If the mark of a good fruit and veg shop is just-picked freshness, then the mark of an excellent deli is almost the opposite. These places are all about preserving, salting, brining, pickling, fermenting, curing and drying some of nature’s most interesting offerings, and celebrating the world’s most complex and compelling flavours. That means funky blue cheeses, slices of fatty porchetta, briny green olives, bobbing blobs of burrata, rich oils and astringent vinegars, along with everything else you never knew you needed.
Delis preserve more than just food – they’re cultural snapshots, community hubs and flag bearers for age-old traditions. They’re also just darn good places to pop in for a look around, a bargain continental sandwich, or to assemble a winning snack platter. However you slice it, Sydney’s got a host of delis overflowing with delicious goods. We’ve searched the city far and wide, and this is our guide to some of the best (and what to look out for).