Gelato and ice-cream are both made by mixing milk, sugar and cream (and sometimes, eggs) until smooth, but they’re not quite the same thing.

Ice-cream contains ten to 25 per cent fat. It’s churned quickly to incorporate more air, then served relatively cold. The aim here is superior richness and a full, creamy mouthfeel.

Gelato is more of a vehicle for highlighting the fresh fruits and nuts it’s flavoured with. The denser Italian treat is churned more slowly than ice cream, and contains less air and fat (five to 10 per cent). It’s also served warmer, bringing those added flavours to the fore.

On a hot day, we don't really mind which one's on offer, so long as it's made with care, using high-quality milk and fresh ingredients. All the places on this list do that, and most also leave out the preservatives, stabilisers and artificial colours usually found at the supermarket, too.

Read more:
Best Dessert Bars in Sydney

Cow & The Moon


This family run gelato bar was crowned the world's best back in 2014. Years on, it's still one of Sydney's best – and most popular – spots for gelato.

181 Enmore Road, Enmore

Ciccone & Sons


At this artisan gelateria on Regent Street, you'll find coffee, Italian cakes and – of course – excellent gelato.

195 Regent Street, Redfern

Gelato Messina


This is Sydney's most popular gelato shop, and it's not even close. But it's well deserved adulation: even though it's since become one of Australia's best-known gelato brands; the flavours, the quality of ingredients and the exacting attention to detail have, if anything, improved over the years.

Shop 1, 241 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst



Simple, good quality ingredients, prepared traditionally.

123 King Street, Newtown

Rivareno Gelato


When Rivareno's Darlinghurst location opened, it was the first non-European outpost for this renowned Italian gelati chain. And though it's since spread across Sydney, we think that this one's still the best.

280 Crown Street, Darlinghurst

Cremeria De Luca


This family has been making gelato since 1937; three generations on, they're still innovating.

84 Ramsay Road, Five Dock

The Scoop Artisan Gelato


One of Sydney’s best scoops is found at McCarthur Square shopping centre in Campbelltown. Every flavour is made from scratch using seasonal ingredients by a Gelato journeyman.

Shop C14 Level 1 200 Gilchrist Drive, Campbelltown

Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream & Baklava


Baklava, ice cream and strong, sweet coffee made with love on Enmore Road.

Shop 1 63-71 Enmore Road, Newtown

Trovatino Cafe


Traditional Sicilian granita and gelato. In fact this is one of the few gelaterias in Sydney that's serving Sicilian-style granitas.

268 Great North Road, Wareemba

Gelato Franco


At this gelateria you'll find around 18 different seasonal flavours, made using an antique machine operated by a gelato veteran.

281 Marrickville Road, Marrickville

Gelateria Gondola


This Chatswood gelateria is run by a pair of Venetian chefs. Come for handmade gelato – the flavours are simple, but beautifully executed every time.

2 77 Archer Street, Chatswood

Mapo Bondi


A traditional Italian gelateria just across the road from Bondi Beach – you can't really ask for a much better combo than that. It's doing gelato the old school way, using organic ingredients with no preservatives. Opt for a scoop of classic fior di latte, Pepe Saya salted caramel or seasonal fruit.

64-66 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach

Ormeggio at the Spit


In 2020, this waterside Sydney favourite changed its menu to focus exclusively on seafood. And it's all the better for it. The views out over Middle Harbour, combined with the fantastic seafood, make this one of Sydney's best – and most serene – dining experiences.

D'Albora Marinas The Spit Spit Road, Mosman