Creative Content Writer & former Tour Guide at HAGGiS Adventures. Scottish travel blogger and adventure lover. Kay enjoys travelling Scotland solo, and has visited 42 Scottish Islands. She loves to live up to stereotypes by dying her hair ginger, and regularly consuming haggis and whisky. A Scottish history geek and all-around chatterbox, she can literally talk for Scotland.
Edinburgh vs London: Who Has the Best Street Food
The two capital cities of the UK’s biggest countries have engaged in a fond rivalry for generations. Whilst Edinburgh certainly can’t compete in terms of sheer size, it still gives London a run for its money on all the important bits; culture, nightlife, beauty, heritage and, of course, food.
If you’re a foodie visiting the UK, look no further. We are about to compare and contrast London and Edinburgh’s street food scenes. While both cities indisputably offer a wide array of mouth-watering options for food-savvy travellers, only one can emerge as the true winner of this challenge.
First, let’s look at London.
Borough Market, London
London’s Borough Market is unarguably the capital’s prime (street) food hotspot. The city’s oldest food market (dating back to 1014), it features stalls with a variety of food truly reflective of London’s celebrated multicultural spirit. Its network of sprawling passageways and bustling open spaces is a treat to the senses, with yummy food aromas tickling many a visitor’s nose buds and sights of colourful fresh produce abounding – you should definitely have your phone camera ready for that perfect Instagram shot.
Its street food offering is also world-class. Whether its spicy Ethiopian stews you’re after, West-Indian vegetarian delights, Thai pancakes or meat-based dishes at an award-winning Mediterranean stall: Borough Market has it all. Be ready to get lost and indulge your senses.
Other unmissable London spots for affordable culinary delights: London’s visitors can try out street food fare at stalls tucked under railway arches at Maltby Street Market (open Saturdays). Spot the capital’s most trendy hipsters while munching away on delicious treats, or taste the world-famous curries and other international fares at East London’s Brick Lane market. And there’s many, many more!
Old Spitalfields Market being a favourite with the city’s working crowd, while Mercato Metropolitano offers the capital’s best casual Italian food options. But this is far from all. Every corner of London comes alive around lunchtime with diverse, high-quality street food and recently, there have been new market halls opening at an impressive rate.
Next up... Edinburgh!
The Pitt, Edinburgh
An appraisal of Edinburgh’s food scene would be far from complete without this one: the Pitt Market is to Edinburgh what Borough Market represents for London. Open year-round during the weekends, the market is located in a concrete yard and features rows of wooden benches with twinkly lights for that cool industrial look, as well as an indoor seating area set in a nearby warehouse.
Its food truck vendors sell a great variety of delicious, high-quality street food from pizza to burgers, and the market also has plenty of vibe to justify its rep’, with live music and seasonal events (e.g. an Oktoberfest-themed event) regularly on offer.
Other spots to sample Edinburgh’s great street food: Stockbridge Market is another local favourite, offering a great variety of street food options besides the fresh farmer’s produce. Food+Flea is a recent addition born off the success of Pitt Market, which as the name says it, is the place to sample cheap vintage buys followed by a yummy treat. Another popular option is Street Food Fridays, which takes place every Friday at Fountainbridge at Union Canal.
All things considered, it becomes pretty clear that there we have a winner! Edinburgh is our home but... London is street-food heaven! London’s cosmopolitan heritage is what makes this a truly exciting place to experience fantastic food from all corners of the world – and with street food, this can be done at an equally fantastic price. That being said, Edinburgh’s street food isn’t far behind. Now go enjoy your £7 bibimbap.
For more ways to soak up the culture of Scotland, check out our extended tours.