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Gelato Papa
Photograph: Supplied

The best ice cream and gelato in Melbourne

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

Written by
Rushani Epa
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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 something savoury? Here are Melbourne's best restaurants and cafés that are offering takeaway and delivery.

Melbourne's best ice cream and gelato

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 plenty of flavours to choose from plus frozen desserts and there's no shopfront so you can opt to have it delivered to your doorstep instead.

  • 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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  • 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.

Kenny Lover
Photograph: Instagram/kennylovericecream

4. Kenny Lover

Delivery? Yes, via Deliveroo.

Stepping inside Kenny Lover feels like stepping onto the set of a David Lynch film. It's weird, bright and wonderful and that reflects on its range of flavours too – think soy sauce and chocolate coated rice. There's a strong focus on Australiana here, so much so it also offers hot chips, and fairy bread and brown butter ice cream by the scoop. Get it to go from a baby scoop all the way through to a triple scoop or a 500ml or one litre take home tub. Pre-order to pick up in Thornbury here.

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Augustus Gelatery
Photograph: Supplied

5. Augustus Gelatery

Delivery? Via UberEats and DoorDash. 

Augustus Gelatery is a crowd favourite and the proof is in the pudding. It has franchises all across the state and was started by two best friends with Italian heritage. For a taste of Italy, try the venue's the range of buffalo-milk gelati. They're creamy and silky, and we recommend the fior di latte number. Otherwise, for those seeking a moreish chocolate scoop, don't go past the Nutella that comes with chocolate and hazelnut gelato and swirls of Nutella throughout.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream and gelato
  • Fitzroy North
  • price 1 of 4

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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  • 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. 

  • 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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  • 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.

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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