink: With bars on every level, Skylight offers signature wintry tipples such as mulled wine and mulled cider, as well as the usual boozy suspects: wines, spirits, and ciders and beers including Coors Light, Blue Moon, Wolf Rock and Rekorderlig. Specially for winter there’s an indulgent fondue station serving cheese pots for up to six people to share at their table – the ultimate après skate snack. Yiro are also on hand knocking up Greek dishes with a global spin like the Korean brisket suvlaki, smoke tofu burger, and halloumi fries.
Where: Pennington St. Car Park Entrance Wapping, London E1W 2SF
What: The unique Magic Roundabout has transformed for winter into a tented, heated, ‘Decades’ inspired wonderland. The areas include a slightly bonkers version of Woodstock with some serious flower power and a super sexy 1970s Playboy lounge, complete with sheepskins and log fire. The Main Bar is an 80s disco with futuristic art and palm trees and finally, the VIP Area takes you right back to the early 90s; oh the patterns, oh the Fresh Prince colours.
Eat and Drink: Since White Men Can’t Jerk have trotted off to pastures new, Smoking Lotus have taken the reigns dishing up bbq dishes with a big ol’ Asian twist. The main ingredients are smoked in founder Rosalind Chick’s home-built smokehouse, and the 11 hour slow smoked beef brisket with hoisin sauce and Japanese-style creamy potato salad will rock your world. And if you need your meaty fix, Burger Bear are slinging their beefy wares like the iconic Grizzly Bear burger with aged beef patty cheese, bacon and Burger Bear bacon jam.
Where: Old Street Roundabout, London EC1Y 1BE
What: Pergola Paddington Central has returned for the colder months, and is now fully covered, fully winter-proofed and fully prepared to ply everyone with the finest fare from some of the capital’s best independent eateries. Equipped with snug blankets, heating and furnished with dark woods and winter greenery, Pergola Paddington Central’s two floors has been carefully curated and beautifully decorated into a winter wonderland.
Eat and Drink: Open day and night for feasting and frivolity, Pergola Paddington Central is now home to pizza champions, Made of Dough. The brindisa chorizo and piquillo peppers on a margherita base is an absolute winner, and they create some standout homemade sauces too. Ramen masters Tonkotsu make their own noodles, broth and bases daily, paying homage to the traditional ramen cooking techniques, and Patty & Bun are dishing up burger, daily specials and side dishes galore.
Where: 5 Kingdom St, London W2 6PY
What: Last Days of Shoreditch Winter La La Land has arrived back in the heart of east London with a sensational winter programme of roaring fire pits, Ernest Hemingway inspired cocktails, tasty munch, and an intimate dance floor, all under one big roof. Winter La La Land now boasts a fully covered and heated indoor seating area, alongside its karaoke room powered by Lucky Voice and private spaces available to hire.
Eat and Drink: Food for the winter season comes courtesy of the very delectable Cheeky Burger, as well as plant-powered nosh from Biff’s Jack Shack, the undisputed kings of vegan junk food. Try the crispy-fried jackfruit fillet burger – it’ll make your tastebuds sing. And finally, Smokey Tails, the cult ‘Beats & Eats’ pop-up created by Seth Troxler, Jo Vidler and Jona Ahearne is where you’ll find hearty modern Midwestern cuisine. Think ribs, fried chicken and maple syrup, and other stomach busting dishes.
Where: 288 Old Street, London EC1V 9LA
What: Woody Bear have gone all out with the abandoned urban fairground theme this year – think animal see-saws, repurposed tea-cup fairground ride booths and swings, running alongside mixed log tables. Glass panels and heaters help to keep away the chill, along with blankets to curl up under, and Negronis on tap to help with your internal heating.
Eat and Drink: Woody Bear have collaborated with speciality croque-monsieur street food vendors Madame & Monsieur to offer a bespoke line of grilled cheese sandwiches including three signature croques; Le French, Le Swiss and Le Welsh, along with ever-changing specials. For a theatrical dining experience, tuck into the melty London Raclette on potatoes, served from a 6kg wheel.
Where: 535 Oxford St, Mayfair, London W1C 2QW
What: Curling lanes, drinking dens and igloos is what you’ll find on the Social Fun and Games in Stratford. Stay toasty in the 80’s inspired après-ski lodge sipping hot cocktails (retro neon ski onesies welcomed), before skipping a stone’s throw to the ice zone where you can show off your curling skills.
Eat and Drink: Jimmy’s Lodge is on hand to deliver a mouth watering array of sharing boards direct to each igloo, as well as the heated indoor areas – think mini wild boar and apple hot dogs, mini sliders and Aspen fries topped with truffle oil and parmesan. Crazy Pig are also banging out pork-based dishes like the ciabatta stuffed with slow-cooked hog roast, and freshly made wood fired pizza pie stuffed with seasonal cheese, wild mushrooms, spinach, sage and air dried prosciutto. And there’s hot toddies and ice cool concoctions to wash down your après-ski feast.
Where: Roof East, Great Eastern Way, London E15 1XE