Lasagne is Australia’s national crisis dish, sourdough is our ride-or-die isolation bread (although Japanese shokupan is nipping at its heels) and babka is our perfect lockdown dessert.

But Basque burnt cheesecake – all caramelised and glossy on the outside, wobbly and custardy on the inside – is the breakout cake. For the uninitiated, it’s less sweet than its North American relative, the New York cheesecake, and also lacks a biscuit-y base. That makes it dangerous in the best possible way: it’s easy to hoover up one of these things in no time at all. Here are our favourites.

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Morning Market

This one is a bestseller. Don’t take your chances hoping there’ll be one in-store – pre-order online and pick up at Morning Market in Fitzroy or Prahran to avoid cheesecake heartbreak.

59 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Q le Baker

Also in Prahran: this very fine take on the cheesecake. It comes in small ($25) and large ($60) – but we recommend large. It's better to have too much Basque cheesecake than not enough.

Shop 709 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra

Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio

It was never going to be long before serial reinventor Darren Purchese, one of the city’s most famous pastry chefs, put his stamp on the Basque cheesecake. Available online Tuesday to Sunday, his $60 version includes a layer of tangy lemon curd baked through the middle.

647 Chapel Street, South Yarra
Order on Providoor

Attica

Of course Melbourne’s best restaurant is in on the takeaway Basque cheesecake game. This one is made with three types of cream: mascarpone, pouring and cream cheese. It’s also one of the largest cheesecakes in this guide, dividing into eight generous slices.

74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea

Calere

Down the street from Morning Market Fitzroy, Calere sells caramelised pineapple Basque burnt cheesecakes. In Taiwan, caramelised pineapple cakes are often given as gifts for engagements, promotions and other special occasions. Those flavours are here added to the Basque cheesecake – and the result is worth celebrating. The original’s also on offer, for those who prefer the classic.

166 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Sebastian

Sebastian's Basque burnt cheesecake is a total doozy. And, being a Basque diner, it has a good claim to having started – or at least heavily contributed to – Melbourne's current obsession with this sub-genre of cheesecake. Order one online or find a local stockist here, including Toscano’s and Scicluna’s in the eastern and southeastern suburbs.

26 Esplanade, Williamstown

Papirica

Throughout lockdown Akira Toyama has been baking cheesecakes at Papirica under the name Only Cheesecake. Her signature is a miso and sesame number, but she also makes an excellent Basque cheesecake, which is available by the slice at Papirica or Mile End.

22 Smith Street, Collingwood

Philippe

Even though it’s typically associated with Spain, the Basque region actually stretches into the south-western tip of France. So a classic French restaurant doing a riff on this cheesecake isn’t as strange as it seems. And at $50, this big one is great value.

115-117 Collins Street, Melbourne
Order on Providoor

Nomada Food & Wine

As expected, this Fitzroy tapas bar’s rendition is an absolute cracker. It comes in two plump, roughly muffin-sized pieces for $15.

412 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Proper & Son

This South Melbourne Market fixture bakes its own fantastic – and frankly adorable – Basque burnt cheesecakes. Stop by next time you're getting your groceries and check the cabinet to see if they're there.

Shop 13 & 14, South Melbourne Market 322-326 Coventry Street, South Melbourne

Ovens Street

It’s almost perpetually unavailable and when it is, you can only find it on a Friday, but darn it if this isn’t a cheesecake worth holding out for. Refresh this page in hope of a restock.

19 Ovens Street, Brunswick

Northern Ground

This Bairnsdale restaurant bakes all of its sweets in-house, including this ripper of a cheesecake. The only problem is that the team here can barely keep up with demand. We can see why. Even if you're based in metro Melbourne and you can't make it to Bairnsdale right now, it's worth putting this place on your radar.

144 Main Street, Bairnsdale