The cheese selection at Fresh Provisions, Mt Lawley

I was so sad to see Antonio’s close.  We used to live just down the road when my boys were very young and I have very fond memories of buying freshly made pizzas on Saturday mornings, of the wonderful owners and staff who always gave the boys treats and let me try cheeses, olives or cold meats before I bought them, and the fantastic range of specialist items they had in store. But all is not lost.  We are blessed to have a number of other Continental Deli’s in the local area that also provide the same level of friendly, personal service and access to more specialist grocery lines that what’s supplied in the average Coles or Woolworths supermarket.  Here are three of my favourites, in no particular order, as well as some other places within a short drive that you might like to try:

Smoults

1. Smoult’s Continental Deli, opposite the Maylands train station on Whatley Crescent, Maylands.  Cheese, meats, freshly prepared rolls & meals (including pizza’s), breads from The Woodfired Baker on Eighth and a large range of specialty chocolates and grocery items are on offer.  The team also provide a catering service, picnic and gift hampers. Best of all is their friendly service and Saturday and weekend barbeques out the front of the store featuring gourmet hot dogs and free range egg and bacon rolls – drooling yet?

Pimlott and Strand

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2. Pimlott & Strand, North Perth Plaza, Fitzgerald Street, North Perth.  A deli & cafe combined, you can browse Pimlott & Strand’s gourmet offerings at your leisure with one of their excellent coffees in hand. With a focus on great food, the store offers a catering service, hampers and pre-prepared take-home dishes as well as dine-in coffee, cake, breakfast and lunch options.  There is a small but highly select range of all the gourmet items you’d expect from a deli as well as a selection of high quality local and imported pantry staples and produce. Well worth checking out if you haven’t been there already.

3. Fresh Provisions (pic at the top).  I know, it borders on feeling like a supermarket, but it does have a large range of cheeses (mostly pre-cut and wrapped though), fresh locally made breads, cold meats and local and imported deli items as well as a very large range of gourmet pantry staples, fresh fruit and veg, meat, fish and dairy products.  I often pop in to buy sheep’s milk yoghurt , Yalla Hummus (which is my absolute favourite), goat’s cheese stuffed olives, exotic spice blends and fresh salad leaves and herbs that I sometimes struggle to find elsewhere.

4. The others.  For a traditional and larger Continental Deli experience you can’t go past Charlie’s on Broun Avenue in Morley, the Re Store on Oxfort Street in Leederville or, for that matter, Kakulas Brothers in William Street, Northbridge (if you can be bothered trying to find a park which can be a problem at the latter).  I love going to Charlie’s – it’s full of Nonna’s, Nonno’s, and other locals looking for good quality local and imported meats, cheese, olives and antipasti as well as fresh pastas and other deli and continental items at reasonable prices – a relatively large store, you can spend hours perusing the aisles.  The Re Store is the place to go for your Continental Role fix and the aromas once you’re there will transport you straight to Europe – you can feel the calories piling on if you stare at the cheese and deli counters for too long. All of these stores have loyal followers who have been going back regularly for years.  If you want a more traditional supermarket experience when buying your deli items, then 2nd Avenue Plaza IGA would be my pick of the bunch – it treads somewhere between Fresh Provisions and Coles in its approach with not quite as big a gourmet range as the former but certainly a better range than the latter.

Have I missed any? Which are your favourites? Were you an Antonio’s regular and do you have any special memories from shopping there? Leave a comment and let us know.