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Street Food, Craft Beer & Cocktails From a Retro Ice Cream Van – Don’t Miss Chow Down

· Ali Turner · Food and Drink

Wood-fired pizzas, vegan ice cream and arancini balls – you're going to love Chow Down.

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Chow Down is Yorkshire's newest street food market and it's taking over The Piece Hall this summer. Prepare for a weekend of amazing independent food, ales, cocktails, crafts and music, every month until September. Find out more...

A trip to The Piece Hall is in order this summer, because they’re plotting an absolutely unmissable street food market…

Last year, The Piece Hall in Halifax reopened after a £19 million conservation and transformation programme returned the iconic building to its former glory. It’s now a modern meeting place where you can shop, eat and learn about the region’s wonderful history surrounded by one of the most impressive Georgian buildings in the UK. But that’s not the only reason to go because they’re launching a new monthly street food market this summer.

The Piece Hall

Credit: Paul White

Chow Down kicks off on Friday 29th June 2018 with three days of delicious food, thirst-quenching drinks and live entertainment. But this is no one-off event, it’ll be back every month until September, so skip breakfast, cross your fingers for sunshine and get ready to stuff your belly with the finest street food in the North and beyond.

The region’s latest street food extravaganza is a collaboration between our very own Leeds Indie Food and New Citizens, two organisations who’ve earned a reputation for putting on spectacular events, so it’s going to be good. They’ve secured a stellar line-up of street food vendors for the first event, with a few familiar names and a couple you’ve probably never tried before.

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The vendors will change every month, so you can come back again and again, but one thing you can always be sure of is the fact that 25% of it will be vegan or vegetarian. Proove Pizza will be there to kick things off – street food is where it all began for them, but they’ve since gone on to open popular restaurants in Sheffield, West Didsbury, and soon, Leeds. They’re bringing their proper wood-fired pizzas to Chow Down, with toppings like Quattro Stagioni (mushroom, pepperoni, ham and olives) and Diavola (‘Nduja, fennel salami & chillies).

They’ll be accompanied by The Gravy Train, which is great news for those of you who love poutine. It’s a Canadian classic of pimped up chips, topped with cheese curds and gravy (a rich beef number for the carnivores or an equally delicious mushroom vegan gravy for the veggies). But they don’t stop there – expect everything from bacon bits to blue cheese sauce and pulled chicken on their oh-so dirty take on an old-school favourite.

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You’ve got Mexican food too, in the form of Sabroso Street. It’s the work of husband and wife team, David and Annika – they travelled to Mexico on their honeymoon and fell in love with the wonderfully diverse street food they found there, so they turned it into a business. And thank god they did, because now we can tuck into everything from Pork Gorditas to Black Bean and Chipotle Chilli.

And then there’s MEAT:STACK. The clue’s in the name here – these guys are here for the carnivores. They do down and dirty burgers made from freshly ground 100% salt-aged beef. The patty is the star of the show, but when it’s coupled with gooey cheese, steamed buns, homemade relishes and unusual toppings like pink onions, chopped jalapeños, Yucutàn hot sauce and nacho crumbs, it’s taken to a new level.

MEAT:STACK

And that’s only the beginning. Food 4 Festivals are bringing a feast of Greek proportions, while Golden Balls will wow the crowds with their vegetarian arancini. Just make sure you leave room for dessert because they’ve got a duo of vendors ready to cater for your sweet tooth.

First, there’s Froconut. They make their own guilt-free desserts. Think coconut-based ice-cream topped with superfoods and vegan treats, then served in a coconut. Yum! And second, there’s cakes and cookie dough from The Baking Biker. These guys have made something that sounds really traditional into an insanely delicious snack – try the Unicorn Food Cookie Dough. And please, please, please tell us they’re bringing their DIY nacho bags!

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You’ll need something to wash all that scrumptious food down, and Chow Down doesn’t disappoint. They’ll have a beer tent with all your favourite brews from Northern Monk, Magic Rock and Vocation Brewery. Not feeling the beer? Pick up a cocktail from the converted ice cream van, head over to the Aperol Bar, make a beeline for the prosecco truck or enjoy a wee dram at the Jura Whisky Telephone Bar.

Alongside the all the deliciousness, they’re bringing the entertainment. From acoustic acts to brass bands and live DJs from Soul Boutique and Balearic Social, there’s going to be a little something for everyone here. You can even do a little shopping because there’s going to be a craft market curated by &/Or Emporium. And if you’ve got kids in tow, bring ‘em along – Chow Down has a totally family-friendly atmosphere and loads of activities to keep the little ones entertained.

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All this will take place in the stunning surroundings of The Piece Hall. They’re setting up shop in the courtyard, but make sure you nip inside to see what they’ve done with the place. You’ll find oodles of shops here, like Al’s Emporium, a treasure trove of antique, retro & vintage style furniture, and Loafers, a wonderful little hangout where you can enjoy quality coffee while you pick out your next vinyl record. Still hungry? There’s always space for ice cream, so make a stop at Blondin’s Ice Cream Parlour, but if you’re absolutely stuffed, you could always treat yourself to a G&T at Gin Lane.

Chow Down is set to be one of the scrummiest events of the summer and it’s just a short train ride away, so why not make a day of it?

Chow Down will take place at The Piece Hall from 29th June to 1st July, 20th to 22nd July, 31st August to 2nd September and 28th to 30th September 2018.