This is one of my most surreal street food experiences to date: London Zoo, at night, and a street food set up to rival many a food festival.

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo, how about you, you, you?

We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo, how about you, you, you?

As the animals at London Zoo prepare for bed, the twenty somethings of London swarm to the zoo, and once inside adorn themselves with animal face paint and appropriate zoo-themed ears – and the brave ones arrive in animal onesies. Re-live your childhood zoo visits, but this time add a whole load of food and alcohol into the mix.

It’s a good idea to grab a map and head straight to the Bordeaux Jardin du Vin bar or beer garden to pick up an all-important beverage and make your way around the zoo before the animals go to sleep around 9pm. You don’t want to miss the gorillas before they turn in for the night (last admission at 8.30pm); these guys are huge, I mean of epic proportions – and it wasn’t the passionfruit Kopparberg cider doing the talking.

sausages for web

For those who like a traditional affair

That’s not to say that alcohol + zoo does not make for some interesting conversations, such as: “is that a walrus?”, “no, it’s a warthog!” … guffaws. “Oh! So what do walruses look like then?”, “like a lion”. Other guffaws. “I mean a sea lion!”. True story.

Your Zoo Lates ticket also gives access to the Tiger Territory, getting you up close and personal with the Sumatran tiger.

Then comes feeding time at the zoo, human style. The international food festival hangs out right by the ferris wheel, and you’ll make as many circles of the trucks and stalls as the fairground ride – I promise.

ferris wheel

Zoo Lates brings your childhood alive… with a bit more food and alcohol in the mix

When we were there I couldn’t resist a Mama’s Jerk Station’s Caribbean chicken wrap, setting my lips (and later belly) on fire – all worth it of course – followed by a healthy dose of Spanish churros from Churros Garcia. There were many of the regular street food vendors to choose from – hot dogs a plenty from the likes of Popdogs and posh sausages for those looking for a traditional British affair. You can choose from tagines, pulled pork and mac n cheese toasties (yes you heard right), Indian dishes and Hawaiian-style burgers – the options are endless.

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So much to choose from at Mama’s Jerk Station

If you quite like the idea of stilt-walkers dressed as flamingos strolling through your street food festival, animal-themed sports-day style antics raving it up by your wine tent and a silent disco jig after you’ve fulfilled your foodie desires – not forgetting the Penguin Beach – then this is the Friday night gig for you. Gather your street food fanatic friends and book your tickets now.

With petting time with the baby goats included, how can you resist?

Zoo Lates | London Zoo

11 July | 18th July | 25 July | 1 August

6-10pm

Tickets cost £28. To buy tickets CLICK HERE.

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