Platters piled high with herby salads, tiers of almond-dotted biscotti, a cacophony of espresso-machine whirrs. Since it opened in 2013, Alimentari Smith Street has felt like a slice of Europe in Melbourne.

That’s just how the founders intended it. Husband and wife Paul and Linda Jones, and Meaghan Gorski are behind the daytime-dining stalwart, which is inspired by their travels overseas.

On any given day, the glass-fronted display is stocked with at least 20 different veg-heavy salads and dishes (like harissa-roasted carrots or fried zucchini flowers with stracciatella) that you can mix and match, all payable by weight. There are also grab-and-go sandwiches.

Arrive before 11am to find a breakfast-friendly deli spread that might include fresh and poached fruit, Bircher muesli, flaky bacon-and-egg pies or slices of Spanish tortilla. You can also expect made-to-order breakfast, the most notable of which is the clay-pot-baked eggs with olives, tomato, cucumber, labneh and flatbread. A selection of juices and smoothies is also available.

Like the menu, the neighbouring goods store has a global feel largely informed by the owners’ travels. Think gorgeous glassware, statement plates and tagines, left-of-centre candles, and a whole lot more.

The main space extends to include an 80-seat eatery and sunny rear courtyard with friendly table service. And tucked at the back of the goods store is a tiny Sicilian pastry stand stocked by Marianna Di Bartolo of West Melbourne’s now-closed Dolcetti.

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Updated: November 22nd, 2022

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