Is Norwich’s Junkyard Market street food park worth visiting?
- Credit: Archant
Junkyard Market is a new street food event that is running in Norwich until the end of September, but is it worth the trip? I headed along to find out.
Located in the car park at St Mary’s Works, thousands of people have visited the Junkyard Market since it opened in mid-August and it runs every Friday to Sunday.
There are two slots on Friday and three each day at the weekend and I opted for the Sunday lunchtime and went with my boyfriend.
There is capacity for 450 people on spaced out benches seating up to six, which can be booked for free in advance, and most of the tables were full.
When you step inside you forget you’re in Norwich and it really does feel like Shoreditch in London, with a black cab graffitied by Norwich artist Knapple, bars in shipping containers and wooden benches under giant tents.
The smell of barbecue wafted to our table and there was a real buzz about the place - it was also good to see there was a real mix of ages, from families with small children to older couples.
All ordering and payment is done by scanning a QR code on the table, which directs you through to the menus of the bars and nine different food vendors.
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Intrigued by the beers on offer from London brewer Jubel, who are there every week, we ordered a half-pint of elderflower, grapefruit and peach which were delivered to our table a few minutes later by a runner and were all delicious, particularly the peach.
It works well both for the vendors and customers, particularly with social distancing, that you don’t have to queue for anything and all you need to do is sit and wait.
Also when you order, a £1 discretionary donation is added on in aid of The Norwich Soup Movement - they have already raised over £10,000 through doing this which is ace.
I’d heard at the first event there wasn’t enough food vendors to cope with demand, leading to a considerable wait for food, but this is something they have listened to as no one seemed to wait long.
The vendors vary each week but they make sure at least half are local and this time five were from Norwich with Moco Kitchen, serving bao buns and gyoza, Christophe’s Crepes, Ronaldo Ices, Wok Box and The Urban Eatery, with options such as beetroot cured salmon and grilled beef.
The four from further afield were London vendors The Mac Factory, Hot Squeeze Burger Co, 2 Lads Kitchen, with Afghan street food, and Cambridge-based The Vargas Brothers, who serve Argentinian barbecue dishes.
We tried a selection of dishes from the different vendors, with most around the £6 to £10 mark, and they came in big portions.
The salt and pepper chilli chips from Wok Box were very moreish, the Old Faithful from Hot Squeeze Burger Co was packed with flavour and had a chuck steak patty, smoked pancetta and chipotle mayonnaise.
We were also very pleased with the vegan options as my boyfriend can’t have dairy but was able to enjoy both the bao buns from Moco Kitchen, with Seitan instead of buttermilk chicken, and vegan macaroni cheese from The Mac Factory.
There is a great atmosphere, tasty food and drinks, with something for everyone, and it is a great chance to meet up with family and friends outdoors and feel safe.
You can book a free table at junkyardmarket.co.uk