In Melbourne, gelato is more prevalent than ice-cream (learn the difference between the two here) due to so many Italians moving here after World War II. But strangely enough, it was hard to find real gelato as recently as ten years ago. Most shops were still using cheap pastes produced in factories, rather than making their gelato from scratch.

All the spots below are committed to doing things the right way. Hint: look for pozzetti, the lidded, refrigerated pots which protect fragile gelato from oxidisation. Any shop with a glass case full of perky mounds has almost certainly given its gelato the equivalent of a boob job.

One last thing: if you’re looking to compare the skills of two different shops, order a scoop of pistachio. It’s the industry’s universal benchmark.

Piccolina Gelateria Collingwood

The original Piccolina is in Hawthorn, but this is unquestionably the brand's headquarters. Enter for fresh and simple Italian gelato made the old-fashioned way.

296 Smith Street, Collingwood

Pidapipo

Transport yourself to Italy with one lick, from Carlton or Windsor.

299 Lygon Street, Carlton

Miinot Gelato

Ice-cream backed by excellent pedigree – the owner grew up in a gelato store.

71 Melville Road, Pascoe Vale South

Lavezzi

Four generations of experience gives this traditional gelato, sorbet and granita shop a leg up.

334 Lygon Street, Carlton

Bico

A father-and-son team is serving up tartufo, plus scoops of house-made salty Snickers, fior de banana and "Franjaffico" gelato. And there’s gelato-filled cannoli, too.

288 Albert Street, Brunswick

Il Melograno

Put together after a 10-year break in Sicily.

76 High Street, Northcote
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Beku Gelato

Durian, lychee, Turkish delight and more.

171 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Billy van Creamy Fitzroy North

There's nothing artificial hidden in this nearly all-organic ice-cream.

27 Best Street, Fitzroy North

Kenny Lover

An oddball ice-creamery where classic flavours are joined by scoops flavoured with soy sauce, yuzu and olives. Plus, there's hot chips for dipping.

796 High Street, Thornbury

Gelato Papa

This Preston gelateria combines traditional techniques with experimental flavours such as matcha, coconut and gorgonzola.

14a Gilbert Road, Preston

Glacé

A frozen desserts store from pastry chef Christy Tania.

1A Peel Street, Windsor

Meno Zero

A gelato and dessert store from the owners of pizza restaurants Six Slices and Zero95.

914a Doncaster Road, Doncaster East

Cuppa Turca

Ever tried stretchy Turkish ice-cream?

244 High Street, Northcote

Barbarella Gelato and Wine Bar

Gelato and wine. Enough said.

Block Arcade 282 Collins Street, Melbourne

Zero Gradi

After mastering pizza, Johnny Di Francesco moved on to gelato.

93-97 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Gelateria Primavera

Peach and basil; chilli-laced salted caramel; yoghurt, rosewater and mint; and more.

157 Spring Street, Melbourne

Augustus Gelatery

Open 365 days of the year, with 32 flavours, including a number of buffalo-milk gelati.

15A Pascoe Street, Pascoe Vale

Gelato Messina

After conquering Sydney, Messina is quickly doing the same here.

237 Smith Street, Fitzroy

Davey Mac’s

There are 40 flavours, but the Ferrero Rocher is a local favourite.

602 Balcombe Road, Black Rock

Jock's Ice Cream & Sorbet

Keeping it real since 2001.

83 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park

Weirdoughs

The all-vegan flavours here include vanilla with croissant dough and espresso martini plus ... eggplant and lavender.

241 Flinders Lane, Melbourne