A decent delicatessen is a given in Melbourne, with our rich cultural history that embraces most European countries. Different parts of town naturally cater for different tastes, flavours and ingredients for their local residents but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get in the car and explore the eclectic, the traditional and the delicious.
We’ve put together a listing of some of our favourite local delis from Balaclava to Coburg.
Walk in and take a deep breath – the heady scents of garlic, paprika, chill and cured salty pork hang in the air. Casa Iberica is a long-standing bastion of all things Spanish and South & Central American; think bacala, chorizo and chilli as well as shelves heaving with oils, tinned tomatoes, tinned fish, pulses and cookware. Looking for a paella pan? This is the place for that and for simply getting excited about good Spanish food.
Very recently opened, Bezela on Elgin Street is one of the first completely free-range delis to be up and running and is already gaining quite a following. Purchase your hams, eggs and salamis knowing they are sourced from free-range producers, and as it’s in the heartland of good Italian food (Carlton), there is a variety of choice here including meats from Hungary and Germany and dishes from Poland too – the Pierogi (Polish dumplings) are delicious and very easy to cook at home.
105 Elgin Street, Carlton
(03) 9347 9393
A central hub in Albert Park shopping strip, this family-run business is the spot for good coffee and take-home meals, and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s still a great deli too with a smart array of oils, vinegars, cheeses and sauces and the buzz never stops day or night (it’s open from 5.30am most days).
29 Dundas Place, Albert Park
(03) 9699 9594
O'Hea's Bakery & Deli
This was primarily a bakery producing great sourdough breads but it has expanded and evolved to become the name on everyone’s lips in the northern part of town. O’Hea’s covers the gamut of good deli produce but the croissants, panini and coffee are conversation stoppers.
203 O'Hea Street, Coburg
(03) 9354 8070
Lorgen International Deli
International with a focus on Eastern European produce, particularly from Hungary, Poland and Russia, Lorgen is a supermarket and deli where you can buy Polish jams and Russian cottage cheese as well as breads, cold meats and a veritable feast of dumplings, soups and hearty comfort food.
236 Carlisle Street, Balaclava
(03) 9534 6121
Go on a Saturday morning and be prepared to wait. Bill’s Farm has its own loyal following that wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else for their cheeses, proscuitto, olives and antipasti. The service is swift though, so it’s worth making the commitment and waiting to get to front at the glass cabinet bursting with deli goodness.
Shop 17-18, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
(03) 9328 2003