Street food is becoming more and more popular. It’s eaten at markets, at special events, in disused warehouses, at festivals and on the high street. There are dedicated events popping up all over the country. One of the biggest in Scotland is in Glasgow near the banks of the River Clyde. The Herald on Sunday went along to the Big Feed Street Food Social to see what all the fuss is about.

Johnny Stipanovsky, 47, from Govanhill, who is the founder of the Big Feed Street Food Social, works as a diver for six months of the year - but when he’s back in Glasgow he makes hot dogs.

“About three or four years ago I was looking for a wee project to do in the winter when I stopped diving. I’m massively into street food. Any country we go to I head to the street food markets.

“I bought a wagon and opened FireDog about three years ago as a wee winter project and it grew arms and legs from that. I went from doing the odd weekend to it being booked out solidly.

“About two years ago we started working with Glasgow City Council on small street food events. But Glasgow being Glasgow the weather isn’t great, so I looked for something indoors.”

Mr Stipanovsky rented a warehouse near the River Clyde in Govan and encouraged other street food businesses to join him.

He said: “As a trader I knew what I wanted when I turn up at a market. I had done lots of markets where there’s no power, no cleaners, no management. They’re not run properly.

“We’ve set this up with traders in mind. All they need to do is pull up. The power is here, we’ve got floor staff, security, an entertainment package, including bands and DJs. We’ve created something people want to come to.”

The Big Feed Street Food Social is now a thriving focal point for chefs who want to showcase their food.

Mr Stipanovsky said: “A lot of street food businesses are start-ups by young up and coming chefs who can’t afford a restaurant, who can’t afford to be static somewhere. They’ve now got places like this they can come to for a minimum outlay. This is a launchpad for people, where they build up a following.

“We bring in people we know who are in the trade. There’s no rolls and sausage. There’s something for everyone – Japanese squid balls, German hot dogs, salt and chilli chicken. If somebody is doing burgers, it’ll be the best burger you’ve had. If you’re getting a hot dog, they’ll be incredible. It’s all the best of the best.”

Sophie Mckale, 30, from Rothesay, studied events management at the University of the West of Scotland before Johnny Stipanovsky asked her to head up the Big Feed.

“This was the first and largest street food market in Scotland,” said Ms Mckale. “It’s won street food awards. It’s growing and growing. It’s very, very busy, even when it’s cold.

“The demographic is diverse. It’s not just hipsters who come here. It’s very family orientated so we get a lot of families. We get a lot of hipsters too, I’m not going to lie, but we get a mix of people. You get granny and grandfather in with the grandchildren, you get teenagers, students.

Ms Mckale said the attraction is the cosy atmosphere and “food from all over the world”. She added: “The next one is on December 8 and it will be really, really fun because there will be a Christmas theme. We’re going all out for that one. There will be mulled wine, hot chocolate and all our traders selling amazing food.”

Ewen Hutchison, 28, opened Shrimp Wreck, a mobile seafood bar, after leaving a “dead end” office job. It offers king prawn tempura buns, fish finger sandwiches, salt and cajun squid and sweet potato fries. It has been nominated for several street food prizes, winning the 2017 People’s Choice Award, and featured on the BBC show Million Pound Menu.

Mr Hutchison said: “I used to work for a big corporation and I hated it. I left that and didn’t have a lot of money so that’s why I chose street food. There are reasonably low start up costs. I rented everything I could. I managed to get a spot in Edinburgh, where I’m based, and it snowballed from there.

“My family have been very supportive because they saw how low I was before. I just wanted a job I enjoyed, and I love what I do now. I’ve tried to find a middle ground between fish and chips and fine dining seafood. There was just nobody doing seafood street food before. I knew I could make it work but I didn’t think it would take off quite so quickly.”

Jeremy Downtown, 27, has two food vans – Chick + Pea, for vegetarians, and Kebabbar, for meat eaters. He began his career as a kitchen porter in Cornwall and worked in restaurants while studying business at the University of Aberdeen. He opened his first food van two years ago and the second – Kebabbar – last year.

He said: “The idea is to make fast, tasty food that looks nice. It’s great to see so many people coming along and trying foods that they wouldn’t normally try. Because they’re not in a dedicated restaurant they can dip in and out. I do feel that people are trying new things here.

“For people that haven’t tried it, I would say to them to come in a big group, or as a family, have a drink and make it an event. The dining experience these days is you go for a meal and you’re out within an hour. Street food can be an afternoon or an evening and the kids can run around and everyone is happy.”

Maura McMahon, 20, was at the Big Feed with mum and dad Margaret Anne and Peter and older brother Philip, 28. They travelled from North Lanarkshire for the event.

Ms McMahon said: “I found out about it because all the rugby players come here. We have season tickets for Glasgow Warriors and I follow them on Instagram. Sometimes you see a whole crowd of them here.”

Philip McMahon said: “You get high quality food, big portions and it’s cheaper than going to a restaurant.”

Peter McMahon added: “I have celiac disease and there’s also gluten free options here, including pizzas which are absolutely brilliant.”

Chrissie and Jamie Stuart were at the Big Feed with their newborn baby and their friends Sarah and Johnny Mailey, both 29.

Ms Stuart, 32, said: “It’s baby friendly and the parking is good so it’s easy to come down at any time of the day and have as much or as little to eat as you want. You’ve got variety and the quality is very good.”

Her husband Jamie, 33, said: “This is our fourth time here. The west of Scotland takeaway vans usually have burgers but here you’ve got a lot of choice and people can have different things.”

Sarah Mailey said: “It’s cheaper than going out for lunch, or even having a takeaway. And you get much more variety.”

Her husband Johnny added: “It saves any arguments about where to go to eat. Everyone can suit themselves and there are plenty of big tables.”

Ian McLelland, 65, from Blantyre, brought daughters Kwyn, 16, Anna, 5, and Isla, 2, to the event “to give mum a break”.

He said: “The kids enjoy the food, the atmosphere and there are toys and games, as well as kids programmes on the tv screens. It’s juts a nice thing to do. We usually come three or four times a year.”