By Simone Egger, goodfood.com.au: http://bit.ly/1NgLgUh

Smith & Deli’s made-to-order sandwiches and bagels bite back. It’s not only their names – Maury Ballstein, Hail Seitan, Club Sandwiches Not Seals – but their ingredients, with feisty pickles and sauerkraut in an impolitely large Reubenstein with pastrami and Russian dressing.

This second vegan venue from the gals of Smith & Daughters has the same animal-free ethos and neighbourly charm, plus ’50s New York sass. The counter-hands are ebullient in blue gingham shirts, Cherry Baby is on the speakers, and the old-school Hot Coffee and Fresh Produce signs suck you back 60 years or so.

It’s true to traditional New York Jewish delis, stocking vegan versions of pastrami, turkey and cheese, curried egg and tuna salad sold by weight. Take-home trays of lasagne and spanakopita are in the fridges, and there are pantry essentials (pretzels, tins of tomatoes) as well as a choice selection of fruit and veg.

Photo: Eddie Jim

Photo: Eddie Jim

Along with pies, soups, and pastries like challah sticky buns, this takeaway deli is almost a community service; open Tue-Sat 8am-7pm.

Smith & Deli, 111 Moor Street, Fitzroy