We may be a little biased but in our opinion, Nottingham has one of the best food scenes in the UK. We have everything from the Cod’s Scallops to the UK’s only Taco Bell on offer across the city.
However, if you are one of the more ‘seasoned’ foodies then you might be looking for something a little bit different. That’s where we have you covered with our guide to some of Nottingham’s more hidden gems.
Food fans have been known to follow their favorite vendors from bar pop up to festival locations by succeeding their locations ahead of time on social media. Some of the vendors have created their own merchandise range of t-shirts and hats so fans can show their support.
Not sure where to start? Here is our guide to the top ten hidden gems in Nottingham
Mocky D vegan burgers
Unit 9, Robin Hood Industrial Estate,
When it comes to Mocky-D, if you know, you know. The vegan food business has gone from strength to strength and the van has now parked up for good at Liquid Light Brewery.
The taphouse which is off the beaten track on Alfred street in Sneinton is also a functioning brewery. Mocky-D provides a full range of vegan kebabs, burgers and their new Sunday Roast option. The food is chosen to compliment the beer that the brewery makes.
The recent launch night held at the brewery was an absolute success earning the business many new food fans who queued to get one of their signature Big Mocks. The secret is really in the sauce which customers say makes the burger.
Katie Adcock from Beeston tried a big mock for the first time. She said: “was so surprised at how nice my Big Mock was and it tasted like the real thing, even down to the secret sauce.”
The Hip Hop Food Shop
Street Food Club, Victoria Center
Hip Hop Food Shop is a definite hidden gem in Nottingham’s pop-up food scene. The business is billed as the ‘Home of Hip Hop Beats and Killer Eats, Street Food Flavors From Around The Globe, Remixed.’
Expect mouthwatering dishes like picanha steak and herby tabbouleh with smoked garlic yogurt and chimichurri sauce or the Salt N pepper soft shell crab with an aromatic salad dressed with a peanut and ponzu dressing and our Korean style hot sauce. The quirky names are an added bonus for hip hop fans and some of the best have included Wu Taco Clan, Hahal Cool J and wrap battle.
The food shop is so well-loved that they have now produced a line of merchandise including t-shirts and hats. The pop-ups can take place across the city in Street Food Clubs’ other locations as well as Victoria Centre. The best place to find out what’s happening is on McCrellis and Wilkinson’s Instagram and Facebook.
Working Man’s Kitchen
Various locations, @workingmanskitchen
The Working Man’s Kitchen is the creation of Paddy Sneath and can be found across the city including at Albie’s cafe on Carlton Road. The kitchen offers wings, pizza and chunky fries.
Customers follow the van across Nottingham as it announces its new locations on social media. Forest supporters in particular are said to be huge fans of the kitchen’s pizzadogs which combine, you guessed it, pizza and hot dogs. The pizzas are made with fresh mozzarella, chorizo and for those who like a bit of spice, jalapenos.
Abeyo Ethiopian Cuisine
Sneinton and Sherwood market
Abeyo’s Ethiopian food is the new comfort food you never knew you needed. The pop-up caterer can be found at Sherwood and Sneinton markets with their selection of lentil dishes, hot coffee and soft injera.
Injera is a sour fermented flatbread with a slightly spongy texture, traditionally made of teff flour which is used to scoop the food instead of knives or forks. Abeyo makes particularly tasty injera so it’s worth going to experience that alone.
The best way to experience Abeyo’s food is to ask for a mix of each dish which comes sandwiched between two injera. You can also tailor your dish to your tastes with hot salsa and spices. Don’t forget to add a hot coffee to your order as Ethiopian coffee is renowned for its flavour.
Following the business on its Instagram is the best way to find out where the pop-up will be ahead of time.
Squeaky Beaver Poutine
Poutine is street food from Canada that combines all the best food groups – chips, gravy and cheese curds. Cheese curds are a bit of a new one on the food scene in Nottingham but are often referred to as ‘squeaky cheese’ due to the sound it makes when chewed.
Squeaky Beaver poutine is known for its decadent toppings including mouthwatering 12-hour bourbon and barbecue beef brisket and spicy buffalo chicken. Its the perfect naughty food to accompany a beer….or three.
The bright yellow distinctive van appears across the city at lots of events including the summer music festivals in the arboretum and more recently, at the Crown Inn in Beeston.
One fan wrote: “Honestly, I’d say the best street food vendor in Nottingham, the Buble was the best I’ve had yet last Saturday.”
The Sugarberry cart is one of the best parts of a weekend evening spent at Sneinton market or Street Food Club. The gooey, sticky buns, brownies and cakes are the perfect way to treat yourself after a busy week.
The bakery owner, Fran Jesson originally owned Oozee Boozee bakes which created unusual alcohol-based cakes in their beautiful Sneinton location. It was rebranded as Sugarberry in 2020 and the range of cakes expanded into its current range.
The cart has created special cakes for different events in the city including its popular Starry Night winter berry pies for Light Night in February. Fran’s brownies have become the stuff of legends too and are also available as a gluten-free option.
Street Food Club. Victoria Center
Vegans look away – this is one for the meat-eaters. Dirty Chicken has grown a bit of a following among Nottingham’s foodies for its decadent stacked burgers and crispy chicken nuggets.
The burgers are not one for the faint-hearted as they are absolutely huge. They use fresh ingredients including Nottsville hot honey butter, bacon and layers of melted cheese. Their chicken wings have a huge range of dipping sauces from mild to red hot depending on your comfort levels.
There goes the diet….
The Pillar Box
Mansfield Road, Sherwood
This is less street food but more newly launched pub grub. The Pillar Box in Sherwood has just launched its brand new dim sum menu in time for the summer.
Visitors to the bar have already labeled the dumplings as ‘delicious’ with options starting at just £3. There are also options for mixed platters and dinner specials if you are looking to make an evening of it. Specials include Kimchi gyoza which includes Korean kimchi or duck with fresh vegetables, hoisin and spices.
If that wasn’t enough, the bar has an extensive collection of gins and the staff is more than happy to recommend the perfect tipple if you get a bit overwhelmed. Just be warned, once you start taste testing the different options, it’s very hard to stop.
Secret Pizza kitchen
Secret Pizza kitchen at King Billy became one to watch over lockdown. One of Nottingham’s best-loved pubs operates a small pizza kitchen from a window in their smoking area on weekends now that it’s open but during restrictions, it was pre-order and delivery only.
The pizza keeps it local using flour from the nearby windmill in Snienton and features some of the more unusual ingredients including summer oyster mushrooms from Nottingham Vertical Farm with a wild garlic pesto or Salami Milano with black olive tapenade, mozzarella, parmesan, and fresh purple basil on a San Marzano tomato base.
Fans of the pizza turned to Facebook each week as the pub would post the menu ahead of taking orders for delivery of the food and its beers. But be warned, they do sell out and they can go fast. While the pub does sell crisps, they fail to hit the same spot as a handmade pizza.
If you fancy a good homemade, slow-cooked curry then Dosa Love has you covered. The business has been making their beautiful handcrafted street food since 2018 covering many of the festivals in and around Nottingham.
They specialize in traditional dosas which are a thin batter-based dish originating from South India, made from a fermented batter consisting of lentils and rice. The dosa is served with slow-cooked curries and dals along with fresh chutneys and chilli sauces.
All of the dishes are gluten-free, dairy-free. milk-free, egg-free so it’s the perfect place to head to if you have dietary requirements. The signature dish includes a freshly cooked Dosa, Sambar Curry, Turmeric Dal, Fragrant Rice, Pickles, Ferments and Chutneys.