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.

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Cremeria De Luca

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

84 Ramsay Road, Five Dock

Ciccone & Sons

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

195 Regent Street, Redfern

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 N Road, Wareemba

Aqua S

Come to this over-the-top ice creamery if you're into inventive flavours. Just take the bestselling flavour: blue sea salt ice-cream. Toppings include popping candy, flame-toasted marshmallow, caramel popcorn and fairy floss.

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

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.

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

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

Gelato Blue

A vegan-friendly gelateria – there are over 20 vegan flavours – where everything is produced in-house.

318 King Street, Newtown

Bellingen Gelato

This started in a tiny town of 3000 people. Now, it's holding its own in Sydney. Come her for fresh gelato and sorbets will full on flavours – served with plenty of enthusiasm.

688 Darling Street, Rozelle