What street food dishes should UK restaurants focus on in 2023?

With roti canai recently named the best street food in the world by TasteAtlas, the Egg Soldiers team reveals their top street food dishes for the UK hospitality scene going into next year
Asian street food
Street food trends continue to shape foodie culture across the country, with modern food trucks, innovative pop-ups and on-the-go specials just some of the methods employed by chefs and restaurants to take advantage of booming consumer demand for convenient, flavourful, globally-inspired options.

Now, food travel guide TasteAtlas has updated its 50 Best Street Foods list for 2022, based on rankings from over 100,000 users from around the world. With options spanning 24 different countries, its list was topped by roti canai, the versatile Malaysian flatbread made with eggs, ghee and flour, traditionally served with dhal or various types of curry.

Coming in second was Lumpiang Shanghai, a deep-fried Filipino egg crêpe roll containing either sweet or savoury fillings that takes inspiration from Chinese spring rolls, while third place was awarded to Japanese karaage, which is technically a cooking term but, in this case, refers to Japanese fried chicken.

While we’re not looking to challenge TasteAtlas on its rankings, Egg Soldiers would have quite a different agenda if making a best street foods list, namely ranking global options based on their potential for the UK market going into 2023 and beyond.

So, taking TasteAtlas’ 50 Best list as a starting point and considering cuisine and ingredient trends in the UK, we reveal our top street food choices for 2023 (and why):
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Street Food 2023: Our Top Picks
  • Stefan Cosser
    Co-Founder | Managing Director
    "What will we see more of in 2023? Well, with shawarma and doner kebabs now very much a part of the UK street food mainstream, we could see operators explore the likes of Greek gyros to deliver more variety from vertical grill cooking.

    "Mexican, meanwhile, remains a key interest area for UK foodservice. Tacos al pastor and carne asada both feature on TasteAtlas' list, but more indulgent options such as tijuana-style birria and quesabirria should be ones to watch in 2023."
  • Kateline Porritt
    Head of Trends
    "As we continue these times of uncertainty, I would expect to see an increase in the number of indulgent and novelty street food pop-ups in 2023.

    "The luxury sandwich trend may have been shaken by the pandemic (RIP Bodega Rita's sandwiches, long live Sons & Daughters) but the likes of kimchi and scallion pancakes and roti canai present chefs with tasty carbs ready to be filled in new and ingenious ways.

    "Bao buns, tacos and shawarma wraps are primed for a next step of evolution, and I'm excited to see more flavoursome 'carb casings' arrive on the scene moving forward!
  • Lucy Hawthorne
    Creative Lead & Development Manager
    "My heart lies with Arepas, crispy stuffed Venezuelan cornbread.

    "Loaded with slow braised chicken, black beans, avocado and all the trimmings. The Guasacaca sauce is an absolute must.

    "There's a place in Malty Street Market, La Pepiá, which offers arepas smothered in giant cheesy blankets. Unreal."
  • David Hughes
    Development Chef
    "For me, street food and comfort go hand in hand, often with a sprinkling of nostalgia.

    "Being a fried chicken fanatic, Karaage chicken really speaks to me, the potato starch used in the batter delivering a delicious crunchiness, a little like a potato crisp.

    "Going forward, keep an eye out for Pupusa, a thick griddle cake traditionally stuffed with cheese and meats, served with tomato salsa and curtido (a spicy fermented cabbage slaw). Not unlike arepas, Pupusa is the national dish of El Salvador and is ideal for a quick, indulgent bite."
  • Joe Payne
    Development Chef
    "I'm particularly interested in the rise of regional Malay and Indonesian specialists at the top end of street food.

    "I love roti canai, which HAS to be done properly. Roti King in North London is named as such for a reason. It takes serious skill and dedication to be a roti king.

    "I've my eye on Ramly Burgers (an omelette-wrapped meat patty in a bun) and Popiah, which is a little like Filipino Lumpiang Shanghai in that it's an egg crepe-based roll with various fillings, yet it's smaller and thinner - ideal for on-the-go eating."
Food Trend to Food Concept

What to expect:

  • Understand the state-of-play with Asian-inspired chicken with an expert-led overview, innovator examples, and a spotlight on potential opportunity areas for the UK market.

  • Journey with us through fried/breaded chicken seasoning opportunities, exploring viable retail applications and digesting analysis.

  • Discover a brand-new retail seasoning concept as an example of our 'trend to concept' methodology, with the team discussing ingredient builds and suitability for the UK market.

  • Understand possible range expansions, backed up by AI-led product concept showcases.
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