The Deli Downstairs
This is the archetypal village deli - the kind of family-run, eco-friendly, bountiful place that all delis aspire to be, if they were being totally honest with themselves. Standing proud in Victoria Park Village with its traditional red, white and green front, the food is beautifully presented with all kinds of excellent - albeit expensive - products to stuff in that hamper. We're talking organic fruit and veg, cheeses and meats, quiches and pies, pastries and cakes and all the condiments you could reasonably ask for. A great spot to stop for a coffee or push the boat out for a picnic.
You might also be interested in...
Fresher than fresh coffee, a buzzing atmosphere and super-friendly staff. These guys are seriously into their coffee. Breakfast here holds a selection of treats and lunch comes in the form of seasonal soups, salads, tarts and some hearty sandwiches. Come sit among the hard wood paneling for a cosy afternoon accompanied by a slice of their chocolate and Guinness cake.
Ayres is the most legit old school bakery, the kind your gran used to save her shillings for to go to at the end of the week. It has the 1950s-style brown tile floors and those unappetizing glass counters. It sells almost all the cakes, bread and pastries you could want. Go for master baker Vincent's cronuts which are great value and scrumdiddlyumptious.
You'll find plenty of North West natives spilling out on the streets on this stretch of College Road, but it's the ones really in the know that you'll catch sitting outside L'Angolo. A legendary deli in these parts thanks to the owner and neighbourhood Stalwart Carmelo, this is the spot to pick up all of those wonderful, authentic Italian ingredients, from dried pasta to cheeses and meats. The coffee here is delicious and eye-popping, while the paninis are, as you would expect, top of the range; build it the way you see fit out of your favourite bits and bobs. Enjoy all of this out front and indulge in a healthy dose of people watching, why don't you?
Blackbird Bakery (Balham)
Sometimes you just need something sweet, or something nice and doughy to go with your posh wine and cheese and Friday funday feels. It's all those little yummy somethings that the Blackbird bakery specialises in, luring in with the luscious smell of freshly baked bread and chocolaty pastries, which are all cooked to perfection using wholesome, tasty, fair trade ingredients. Settle down in this cosy, delicate-looking cafe and indulge in a slice of cake, or pop in for a quick cup of coffee and one of their lovely daily-special breads. Although you might want to get two, because there's no way a whole one will make it home.