The pizza a taglio (pizza by the slice) line-up at Romanello depends on what day it is – and can vary wildly from one day to the next. That’s because the menu is driven by what’s on offer across the road at the Queen Vic Market, the sandwich shop’s “backyard”, as owner Damian Mammone describes it. Fresh picked figs? You’ll find them served on pizzas with cured meats like prosciutto. Pumpkin in season? It’ll be thinly sliced and on expertly crafted dough the Romanello cabinet.

Mammone is joined at Romanello by Italian-born chef and flour technician Alessandro Lunardi. After working in flour mills across Italy and around the world, Lunardi knows a thing or two about dough. Luddari say Romanello’s pizza dough is the love child of thin and crisp Tuscan flatbread schiacciata, and soft and fluffy focaccia. The result is a light dough that “you can go back for more of”.

Changing constantly, you might find white-based pizzas topped with sausage and potato, or mortadella and pistachio with an entire ball of burrata. Tomato-based pizzas, with toppings like roasted vegetables and bresaola, have also been a hit. There’s also a pizza topped with pineapple in the works – though Mammone concedes he still needs to “get the Italians on board” for that one.

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In addition to the pizzas, there are 12 made-to-order sandwiches that use produce from the market – such as cheese from That’s Amore, including burrata, and homemade sauces including pistachio pesto.

The crowd favourite so far is Joey Cutlets, with chicken schnitzel, red peppers, pesto and provolone. There’s always a vegan number on offer, and a gluten-free alternative is in the works. There are also Italian doughnuts and cannoli if you’re after something sweet.

Pizzas and sandwiches are ready from 9:30am, but stop by earlier and there’ll be breakfast croissants with fillings like egg and pancetta.

To drink, there’s Roasting Warehouse coffee (including $2 “when in Rome” espressos) and Italian-made Cortese Organic soft drinks in flavours including chinotto (orange), limonata and aranciata rossa (blood orange). Once the venue’s liquor licence is approved, there’ll be Italian beers and spiked seltzers on offer, too.

The colourful, bright red shop oozes a playful, old-school Italian energy. Mammone worked with a team of Spanish graphic designers and sketch artists Olga Capdevila and Pol Solsona Studio to create several sketches and characters that embody this cheeky Italian energy. Keep an eye out for them around the shop. While there is no seating inside, you can pull up a footpath seat and chill while you eat, drink and watch the marketgoers.

Romanello
93 Therry Street, Melbourne
No phone

Hours:
Tues to Fri 8am–3pm
Sat to Sun 8am–4pm

@romanello.au