Street food is not all about the main course! And here are 16 reasons why
When you think about street food you may think it’s just about the main course. Gourmet burgers, wood-fired pizza, and fish tacos. However, street food nowadays is a lot more than this.
There is a whole range of delicious street food desserts on offer, from across the world to satisfy your sweet tooth. You got the old classics such as ice cream, but also some desserts you may have never heard of before.
So if you are looking for dessert ideas for a street food business and want something that may be a little bit different then read on.
1. Mango sticky rice
A very popular street food dessert in Thailand. Freshly ripened mango, and sticky rice, which is slightly salted with sweetened coconut milk.
You can also add coconut ice cream to it for extra indulgence.
2. Ice Cream
The old street food dessert classic – Chocolate, caramel, strawberry, you name it, it comes in pretty much any flavour.
However, food vendors are now giving this dessert a modern update, with the like of dairy-free ice cream for vegans made with organic milk.
A very popular French street food dessert. A very thin pancake that you can have both sweet and savoury.
My absolute favourite is the sweet crepes with Nutella and banana. Now that’s what I am talking about.
Crispy on the outside and fluffy and doughy in the middle. Made with flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, milk, and butter, these little Belgian treats are a go-to street food dessert.
You can add a range of sauces and toppings to them, such as dark chocolate or caramel sauce and whipped cream.
I’m not talking about any type of doughnut here, but gourmet doughnuts with a range of very creative fillings (the doughnut in the image is Nutella filled.
These types of street food desserts seem to becoming quite popular over the last few years in the UK
6. Coconut ice cream
Another popular Thai street food dessert, which I haven’t actually seen outside of Thailand.
This dessert is a great non-dairy option, made simply from coconut milk, sugar and salt and churned. It is then served in coconut halves with toppings such as peanuts and chocolate sauce.
7. Ice cream rolls
They don’t call Thailand the home of street food for nothing. Popular throughout Thailand and now catching on in the United Kingdom and North America.
Ice cream rolls are quite the crowd-puller, due to hows it’s made.
Liquid ice cream is squirted on a cold flat steel surface and as the ice cream solidifies, is scraped into rolls with metal spatulas. You can then add all sorts of wonderful toppings.
The word “Paleta” actually means small stick in Spanish and refers to traditional Mexican ice lollies, made from fresh fruit, pure cream, and sugar.
There is a great street food vendor, named simply Paletas based in Bristol UK, that sells a lovely range of fruit-flavoured Paletas.
An Italian dessert favourite, originating from the island of Sicily. Cannoli are tubed-shaped fried pastry shells filled with sweet creamy fillings.
I last had Cannoli at a food hall in Rome’s Centrale station and was probably the best I have ever tasted.
Origin: West Coast of America
Smoothies are not only a good way to get your 5 a day, but very tasty and you will find it pretty hard to run out of taste combinations.
Coffee smoothies are becoming popular now as people want their health and caffeine fix in one.
11. Smoothie bowls
Known in Brazil as an “acai” bowl and in other parts a smoothie bowl.
Smoothie bowls are a pretty new concept and take smoothies to another level.
It’s basically a thick smoothie blended into an almost ice-cream consistency served with a range of toppings. Think nuts, seeds, and berries.
12. Pastel de nata
A Portuguese favourite and a street food dessert that is very moreish.
It is known as a Portuguese egg tart pastry that is sprinkled with cinnamon.
Baklava is a sweet dessert pastry made with layers of filo pastry and filled with nuts and honey.
I haven’t seen this type of dessert sold much at street food markets, so could possibly be a gap in the market.
14. Thai roti
Thailand has a wide range of different types of street food and certainly does not disappoint in the dessert department.
Thai roti or pancake is similar to a crepe or Indian bread roti. The trick is to get the bread as thin as possible, which is then fried and served with banana, chocolate sauce or condensed coconut milk
There is a lot you can do with the humble English muffin making it a very good street food dessert.
From chocolate chips and gooey toppings to lemon drizzle or crunchy caramel and beyond.
16. Gulab jamun
This dessert is made from milk-based solids which are reduced to the consistency of soft dough with some added flour.
The dough is then shaped into small balls and fried and soaked in light syrup with cardamom and rose water.
It is often garnished with nuts such as almonds
So there you have it, 16 street food dessert ideas for a new business. If you want to add any to the list just leave a comment below.
Gavin D is the founder of Street Food Central and Tru Foo Juice Bar Co. and has worked in the mobile catering industry for over 7 years.