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Kariton Sorbetes green gelato tub
Photograph: Supplied/Kariton Sorbetes

The best ice cream and gelato in Melbourne

It's getting hot in here so treat yourself to one of these delicious icy treats

By Time Out editors
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Melbourne's ice cream and gelato scene has evolved significantly over the last few years. The past was uncomplicated: decisions such as cone or cup, vanilla or chocolate, and Flake or no Flake were as flamboyant as things got.

Now we have choices like ice cream brioche or tacos, fairy floss clouds or candied bacon, and charcoal, sea salt or ube. No matter how you roll, here are the super-duper scoopers serving Melbourne’s best ice cream, gelato and soft serve. Don't want to venture out to get your ice cream? We've also added info on how to get it delivered to your door. 

Looking for somewhere to eat this Christmas? Here are Melbourne's best restaurants and cafés that are open on Christmas Day.

Melbourne's best ice cream and gelato

Ube halaya gelato
Photograph: Kariton Sorbetes

1. Kariton Sorbetes

Delivery? Yes, via the website.

What do you get when two ex-fine diner chefs team up to make gelato? You get Kariton Sorbetes. The artisanal gelato they dish up is inspired by the ice cream carts that dot and traverse the streets of the Philippines. Expect classic ube halaya – creamy purple yam (ube) gelato topped with rich ube jam, preserved blackberry and caramelised coconut curds (latik), and for pandan lovers there's buko pandan – coconut and pandan gelato infused with pandan jelly, candied coconut and toasted rice flakes (pinipig). At present, there are 14 different flavours and there's no shopfront so you can opt to have it delivered to your doorstep instead.

Pouring chocolate over ice cream cone at Pidapipó Gelateria
Photograph: Graham Denholm

2. Pidapipó Gelateria

Restaurants Carlton

Delivery? Yes, via Uber Eats.

Talk about well qualified. Before opening Pidapipó, Lisa Valmorbida studied at the Carpigiarni Gelato University in Bologna and then worked and ate her way around Italy’s finest gelaterias. We are the beneficiaries of her dedication, and Piadpipó, a small gelateria with a long marble bench, brass light fittings and red neon sign channelling 1950s Italo-chic, is its result. Boxes stuffed with luscious peaches and watermelons in the window point to gelati that are fresh and full of natural flavours. 

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Piccolina Gelateria
Photograph: Supplied

3. Piccolina Gelateria

Restaurants Ice cream and gelato Collingwood

Delivery? Yes, via Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

Piccolina Gelateria is a cute little gelato shop sitting pretty on Smith Street, Collingwood. It's just up from Gelato Messina, but a little competition never hurt anyone. Piccolina gelato is made in the traditional Italian way and with natural ingredients. All flavours are made from scratch – everything from jam to nut butters to chocolate sauce. They’ve also got four vegan gelato flavours to try: passion fruit, strawberry, lemon and chocolate brownie. If you find yourself in Hawthorn you can also pick up some gelato from the Glenferrie Road store.

Ice cream at Billy Van Creamy
Photograph: Supplied

4. Billy Van Creamy

Restaurants Ice cream and gelato Fitzroy North

Delivery? Yes, via Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

Decked out in pretty pastel pink shades with a playful ice cream mural, it’s a sweet place to savour BVC’s purist ‘ice cream with no funny stuff’. The product is the real deal. It's made from simple ingredients – milk, cream, sugar and egg yolk stabiliser – and the vanilla comes speckled with bean seeds and sparkles with flavour, while the chocolate walks the line between being flavoursome and rich. The team also bake brownies and, for that perfect birthday gift to yourself, how’s about a 1.5kg cookie ice cream cake?

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Gelato Papa
Photograph: Supplied

5. Gelato Papa

Restaurants Ice cream and gelato Preston

Delivery? Yes, via the website or Uber Eats.

Lilly Stuckings (nee Papa, as in Gelato Papa) is a second-generation gelato maker whose Sicilian family have been making gelato for over 40 years. Gelato Papa has two stores (in Fairfield and Preston) and uses ingredients sourced as locally as possible, which means figs, lemons and Vietnamese mint comes from a neighbour's garden and prickly pears are foraged from the empty lot a few blocks from the shop. Expect flavours like chocolate; coconut and yoghurt; and Nutella alongside seasonal favourites like yuzu curd in mandarin gelato; passionfruit; and blood orange. 

Hands holding gelato in cones
Photograph: 7Apples Gelato Facebook

6. 7Apples

Restaurants St Kilda

Delivery? Yes, via Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

This is one of the old guard, scooping out a respite from summer since 2001. The longevity has something to do with 7Apples' flair for innovation, as exemplified by the Red Bull or pinot noir flavours, counterbalancing a commitment to classics such as strawberry and French vanilla. It will also have a lot to do with the consistent quality of its products. The gelato is exactly what you want gelato to be: thick, creamy, and sweet. 

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Cones with double scoops at Gelato Messina Fitzroy
Photograph: Graham Denholm

7. Gelato Messina

Restaurants Fitzroy

Delivery? Yes, via Deliveroo

Gelato Messina is a Sydney import that Melburnians have embraced with mouths wide open. Gelato Messina makes everything from scratch, which includes baking apple pies, mince pies and brownies before transmogrifying them into creamy, dreamy frozen treats. A whopping 40 flavours (35 permanent and five seasonal ring-ins) means you need to weigh your options carefully to avoid post-purchase remorse.

8. Fritz Gelato

Restaurants South Melbourne

Delivery? Yes, via UberEats, Menulog and Deliveroo

We’re all about desserts imitating other desserts, and for that, we love Fritz's cinnamon doughnut flavour. Fritz has been scooping in Melbourne since 1952 and along with roasted almost gelati cones, you can pre-order cakes and tubs of fig ‘scream for private sessions at home. Fritz won five gold medals at the 2020 Australian Dairy Awards, so you're sure to find something you like. There are locations in South Melbourne Market, Richmond, St Kilda and South Yarra, so hit them up in person or just order creamy heaven on your phone. 

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Gelato at Zero Gradi Brunswick
Photograph: Supplied

9. Zero Gradi

Restaurants Ice cream and gelato Brunswick

Delivery? Yes, via Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Award-winning pizza chef Johnny Di Francesco took several trips to Naples to learn more about the sweet arts of gelato, and then Zero Gradi was born. Conveniently located next door to his original 400 Gradi pizza shop in Brunswick, this little café is just the place for your post-pizza affair. Accommodating staff can guide you through their flavours – from classic pistachio and espresso to the quirkier Margherita (made with red sponge and zabaglione gelato), green apple and red velvet.

Head to the park with your frozen treat

Royal Botanic Gardens generic
Photograph: Adrian Vittorio

The best parks in Melbourne

Attractions Parks and gardens

Craving some closeness to Mother Nature? There's nothing like a romp through a local CBD park to restore some balance. Next time you're sick of the sight of concrete, head straight to these green spots.

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