I was recently challenged by my boyfriend Pete to find somewhere to get a good fry up after midday at the weekend, and even in a city like Brighton with so much choice, this was hard to come by.
Sure if you go into the North Laine there are options, like Bills and Inside Out where you can get a lovely brunch later in the day but when arriving at both of these at 1pm on a sunny Saturday a few months ago, they were heaving and while trying to get a table we nearly starved, plus practically had a hunger induced full blown domestic in the street.
So I asked around a bit and there was more than one mention of Joe’s Café. The great thing about Joe’s is that it’s tucked away on Upper Hamilton Road, so unless you live next door, you need Twitter or a recommendation to know it’s there. The other great thing about Joe’s, for me, is that it’s tucked away in Seven Dials, near where I live, yet I never knew it was there!
So Pete and I trotted down the quiet, residential streets of Seven Dials, me on a particularly wobbly hangover, following the smell of bacon and coffee until we got to the hustle and bustle of Joe’s. It is quite a small café, with a few seats outside on a very unassuming street.
Good coffee with breakfast is an essential and Joe’s knows this- I had a lovely big, bucket-sized mocha. But this wasn’t the only brekkie drink choice, smoothies are also on the menu. Pete went for a pink strawberry and banana smoothie, served in a jam jar with a stripy straw- the breakfast equivalent of a cocktail. It was not only super cute, but tasted delicious.
It was very busy when we arrived and were told there was a 45 minute wait on food. We had no problem getting a seat though and Joe’s strikes me as the kind of popular hideout that’s often busy on a weekend. However the woman behind the counter said it was particularly manic for them.
The staff were incredibly friendly and made you feel very relaxed, despite the wait – we were sitting near some hungry, fidgety children and the staff were very kind to the kids.
The ‘Hasharooney’ section of the menu immediately called out to my fuzzy head and rumbling belly with its promise of FRIED CARBS (sautéed potatoes, fried eggs, cheese, chives and your choice of meat/veg). These was a choice of Hangover hash, Veggie hash, Spanish hash and Veggie Spanish hash, all thrown in and fried up together with cheese on top. I suggest you have a look at the menu for full descriptions of each as I am going to just mention my choice- The Meaty Hangover Hash.
Frankly anyone who is hungover who doesn’t choose to eat something called a ‘Meaty Hangover Hash’ is an idiot and deserves to stay hungover. This was one of the best cures I’ve found, second only to stealing my boyfriend’s magic cycling hydration tablets.
This included the hash basics, plus bacon, sausage, mushrooms and fried onions. The large option is very large and everything you could want to begin the process of feeling human again for £6.95. Warning: you will want to have a nap immediately after eating it.
Pete went for a more traditional Full English that included all the trimmings and also looked the part. He doesn’t like eggs and was given a mountain of beans instead. You have the option of three different sizes of Full English, with the biggest including the all important and often forgotten Black Pudding.
There is also an array of Veggie/Vegan options, sandwiches, brownies and healthier treats like granola and poached eggs; as well as a Kids breakfast menu. There probably isn’t anything on the menu I wouldn’t be happy to order and devour.
Any Other Business
Breakfast is served to 3pm on a Saturday and 2pm on a Sunday which is of course one of their many selling points as most of my other favourites stop serving breakfast at midday at the weekend.
Joe’s make a big point that they source from local suppliers which is always good to see. However they go one step further and include details of their suppliers on the menu, as well as how you can also order from them.
All in all, top breakfasts had by all in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
Last visited: Saturday 7 June