Food & Drink

A happy meal worth queueing for - Eating Out at Notorious in Derry

Everyone’s talking about Notorious Street Food and its food truck


Notorious Street Food,

Northside Shopping Centre,

Glengalliagh Road,


079 4490 8369

If at first you don’t succeed, give up. At first glance, not the most admirable philosophy, but it’s one that’s served me well. Certainly, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I’d tried, tried again at things the moment they got tough.

So it was really a no-brainer when I turned up at Notorious to find the wait would be at least half an hour. I just gave up, turned around, and got back into the car, ending up at McDonald’s where, annoyingly, we had a half hour wait for our meal. But at least my daughter and I had the pleasure of being packed like upright sardines alongside other unsmiling souls forced by fate into this red and yellow purgatory.

Given my unwillingness to persevere, I actually surprised myself by heading back to Notorious the following week.

A month ago I’d never heard of the place, but I’d noticed it cropping up on social media, and then everyone I mentioned it to seemed to have heard of it, and heard only good things about it, so I broke the habit of a lifetime and tried again.


This time, though, we got there at around a quarter to six, an hour earlier than the week before, and the wait was only twenty minutes.

Notorious is a street food truck, about 10 feet long and five feet deep, with four hot, friendly, loud souls crammed inside, negotiating both space and responsibilities.

It’s located, for the moment at least, in the car park outside the Northside Shopping Centre, just along from St Brigid’s College. Not the most glamorous of locations, to be honest, but a good, decent place, with useful shops and a sense of community.

Most of the community seemed to be there for Notorious. It wasn’t so much a queue as disorganised milling, with lots of ‘Have you been serveds?’ And ‘No, no, you go aheads’. But it wasn’t just the number of people there – there simply wasn’t a type: young, old, couples, singles, groups, families. And they all seemed to be regulars, given it was only my daughter and I studying the menu chalked on a board leaning against the outside of the truck.

Hot wings, tacos, loaded fries, burgers... this is fast and focused food. There is a shelter of sorts (it’s roofless) alongside the truck, if you fancy eating in-ish, but we took our bounty home.

We laid everything out on the table and then the four of us dived in.

Dainty it isn’t, but then dainty isn’t what you’d expect from a food truck. Good it most definitely is. And messy, too. Make sure you take plenty of the paper napkins from the shelter – 20 per person should do it.

The chicken wings were as hot as promised – nicely cooked, with soft, tender meat, smothered in a sauce that gave you a couple of warning jabs before hitting you with a haymaker. The burgers – two thin patties per brioche barmcake – were juicy and full of flavour, with some nice, creamy, salty cheese.

The tacos were nicely prepared – still soft but with a bit of bite – but fought a losing battle to keep hold of the fillings. Like the wings, the crispy chicken pieces didn’t spare the heat, while the beef was moist and rich.


I said Notorious is at the Northside for the moment, and that’s because there’s an impending move to a location along the Foyle. It’s to be hoped they lose neither customers nor any of their rough, raw spirit.

There is nothing fancy about this food, nothing especially fancy about the ingredients. The chips, for example, while lovely, simply come from a bag out of the freezer, and the cheese just looked like supermarket slices to me.

However, it’s cooked with passion and a sense of raucous fun. And with a surprise or two, not least being the relish heaped onto the tacos, which all come with pickled slaw, pineapple salsa, radish, fresh chillis, coriander, chilli sauce, and chipotle mayo. The result is a relish that’s fresh, hot, sweet, cool, crunchy, and smoky. None of your sachets of ketchup for these fellers.

Now this was a happy meal.

The bill
  • Hot chicken wings and loaded fries - £10.00
  • Bacon and cheese smash burger - £10.00
  • Beef birria taco - £3.50
  • Loaded crispy chilli chicken taco - £3.50
  • Child’s burger and fries - £6.00
  • Large fries - £3.50
Total: £36.50