Places and Spaces: This Melbourne Deli Is Basically Our Dream Kitchen

Delicatessens and swoon-worthy interiors aren't terms we tend to use in the same sentence—until now. Melbourne's newest foodie destination Via Porta combines both a delicious selection of take-home meals and artisanal cheeses with a space that will transport you directly to the cobblestoned alleyways of Italy. Did we mention that there's also an incredibly lush eatery if you'd prefer to dine in and get the full Italian experience complete with brunch with a twist and a cup of expertly-roasted coffee?

Siblings Ryan, Simon, Jonathan and Sarah Cosentino have merged their vibrant Italian upbringing with Melbourne's prominent brunch scene to create a dining destination that we're very excited about. Having cut their teeth running the previous family cafe nearby and refining their culinary skills at restaurants such as Rare Hare on the Mornington Peninsula and French eatery PM24, Ryan and Simon are at the helm of the Italian-fused menu, while Jonathan mans the front of house and Sarah is in charge of design.

Speaking of design, Sarah, co-director of Studio Esteta has completely nailed the brief when it comes to the dreamy interiors here. In an attempt to capture the nostalgic essence of Italy, floors are paved with stone offcuts in rich earthy tones and walls and surfaces are clad in tactile limestone. While the palette could be described as neutral, the finishes and materials selected by Sarah are anything but standard. Sweeping curved benchtops, ceilings and banquet seating soften the different zones and welcome you to get comfortable.

Via Porta is divided up into a few different zones which give it a particularly exhilarating buzz come Saturday morning. You'll find locals sipping espressos at the bar (clad in the most delicious honey-toned marble), people brunching on french toast with vanilla custard and caramelised apple, and a line of loyal customers out to secure the finest cold cuts in the city. The Cosentino team of siblings have joined their respective talents and drawn on their childhood memories and traditional Italian food experiences to create a place where spectacular cuisine and delicious coffee meets stunning interior decor that lets you pretend you're in Rome for a few hours. Via Porta is securely at the top of our Melbourne to-do list.

Photography by Sean Fennessy.

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