Irish Street Food Can Kick it With the Best in the World!
It doesn't get the attention it deserves, maybe we can blame the Irish weather, but good Irish Street Food, done right, can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of its international counterparts.
Ireland has never been famous for its street food. For a long time it was something we only got to enjoy at music festivals under a tree or even further afield on the streets of almost any other country in the world.
The rise of Irish Street Food seems to come on the back of the rise of the coffee culture in this country with over 70% of Irish people now drinking more than 1 cup per day. Quite the difference considering if you asked my parents in their twenties what a cappuccino was they probably would have guessed an Italian footballer.
This “Me” culture, where consumers are asking questions such as “what can it do for me? Or does it suit me?” is resulting in vendors producing more tailored products that appeal to different facets of living, fulfilling different needs and satisfying different preferences for different age groups etc. Finally we are seeing competition for the likes of coffee giant Starbucks coming from small artisanal roasters such as Red Eye Roasters here in Galway or Anam Coffee Roastery on the West Coast.
Now take that trend and consider the rise of Irish Street Food. Speaking with Sodexo Executive Chef Kieran Cooney we get an understanding as to why we are seeing this call.
“People are more traveled now, especially the millennial's. They’ve seen what’s out there, they like it and demand it here, and why shouldn’t we be able to provide it? We have the most amazing produce in this country. Just look to the West with Velvet Cloud Sheep Yogurt, St Tolas Farm Goats Cheese, Achill Sea Salt, Galway Bay Seafoods etc. It’s all about real food, real people, and real flavours, with a real importance on hyper local sourcing, clean ingredients and local sustainability.”
We’ve seen the huge success of Dublin’s Eatyard elevating Irish Street Food to a new level and bringing a unique casual dining experience to Dublin and we are also seeing similar initiatives in the West with Galway being the European Region of Gastronomy 2018.
Tiny Traders Village is a brand new Outdoor Marketplace and Entertainment event which runs from 11am – 6pm every Saturday in Galway’s Westend showcasing some amazing street food. Just look at these vegan burgers from Legume.
And who could forget the famous Galway Weekend Market.
" Galway's famous bustling street market has been trading in Church lane by St Nicholas' Church in the centre of the city for literally centuries. You will find hundreds of stalls selling fresh produce and locally produced crafts" www.galwaymarket.com
A firm favourite, and Galway institution is Boychik Doughnuts, frying fresh doughnuts and dusting with cinnamon, cocoa or plain sugar, but you wont find them online anywhere so get down to the market this weekend and treat yourself. (Plus the smell is something we just can't describe in words!) (Plus, it's doughnuts, we shouldn't have to sell this to you)
Not to mention some Galway Street food success stories such as The Dough Bros and Handsome Burger, starting off as street food vendors, now running some of the most popular restaurants in Galway. And it’s easy to see why! Or how about Papa Rich Street Food Kitchen. Having opened in December 2015, the restaurant has built a reputation of serving up some of the best Asian street food dishes to be found in the west of Ireland.
We also consider ourselves a dab hand at the auld street food when we get the opportunity to take our offering outside of An Bhialann Restaurant in NUI Galway. We popped-up with the help of the Gastronomy 2018 Food Truck recently and Chef Kieran dished up an Irish Street Food menu to the lovely people of NUI Galway. Check out some of the dishes on offer.
If you missed it though, not to worry as we replicate this in our brick and mortar restaurant An Bhialann NUI Galway during term time as well as various other street food concepts throughout the year. Our tagline is simpe, “Fresh Food, Fast”.