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Whether your predilection is for cup or cone, fruity or creamy, simple or loaded with baked goods and confections, we all have our favourite gelato joint and must-order flavours.
Chefs, too, have a weakness for the frozen Italian treat; even those who make it in their own restaurants regularly head out to grab a cup or cone from their gelateria of choice.
We asked some of Sydney’s most in-demand chefs and restaurateurs to share their ride-or-die gelateria, and their go-to order.
Junda Khoo, Ho Jiak
“I usually get gelato from Norgen Vaaz in Haymarket, because it’s close to work and convenient to pop in during breaks. I usually go for simple flavours like green tea or pistachio.”
Mike McEnearney, Kitchen By Mike, Carriageworks Farmers Market
“When I’m at Carriageworks Farmers Market – Kel and Mahlah from The Pines Kiama use their own wonderful milk from their dairy farm to make their gelato. They don’t over-flavour, so you can really taste their fresh milk. I love vanilla.
Amber Doig, The Butler
“My fave gelato spot is Messina in Rosebery. It’s generally pretty chaotic, with kids screaming and running amok, but the kind, passionate staff there have so much patience to spare, and all the awesome equipment behind the glass makes it look like a Wonka factory.
“My favourite flavour is the yoghurt and berry, because I’m a sucker for anything froyo-related. Otherwise it’s gianduja, baci or any other choc-hazelnut hybrid.”
Shaun Christie-David, Colombo Social
“We are so fortunate to have some of [Sydney’s] best food and beverage offerings on Enmore Road, and it’s no surprise that the best gelato is just a few doors up from us.
“After working all day on our charities and getting ready for a shift at the restaurant, I need a strong hit – so I double down on the ultimate combination: an affogato made with the affogato gelato from Cow & the Moon. It’s a treat like no other.”
Nicholas Hill, Milan Cricket Club, Smoketrap Eels
“Hands down, for me it’s Messina – Surry or Darlo if I’m out, or Tramsheds for closer to home. I love that Messina do it all, from producing their own milk, to making their own chocolate and dulce de leche. Plus, they have some slick merch.
“I’m normally a choc-mint kid, but I panic and stray when I’m in the shop. Nicky Glasses (coffee with salted caramel) is a fave.”
Rosa Cienfuegos, Tamaleria & Mexican Deli
“The year has been crazy and a gelato is always a good way to make your soul feel better.
“I usually go and take friends – and even my staff – to Cow & the Moon. It might be a bit cheesy as they were world winners a few years back, but these guys make delicious flavours. The one I tried a few weeks ago was the peanut butter and berries. I’m a bit boring choosing gelato, as I prefer not ‘too sweet’ flavours ... so the sorbets are always my favourites – lime, mango, watermelon.”
Nic Wong, Cicciabella
“Ciccone & Sons is my favourite gelato. I live in Redfern and it is less than a 500-metre walk away from home, so when I have a gelato craving (which is pretty much every night) I beeline it straight there.
“The eat-in sundaes are epic. However, I tend to drift towards the traditional flavours. Hazelnut or pistachio are always on rotation.”
Nigel Ward, Uccello
“For me, it’s Rivareno in Surry Hills for their pure flavours with no bullshit. It’s the closest thing to Castiglione gelateria in Bologna, which was around the corner from my flat when I lived there.
“My go-to flavour is nocciola [hazelnut]. Nothing else. It reminds me of late summer evening passeggiata [strolls] in Sicily, Naples, and the cloisters of Bologna and Florence.”
Toby Wilson, Ricos Tacos
“Since Ricos opened up in the Messina car park, I’ve had a more gelato-heavy three months than I’m used to. I’ve shifted my focus away from the specials board and now spend my time in the classics section. I keep going back to the thick and heavy choc fondant. Refreshing and cooling it is not, but it hits on a hedonistic level and I’m all about it.
“Also want to give a shout out to Yomie’s frozen yoghurt with purple rice in Haymarket – best frozen dairy product in Sydney, in my opinion.”
Perry Hill, Bathers’ Pavilion
“My favourite gelato place in Sydney is Gelato Franco in Marrickville. It’s old school and uses real, fresh ingredients, plus it’s my local. Favourite flavour? It’s a toss-up between the pistachio and tiramisu for me, and my kids always get the chocolate.”