Melbourne’s summer weather may be fickle but that doesn’t stop us having one big gelato-shaped heart (two scoops, not one). We’ve done the hard work for you and tracked down the city’s 10 best gelaterias.
Casa del Gelato
Operating since 1980, this old-time ice-cream shop and gelateria on Lygon Street claims to be Australia’s oldest – and who are we to argue, given the 60-plus flavours? Head to Casa del Gelato, start at amaretto and work your way through to watermelon.
163 Lygon Street, Carlton
Il Melograno Café
Across from the Palace Westgarth cinema, the gelato at the Sicilian-styled Il Melograno would put any old choc-top to shame. Expect preservative-free gelato with house flavours trending to the sophisticated, such as Iranian pistachio, Sri Lankan cinnamon and chocolate and rosemary.
76 High Street, Northcote
The gelateria at the Spring Street Grocer is a newcomer but sticks to old-school methods. That means the gelato is churned daily with whatever is seasonal and kept in the dark (in metal canisters known as pozzetti). Whatever Gelateria Primavera is serving – be it airy fior di latte or nutty pistachio – will be good.
157 Spring Street, Melbourne
Head to Pascoe Vale South to find this funky little family-run shop. Miinot Gelato goes the extra mile with options for the gluten-intolerant and all-round fabulous flavours such as cherry macaroon, lamington and Miss Tokyo, a refreshing plum-and-lychee sorbet.
71 Melville Road, Pascoe Vale South
Busy spreading its tentacles all along the eastern seaboard, Sydney gelato empire Messina also has outlets in Fitzroy, Windsor and Richmond. Forty flavours ought to be enough choice and if you can’t be bothered waiting in the (usually) lengthy queue, there’s home delivery.
237 Smith Street, Fitzroy
164 Swan Street, Richmond
171 Chapel Street, Windsor
First opened in Melbourne’s Italian heart of Lygon Street, Carlton, and now southside in Windsor, Lisa Valmorbida’s Pidapipó gelaterias are testament to her education at Carpigiani Gelato University near Bologna in Italy – yes, it’s a thing. Expect flavours such as raspberry with Honey Joys. Oh, and the shops have Nutella taps for extra choc-hazelnut “swirlage”.
299 Lygon Street, Carlton
85 Chapel Street, Windsor
N2 Extreme Gelato
Liquid-nitrogen gelato? Not one for the purists, perhaps, but the gelato at N2 – in Fitzroy and the CBD – is freshly made (the liquid nitrogen creates some out-there visual effects, with the gelato flash-frozen before your eyes) and comes in a range of kooky flavours. There’s pavlova, Baileys Oreo cheesecake, and Nutella and hazelnut topped with Rice Bubbles and a syringe full of chocolate ganache.
329 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
18 Sutherland Street, Melbourne
A taste of Sicily in Hawthorn, Piccolina is one smart little ice-cream stop (with Hecker Guthrie-designed interiors). The gelato is made to an artisanal recipe with no additives. Look out for the giant Ferrero Rocher gelato cakes, too.
802 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
400 Gradi’s Johnny Di Francesco has scaled the heights of the pizza world. Now, the award-winning pizzaiolo has turned his sights to gelato, sold next door to his Brunswick East pizza restaurant. Zero Gradi’s gelato is churned daily and it features an iced version of his famous Margherita pizza (that’s red sponge cake soaked in Strega liqueur, zabaglione gelato and green gelato coloured with natural chlorophyll).
Shop 1, 93-97 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Tutti Frutti Artisan Gelato
Seaside Mornington gets in on the gelato action with this cute family business doing a good line in artisan gelato, including summer-tastic flavours such as kaffir lime and ginger panna cotta. And for vegans, Tutti Frutti has a refreshing lime-and-coconut sorbet with organic coconut chips.
5 Blake Street, Mornington