How many great desserts are there in Melbourne? How long is a piece of string? Sugar lovers are well catered for in the southern capital - but we’ve whittled down the top 20 desserts that make Melbourne tick.

Croissant at Lune Croissanterie, Fitzroy

Is it a dessert? Is it breakfast? Is it a stand-alone meal? You’ll have plenty of time to contemplate those questions standing in the queue at the single-minded Lune Croissanterie, where patissiere Kate Reid serves the most delectable croissants outside of Paris.

119 Rose Street, Fitzroy; (03) 9419 2320

Cannoli at Rosa’s Canteen, city

At Rosa Mitchell’s classy Italian canteen there’s no mistaking the crisp perfection of the fried pastry, the boozy good fun of the creamy centre and the finishing-school sprinkle of crushed pistachio.

1 Thomson Street, Melbourne, (03) 9602 5491

Tiramisu at Tipo 00, city

They cutely call it Tipomisu, but we’re going to let them get away with it. Why? Because at this artisanal pasta bar of our dreams the sweet end is held up by a gutsy, fudgy take on the Italian sponge with mascarpone, chocolate caramel and so much coffee you might be awake all night.

361 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne; (03) 9942 3946

20 Desserts You Must Try in Melbourne

Cheesecake at Il Bacaro, city

A heavenly, painterly display of cheesecake sweetened with agave nectar, with crystallised violet, pop rocks, blueberry sorbet and fairy floss. Extravagantly, over-the-top good.

168-170 Little Collins Street, Melbourne; (03) 9654 6778

SEE ALSO: One Perfect Day in Melbourne

Banana roti at Chin Chin, city

Melbourne’s busiest restaurant has a humdinger of a backpacker’s dessert: grilled banana, roti, condensed milk, nutella and cinnamon sugar. Just add passport.

125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne; (03) 8663 2000

Gelato at Gelateria Primavera, city

On a warm or a not-so-warm night, nothing beats an old-fashioned pistachio gelato at Primavera, churned daily and kept under stainless steel lids to maintain the freshness.

157 Spring Street, Melbourne; (03) 9639 0335

Rum baba at Cumulus Inc, city

You have to love a place that hands you the bottle of Havana Club rum to soak into the sponge for a booze-sodden rum baba, served hot with crème patissiere. It’s a test of moral courage many are bound to fail, but we appreciate the gesture.

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne; (03) 9650 1445

20 Desserts You Must Try in Melbourne

Panqueques at San Telmo, city

No meat-fest at this Argentinian steakhouse is complete without a final flourish of ginger crepes rolled with dulce de leche.

14 Meyers Place, Melbourne; (03) 9650 5525

Floating island at Philippe Restaurant, city

Whisper-light meringue in a puddle of crème anglaise – and then Philippe Mouchel gives the classic French dessert an Aussie spin with passionfruit curd.

115 Collins Street, Melbourne; (03) 8394 6625

SEE ALSO: 10 Things to Do in Melbourne on a Rainy Day

Rhubarb and buerre noisette tart at Syracuse, city

Any dessert Philippa Sibley cooks is bound to be wonderful, but at Syracuse the stand-out is her classic rhubarb and beurre noisette tart: all gooey frangipane richness with sweet rhubarb, rose geranium ice-cream and strawberry sorbet.

23 Bank Place, Melbourne; (03) 9670 1777

20 Desserts You Must Try in Melbourne

Tarte tatin at Bistro Vue, city

Shannon Bennett’s take on the French farmhouse classic would surely win the approval of the Tatin sisters: a humungous thing good for two, it’s the epitome of caramelised fruit perfection.

430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne; (03) 9691 3838

Hot jam doughnut at American Doughnut Kitchen, Queen Victoria Market

A sugar-dusted hot doughnut straight from the fryer, with a molten core of strawberry jam that threatens to take the skin off your chin. Bliss.

Queen Victoria Market, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne; (03) 9417 6415

Chocolate parfait at Supernormal, city

Chef Andrew McConnell has many dishes the punters call classic and this is one of them – a super-rich chocolate, salted caramel and peanut butter parfait. There’d be a riot on Flinders Lane if it ever went off the menu.

180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne; (03) 9650 8688

20 Desserts You Must Try in Melbourne

Golden lava mini-bun at Din Tai Fung, city

Beware the golden lava – the hot egg custard will destroy all in its wake when it spills out of the fluffy steamed dessert bun at dumpling king Din Tai Fung.

287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne; (03) 9654 1876

Turkish delight at Rumi, East Brunswick

One of the world’s most divisive desserts wins converts by the truckload at Levantine-leaning East Brunswick restaurant Rumi, where it’s fresher than fresh and delicately fragrant with rosewater.

116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East; (03) 9388 8255

Lemon tart at Entrecote, South Yarra

No frills – just a simple Meyer lemon tart with just enough sourness to chase away the ill effects of a whole lot of Champagne.

131-133 Domain Road, South Yarra; (03) 9804 5468

SEE ALSO: The Insider's Guide to South Melbourne 

Tipsy cake at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Southbank

The pineapples roasting on a spit – a centerpiece of the open kitchen – are a siren song to order the scone-like, brandy-sauced pudding with a segment of scorched fruit.

Crown Towers, Level 3, 8 Whitman Street, Southbank; (03) 9292 5779

20 Desserts You Must Try in Melbourne

Image: Ashley Palmer Watts

The bombe at Donovans, St Kilda

No standing on ceremony here: the bombe is a bombe Alaska, and at this St Kilda foreshore institution they’ve been serving it in its porcupine-spiked, torched-meringue perfection for longer than most Melbournians can remember.

40 Jacka Boulevarde, St Kilda; (03) 9534 8221

Doughnuts at Ladro Gertrude, Fitzroy

The perfect way to finish a meal of pizza is with more bready goodness: here in the form of bijou doughnuts with honey to drizzle and salted caramel ice-cream to dunk.

224 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy; (03) 9415 7575

Apple and blueberry pie from Bedford Street, Collingwood

The Americana dude-food movement reaches its apotheosis at this diner – think of a fried turnover with cola ice-cream, then double the joyx.

11-13 Johnston Street, Collingwood; (03) 9417 0129

20 Desserts You Must Try in Melbourne

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Melbourne

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