The Hairy Fig


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A love of sweet, Continental fruit and a desire to start a business that was ‘not boring’ inspired both the name and ethos of this quirky deli on a cobbled side street in Fossgate. Off the main shopping thoroughfare, it would be a shame to just pass by, with every nook and cranny from floor to ceiling packed with unusual and tasty ‘fine fodder’.

Seven years ago, local Sue Hardie snapped up the premises. A former travel agent and publican, she was drawn to the location and appetite in the city for international foods she had previously struggled to find.

In the café, Hardie serves up tasty dishes such as smoked eel fillets with beetroot and horseradish, using ingredients from the deli. At the time of writing, colourful soups were the order of the day, along with a tempting pudding of
baked figs with chocolate balsamic and mascarpone. Back in the deli, huge bottles of aged vinegars imported from Modena are a signature line. Behind the counter are 20 different types of coffee beans – all of which are ground and bagged to order – alongside a choice of 40 loose-leaf Sri Lankan teas. Curious shoppers can also challenge their taste buds with eclectic products such as Eat 17 Bacon Jam or Scandinavian salt liquorice.

Freshly baked focaccia and other speciality bread comes direct to the shop each morning from the tiny Via Vecchia bakery situated around the corner in The Shambles, while local students can’t get enough of chunky pork pies from Selby. Fancy a fresh fig? No problem – there’s always a basket out front. HR.

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