Today I spent a fabulous few hours eating street food at the Gluten Free Food Festival, held at Limehouse Basin Market for the first time after four years at Camden.
Last year I went to the Camden festival, my first time at the event with my boyfriend and friends. We enjoyed a great day out in Camden with some of it spent eating at the festival. This included chilli from Louisiana Chilli Shack, some golden and crispy empanadas from Maize Blaze followed by a trip to Cookies and Scream for some sweet treats! The event being held at Camden meant it was easy to get to and meant it could be combined with other touristy activities for the day on my day in London, but it got extremely busy to the point that you could barely move by the afternoon taking away for the experience.
This year the event was at Limehouse Basin, somewhere I had to google to find out where it was! Limehouse is a stop on the Docklands Light Railway so was more hassle to get to than Camden but there was a lot more space than at Camden making it less stressful trying to stand and eat!
The event is run by Jackie and Sarah who were such friendly and welcoming people and I am so grateful for all their hard work to create events such as this where coeliacs can go and eat safely in an environment that is just about amazing street food. There were lots of traders serving all different types of cuisines so make sure you go hungry!
Louisiana Chilli Shack
Not somewhere I ate on this occasion, Louisiana Chilli Shack with a beef, chicken or vegan option is somewhere I recommend if you haven’t tried them before, their food is amazing. Having encountered them at Camden last year, at their Old Street pop up last month and the fact they appear at St Giles on the Fields every Thursday I reluctantly gave them a miss today to save room to try other food. Follow them on social media to see their locations as they are worth tracking down!
Old Granary Pierogi
Pierogi is not something I’d heard of but they looked awesome! I text one of my Polish friends and she told me they are traditional Polish food that are like dumplings, the ones at the stall today were baked with seven flavour options. They are semi circular and look kind of like pasties but the sign makes it clear that they are pierogi and not pasties and having chosen the Spanish chicken and chorizo filling they are something I would love to have again. Old Granary is run by a Polish family based in Herefordshire who started making Pierogi gluten free at a Coeliac friends request and we can be thankful for their efforts to perfect the recipe gluten free as it was delicious.
There is often a paella stall at street markets which always looks and smells incredible luring you in with the smell of saffron and Crocus Paella was no exception. I got to try some of the seafood paella and it was lush – I now can’t wait to spend some time in Spain this summer!
Maize Blaze is a street food vendor that I am familiar with from Camden, both at Kerb as they are there daily and from last years festival. I loved their empanadas but have never seen them cook them since but whatever they are cooking up always looks amazing. Today they were launching their new cheesy cassava buns, with fillings of beef, chicken, chorizo or cheese.
Pizza is something that has become far easier to find gluten free, however that is not authentic Italian pizza cooked in a pizza oven. Federicci are the answer to that as they have a pizza oven and chimney on their van to answer the prayers of any coeliac missing pizza cooked in a pizza oven. I would have loved to have tried it but I just knew I couldn’t manage a ten inch pizza, it really is best to go with a large group so you can try more options!
Feed Me Primal
Feed Me Primal serve up paleo street food that I am familiar with as they are at Boxpark in Croydon. They serve up a choice of pulled chicken, steak or veggies with cauliflower rice, salad and toppings that are healthy and colourful! I don’t like cauliflower rice so this stand is not for me but the coconut and almond flatbreads looked awesome and seemed to be going down a treat for people who were eating here!
If you’re vegan then Ruperts Street is a great option for you as it is a vegan street food truck, serving up dishes such as chickpea and lentil curry.
Another stall to feature from Camden last year is Naughty Roti and their curries smelt amazing and one I would like to try in the future when I hadn’t already eaten so much! With dairy free and veggie options they have curry options for all and looked like some serious comfort food!
Serious hashrooms seem to be a new street food trader serving up hash browns in lots of flavours with different sauces. I tried the bacon and cheddar hash brown which was really tasty and I loved the hollandaise sauce, something not often found gluten free.
Sticky bundits serve up some mega looking street food but they don’t have bread burger buns – instead they are made out of sticky rice! They did a cookery demo to show how they make their fusion rice burgers and according to their website they are in Soho Wednesdays to Fridays so somewhere I may try and track down for a lunch when I’m working.
Svppliers was formed by five high school friends who saw a gap in the UK food market for Roman svpplis. Considering I’ve never heard of them they are probably right! They are like a smaller version of arancini and I tried the tasty Caesar svppli that is filled with slow cooked seasoned ragu and had melted mozzarella in the middle so I was glad that Svppliers have brought them to the UK. I recommend trying them if you see them at any food markets!
Artisan GF Bakery
A regular at gluten free events and with their Islington bakery, Artisan GF bakery was a stall where I was more familiar with the products – lots of bread and lush looking pastries and croissants! If you’re missing croissants it may take you a while to select what pastries to take away!
Holistic Biscuit is a company from Faversham and had a range of sweet and savoury treats that were gluten free, vegan and sugar free. Their selection today included gluten free sourdough, cashew cheese, a raw brownie and a strange sounding seaweed marzipan!! I picked the almond and anise Biscuit to try which was soft, chewy and kind of treacly. It was so nice I would never have guessed it was sugar free and vegan as well as gluten free.
Treat was a stall with low carb, gluten free, vegan, dairy free and sugar free food. The stall had sweet treats like vegan chocolate chip cookies but it was the coconut flatbreads and low carb sour dough buns that were the stand outs and I brought a pack of each of the mixes to be able to make them at home.
Cupcakes and Shhht
Cupcakes and Shhht are another regular at gluten free events and have a cafe in Elephant and Castle. Their peanut butter and jelly cookies tasted so good and having tried some of their products before I picked the peanut butter and jelly brownie to bring home. Their cupcakes are incredibly pretty but as most of them are also vegan I found the cupcake texture pretty dense despite loving the icing! I really want to go to their cafe where I have seen they have some spectacular looking gluten free freakshakes!
Gelatology were a cart serving up fresh artisan gelato with dairy free options. I was planning on going back for some gelato at the end but I was so cold I just couldn’t face eating gelato despite being a gelato fan so it is a company I will try and find again at another event!
The gluten free festival brings so many people together all looking to eat good food and the event achieves that with their mix of traders giving everyone lots of different cuisines to choose from. I love the event as you can try lots of new, delicious food without having to worry about gluten! It would be better if there were more smaller options so that more of the food could be tried as a lot of the options are plenty on their own so try and take lots of people with you so you can share more of the dishes on offer!
A massive thank you again to Jackie and Sarah for their hard work to organise such a fantastic event for everyone following a gluten free diet, I had an amazing day! Make sure you follow #gfstreetfoodfest on Instagram or check out their website http://www.gffoodfestival.com to watch out for the next events so you don’t miss your chance to come and sample all this incredible food in one place! I also highly recommend you visit the websites or social media for the different traders as you may find their stalls at other events and food markets across London and I will definitely be searching for some of my favourites!
The Sightseeing Coeliac x