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Cheese room at Fourth Village
Photograph: Mitch Lui

The best Italian providores in Sydney

Italian delis, bakeries, grocers and cheese shops are dotted all across Sydney – here are eight of the best

By Carolina Are

There's something a little special about winter evenings spent picking at oily, fragrant Italian antipasti over a glass of red and some good conversation. Whether you’re after Neapolitan pastries, milky buffalo mozzarella, killer cured meats or just a bottle of top-notch olive oil from Italy’s ancient groves, these delis, bakeries, shops and providores are where you’ll find the best Italian produce in Sydney. Wondering where to pick up that bottle? Here are the best Sydney bottle shops that deliver. If you’re packing your goodies up in a wicker basket, here’s our pick of the 20 best picnic spots in Sydney

RECOMMENDED: Go out safely by following Sydney's social distancing rules

The best Italian providores in Sydney

Customers at Pasticceria Papa
Photograph: Daniel Cheng

1. Pasticceria Papa

Restaurants Cafés Haberfield

What to buy: biscotti
There are more types of biscotti than regions in Italy, and Pasticceria Papa does a great job showcasing them in their Haberfield shop. From amaretti to Nutella-filled Baci di Dama (dame’s kisses), lemon and almond biscotti and even Sambuca and almond pick-me-ups, walking into Papa’s is like stopping by your nonna’s house, in that you’ll probably leave five kilos heavier. Prices vary depending on weight, but you can get a pretty decent idea of the bakery’s best work with a box of five ($9).

2. Pasta Emilia Café

Restaurants Surry Hills

What to buy: truffle cream
The Pasta Emilia team make all their certified organic pastas and sauces in the kitchen connected to their trattoria-like Surry Hills restaurant. Pasta Emilia’s truffle cream sauce ($14), which they make with fine mushrooms and features a surprising spicy kick, is their most popular product among their pasta-craving clientele. You can eat in, or get it from the deli downstairs to take home for round two. Pair it with their house-made tortelli, filled pasta that comes in ten different flavours. We recommend matching the truffle cream with the pumpkin and ricotta or beetroot and chevre tortelli ($19.50).


3. Fourth Village Providore

Shopping Mosman

What to buy: all the cheeses
Head here for the kind of fresh fruit and veggies that belong in a Sicilian postcard. There are floor-to-ceiling shelves fit to bursting with preserves, condiments, spices and dry goods, and in the centre of the store is a veritable cornucopia of fresh produce, laid out in baskets, boxes, trays and barrels. Load up on spicy sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and air-freighted Buffalo mozzarella for the perfect Calabrese salad or peruse the vast selection in the dedicated cheese room for a cheese plate fit for a king.

4. Zanetti Five Star Delicatessen

Restaurants Haberfield

What to buy: truffles
Angelo Zanetti’s deli follows a family tradition started by his parents in 1957, when they started a fruit and veg shop so that Italian immigrants could get their favourite products from their homeland. Zanetti sells cheeses, juices, biscotti and pasta from all over Italy, but it prides itself of his Alba truffles, a delicacy harvested from Northern Italy. They don't have an online store for the moment – just wander in and pick up what you're craving. 


5. Pasticceria Tamborrino

Restaurants Five Dock

What to buy: Neapolitan sfogliatelle
For Italian bakers, butter is the enemy. You need it, but you shouldn’t taste it: that’s what differentiates real Italian pastries from mass-produced croissants. Enter Pasticceria Tamborrino. This bakery was opened in 2002 in Five-Dock by husband and wife Vincenzo and Cristina Tamborrino. They are both pastry chefs who spent more than 15 years perfecting their craft in Rome before moving to Sydney. Try their assortment of Southern Italian pastries, like the baba’ (small yeast cakes saturated in syrup made with rum and filled with whipped cream), lobster tail (a fragrant pastry filled with Chantilly cream) or the light yet indulgent ricotta-filled sfogliatelle.

6. Formaggi Ocello

Bars Surry Hills

What to buy: smoked mozarella
Formaggi Ocello has been open since 2009, and was born after a Euro trip inspired couple Carmelo and Sogna Ocello to import the finest and rarest Italian cheeses they could convince customs to let into the country. Since then, the couple have introduced many lesser known Italian cheeses to the Australian market, like the Robiola di Capra and mixed milk Robiola. Although Ocello sells over 200 cheeses, their smoked mozzarella ($18) is the shop’s real treat, a rarity even in most Italian regions. Coated in a soft, smoked shell, the mozzarella’s creamy filling is worth the slightly hefty price tag.


7. Deli Mercato

Restaurants Delis Five Dock

What to buy: olives
Deli Mercato’s olives are the right blend of Italian origins and Australian hard work. Owner Nancy Rafanaci Murdica brings them to Sydney all the way from Gaeta, in the central Italian region of Latio, near Rome, and then marinates them in the deli. If it’s not olives that you’re after, Deli Mercato offers one of Sydney’s most comprehensive displays of Italian produce in Australia, from tuna to Panettone, plus famous biscotti brands like Mulino Bianco. They even stock Italian cleaning products. Why? Because, in Nancy’s words, ‘people need to feel at home even when they’re on the other side of the world and their favourite brands from back home play a huge part in achieving that’.

Photograph: Supplied

8. Paesanella Food Emporium

Shopping Delis Marrickville

What to buy: buffalo mozzarella
These guys were one of the first pioneers to bring Italian cheeses to Australia – they’ve been making traditional mozzarella in their Marrickville-based shop since 1962. Umberto Somma and his wife Teresa originally opened Paesanella, and sons Joseph and Max now carry on the shop’s legacy. It’s where you go for quality bocconcini, cherry bocconcini, fior di latte, burrata, mascarpone and ricotta, all made in the Marrickville deli. 

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Pasta at Peppe's Bondi
Photograph: Katje Ford

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