In Italian, ‘alimentari’ translates to ‘nutritional food’, or ‘groceries’.
This is the idea on which Paddington Alimentari has grown over the last few decades, evolving from an authentic delicatessen to a one-stop shop for all your gourmet Italian needs.
The delicatessen and cafe has been a Paddington icon since its inception more than 70 years ago. Originally owned and operated by an Italian family under the name, Travoto and then Bonaventura’s, it was more than just a place to buy food – it was a community hub.
In the late 1990s, the heritage building was put up for sale, with a number of developers circling. However, long-time customer Laraine Russo was able to win the battle, taking ownership and injecting new life into the venue while ensuring that it remained at the heart of the community. The deli was refurbished, uniting the historical exterior with a modern fitout; the perfect representation of Paddington Alimentari’s overarching concept.
The tone is set as soon as you walk in the door: a ‘salve’ sign greets visitors as they enter, and the dulcet waves of the Italian language ricochet from one end of the space to another. In fact, if you closed your eyes, you could be transported to Florence. It’s worth keeping them open though – you’ll be delighted by wooden ladders that hold sprigs of oregano, hanging legs of prosciutto and baskets full of produce.
The combination of modern meets traditional extends to the culinary offerings. Each item on the seasonal menu is prepared using only the finest quality ingredients from suppliers who have been involved with the deli from the start. Take a seat at one of the high tables to enjoy a freshly prepared salad, panini, quiche, cake or soup, among other options.
Quality is always the most important factor for Laraine, which is one of the reasons she uses Allpress coffee. Customers have come to associate Paddington Alimentari with Allpress’ flavoursome Carmelo blend – a key selling point for many.
Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee with a sweet snack outside under the cover of the leafy tree. If you can’t choose between inside or out, visit on a warmer day when the windows open right up, allowing the two spaces to blend seamlessly.
If you don’t have time to stay, the deli counter offers an extensive selection of cheese, meat, olives and takeaway meals. The friendly Italian staff are happy to help by offering advice for the perfect antipasto platter created from their awe-inspiring selection.
An inner-city oasis offering only the finest quality deli ingredients and a selection of Italian sweet and savoury snacks, there’s no doubting Paddington Alimentari is set to remain the unofficial heart of the suburb for another 70 years at least.