As we prepare for the weekend, some of us are haunted by the looming realisation that it’s not all the fun ‘me time’ that we were eagerly anticipating. There is, to our dismay, one job that still needs doing: the ‘weekly shop’. For most of us, this generally translates to trawling through the cold, vast lanes of a supermarket for up to an hour, listening to dreary voiceovers about car park opening times, and being forced to pick out a loaf of Hovis ‘medium-cut’ from a thousand identical, perfectly sliced specimens. It’s for this reason, and many more, that we have decided to bring you some of the alternative options in Lewisham that don’t involve these dismal traumas, and in fact provide customers with the opposite experience: that of enjoyment, exploration, social interaction, and fresh, high quality food. So here are 5 local Delicatessens in Lewisham that trump the bolshy supermarkets and will give you a refreshing shopping experience, rather than a mundane one.
1. Gennaro Delicatessen - Lewisham Central
From the outside, the unassuming Gennaro Delicatessen is simply another small business with an attractive front. However, as soon as you step inside, it is a bustling oasis and truly a world of its own. It instantly transports you to an Italian village in the countryside, as you prey your eyes upon consistently stacked shelves of authentic Italian produce, and are greeted with smiles, a friendly ‘Ciao’, and open arms from the charismatic yet endearing staff. Their vast range of products include a plethora of different pastas, exceptional Charcuterie, olives and anchovies, and an extensive and varied cheese selection, including scamorza, stracchino, and pecorino. There is also an impressive selection of meats, which include myriad hams and salami, and their speciality boar sausage…(I’ve heard its quite something!) There's hardly any reason to step foot inside a supermarket again once you've explored the Italian food metropolis that is Gennaro's.
Gennaro Delicatessen offer a 10% discount to Lewisham Card holders when you spend over £10.
2. The Allotment - New Cross
Heading back to Britain, our next David to take on Goliath is the unmistakably British The Allotment, which offers superbly well-sourced grocery produce and more from their homely abode in New Cross. Primarily a fruit and veg store, they have everything from apples to pears, root ginger to butternut squash, and sweet potato to pomegranate gracing their shelves. Then, casting your eye to the other side, you are greeted by their delectable bakery section. Delivered daily from the Flour Power City Bakery, their loaves and baguettes are always fresh and scrumptious. They also sell large free range eggs which hail from Kent. But the fun doesn’t stop here. As you venture further into the shop, you’ll notice more shelves packed with a selection of jams, chutney’s, pasta, sauces, flour, olive oil, juices, teas, coffee, biscuits, and more, all sourced from suppliers carefully chosen by the owner, including many who are local. There is a shelf full of wine and beer, and a fridge at the back providing award winning smoked salmon, cheese, bacon and cured meat. Although this sounds like a lot for a small shop, I’m almost certainly still missing something from The Allotment’s brimming shelves, so the only way to really get the full experience is to check it out for yourselves and see what’s on offer!
The Allotment offer a 10% discount to Lewisham Card holders.
3. The Larder - Ladywell
The Larder is the definition of a community led, good-spirited local business. Starting out in April 2014, they have been stealing Tesco’s customers for over a year and continue to attract newcomers to their lovely shop on the corner of Ladywell village. Run by two local food lovers who share a passion for all things of taste and quality, The Larder stocks ample fresh produce from various award winning and local producers. They have a strict motto to “try before we buy” so every item they sell is test tasted by them. If it doesn’t pass the taste test, it isn’t stocked, simple. Their fresh bread comes from Brockley based Coopers Bakehouse; their British cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy and French cheeses from Mons Cheesemongers; and their Organic fresh fruit, vegetables and salad from Chegworth Valley Farm in Kent. They also stock over a dozen locally produced craft beers, including Brockley Brewery, Brick Brewery Peckham and other London based breweries. A selection of charcuterie is available, hailing from small farms across the continent, and the British meats are supplied from local butchers Wellbeloved and The Proud Sow. Ever wondered why Ladywell still hasn’t been infected with another Tesco ‘Express’, or a Sainsbury’s ‘Local’? They don’t need one!
The Larder offer a 5% Discount and 10% off on Wednesdays to Lewisham Card Holders.
4. Klos Deli - Lewisham Central
Located just a few doors down from Gennaro’s, Klos Deli is Central Lewisham’s only Polish Delicatessen and offers a huge range of authentic Polish produce from consistently stacked shelves. To your immediate right as you walk into this bustling hive, are a healthy range of vegetables and fresh eggs. Next to this is a tall shelf filled with various jams, spreads, and syrups. The shop then unfolds and you soon realise, from the sheer amount of stock it has, that this is quite simply a local Polish supermarket, and from the amount of people you see in there getting their weekly shop, it functions that way too. A large meat counter at the back of the shop offers every kind of meat imaginable - not just the endlessly flavoursome cured meats that the Poles are famous for, but also slabs of beef, sausages, and chicken. Although most of the produce is labelled in Polish, this friendly deli is run by a great team of amicable staff, who are more than willing to explain something to you or help you decide.
Klos Deli offer free samples when they spend over £5 to Lewisham Card holders.
5. Malaysian Deli - Brockley
Although mainly offering sit-down meals and cooked food, Malaysian Deli is as authentic as it gets in bringing the true taste of Malaysia to Lewisham. Based in Brockley, they offer traditional dishes such as Rendang, Kari Melayu, Keropok, Roti Kanai, and more. They are active in the local community, and host Curry Nights every week which are very popular. Although small, they also stock a range of hard to find Asian ingredients, including trademark Malaysian sauces and spices for curries, rice and noodles.
Malaysian Deli offer a 10% discount to Lewisham Card Holders.
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