The Return of Exeter Street Food Market!

** Update- This post is from 2014, some stalls are no longer at the market, the traders change on a regular basis **

March is here and that means it's time for the hotly anticipated return of the Exeter Street Food market!  I have been waiting since December last year and the time has finally come for the amazing smell of fresh food being cooked to waft straight through the centre of town and the Guildhall. You can read about my previous visits here here.

The Exeter Street Food & Innovations Market started in April 2012 when it was initially just a market, that had a pizza oven. The pizza oven proved so popular that they expanded to having more and more food stalls, until it has grown to the worldwide selection of foods on offer today. The market last year was such a success that it was serving hungry shoppers every day in December in the lead up to Christmas, which explains why the stall holders needed so long to recuperate afterwards! March the 7th marked the first weekend that it was back.  We visited on the Sunday and were greeted by a few familiar faces of last years favourites, plus some great new stalls.

Among the familiar faces was ICE Americana, who found popularity last year with chef Dan Wagner serving up some incredible Philly cheese steaks.  He is back this year with a few additions to his American treats, included is BBQ pulled pork; 4 hour smoked and 8 hour slow cooked with a BBQ sauce in crusty bread, served with fries and fresh coleslaw.  The pork was so juicy, and melt in the mouth, but not too sweet. The BBQ sauce was a great compliment to such succulent meat and the chips and coleslaw really set it off.  I love pulled pork and I have to say that this is one of the best I have tasted! For those of you who work in town, this is such a great Friday lunchtime treat. The fact that he had completely sold of of his Philly Cheese steaks by the Sunday lunchtime shows just how popular and sought after his food is!

One of the new additions is the World Food Cafe. Started 6 months ago by Edmund, a former restaurateur of Exeter, this stall offers a choice of spicy chicken or meatballs wrapped in Persian Lavash, which is a soft, thin flat-bread.  They display their dishes of every bit of salad you could imagine, from pickled vegetables to olives and chillies.  This makes the stall itself so visually appetising, and the smell if the meats cooking is really enticing. Nick got himself a spicy chicken wrap.

Nick said it was like a proper traditional kebab.  The salad was really fresh, and Nick isn't usually one for salad but he enjoyed every mouthful of this.  The chicken wasn't particularly spicy but had a really nice full flavour to it.  it was like slow cooked chicken, and just pulled apart. Considering that they have only been running for 6 months, I can see that they will get very popular very quickly, and by having all of the vegetables on salad on display really brings your eye across to them and leaves you hungry for more!

Another newcomer is Ivan's Coffee. Run by Ivan himself, he offers fresh local coffee made to order, along with a selection of cakes. Having had the idea in the pipeline for year Ivan is really happy to finally be up and running and has enjoyed his time at the Street food market so far. Everything he has is local, except the van that he serves it out of!  I cant wait to come back and sample some delicious coffee.

The other returnees included-

Tasteful Tappas- 'Bringing the taste of spain to the Westcountry' Ian told me that when he left the military he took some time out in Spain.  It was here that he was taught how to cook using traditional methods by a Spanish woman.  When he returned to the UK he put his new found skills into practice by starting Tasteful Tapas.  He sources all of his meats and vegetables locally, but gets is Chorizo directly from Spain, as nobody can quite make it like the Spanish do! The food was all being cooked in-front of us in massive Paella Pans.  The smell is enough to take anyone back to Spain, let alone the taste! Ian serves a variety of Spanish wraps, Paella with seafood or chicken and many more delicious, traditional Spanish dishes.

Oasis- Serving a range of Homemade fresh Egyptian catering including Falafels and other grill products. I am told that people travel from as far as Plymouth just to sample his wonderful Falafels. I didn't get a chance to speak to him because his stall was just so packed with people.  I think that just goes to show how good the food that he is serving is! You can find him online here

With exciting new stalls being added every week, you would be silly not to investigate and discover new foods.  It is there every Friday, Saturday & Sunday.  If you work in town there really is no better option than to come here for your lunch on a Friday.  For around £5 you can feed yourself with a variety of different foods from all over the world and can challenge yourself to eat somewhere different every week!  I know that the market will continue to grow week after week, so if you enjoy what you have eaten, tell your friends so that we can all support great local traders producing high quality food at great prices.  You can find more about the Market and keep an eye on new traders on their Facebook page and website 

L x
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