Best Cannoli in Melbourne

Updated 6 months ago


Cannoli (or cannolo, singular, meaning “little tube” in Italian) are delicate tubes of golden, fried pastry piped with sweet custard or ricotta. They’re said to have originated in the Sicilian city of Palermo, and range in size from cannulicchi (no bigger than a finger) to the oversized cannolone. In some shops, you can even order giant, birthday-cake sized tubes filled with smaller cannoli for special events.

But cannoli aren’t just a bakery staple. Many Italian diners across Melbourne have them on their dessert menus, and in their savoury section, too. And some grocers sell empty shells ready for DIY piping at home (a word of advice: don’t pipe too early before eating, otherwise the shells will become soggy).

But if you prefer to leave it to the experts, here are some of the best spots to get cannoli around Melbourne.

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  • Traditional Sicilian pastries since 1956. The cannoli here is filled to order, ensuring the shell remains light and crispy. It’s the same way founder Tomasso Cavollaro used to make them back home in Lipari, Italy.

  • The Sicilian cannoli here is piped generously (always to order) and decorated with chopped house-roasted pistachio. You might also find Oreo, Nutella, and Ferrero Rocher flavours, plus an all-pistachio number with a decadent chocolate-coated shell.

  • Renowned for its house-made cheeses, That’s Amore started doing a cannoli pop-up at the South Melbourne market in 2019. Today, you’ll find its cannoli carts at various locations throughout the city. For the signature, go Sicilian. It’s a mix of sweet, house-made ricotta, cinnamon and crushed pistachio.

  • Hand-crafted, gluten-free cannoli accredited by Coeliac Australia. The “OG” is piped with whipped ricotta, candied orange, chocolate chips, and sweetened with honey from the owners’ own rooftop beehive. But the rotating options tend to get more experimental. Think crème brûlée, passionfruit cheesecake, and strawberry and fennel flavours.

  • This Coburg cake shop has been baking cakes and piping cannoli since 1965. Its crisp, tubular treats are filled with flavours ranging from the traditional (pistachio, ricotta, or half-half vanilla and chocolate) to the contemporary (stracciatella, nougat, and ferrero rocher). You can’t go wrong either way.

  • If it's Italian and it's made with an oven, chances are you'll find a great rendition of it here. The cannoli at impasto are great and are the perfect way to conclude your carb-y meal.

  • Just look at these cannoli – aren't they glorious? This delicatessen in Altona doesn't just do cracking sangas and pantry staples (the name isn't fake news: it's actually a deli), it also does excellent freshly-piped cannoli.

  • Cannoli is the specialty at this pan-European patisserie – all of the usual filling suspects are well represented. If you have room left over, it's worth ordering a kouign amman here, too. Just trust us.

  • Johnny Di Francesco's gelato shop – a few doors down from the mothership of his award-winning pizza empire – is obviously best known for its frozen desserts. But its cannoli, and other classic Italian sweet treats, shouldn't be overlooked. And if you really want to up the ante, go for the cannoli "cake" – a towering cannoli pyramid dusted with icing sugar.

  • There are two options at this Sydney Road institution: you can buy cannoli shells to fill yourself, or you can go for the very classic ones with freshly-piped fillings, straight from the in-house bakery.

  • There are usually some cannoli at the espresso bar (and an espresso and a cannolo is the breakfast of champions). If you're out of luck, try ordering one of this iconic deli's DIY packs. They come with shells and everything you need to fill them yourself.

  • Mister Bianco, in its various lockdown takeaway incarnations, has been doing ad-hoc takeaway cannoli for a while now (a past highlight included a Golden Gaytime-flavoured one that needs to make a comeback). But one mainstay on the takeaway and dine-in menu is the gold cannolo: a luscious tube filled with chocolate ricotta and topped with gold leaf. If it looks like what Gianni Versace would have eaten for breakfast, it's got to be worth a try.

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