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Bowl of Gelato with nuts and chocolate brownie at Gelato Franco
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best gelato and ice cream in Sydney

Here's the scoop on the best icy cold treats in town

By Time Out editors
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There is no greater comfort food than ice cream, and during 'the-year-that-shall-not-be-named', there's plenty of feelings that can do with being buried in cookies and cream. But with social distancing precautions in effect, grabbing a quick two-scoop cone and then heading on your merry way feels like the right kind of sweet treat, especially as Sydney prepares for a belter of a spring. Of course you might still like your sorbetto at home, so we've checked which of our city's best gelato and ice cream stores are delivering the goods direct to your door. 

There are a thousand places to get sweet, icy treats – from the servo icy pole to the smooth, silky, artisan confections listed here, which act as a five-minute portal to Italy on each visit.

RECOMMENDED: The 50 best restaurants in Sydney.

The best gelato and ice cream in Sydney

a cone with yellow and pink gelato
Photograph: supplied

1. RivaReno

Restaurants Darlinghurst

Do they deliver? Yes, on Deliveroo, DoorDash and Uber Eats.

RivaReno does gelato the Sicilian way, even making sure to store the gelato in ‘pozzetti’ (covered, stainless steel containers). Because the pozzetti are lidded, it means you don't get that sense of the spectacular as you walk in (as per Messina) but they believe it keeps the gelato at exactly the right temperature, to ensure the flavour is at its freshest and the texture is silky.

Mixing ice cream at Mapo Newtown
Photograph: Katje Ford

2. Mapo Newtown

Restaurants Ice cream and gelato Newtown

Do they deliver? Yes, on Deliveroo, DoorDash and Uber Eats.

Behind the sunny, yellow facade of this Italian gelateria,things are decidedly green. Of course, there’s nothing more sustainable than a cone, the packaging that is also a tasty snack, but if you like your ice cream in a cup, you’ll be glad to know the shop uses compostable containers. Your tasters come on wooden sticks or compostable spoons, and even your takeaway tubs will soon be available in recyclable containers. Plus, half of the 14 flavours are dairy-free. 

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Gelato at Cow and Moon Enmore
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

3. Cow and the Moon Gelato Bar

Restaurants Enmore

Do they deliver? Unfortunately not, but they have three sizes of take home tubs if you can get down to the store.

The queues here are well known, and they're all in line for one gelato in particular: the mandorla affogato. It won this gelateria World’s Best Gelato at 2014’s Gelato World Tour in Rimini, Italy, and it's stayed top of the order list ever since. But if coffee, toffee and almond aren't your speed, they do an amazing line in seasonal sorbets like nectarine, mandarin and watermelon, and they aren't afraid to get creative – how does gingerbread, lemon cheesecake or lychee and coconut.

Italian gelato at Gelato Franco, iced dessert
Photograph: Helen Yee

4. Gelato Franco

Restaurants Marrickville

Do they deliver? Yes, on Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

All the gelatos in this Marrickville gelateria made with an old fashioned allegiance to fresh produce – so much so that they juice the mandarins from their own trees for a seasonal sorbetto. Real nuts are ground up to make their pistacchio gelato, and for a real scoop of La Dolce Vita order the  zabaglione, ice cream spiked with marsala, with a fine layer of Marsala-soaked sponge strewn over the top.

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5. Ciccone and Sons Gelateria

Restaurants Redfern

Do they deliver? Yes, on their own delivery app or on Uber Eats.

Ciccone and Sons is a humble affair: just a long, thin room with bunting on the walls, a couple of little church pews to sit on, rock ’n’ roll on the stereo and a chest freezer with ice cream up the back. They don't go in for your five-flavour behemoths here – sometimes it's a double bill like in their popular buttermilk and passionfruit, or watermelon and rose – for the most parts individual flavours are given room to shine, like cinnamon, almond, or coconut.

Person scooping ice cream gelator in hand at Toscana Gelateria N
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

6. Toscana Gelateria Naturale

Restaurants Ice cream and gelato Georges Hall

Do they deliver? Unfortunatelty not, but you can phone ahead to order a tub and you can also pay over the phone if you prefer.

Tuscan co-owner Ferdinando (“Nando”) is more qualified than your everyday churner: he’s been making gelato for 17 years. Macadamia's the crowd favourite at his hidden gem of a suburban shop, but the ricotta and cinnamon is a must-try, as is the range of mostly vegan sorbet. Actually, scratch that – just try it all. No baroque, OTT flavour combos here, just proper Italian gelato that plays by the rules using high-quality ingredients and made with a whole lotta love.

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Anna_Kucera_Gelateria_De_Luca_crop-09.jpg
Anna Kucera

7. Cremeria de Luca

Restaurants Five Dock

Do they deliver? Yes, on Uber Eats and DoorDash.

It may look like a quiet suburban café during the day, but on Saturday nights the queues go round the block. If they’re not here for the thick, pudding-like hot chocolate, they’re certainly here for the gelato. Try the gelato burger. It’s two scoops of house-made gelato (we like the zabaglione flavour, which is rich and eggy), a dollop of whipped cream and a slick of Nutella sandwiched between a buttery brioche bun. It's like a sundae and a sandwich in one.

Woman holding gelato at Pompei's
Photograph: Anna Kucera

8. Pompei's

Restaurants Bondi Beach

Do they deliver? Yes, on Deliveroo and DoorDash.

Maybe it’s the sun, maybe it’s the sand, but grabbing a cone at Pompei’s before wandering down to the beach feels like a Sydney tradition that should never be lost. The pistachio is that classic combination of acidic green colour and sweet, robust flavour, and the chocolate sorbet (made with Tuscan Amedei chocolate no less) is equal parts refreshing and rich.

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Gelato-Messina-012.jpg
Credit: Daniel Boud

9. Gelato Messina - Darlinghurst

Shopping Darlinghurst

Do they deliver? Yes, on Deliveroo.

Messina is the fancy-dress party of gelato shops in Sydney. Sure, their salted caramel has been a mainstay for years, and we're pretty keen on the pandan coconut for a tropical refresher, but where the excitement comes in is Messina's hyper zeitgeisty flavours (remember ‘The Heisenberg’, replete with a topping of blue crystallised violets?). Sometimes the list of flavours in a single scoop runs off the board, and their creative flair means choosing is never easy on any visit.

10. Gelateria Gondola

Restaurants Chatswood

Do they deliver? Yes, on Deliveroo, Menulog and Uber Eats.

It may look ordinary from the outside, but this Chatswood gelateria is wholly wonderful. All the gelatos are made fresh in house and they aren't afraid to mix rich, creamy flavours with seasonal fruit. Try a pear and chocolate, passionfruit and marscapone, or boysenberry lavender crumble. Here for the classics? They're using 70 per cent Belgian chocolate and hazelnuts from Langhe in Italy.

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Person holding gelato at Mrs Jones the Baker
Photograph: Anna Kucera

11. Mrs Jones the Baker

Restaurants Freshwater

Do they deliver? Not gelato, no. Their baked goods can be delivered through a local Northern Beaches service called Bundlfresh. But you can call ahead to order takeway tubs of gelato.

You might think it’s all cakes here but at the back of the store there is a range of fresh gelatos, made on the premises. The flavours change with the seasons but our pick is the cookies and cream, made from vanilla gelato tossed with their own crushed triple-choc cookies. Throw out your Connoisseur version immediately and just eat this. Why a beach suburb like Freshwater has taken this long to get a gelataria, we’ll never know.

12. Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream

Restaurants Newtown

Do they deliver? Yes, on Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Nev Bagriyanik and his wife Zeyneb opened their ice cream parlour to bring the traditional sweets of their hometown of Maras to the Inner West. Expect sour cherry, Turkish delight, date, pistachio and the simple combination of milk and sugar to flavour your iced confections. The difference here is that they use salep, a flour made from orchid root that gives Turkish ice cream its super tacky consistency. 

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Vegan ice cream at gelato blue
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait

13. Gelato Blue

Restaurants Cafés Newtown

Do they deliver? Yes, on Deliveroo.

This fully plant-based gelateria uses coconut milk instead of cream to achieve a pretty similar result. Happily the very subtle coconut flavour you get in the ice creams here complements, rather than clashes with, the sweet caramel flavours in the dulce de leche gelato, which is a little more icy than a dairy edition but just as refreshing on a sweltering day. 

14. Chill Bar

Restaurants Avalon Beach

Do they deliver? Yes, on Uber Eats.

It feels like every beach should have a kickass gelateria, but not every one does. Avalon, however, knows the score. Let’s just get one thing straight, right off the bat: ‘Chill Bar’ is not an inspiring name (we’ve missed you, the 90s) but the gelato, thankfully, is anything but. It’s made onsite, and our picks are the white chocolate and raspberry, which contains freeze-dried fruit that adds texture and sour respite from the sweet cream; and the strawberry sorbet, which is smooth and light.

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