Places To Eat In Canterbury: Little Joe’s Deli [Now Closed]
When I ran into Sam Deeson (the guy behind one of my favourite Canterbury restaurants Deeson’s, and everyone’s favourite local shopfront and street food outfit Pork & Co.) at the Canterbury Food Festival a few weeks ago he told me that he’d taken over the shop front next to the Cathedral gates that used to be Hawkins Bazaar, and that he’d be selling pies, mash, grilled cheese and some other New York style deli items out of it.
Meet Little Joe’s Deli, your new favourite lunch spot in the city. Friendly staff (meet Danny (who you’ll also find in Pork & Co.) and Ben) out of the hole in the wall to grab food on the go to take back to the office with you, and a spacious upstairs to sit and eat between a bit of shopping; I’m sure that I’m pretty much going to be making my way through the entire menu looking for Christmas gifts this year.
Next time I’m in I’m going to be torn between the Ribeye Wrap with Tabbouleh and Carrot Salad (a recommendation from Robert, the chef at The Compasses Inn, who has impeccable taste judging from his sublime cooking), and the Salt Beef Bagel stuffed full of salt beef, pickles and punchy slaw my mother ordered. I stole a bite, and it really packs a punch of flavour, on a nice, doughy toasted bagel,
Both because I could not actually decide what to eat, and because I’d seen some gentleman walking down the street at the weekend carrying wonderful looking hot dogs from the Little Joe’s window, I decided to keep things simple with the Pickle Dog. I’m a total hotdog fiend to tell you a truth, usually going against I believe in about knowing what you’re putting into your body. However, the beef and pork hot dogs at Little Joe’s are from Kentish reared meat, so you can indulge in your hot dog piled up with sweet, tart pickles on a perfect brioche bun safe in the knowledge that you can actually probably pronounce all of the ingredients.
Before heading upstairs to eat after our order had been made up, it was time to grab juice. I’ve been a massive fan of both the produce and juices from Chegworth Farms in Kent since I started shopping at their stall at Borough Market, but I actually don’t know many places outside of London I can find their products. Their pear juice iOS absolutely sublime and perfect for this time of year, so I was happy to see it on tap.
There are two different upstairs spaces, the spacious main room with seating around the walls and a big communal table with a view over the square below (which I will forever associate with when there used to be a Starbucks next door, and eating Skinny Lemon & Poppyseed Muffins with my friend Steph on a Sunday morning after Matins in the Cathedral), and a smaller, brighter room next door, complete with a pinball machine.
For dessert, how can you not go for the chocolate and banana stuffed brioche toast (also with the option of added peanut butter)? You’d be mad not to. Utter filth, but the perfect way to round off lunch on a cool Autumn day before heading back out onto the cobbles.
Needless to say, I love Little Joe’s Deli as much as I knew I would when I first heard about it, and I urge you to pop by for something to eat sometime soon. Be sure to keep an eye on my Instagram, because I’m sure that mini reviews of their pies, wraps and other goodies will be popping up there soon!