Put on your comfy pants. Over the summer a bunch of new dessert spots opened in Melbourne, and early-autumn nights are the perfect time to try them out.

Girls and Boys

This plant-based sweet spot is next door to it's veggie-friendly siblings Vegie Bar and Transformer. Pastry chef Jackson Magner, who is also behind the Vegie Bar dessert menu, spent a year coming up with delicious vegan confections. And they’re all refined-sugar free.

Soft serve and gelati are made with a blend of coconut and soy milk. The signature dish is a plated soft serve in a gluten-free cone, tipped on its side in chocolate and raspberry or baklava flavours. But you can also have yours choc-top style, dusted with nuts.

382 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy


Henry Sugar

At this wine bar you’ll find no more than three or four elements on a plate, but that doesn’t mean you’re missing out. The short menu shows off complex flavours made approachable by chef Michael Baker (Hell of the North, El Cellar de Can Roca).

The coconut custard with coconut granita and citrus-and-mirin sorbet is fresh, bright and sweet. A roast parmesan ice-cream with green almond, muscat and lychee is an unlikely marriage of sweet and savoury, but in Baker’s words, “it just works”.

House-made sodas form the base of an equally impressive cocktail list from Daniel Mason (Joe Taylor, Cookie, Toff in Town).

298 Rathdowne Street, Carlton


Barbarella

This long, lean CBD spot from The European Group (The European, Melbourne Supper Club, French Saloon is open for breakfast, lunch and into the evening.

Gelati and sorbetto is delivered fresh every day from Spring Street Grocer (another European Group venue), then stored in pozetti – refrigerated wells with stainless-steel lids. It’s a perfect fit for a cafe that would be at home in a Roman train station with its nostalgic mix of dark timber, brass, marble and wrought-iron finishes. Enjoy your gelati (and maybe a wine or two) and people watch.

Block Arcade, 282 Collins Street, Melbourne


Black Star Pastry

This Sydney patisserie has a cult following and now it’s popping up in Melbourne for three months – just long enough to get you hooked.

Chef Christopher Thé spent time at Quay and Bel Mondo honing his dessert-making skills. He has Sydney drooling over his famous strawberry and watermelon cake, and Instagram lighting up with pictures of it.

Along with its famous cakes, the Melbourne store is selling other sweets such as éclairs, custard flans and a macadamia brownie. Chocoholics, we suggest a slice of the chocolate hazelnut torte.

56–66 University Street, Carlton


Agathe Patisserie Petite

You might know the perfectly flakey pastries of Agathe Patisserie from its South Melbourne store. Now you can grab something on the way to work.

You’ll smell the fresh pastries before you see the store – a former key-cutting shopfront just a few feet wide (and under some stairs) in the Royal Arcade. Classic almond croissants, danishes, canéle and pain au chocolat sit beside less traditional treats such as matcha- or pandan-flavoured croissants. A raspberry croissant is another twist on tradition.

They’re all delivered fresh from South Melbourne in true French style – by bike.

Shop 49/A Royal Arcade, Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne


Billy Van Creamy

From food truck to pop-up to a permanent home in North Fitzroy, this is the little organic ice creamery that could. Billy Van Creamy has now also temporarily popped up on Gertrude Street. But communal tables, playful murals and a massive service counter make it feel as though it’s here to stay.

Classic flavours are made with fewer than five ingredients. Old favourites (such as hazelnut, pistachio, lemon and salted caramel) are joined by seasonal originals such as grape, rhubarb and plum swirl. You can also get your hands on a “Billybing”, a fresh-scooped ice-cream sandwich made with Butterbing cookies.

150 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy