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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – street food is having something of a moment in Bristol, and we’re big fans! Whether it’s being served out of the back of a van, or out of the little cafes which are springing up all over the city, the Bristol food scene is rife with simple, fresh, no nonsense food, being knocked up by people who are genuinely passionate about it.
One of the biggest street food collectives at the moment is StrEat, who in their own words are “a group of vendors who rock up at different venues and festivals in and around Bristol”. Their weekly Friday food market at Cabot Circus has been quite heavily publicised, so chances are you’ve seen some of their big yellow and pink ads around town over the past few months.
We visited StrEat last night, when they’d ventured out of Cabot and set up shop on Corn Street, behind St Nick’s market. Now I’m sure that the glorious weather helped (as well as the fact that I’d had a couple of cans of Red Stripe in the sunshine in Queen’s Square beforehand!) but as soon as I stepped foot on Corn Street amongst the StrEat vendors, I knew I was going to love it. There were loads of people milling around, the bar was pumping out reggae tunes, and the air was filled with all sorts of delicious smells. The atmosphere was absolutely perfect.
As is always the way with these type of things, the first half an hour was spent wandering up and down, trying to make a decision on what to eat. The selection of vendors who are involved in StrEat isn’t huge, but it’s really varied, so you can get anything from filled crepes to burgers, Vietnamese noodles to sushi.
We finally settled on pizza, from mobile wood fired pizza company Pizza Monkey. It wasn’t hard really – their pizzas looked amazing, and having looked into using them for an event I’m working on, I figured I may as well kill two birds with one stone and do a bit of ‘research!’
Pizza Monkey hand stretch all of their dough, slather it in fresh, seasonal toppings, and then bung the pizzas into their mobile pizza oven, where they’re lovingly baked to perfection. The finished result is served whole, with optional (free!) toppings of rocket and shaved parmesan, and your choice of infused oil, cracked black pepper or chilli flakes. Will, true to form, opted for the meatiest offering on the menu, which was chorizo and chilli, while I went for ‘The Seasonal’; goats cheese, prosciutto ham, and asparagus. Both were nothing short of perfect pizzas, and we woofed them down in the sunshine in Castle Park – it really doesn’t get much better than that!
So if you find yourself at a loose end on a Friday evening and you fancy a bite to eat, why not skip the restaurants and head down to StrEat? They’ll also be rocking up at the Harbourside on the 27th June, and will be on hand at St Paul’s Carnival on the 6th July too, so give them a try.