Street food in Leicester would usually conjure up ideas of a heavy nights drinking followed by a kebab of uncertain origin that would almost certainly be lived to regret the next day. However, around a year ago I began to hear whispers of rather fabulous event held in Birmingham called Digbeth Dining Club, the idea of street food for foodies really appealed to me and I vowed to visit but then never had the inclination/was too lazy/too busy to travel all the way to Birmingham on a Friday Night. Enter CANTEEN, bringing the street food trend to Leicester, offering a whole host of creative and innovative local street food vendors and proving once again that Leicester is definitely not shit!

Last Friday night was C and I's second visit. So being as we are now aficionados I thought i'd share a few tips on what to expect...

  • Arrive early, CANTEEN gets busy, with around 800 people turning out to the last few events its a good idea to get there early so you can take your time, browse a little and be sure to get a plate or two of food before the traders sell out. The doors open at 5pm till around 10. there's live music, DJ and a few bars so its well worth making a night of it.
  • Take cash, and plenty of loose change. None of the traders take cards and having the correct change speeds up the process considerably.
  • Work the room, or courtyard, have a good stroll round first to decide what you want, then go for it!
  • It's worth sampling a few dishes too. The variety of Traders, from burgers to waffles via greek platters and halloumi fries, means there's something for everyone.
  • Expect to bump into everyone you know, seriously! It's so rare for me to bump into anyone I know these days in Leicester so it was a lovely surprise to catch up with some old faces, and meet a few new friends too!
  • Be prepared to que, this is part of the fun, grab yourself a drink and get in line, you'll be able to watch your food being cooked to order at some of the stands too! A few more traders were added to the bill for last nights event which meant the ques were a little shorter and the traders a little less under pressure. 
  • Beware of que jumpers- do not tolerate this behaviour, its just rude.
  • If in doubt- divide and conquer. C and I joined separate ques, I was in charge of obtaining the burgers, whilst C was on a bao & Kimchi mission. We then reconviened to share our spoils.
  • Eating is mostly done standing up, unless you really do get there early enough to bag yourself a seat.
  • Be kind to the traders, these guys work so incredibly hard and get absolutely hammered so be patient and courteous, obvs!

LCB depot hosts the event every last Friday of the month, so the next event will be 26th May, get it in your diary and we'll see you there! For more info and updates on who will be trading you can follow the CANTEEN facebook page here.