Roadtest: Deli hopping in Five Dock

The spotlight is on Five Dock this issue, with the annual Ferragosto street fair set to hit Great North Road on August 17th.

One of the best things about Ferragosto is all the Italian food, from the pizza to the gelato. Though nothing quite screams ‘Italia’ more than a panino filled with cheese and salami. Fortunately, salami, prosciutto, olives and all manner of cheese are not hard to come by in Five Dock, and in honour of the area’s Italian heritage, we visited the strip’s famous delicatessens to stock up on our favourite antipasti…

Ranieri’s continental Delicatessen 

Ranieri’s Deli is one of the oldest and most authentic Italian delis in the Inner West; it’s been family run for generations and is a favourite among locals. They have a huge range of cold meats, cheeses and 15 varieties of marinated olives in the window. There’s also much more on the shelves of this narrow shop from pasta and Italian biscuits to their own brand of coffee and rarities like chestnut honey. When I visited, the deli was bustling with people; some getting fresh bread rolls made up for lunch and others buying for home. I overheard one lady commenting that she only gets invited to her friend’s place for dinner if she obliges to bring along something delicious from Ranieri’s – that says it all really. While some of the staff members are less friendly than others, the service is quick and my salami was sliced perfectly.

Rizzo’s Deli  

Similarly to Ranieri’s, the window of Rizzo’s deli is straight out of an Italian village with bread rolls and assorted products on display, including Felce Azzurra bathroom products, which are popular among the older Italians in the area. Located just a few doors down from their competitors, they are smaller than Ranieri’s but have a decent variety of deli goods in their fridge as well as arancini, which are well priced at $4.50. While they don’t have as much additional shelf stock, they have a good range of ground coffee, their selection of Italian DVDs is a point of difference and the atmosphere is nice; I was greeted as soon as I walk into the shop.

Farinhas Continental Deli

Farinhas is more of a mini supermarket than a deli, and it’s the newest of the bunch so it feels quite modern and spacious. There’s plenty on offer in the deli window from 16 types of marinated olives, cold meats, a variety of local and imported cheese plus more in the open fridge where you can buy grated parmesan and Italian cheeses by the block. There’s also a small range of fresh fruit and veggies, which they are planning to expand and are currently seeking feedback on from the community. Other products include pasta, canned tomatoes, spices, biscuits and even Farinhas gift cards (for the person that has everything). Service was a little slow as there’s a deli counter and separate check-out but staff are friendly.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply