Australia’s largest vegan food hub is coming to Collingwood this November

Published on 8 September 2021

Photo: Shannon Martinez is bringing her plant-based fare to Collingwood (Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen)

Plant-based eating is set to reach new heights as Shannon Martinez’s restaurant and deli come together under one huge roof in Melbourne’s north.

Coming in November, Smith & Daughters’ new backstreet location in Collingwood will combine the two arms of Martinez’s culinary business -  her acclaimed restaurant and popular deli-slash-providore, Smith & Deli. The ambition?  To house the largest plant-based food hub in the country, nay the world.

The 500-square-metre lot is part-high-end diner and bar, part-delicatessen.The deli will lean more Spanish than Martinez’s projects to date and will now offer casual, affordable dining from its new cafeteria. It will feature a rotation of hot meals from the carvery, salads, snacks and pastry counter sweets, and booze and soda on tap with seating for up to 30 for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

On the restaurant side, the new, bigger establishment is a coming-of-age for both Smith & Daughters and Martinez herself, who wants to see the venue leave behind some of the rock’n’roll edge that its current Brunswick Street location is known for. In its place, expect gothic elegance, inspired by  fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

“Smith and Daughters has always been a little grungy, which I have loved, but it’s time for it to grow up a little,” she says.

On the food side, the kitchen will stay close to the Italian-inspired Mediterranean fare that has cemented Martinez as an authority on plant-based dining. The venue will also stock vegan groceries, cheeses and meats and will offer fresh take-home meals.

We may still be in lockdown but the timing felt right for Martinez. “I’m sick of waiting until things get better. If not now, when? If last year taught me anything, it’s that life’s short, so just go for it.”

Smith & Daughters, 107 Cambridge Street, Collingwood,

By Jonathan Sasson

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