Marrickville’s bagel itch needed scratching and Lox in a Box owners Candy Berger and Gaia Lovell were more than happy to oblige. First came their takeaway trailer, which quickly saw queues spilling onto the street. Now their new spot 15 minutes up the road, The Corner Deli, is just as slammed.
“It’s busier than we expected, which is a lovely thing,” Berger tells Broadsheet. “The Corner Deli has definitely been our steepest learning curve – we’re wrapping our heads around a new style of dining that we’ve never offered before – but the community has been super supportive.”
Since opening the first Bondi shop in 2019, the wife-and-wife team launched takeaway bagel spots around town at a steady clip. Until now, they’ve never offered proper dine-in – or many food options beyond its beloved ring-shaped rolls. The Corner Deli takes full advantage of its bigger space and bigger kitchen, belting out a series of breakfast and lunch options inspired by their respective family histories.
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“Our great-grandparents [both] owned delis in the UK,” says Berger. “So delis have been in our families for a long time. But since moving to Sydney, I’ve thought that Sydney’s been lacking in the Jew-‘ish’ deli space – I put the ‘ish’ in finger quotes, because we’re definitely not traditional.”
The bulk of the menu is made up of family recipes for Jewish staples such as matzo ball soup (which is currently on a warm-weather-induced hiatus) and latkes, plus dishes inspired by Berger’s earliest food memories like hot salt beef on rye (only available on Sundays). But The Corner Deli is certainly not kosher. “Jewish delis back in the day would not mix meat and dairy together, and we love that combination,” says Berger. “So it’s old meets new – family recipes mixed with dishes from staff and our travels around the world, which wouldn’t traditionally be at a Jewish deli.”
One example is the brisket-stuffed brekkie burrito, which tastes like an LA taco truck and a New York Jewish deli did a Parent Trap-style life swap. Instead of bacon, the protein is chopped brisket, while latke stands in for crispy potatoes. Rolled up with scrambled eggs, hot sauce and a slaw, it’s crazy good.
Other highlights from the new menu include a high tea for two, which arrives on a tiered platter with cured fish, schmears, condiments and bagels. Sweet breakfast fans should look no further than a chocolate babka French toast that comes topped with banana cream, maple syrup and cherry compote. There are also all of the bagels – and fillings – that you’d find at your typical Lox in a Box outpost.
The space is as visually distinct as the other members of its family. Sign artist Nathan Pickering has deployed a dry-brush technique to give the lettering on the facade a worn-in vibe, with Berger handling the rest of the fit-out – which involved many late-night Facebook Marketplace hustles.
Just two weeks out of the gates, The Corner Deli feels like it’s been here forever. A word for the wise: it can get very busy during the peak hours. Until things cool down over the next couple of weeks, if you’re headed in on a weekend, be sure to visit off-peak – one-hour either side of noon should do the trick.
The Corner Deli by Lox in a Box
312 Illawarra Road, Marrickville
Mon to Sun 8am–3pm