I am a freelance writer with a passion for art, photography, cooking, yoga, dancing and travelling. I have an Eastern European background and I love to explore new cultures, discover new things and share my experiences with the world.
Published October 18th 2015
Eastern European delis offer a variety of Russian, Polish, Latvian, Hungarian and Ukrainian products as well as home-cooked dishes. Most of the shops will stock a great selection of cured meats and fish, dairy, breads and pastries, preserved vegetables and pickles, and sweets.
Image courtesy of Insatiable Munch / Cropped by Off-shell via Wikimedia Commons
The traditional home made dishes include pelmeni (Russian style dumplings filled with meat), vareniki (Ukrainian style dumplings filled with potato, cottage cheese or sour cherries), golubtsi (cabbage rolls with rice and minced meat), blini (Russian crepes), and piroshky (pies filled with meat, potato, egg dip or cabbage), just to name a few.
Start immersing into Eastern European food culture by visiting Centre Road in Bentleigh. There you can find the Fine Gourmet Deli, which is one of the largest Eastern European delicatessens. Further down the road you will locate the Uncle Deli's shop, a family run business, which stocks traditional polish foods. Just thinking about their homemade cottage cheese blini makes my mouth water. Their smallgoods and pastries also deserve a special mention.
If you are looking for extended opening hours try European Bazaar on North Road, Ormond, it's up and running from 10am-9pm daily. They have a great assortment of Eastern European cakes such as Kiev cake, Soufflé Ptichye Moloko cake, Wafer cake Belocka and Honey cake Medovik. But undoubtedly the best Russian style Napoleon cake can be found at the European Flavour shop on Glen Huntly Road, Calufield. It is another family run business that specialises in authentic home cooked Eastern European dishes. Their pickled and marinated vegetables are a must try.
My final pick is Baker in the Rye located on Carlisle St, Balaclava. It's an artisan bakery and an Eastern European specialty food shop. And if you try their award-winning rye breads, European style doughnuts, and all other things baked you will understand why they just have to be on this list.
Have you been to any of these delis? What are your favourite Eastern European foods? What other delis deserve to be on the list?
Basically you're looking for the old Soviet block kinda deli which is visited by locals. If then the best places are Kozachok on Centre Road in Bentleigh and KLP International Deli on Balaclava. I am Russian myself and shop here and so do most of the other Soviets in Melbourne.