Sydney's best ice-cream
One of the things I miss the most each time I leave Sydney is the sweetness of an after-meal ice-cream from one of Sydney’s many award-winning gelaterias. No one can say no to ice-cream, especially when you’re in Sydney. Also, if there’s one thing that’s open late into the night when all the other shops are closed, it’s the sweet sweet dessert and gelato bars.
These ice-cream places are unsurprisingly packed in the summer, but even when winter rolls around and you’d think people wouldn’t be up for frozen desserts, I’m just one of the many people in the long queue outside the gelateria.
We’ve rounded up a list of 16 of Sydney’s most outstanding ice-cream joints for you to enjoy all year round!
1. Aqua S
The ethereal blue ice cream cone shot against a cloudy white-blue wall - I’m sure you’ve seen it all before. This is about as photogenic as soft serves get!
The bright blue soft serve, which is actually Sea Salt ice cream, is every bit as yummy as it looks. You’d think it’d come off a bit too salty because of its name, but it’s surprisingly good and creamy without being too heavy. With options of white fairy floss, toasted marshmallows, popping candy, or caramel popcorn as an extra topping, Aqua S is every sweet-tooth’s delight.
Must-Try Flavours: The Classic Sea Salt! Make it your own with your favourite toppings.
Address: 501 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
2. Cow and Moon
This family-run gelateria won best gelato in the world for its Mandorla Affogato flavour at the Gelato World Tour in Remini, Italy. Not just best in Australia, mind you - best in the whole world, and its gelato certainly lives up to its name.
Its classic flavours include Vanilla, Chocolate, Passionfruit Cream (the Australian champion gelato for 2015), their Mango and Lemon sorbets and the Mandorla Affogato (a mix of caramelised almonds with Kenyan Single Origin coffee on a Madagascan vanilla base).
Sure it looks fairly ordinary on the shopfront, but everyone who’s heard of this place knows it packs a punch. If you haven’t already tried it, what are you waiting for?
Must-Try Flavours: Mandorla Affogato, Passionfruit Cream
Address: 181 Enmore Rd, Enmore NSW 2042
3. Gelato Messina
Messina is still one of those places I have to take my friends or family to, especially if they’re here on a holiday for just a few days. Their wide assortment of flavours is commonly raved about - they offer everything from Chocolate Peanut Fudge and Blood Orange Sorbet to Pear and Rhubarb and Salted Caramel.
Did I mention they also offer gelato making classes? Join to get a real taste of exactly what goes into your ice cream and how they do it! Yum!
Must-Try Flavours: Dulce de Leche, Pear and Rhubarb, Chocolate Fondant
Address: Visit their website here for a list of outlet locations
4. N2 Extreme Gelato
This is the go-to place for chemist-enthusiasts who relish the sweet treat of watching your ice cream created from scratch with liquid nitrogen. Watching the servers mix up beakers of goodness over the counter never fails to amaze me every single time.
I never thought it possible to have ice cream with flavours like Deconstructed Apple Strudel or Jam Donut, much less have it taste good! And their great Ferrero Reveal? Mind. Blown.
Must-Try Flavours: Ferrero Reveal
43/1 Dixon St Sydney NSW 2000
184 King Street Newtown NSW 2042
5. La Mamma del Gelato Anita (Anita Gelato)
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of entering this gelateria at Broadway’s Central Park complex -- the laidback vibes and warm colours of the place are instantly inviting. Anita’s has its fair share of flavours that are a nice mix of Messina’s (peanut butter, Ferrero Rocher, pina colada) and traditional flavours (chocolate with almonds and caramel, pistachio, strawberry). Some of the popular flavours that I’m crazy about are the Kinder Bueno and Pear and Wine - a refreshing treat after a full meal.
They have special scoops labelled ‘Ask The Seller’. Be sure to ask about those, you never know what you’re missing out on!
Must-Try Flavours: Cookieman, Kinder Bueno, Pear and Wine
Address: Ground Floor, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008
This hidden gem is another amazing option that’s perfect for when you’re out in the city on a late night with your favourite people. A crazy range of flavours await: black sesame, sticky rice, lychee rose, jackfruit, taro and the like. If you’re looking to try something a little more Asian-oriented - this one’s for you.
I love going for the massive sundae when I’m with a big group of friends. It’s perfect, because there’s always something for everyone.
Must-Try Flavours: Go for the sundaes! They come in a variety of sizes, 3 scoops and up.
Address: Shop G12 Capitol Square, 730-742 George St, Haymarket NSW 2000
7. Bay Vista
Bay Vista’s a little further, but totally worth the ride out. Stepping into the dessert bar, a selection of creative quotes pepper the walls with the likes of ‘Stressed is Dessert Spelled Backwards’ -- it always brings a smile to my face.
They offer an ample selection of creative pancakes and waffles, secret scrolls, stuffed crepes, cakes and ice cream. Bay Vista’s famous ice cream bowls are served in giant glass bowls and are every bit as delicious as it looks. One of my favourites is the 5th Avenue, New York bowl - a sweet mix of peanut butter, chocolate and boysenberry ice cream with chocolate brownies and waffle bits.
Must-Try Flavours: Any of their signature ice-cream bowls!
Address: 83 The Grand Parade Brighton-Le-Sands NSW 2216
Anyone who says they don’t recognise this famous store sign has got to be kidding you. What started out as a humble store on King Street has today expanded and opened several outlets not just in Sydney, but all over the world, too. It’s not hard to explain why. Their flavours are good.
Their classics include the Salted Caramel, Pistachio and Mango. Other unique flavours that come with their monthly-changing menu include the Chocolate Truffle, Burnt Caramel, and Pecan and Lychee.
Must-Try Flavours: Salted Caramel, Pistachio
Address: Visit their website here for a list of outlet locations
Pompei’s started off as a pizza-and-pasta trattoria, but what fewer people know is that it also comes with a streetside gelato bar which sells traditional gelato made with natural ingredients and biodynamic milk.
Some of their best flavours are the Cream and Homemade Caramel, and the Cioccolato Variegato (and amazing mix of hazelnut and dark chocolate). When I need something to balance the flavours off, I go for the blood orange sorbet or guava sorbet.
Must-Try Flavours: Cioccolato Variegato, Guava Sorbet
Address: 126-130 Roscoe St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
10. Miss Dipity's by Serendipity Ice Cream
Miss Dipity’s is one of the newest kids on the block, with an all-new dessert bar that just opened at the Chatswood Interchange! They offer quite a spread, with 21 flavours to scoop from, 2 flavours of soft serve and 7 flavours of Dipity Pops to dip in your choice of Belgian chocolate and home-made crunches (the Cornflake Crunch is a popular choice). Greek Yoghurt, Miso Caramel and other flavours abound.
Did I mention they have a flavour called ‘Laksa’ as well? It’s supposed to be creamy with coconut, spicy with chilli, and surprising with just a hint of prawn paste. Dang, I’m dying to try that one to see how good it turns out.
Must-Try Flavours: Laksa, Miso Caramel
Address: Podium Level, 436 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW 2067
11. Hakiki's Turkish Ice Cream
Did someone say Turkish ice cream? 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 unique flavours like the Sour Cherry, Turkish delight, Date, Pistachio and a simple combination of Milk and Sugar.
The ice cream itself is particularly sticky and doesn’t melt as quickly as regular ice cream - this is because it’s made with a wild orchid root called salep which gives the ice cream a stretchy texture. I’d say it’s definitely worth a try.
Must-Try Flavours: Turkish Delight, Caramelised Fig and Walnut
Address: 63-71 Enmore Rd, Newtown NSW 2042
12. Cremeria de Luca
Stepping into this gelateria throws all your expectations of a vintage house out the window. It’s almost like stepping into your great Grandma’s house, only quirkier. Cremeria de Luca’s gelato is classic, creamy goodness. I’m not exaggerating when I say the gelato burger is heaven-on-earth: two scoops of ice cream and whipped cream sandwiched in a brioche bun spread with Nutella.
If that isn’t enough to make your mouth water, try the Nutella Arancini - a large arancini with a filling of Nutella in the centre. It comes with a syringe that you can inject into the centre, spurting out warm, oozy Nutella and cream. Seriously? I’m sold.
Must-Try Flavours: Nutella Gelato Burger, Nutella Arancini
Address: 84 Ramsay Rd, Five Dock NSW 2046
13. Riva Reno
Riva Reno is easily the gelateria offering one of the creamiest gelatos in Sydney. It is touted by regular patrons as the place with silky smooth gelato. The Italian-born franchise offers a unique selection of gelato flavours including New York New York -- a mix of maple syrup and pecans; Limone -- made with fresh lemon juice from Sicily; and Contessa -- a perfect blend of caramelised almonds and crushed amaretti biscuits.
I’m a sucker for all things chocolate, so the Sweet Alabama -- a United-States inspired blend of chocolate and peanut butter - was perfect for me.
Must-Try Flavours: Sweet Alabama, Contessa, Limone
Address: 280 Crown Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2000
14. Celsius Dessert Bar
Another dessert spot that draws on liquid nitrogen to create their ice cream, Celsius Dessert Bar emanates warmth and fun. Something about the pastel colours of the place give off a very welcoming feel, reminding me a little of Creamier Waffles in Singapore (partly because of the Thai milk tea gelato Celsius offers - the flavour I know I’m going to love). Celsius is known for experimenting with classic flavours without pushing the boundaries too far.
The flavour that intrigued me the most is a white-peach rosewater gelato with roasted pistachio and edible rose petals. Yummy or what? Their resident flavours are a Chocolate and a sorbet flavour, such as the Apple Sorbet with mint cucumber granita - which is known to be hella refreshing too.
Must-Try Flavours: Thai Me Up, Apple Cleanser
Address: Kiosk 4, Chatswood Bus Interchange, 436 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW 2067
Just around the corner from Aqua S, Chanoma is your go-to place to curb your green tea cravings. Their matcha soft serve has gone through a series of revamps with a change in formula, machine and matcha powder, but there’s no doubting the quality of the soft serve is still there.
Chanoma offers a whole range of green tea goodies ranging from green tea soft serves, floats, frappes, cappuccinos, and lattes, but my favourite still has to be the green tea soft serve cone.
Must-Try Flavours: Definitely the green tea soft serve!
Address: Shop 1, Regent Place Arcade, 501 George Street, CBD, Sydney NSW 2000
This is one of my personal favourites simply because of how underrated it is. It literally is a hole in the wall along the streets of Newtown. Their Apple Crumble, Coconut, and Tim Tam flavours are known to be amazing, and in the sorbet range, the Champagne or Fresh Pear and Ginger are not to be missed.
I could go on about the flavours, but I’ll let the ice cream do the talking. Gelatomassi is one of those places you’ll have to try to believe.
Must-Try Flavours: Apple Crumble, Coconut, Tim Tam
Address: 262 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042
Sydney's finest ice-cream
So there you have it! Sydney's 16 best ice-cream for you to enjoy at any time! Have we missed out on any of your favourite places? Do let us know in the comments section below.