Whether your allegiance is to the cup or the cone, one of summer’s most joyful experiences is huddling over a refrigerated counter to choose the gelato you’re about to destroy.

Everyone has their favourite gelateria, a place where frozen dreams come true, and chefs are no exception. We asked the people in charge of some of Sydney’s top kitchens which gelato joints they swear by.

O Tama Carey, Lankan Filling Station
“When I want gelato I go to Darlinghurst’s Rivareno Gelato on Crown Street. They make excellent gelati, they are open until late and they are very close to where I live. My favourite flavours are the pistachio and dark chocolate. My other favourite flavours are the ones they make for Lankan using recipes we developed together: a king coconut sorbet, spiced jaggery gelato and a ginger and turmeric.”

Toby Wilson, The Duke
“My favourite joint is Redfern’s Ciccone & Sons. The texture they get in their gelato is supreme. I get something different every time I go but the pistachio would have to be a standout.”

Peter Gilmore, Quay and Bennelong
“My favourite is Rivareno on Crown Street, for its purity of texture and brightness of flavours. It’s so close to the real Italian gelato … as far as I’m concerned. Fior de latte is my favourite flavour.”

Clayton Wells, Automata and A1 Canteen
“I like the almond granita at Cafe Sicilia in Noto, Sicily. If I don't have time to get there, I'll stop at a decent service station for an almond Magnum. Other than that I really don't eat gelato.”

Jacqui Challinor, Nomad
“My favourite gelato in Sydney is Rivareno in Darlinghurst. They use great ingredients, it’s made daily on-site, they have an awesome range of really classic flavours (although I always order the same three), it’s creamy, intense and just plain delicious. I’ve also just discovered they deliver on Uber Eats, which is dangerous. My go-to flavours are coconut, Piemonte hazelnut and bitter-chocolate sorbet.”

Lennox Hastie, Firedoor
“It’s Messina. They go above and beyond with their commitment to the ingredients. They have their own Jersey farm, their own strawberry farm, grow their own hazelnuts, make their own chocolate. This quality all comes through in the gelato. My favourite is their super dulce because they make their own dulce de leche, which is insane. We sometimes use it in the restaurant.”

Vinita Chumsri, Little Turtle
“Working in Enmore means I’m so close to the best vegan gelato place in Sydney: Gelato Blue. I’m a sucker for anything caramel, so my go-to is always dulce de leche, but whenever I feel like spicing things up a bit I go for the Greek yoghurt with balsamic strawberry.”

Kerby Craig, Bar Ume and Ume Burger
“Easy – Gelato Franco. I order the panacotta and matcha. In the shop you see boxes of fresh fruit and veg so you know they’re using real ingredients.”

Want more gelato and ice-cream suggestions? Check out our guide.