Vegan and deli may not be two words you put together, but perhaps you haven't been to Shift. Meet Shift Eatery, Sydney's first vegan deli. Opened on Commonwealth Street in September 2017, Shift is a sleek cafe and shop specialising in hearty, healthy food, sans animal products. The idea for the store was spawned by owner James Danaskos's own turn to veganism a few years back and his desire to create more places for people looking to eat less or no meat.
The cafe has everything you would expect from a concept cafe in the age of Instagram: lattes of every hue (pink pitaya unicorn, blue pea, green matcha and golden turmeric), smoothie bowls and picture-perfect vegan sweets courtesy of Treat Dreams and Nutie. But outside of the colourful treats, the main food menu is a goldmine of casual, vegan fare. The sandwich and toastie menu features vegan twists on traditional sambos — ham and cheese, tuna and mayo and Steve, the Reuben's vegan brother stuffed with corned 'beef', pickles, kraut, cheese and russian dressing — with a few pun-filled monikers thrown in for good measure, like the No Whey Jose made up of Cuban 'ham', pulled jackfruit, vegan cheese and housemade sauce. Like any true deli, Shift is also stocked with ingredients to takeaway including kimchi, granola and vegan ice cream pints.