Hairy Fig, York
It’s surprising how much stuff you can pack into one tiny shop. Pop along to the Hairy Fig and be amazed. It is crammed to the rafters with cheeses, cooked meats, hams, sausages, biscuits, jams, pickles, olive oil, fresh figs, kumquats, beats, pickled pears and heaps of Yorkshire produce. Naturally one small shop was never going to be big enough so when the shop next door on Fossgate became vacant they moved in there, too, and managed to squeeze in a little café at the back for good measure. When you’ve oohed and aahed over the contents of the shop, the café will serve you stonking boards of meat, cheese and pate with chunky bread or something hot from the specials board. There’s a decent choice of dishes for veggies like Heidi pie filled with goat’s cheese, sweet potato and spinach and it comes with beetroot and apple relish, a fennel and kumquat salad and herbed potatoes. If you prefer to go carnivore you can stoke up with a Yorkshire Plate: ham, pork pie, black pudding, cheese and chunky bread. With prices around £6.95 the Hairy Fig is hard to beat for lunch and pretty good for tea, too. And if it’s all too claustrophic step out into the garden which the Hairy Fig happily shares with the beautiful medieval Merchant Adventurers Hall. York is getting seriously spoilt for perfect little cafes if you know where to find them.