Melbourne and Victoria’s best ice cream and gelato joints

Girl holding ice creams

Blanche Clark

Posted February 02, 2022


Get the scoop on Victoria’s favourite ice-cream stores, and discover a new flavour at this month’s Ice Cream Festival.

The heat is on and we’re not just talking about summer. The competition to be named one of Victoria’s best ice-creameries or gelaterias is fierce. If the measure of success is the length of the queue, then places such as Gelato Messina and Piccolina Gelateria are leading the charge.

But what about those standalone stores that locals love, or those quirky newcomers with wonderful and weird concoctions such as soy sauce ice cream? The choice of best ice-creamery or gelateria may be as hard as choosing a flavour – or electing a cup over a cone. 

At the risk of causing an outcry by leaving out a much-loved destination (you can tell us about your favourite through our social channels), here is a list of some of the best ice creameries and gelaterias around Melbourne and Victoria.

If you’re an ice-cream connoisseur, chances are you’ve already discovered Gelato Messina, Piccolina Gelateria, Augustus Gelatery and Pidapipo, so we’ve cast the net further afield to highlight other places that will satisfy your craving for a premium product.


Victoria’s best ice cream and gelato shops 

Melbourne’s north 

Beku Gelato

171 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Beku Gelato is worth a drive across town. Combining Asian flavours with Italian traditions, you’ll get a cup full of exotic flavours such as kefir lime leaves or coconut with jackfruit bits. The flavours change every month, so there’s always something new to try, or you can stick with pistachios and chocolate if you’re a traditionalist at heart.

Girls & Boys

382A Brunswick St, Fitzroy

 “I can’t believe it’s vegan,” is a common refrain at Girls & Boys. Taste and texture are as important as food ethics for this sibling of top vegan restaurants, Transformer and the Vegie Bar. Coconut and soy milks are used to concoct their creamy confections. The cookie dough and honeycomb flavour screams decadence, while the watermelon and raspberry sorbet is a summer sensation.

Kenny Lover

796 High Street, Thornbury

With a store that’s painted bright orange and a menu of ice cream and hot chips, you can expect a unique experience here. Kenny Lover specialises in creamy, dreamy ice cream, rather than gelato. There are regular flavours, but we recommend trying a whacky flavour such as soy sauce, or kalamata olive and white chocolate. As for the hot chips, you dunk those in your ice cream. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Luther’s

528A Sydney Road, Brunswick

Inspired by Luther Burbank, the father of classical plant breeding, Luther’s uses lots of local produce, be it dairy products from Gippsland, berries from the Yarra Valley or citrus from Mildura. Summer flavours include apricot sour-cream, banoffee pie, and fig leaf and strawberry. Resistance is useless.

Cielo Gelateria

Westfield Plenty Valley, 415 McDonalds Road, Mill Park

The outer northern ’burbs are blessed with their own sweet destination. Cielo Gelateria makes its gelato in-house each day, and there are around 20 flavours, including diary and non-dairy sorbetti. Enjoy an energy boost before or after hiking around nearby Kinglake National Park. You’ll find Cielo Gelateria stores in Coburg and Spotswood too.

 

Assortment of gelato flavours

Gelato, which is popular in Melbourne, is richer and denser than regular ice cream, and contains less cream and more milk. Image: Getty. 


 

Melbourne’s west

Happy Eats Gelato

189 Union Road, Ascot Vale

Smooth, velvety and not too rich, Happy East Gelato hits the spot with locals. Their snickers flavour is highly recommended. If food ethics is your bag, you can saviour an artisan gelato and know you’re helping the planet a smidge. Happy Eats uses great-tasting seasonal fruit that might otherwise go to waste because of its odd shape or colour. 

Melbourne’s east

Boca Gelato

183 Upper Heidelberg Rd, Ivanhoe

With a couple of top chefs behind the helm, this is a foodie haven. Boca Gelato sticks to classic Italian flavours but throws in the occasional surprise, such as the recent lavender and honeycomb, to tempt the intrepid gourmand. There are vegan options too. Check it out if you’re visiting nearby Heide Museum of Modern Art.

Mastika

Shop 3/170/172 Warrandyte Rd, Ringwood

Although the giants of gelato are primarily found in Melbourne’s inner city, this gem in Ringwood is worth pulling off Eastlink for a pick-me-up. The most popular flavours at Mastika include a rosewater-based gelato topped with rose petals and pistachios. This store opened during one of Melbourne’s COVID lockdowns, proving ice cream is a sought-after pleasure during tough times.

Melbourne's bayside

7 apples

75 Acland Street, St Kilda

7 apples founder Mark Mariotti learnt to make gelato in Tuscany and named his business after his favourite Italian nightclub. Since 2009, he’s been scooping awards for such flavours as banana dulce leche and salted caramel. You’ll find 7 Apples kiosks at Emporium in the city and Chadstone Shopping Centre as well.

Davy Mac’s

602 Balcombe Road, Black Rock 

Davey Mac’s makes its soft, creamy gelati and refreshing sorbetti in-house, and queues are guaranteed on warmer days. You’ll find perennials such as chocolate, pistachio, and lemon, but specials such as lychee and Milo will expand your horizons. Grab a cone and take a scenic walk to Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, or towards Sandringham for a dramatic view of Red Bluff. 

 

Women enjoying ice creams

Pidapipo in Carlton is one of Melbourne's most popular places for gelato. There are also Pidapipo stores in Windsor and the CBD. Image: Visit Victoria.


 

Regional Victoria

It’s Delish

31 Langtree Ave, Mildura

Mildura is a gastronome’s playground, and when the mercury hits 30°C or more, this is the place to be. It’s Delish uses many local products in its award-winning gelato-style recipes, and around 48 flavours are displayed at any one time. The salted caramel is made with Murray River pink salt and the most popular flavour is snickers. There are four hand-made frozen yoghurt flavours, too.

Mubble

69 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento, and 2393 Point Nepean Rd, Rye

Blessed with so many beautiful beaches, a trip to the Mornington Peninsula wouldn’t be complete without a delectable ice cream. Mubble fills the bubble with a rotating range of smashing flavours, such as salted caramel and ferrero rocher, and more recently, an invigorating Red Bull sorbet. With up to 50 flavours on display, it’s hard to choose but easy to enjoy.

Timboon Fine Ice Cream

1A Barrett St, Timboon

Offering unique flavours such as maple and cinnamon, and rhubarb and raspberry, Timboon Fine Ice Cream vans attract crowds at markets and festivals. But there’s nothing like going to the source to appreciate the connection between farm and cone. Timboon ice cream is made with milk from a nearby farm and the cream comes from Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory. This is a perfect weekend pitstop if you’re on a road trip.

 

Selection of ice creams

Ice cream lovers can indulge their passion this month at the Ice Cream Festival. Image: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamy. 


 

Festival of sweet dreams

Ice Cream Festival, 9-20 February, 2022

Who doesn’t love the idea of visiting a place filled chocolate, lollies and ice cream, where you can indulge your inner child without Willy Wonka giving you a hard time? Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamy and its sibling stores in Bellbrae and Flinders are in the business of making sweet dreams come true.

Their Ice Cream Festival is a must for ice-cream dreamers and screamers (“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”). You can sample different flavours throughout the festival – there are 144 in total – including dairy-free and gluten-free options. If you’re up for a degustation, book a 40-minute tasting session to try 12 flavours.