First published on 15 Oct 2012. Updated on 13 Feb 2014.
We thought Melbourne had reached its frozen treats peak when Jock's Ice Cream hit us with a dessert wine topaque swirl last year, but now here's Gelateria Primavera, managing to blow our minds one more time with gelati and sorbetti that capture flavours so sharply it's like eating in high definition. Melbourne.
It's not just the store's proximity to the beach, or the fact that iceman Jock Main can faithfully translate any flavour into ice cream form, be it sweetcorn or beetroot, it's the fun. Main bounces around handing out free tasters of house-favourite Hokey Pokey (vanilla, dotted through with sticky honeycomb) to all, young and old. Albert Park.
Sweet dreams are made of gelato. Specifically the incredible salted coconut and mango combination at Gelato Messina's Melbourne outlet in Fitzroy. Queues are standard at their Sydney stores and on a hot night expect the same here, but that cup of Bounty – coconut milk gelato with chocolate chips and desiccated coconut - will be worth it. Fitzroy.
Get ready to lose it for N2 Extreme Gelato (another Sydney import - quelle horreur!). It's the sciency ice creamery started by ex-accountant Min Chai, where freaky flavours like SPAM and mustard are frozen on the spot using KitchenAids and liquid nitrogen. It's like Scienceworks for deliciousness. Fitzroy.
This new Argentinean ice-creamery sits amid the Ducatis and tourists lining Lygon. Their sticky dulce de leche (caramel make from sweetened milk) balanced with bitter-sweet dark chocolate chips is the best, but we like the weird gear – yerba mate tea tastes like green tea with a nutmeg edge and is almost savoury. They pile it high here, and, you can get an affogato to go – that's a shot of espresso over your ice cream. Zing! Carlton.
There's a good whack of inspiration from New York's Momofuku Milk Bar here in the sweets. â€˜Crusty brownie pie' is a wedge of dark chocolate brownie with a crushed pretzel pie crust. Stick that with a side of Milo or malted milk soft serve and you've got yourself a party. They're doing one hell of a doughnut, filled with whipped Italian style custard zuppa Inglese – and you can trust them with your coffee order too. Spotswood.
It's all about the super soft, almost stretchy blood orange sorbet at this Lygon Street favouite. It's down the Brunswick end, so there are less tourists, but just as big of a queue. Go for the classics like chocolate –it's so rich and dark it's almost black – and the favourites like apple pie: sweet, toatsy and tasty as hell. Brunswick East.
Black and white check floors meet Red Bull flavour at Mark Mariotti's old meets new school St Kilda gelateria. Prepare for a wait – the creamy Ferrero Rocher flavour has made this joint legendary, but we come for the fresh fruit sorbets. Load up on the tart apple, or passion fruit, and hit the beach. Quickly, this is fresh and melty. St Kilda.
We're all about desserts imitating other desserts, and for that we love Fritz and their 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. South Melbourne.
These are not the lemonade iceblocks of your childhood. Made with real fruit these hand made popsicles are as healthy as a frozen confection is going to get. Get them at markets around town or at Mamasita.
We always keep a tub of Darren Purchese' spicy pumpkin or pear and ginger ice cream in the deep freeze for all our late night needs. Burch and Purchese, 647 Chapel St, South Yarra.
Can’t get down with dairy? Hit rice paper roll queen MissChu for a mammoth lychee or coconut slushie.
Check out the Yoghurddiction food truck or hit up Tasti D-Lite on Chapel Street for low fat frozen yoghurt fun.
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