Scotland’s street food scene to launch inaugural awards this spring

Street food stars are set to get the recognition they deserve as a new awards programme is unveiled, writes Sean Murphy.

Published 22nd Feb 2017
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

The event, which is set to take place from 12-14 May at the pitt street food market on Edinburgh’s Pitt Street, will celebrate those producers and chefs who have made their reputation creating the best authentic dishes from Scotland’s fantastic produce.

Created by award-winning journalist Richard Johnson, who founded the original British Street Food Awards (BSFAs) back in 2009, they will be the natural extension of the previous “Scotland and the North” heats of the BSFAs.

Richard Johnson. Picture: Jason Alden

Richard Johnson. Picture: Jason Alden

Johnson, who is excited to be able to give some recognition to the cream of Scotland’s current crop of vendors, said: “Scottish traders have always done particularly well at the finals of the British Street Food Awards, from Wild Rover (twice) to The Mussel Men, Crema Caravan and Nusou, who came home as winners in 2014 and 2015. But we’ve never had a dedicated awards for Scotland, so this is long overdue.”

The decision to launch the new awards this year couldn’t have been made with better timing, as new street food markets spring up outdoors – and indoors – all across the country.

Glasgow’s The Big Feed, which is, according to the organisers, the city’s first indoor, fully-licensed street food market, has just been announced, with the launch event due to take place on Saturday 4 March.

Vendors such as Chompsky, Street Food Putter Club, Firedog, Charlie Mills Coffee, Shrimp Wreck, Nomad Pizza, The Cheesy Toast Shack, Freddy and Hicks and Moo Pie Gelato are all set to feature.

Buchanan Galleries also overhauled their food court this year to provide a unique space for street food vendors, offering up the perfect place for new starts to cut their teeth.

Along the M8, Edinburgh has witnessed the launch of The Pitt and the new Food ’n’ Flea market at the Waverley Arches, as well as the continued success of markets in the Grassmarket, Stockbridge and Waverley.

Johnson is delighted to partner with the creators of the pitt, Hal Prescott and Scott Kirkham, who say they are “ecstatic” to host to the first ever Scottish Awards.

Prescott said: “We’ve been a makeshift home for street food in Scotland over the last year and think the three-day event will be able to honour some of the work put in by the traders to create a scene — despite the weather and other challenges.

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"We’ll be hosting the best street food traders in the country, and feeding 1,500 hungry people a day with local buskers providing the soundtrack for the weekend.

"The British Street Food Awards know how to put on a great show, so come down, taste some awesome street food, and vote for your winner to represent Scotland at the British finals. And who knows — maybe take their food to Europe?”

The awards themselves will be a public affair with guests being asked over the weekend of 12-14 May, to vote on their favourite dishes and vendors, with the winners of this year’s Scottish Street Food Awards chosen to compete in the British awards at the end of September.

Previous Scottish winners of the British Awards have included The Crema Caravan who scooped “Best Dessert” in 2015, for their “Burnt To Order” crème brûlée, which they serve from their vintage Renault van.

Johnson added that any cooks or producers looking to take part should make sure they’re registered on the British Street Food app, adding: “Vendors should make sure they have up-to-date pics and trading information, and then drop a line to saying why they should be chosen.

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After 14 May, the Scottish champion will then compete in the British Street Food Awards at the end of September. And then, well watch this space."


Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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