Fitzroy's Smith & Deli morphs into Spanish-style vegan deli

The revamped interior of Smith & Deli in Fitzroy.
The revamped interior of Smith & Deli in Fitzroy. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Shannon Martinez has reimagined her vegan takeaway Smith & Deli into the Spanish-style delicatessen she always wanted it to be, complete with meatless cold cuts, eggless tortillas and cheese-free stuff-your-face sandwiches. They're all displayed in gleaming glass cases alongside vegan-anyway deli staples such as olives and smoky baba ghanoush.

The corner brick building has been opened up and there's now a clear view into the busy kitchen, though there's no way casual watchers will work out how the Deli crew turn watermelon into smoked salmon or wheat protein and beetroot into spookily satisfying brisket.

Chef Shannon Martinez is the magician who conceives these mock meat marvels. After parting ways with co-founder Mo Wyse, she's now a sole owner of the business (and its parent restaurant Smith & Daughters). You might see her shaving juicy "roast beef" paper-thin on the gleaming meat slicer or filling up a basket with her witchily buttery no-butter croissants.

The vegan reuben sandwich at Smith & Deli.
The vegan reuben sandwich at Smith & Deli. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Deli 2.0 is focusing more on in-house production than stocking other vegan product lines so the fridges are full of Smith & Deli comestibles such as pasta sauce, aioli, pâté, oozy fudge sauce and take-home meals.

Some things haven't changed: queues can still stretch around the corner, but a new take-a-number ordering system and a no-modification policy on the sandwich front helps things tick over faster.

Open Tue-Sat 8am-6pm.

The vegan cold cuts look spookily like the real deal
The vegan cold cuts look spookily like the real deal Photo: Chris Hopkins

111 Moor Street, Fitzroy, 03 9042 4117, smithanddaughters.com