Whilst our fair city has become a hub of arts and theatre thanks to its year as the UK City of Culture, it’s also built a strong reputation as a hotspot for excellent food from all corners of the globe. As well as regularly visiting cafes and restaurants that offer everything from stateside steaks to vegan delights, I’m also a huge fan of the city centre hosting vibrant culinary celebrations organised by the team at HullBID.
Hull Street Food Nights is a spectacular experience and a treat for all the senses. Taking place on the first Thursday of the month during summer, it brings together street food vendors from near and far as part of a colourful and family-friendly event. July’s edition was set in the beautiful Trinity Square, although I could smell the amazing creations on offer before I’d even rounded the corner. Once there and in the middle of the hustle and bustle, I took a minute to look around and work out which type of tummy-filler I fancied. It’s not an easy decision, with everything from Italian and Indian to Chinese and Mexican favourites on the menu, and for a moment I was disappointed in myself for not being more adventurous when I opted for a burger from Little Red Food Truck.
This disappointment lasted for all of two seconds, as this was honestly one of the best burgers I’d tasted in ages. The Smokey B combines their locally sourced beef patty with smoked cheddar, crispy onions, BBQ sauce and juicy pickles in a light brioche bun, with every morsel packing enormous flavour. This was washed down with a pint from The Lexington’s pop-up bar because, well, it would have been rude not to.
I thought I was going to be a bit of a Billy No Mates that night, having gone alone, yet during the 45 minutes spent there I bumped into no fewer than ten friends who were also enjoying a bite to eat. This is the great thing about Hull Street Food Nights – it brings together the entire community for a chilled evening of al fresco food and drink, complemented by live entertainment. This time it was The Charm Offensive giving their rock twist on pop classics, which really brought the place to life. Meanwhile, Rock Choir were performing in Hull Minster, and at one point I looked up at the centuries-old building’s rooftop and spotted some people peering down at the festivities (I’d heard that the Tower Tours were available that evening, I’ll have to book myself onto one next time).
HullBID describe Hull Street Food Nights as “Covent Garden meets Marrakech” and it’s entirely deserved. With so many street food vendors to choose from (everything from Melts Grilled Cheese Co and Smokehouse Barbecue, to Go Dutch Pancakes and Churromania), and all of them assembled in an open, accessible space surrounded by iconic architecture and chilled out bars, you really do feel as if you’ve been whisked away to another world. Think cosmopolitan style with a relaxed, northern vibe – something that Hull does particularly well and to great applause.
Whether you haven’t yet been to Hull Street Food Nights or never miss one, you definitely need to put Thursday 8th August and Thursday 5th September in your diary. The event runs from 4pm-9pm and the September edition is in Queen’s Gardens as part of Yum! Food Festival, which means that you can also catch cooking demos, local produce, a kids’ zone and all sorts of musical entertainment. Perhaps I’ll see you there – I’ll be the one with noodles in one hand and a brownie in the other.