When I first moved to Sydney in 2006, I had a bit of a hard time figuring out where I could buy authentic Italian food. At the beginning, it did not matter too much as I was too busy discovering all the new goodies I had never tried before, but as time passed I found myself longing for some good old Italian meals. It took me a while to find out what shops sell what, where to get the best bread or the brand of pasta I prefer. So I thought of creating this page to help out all Sydneysiders who want to eat original Italian food, but do not know where to shop for it. This may even help some Italian people who have recently moved here and save them all the trouble I went through.
I am going to write a somewhat fluid list in the sense that it will get updated as often as I find new shops/products etc. I would also greatly appreciate your input. If you know any other places, please leave a comment!
Cassaniti Bakery – Haberfield
I find the best bread here and at an excellent price. I am addicted to their ciabatte! Just perfect!
Cassaniti Bakery Haberfield
153 Ramsay Street – Habefield
Ph: 61 2 9797 7715
Fax: 61 2 9798 0166
AC Butchery – Leichhardt
They sell good quality meat. If you want to buy something to make Italian food, ask to be served by one of the Italian guys who work there… they know what is the right cut for the dish! I love their Italian sausages (with fennel) and their beef schnitzels for cotolette as they are thin just like the ones you buy in Italy. They also sell the perfect meat for bollito, have very good cotechini and salami.
This is also the place where I buy guanciale and Italian speck (which they make). If you want to buy Italian speck, please make sure to ask the Italian people who work there as not everybody there knows about it and they tend to sell other speck. The Italian speck looks very similar to prosciutto, but it is smoked. Make sure to check it out before you buy it.
If you want to make your own sausage like me, you will be able to also buy sausage casing here (call them ahead of time to make sure they have it at the shop).
AC Butchery – Leichhardt
174 Marion Street
Ph: 61 2 9569 8687
Paesanella – Haberfield
They have some good Italian cheese and they make some of their own too. I particularly like their stracchino.
TIP: Whenever you buy stracchino, make sure the cheese is soft and creamy. If the water separates from the cheese (which makes it chalky), then it is spoilt.
88 Ramsay St
Ph: 61 2 9799 8483
Pasticceria Papa – Haberfield
I still have to try more of their delicious looking sweets, but their almond based cookies are really good.
They also sell good baker’s style pizza, like the ones you would eat in Italy.
145 Ramsay St
Ph: 61 2 9799 9531
Fax: 61 2 9798 2054
Caffè Sicilia – Surry Hills
This is a place I bumped into by chance and I highly recommend it for a real Italian espresso or cappuccino… the best in town!
Everything in it reminds me of Italy. Even the people who work there are all Italian and speak Italian. They also sell food and pastries and, even though I have not tried them yet, they look authentic.
628 Crown Street, Surry Hills, Australia
Ph: 61 2 9699 8787
GROCERY and DELI
Norton St Grocer – Leichhardt
I love this place. It is a bit more expensive than other grocery stores, but it has a wider choice of products. Here I buy some pasta (they usually have Divella and Garofalo, which I love), some cheeses (Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Provolone piquant, Taleggio, Fontal… and lots of other European cheeses). Always make sure to ask for the Italian stuff… they also sell Australian Pecorino cheese, and trust me… it’s not what you want. It is made with cow’s milk (!!!)… weird for a cheese whose name means “of sheep”, right?
I also often buy Prosciutto di Parma (or San Daniele) from here. I have already said this on my Facebook page, but I think this is a better place where to say this. I often have a problem having Prosciutto sliced correctly, which means PAPER THIN and with some FAT on. Removing the fat makes your prosciutto DRY and SALTY, instead of the soft and sweet prosciutto that you would expect. Please, watch the video below and REQUEST your Deli to cut it properly… a little fat is good!
I love the pure pork salami that they sell. They keep it inside the fridge at the back… make sure to ask for pure pork salami (the “Italian” one).
I also buy Mortadella from here. Request that they cut it paper thin, just like Prosciutto, it will taste much better (even though Italian Mortadella is still much better than what is sold in Australia).
They also sell lovely olives, sundried tomatoes, capers, anchovies, Mutti tomato concentrate, cookies (Mulino Bianco are a must), grissini, polenta, pasta flour, 00 flour, things to make sweets with (like Tortagel, the transparent jelly I use for fruit tarts), gelatine sheets, vanillina, flavourings, etc.
Norton St Grocer
Norton St Plaza, Leichhardt NSW
Ph: 61 2 9572 7511
This is a smaller grocery store that still sells quite a bit a good quality Italian products. I find they sell a wider variety of pasta (both brands and shapes) than any other store. They also have a good deli section.
Zanetti 5 Star Delicatessen
108 Ramsay St, Haberfield, NSW
Ph: 61 2 9798 4076
A small suburban Italian deli where you can find lots of good Italian products at a cheaper price. If you don’t see what you are looking for, ask the nice Italian ladies at the counter… they have lots of stuff that is kept at the back of the store! Here I get the BEST sliced Prosciutto (Parma or San Daniele). Make sure you tell them to cut it “the Italian way”… they know how it is done!
t224/1A North Terrace Bankstown NSW 2200
Ph: 61 2 9791 9181
FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Mirage Fruit Barn
Here I usually buy zucchini flowers. Look out for them, especially in spring. They sell them cheaper than other places and they are always fresh.
Mirage Fruit Barn (C D B Pty Limited)
Shop 2 194-202 Marion St
Leichhardt, NSW 2040, Australia
Phone:(02) 9564 2079