I finally made it into Melbourne’s first all vegan deli and holy moly, it’s magnificent! Smith & Deli sells a range of breads (vegan olive loaf, drool), fresh dips, sweet and savoury take away food, and a wide range of groceries. Everything from Gardein mock meats, to non dairy ice creams, hot sauce, ramen noodles, and everything in between. They even make their own Lox – faux smoked salmon – which I was told begins it’s life as watermelon. “Then witchcraft” said the charming young girl who served me. Their prices were also surprisingly good considering the vegan fare that’s on offer.
I’ll tell you a little about my Day of the Deli, which started at 8am and ended when we finished the last pastry. Which was well after dinner. We started the day of decadence with a coffee (a non dairy milk flat white) that turned out to be exactly how I like it. The barista definitely knows what she’s doing with soy milk.
Our first experience with their take away options was breakfast. An Egg McMartinez and an Everything Bagel with cream cheese, Lox, onion and capers. My husband Sam said the Egg McMartinez tasted exactly like his childhood, and I just thought it was a freaking delicious muffin. The kind you want to magically appear when you’re feeling a little seedy.
The bagel was also delicious, though the “realness” of the magical Lox was a bit much for me. I would definitely do the bagel again, minus the fake fish.
We could easily have walked straight back into the deli for more at this point, but we decided to wait until 11 when they started serving the lunch menu. Oh boy. Choosing from the menu was the only downside to this heavenly place.
When we went back for lunch, after much second guessing we decided on a Ruebenstein and a Home Alone. The former being their take on the classic New York Rueben sandwich, and the latter being a complete Christmas dinner stuffed into a roll. Check them out:
The Rubenstein was the winner of the day for both of us. The bread was beautiful, the sourkraut was plentiful and tasty, the faux pastrami was delicious, and the pickle was the best pickle I’ve ever had in Australia. We will definitely be back for more of these.*
The Home Alone was pretty great as well, though definitely overshadowed by the Ruebenstein. The Brussels sprouts were perfectly done, the cranberry sauce was just like Christmas, and the faux turkey was excellent. I did find it a little tricky to get the enormous roll into my mouth, so I was glad I was only being seen by one person. Benefits to take away only!
At this point I was basically incapable of eating anything else, but we had ordered a Vegemite Scroll and some desserts as well. We do things like that. We really love food. So we hardened up and got into this delightful little thing while she was still fresh out of the oven:
The Vegemite Scroll was exactly as it should be, and I enjoyed making Sam (born and raised in the USA) eat another thing with vegemite on it. He’ll come around… I know he will.
When we finally thought we could do it we tried the two sweets we’d bought, the Cinnamon and Pecan Challa and the Vanilla Slice. Both were incredible. I don’t think anything these girls do could be less than amazing.
Have you been to Smith & Deli yet? Have you picked a favourite anything? Or like me do you find it hard enough to choose lunch – let alone a favourite… Melbourne, you’ve done it again ❤
You can read more reviews for Smith & Deli on Broadsheet, Good Food, Veganopoulous, Time Out, and of course HappyCow, but keep in mind that literally everybody who steps foot in there falls under their spell. So basically, all of the reviews are no less than amazing.
Thank you for choosing truly cruelty free delis! 😉
*Speaking of vegan Ruebens, if you are ever in D.C. make sure you get to Sticky Fingers Bakery and make their Rueben one of the many things you order. Yum.