The round-up: get a sublime scoop at Brisbane’s best gelato and ice-cream spots
When the temperatures rise and air-conditioning units activate all over Brisbane, it’s safe to assume that gelato weather has arrived. This summer has been particularly scorching, so it’s only fair that we treat ourselves to some ultra-cold, creamy and delicious ice-cream to help us cope. Brisbane has a great selection of gelaterias and ice-cream parlours across town. If you’re keen to brave the heat to get your fix of gelato or ice-cream, be sure to equip yourself with knowledge before hand. This is our list of Brisbane’s best!
Gelato Messina, South Brisbane and Fortitude Valley: When it comes to big names of the gelato game, Messina is one of the biggest. This nation-spanning chain made a significant splash in the ice-cream scene when it arrived in South Brisbane in 2016, following up with another location in Fortitude Valley in 2019. If you’re not sure what the fuss is all about, let us educate you. Firstly, every Messina location has 40 flavours – 35 traditional and five rotating special flavours. Gelato Messina also owns its own dairy farm, which supplies incredible jersey milk to its various outlets. Finally, the crew makes its own chocolate using high-quality single-origin Ecuadorian cacao, guaranteeing an authentic richness you can’t deny.
La Macelleria, multiple locations: Brisbane’s best home-grown gelato outfit is one that holds a place near and dear to every sweet-tooth’s heart. Owner and operator Matteo Zini has opened La Macelleria locations all across town, hawking classic and specialty gelato, sorbets, cakes and gelato sticks to hordes of dessert lovers. La Macelleria’s gelato is made without preservatives, colourants, additives and hydrogenated vegetable fats, making it as clean a gelato as possible. What’s more, the gelato crew supports local artisans and growers, incorporating buffalo ricotta from Casa Motta, honey from Bee One Third and raisins from Tabletop Grapes in its processes.
Milani House of Gelato, Hamilton: If you’re seeking Brisbane’s most highly awarded gelato, look no further than Milani. This Hamilton icon has notched numerous accolades, including Australia Grand Dairy Awards Grand Champion Dairy Product 2017. The secret to Milani’s success? All of the gelato here is lovingly hand made using techniques learned at the University of Bologna under a Master gelato chef. The flavour range is extensive (and includes vegan sorbet and gluten-free options), and boasts some unique options, such as Kinder Surprise, Cherrypino, Crunchie and Baileys.
Miss Sophia’s Gelateria, Kedron: The sweet younger sibling of Kedron’s Farmhouse Cafe, Miss Sophia’s blends traditional Italian techniques with imaginative flavour pairings. The gelateria’s serving freezer stocks 20 flavours at a time each day, with options ranging from classics like salted caramel and pistachio to inventive signatures such as Froot Loops, ricotta and fresh figs, and peach melba. All flavours here are made using professional gelato-making gear from Carpigiani, so you know it’s legit.
Lick! Ice Cream, Graceville and Morningside: Ice-cream lovers are known to travel from as far as the Gold Coast for a taste of the delicious desserts available at Lick! Ice-Cream. The creators of the iconic strawberry sundae at The Ekka to the highly coveted baklava ice-cream at Paniyiri, Lick! Ice Cream stocks a mind-boggling selection of more than 30 ice-cream flavours, which includes gluten, dairy and nut-free varieties. Other iconic Lick! specialties include the doughnut and waffle hybrids (called doffles), chocolate-fudge brownies filled with cocoa sorbet as well as vanilla and couverture dark-chocolate ice-cream, plus ice-cream sandwiches, banana splits, milkshakes and more.
Nom Nom Natural Gelato, Bulimba: Typically those with dietary intolerances have been excluded from the gelato-enjoying experience, but no more. Nom Nom Natural Gelato on Oxford Street serves a selection of natural, artificial-free, dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free flavours, all made from quality ingredients using homemade recipes. The dairy range made using fresh milk and cream from Maleny Dairies, while a selection of sorbets are rotated based on seasonality.
Allora Black, Newmarket: This chic gelato joint is a relative newcomer on the scene, but it’s already getting tongues wagging with its inventive menu of flavours. Of the 16 flavours on display, a good portion of them will be options commonly unseen elsewhere. Although the classics are available, we’d suggest expanding your comfort zone and opting for a taste of the wild berry panna cotta, rainbow bubblegum or peach and basil sorbet. Once you’ve made your selection, the only other choice remaining is whether to enjoy it in a cup, cone, in a shake or gelato sandwich.
Gelateria Cremona, Rosalie: Tucked away near Blue Room Cinebar in Rosalie is Gelateria Cremona, an old-school dessert joint operated by Gerardo and Lei Deflorian since 2005. The crew here employ traditional methods of production, the origins of which can be traced back as far as a century. The flavour mix here is comprised of simple, preservative-free recipes made using ‘Effe’, Gelateria Cremona’s old-fashioned Italian-made gelato machine. With over 200 flavours in their repertoire, the skilled artisans at Gelateria Cremona will definitely have something you’ll like.
Sugo mi, Bulimba: Although known by many as one of Bulimba’s best pizzerias, Sugo mi on Oxford Street is also home to a damn-good gelateria. Located down the alleyway next to the bistro itself, the Sugo mi’s gelato component sells scoops of fresh gelato and sorbet made in-house using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Classic flavours such as salted caramel, choc hazelnut and lemon sorbet are joined by rotating specialty flavours, with dairy, egg and gluten-free options also available.
Ciao Gelato, Nundah: Nestled in the heart of Nundah’s bustling Sandgate Road strip, this family-owned gelateria is as wholesome as they come. Blending an Italian influence with quintessentially Australian elements, Ciao Gelato relies on natural colours and flavours (as well as fresh Norco milk) for its stellar range. Inventive flavours such as caramel ginger, cold-brew coffee (made with real java), vanilla Oreo and cookie dough are joined by a selection of vegan and dairy free desserts, low-calorie gelato tubs, gelato pops, cookie-dough cupcakes, fudge brownies, macro desserts and sundae cups.
Goodtimes Gelateria, Brisbane City: Located at the base of The Fantauzzo hotel, Goodtimes Gelataria is a lively and colourful nook created by Howard Smith Wharves executive pastry chef Rhian Shellshear. Gelato-craving folks can flock to Goodtimes to gawk at its incredible range of 22 flavours in its gelato cabinet. This number includes 12 year-round flavours, six sorbets and four unique flavours. The bona fide classics (vanilla, chocolate and salted caramel) are all present and accounted for, while more experimental flavours such as baked apple pie, brown butter and caramelised popcorn, and mandarin sorbet will be sure to tantalise tastebuds.
Ungermann Brothers Ice Cream Parlour, Ipswich: After making the nation swoon on the 2017 season of MasterChef, budding culinary star Ben Ungermann decided to head back to his roots. Teaming up with his brother Danny, the duo established Ungermann Brothers Ice-Cream Parlour in their home town of Ipswich, offering up handmade and natural ice-cream with a gourmet bent. The seasonal menu boasts 15 flavours including the likes of lavender honeycomb, pumpkin seed, liquorice and fennel, roasted garlic and fairy-bread ice-cream flavours.
Happy Pops, South Bank: Let’s face it – sometimes eating gelato gets a little messy. Cones are great, but are prone to drippage. Cups are neater, but now you’re dealing with a two-handed operation. Happy Pops in South Bank solves this conundrum by serving premium gelato on a stick. Happy Pops gelato is handcrafted using all natural and preservative-free ingredients, offering a create-your-own option and pre-made flavours including Hokey Pokey with Australian honeycomb, homemade caramel sauce and Belgian chocolate and the salted caramel with caramel sauce, chocolate and Murray River pink salt. Excessive melt is caught by finger guards, saving you a trip to the hand soap, and can be consumed on the go. Brilliant!
Milano Gelati, Stones Corner: Taking cues from hundreds of years of gelato-making tradition, Milano Gelati is one spot to try if you are craving a product that is truly authentic. Chef and Italian expat Franco Negri wields his impressive technical knowledge and artistic talent to great effect, with Milano accruing many awards across its lifespan. In addition to the regular scoops, guests can sample dairy- and gluten-free choices as well as authentic affogato and ice-cream cakes made to order.
Ruby Little Red Ice Cream Van, food truck: The tinkling of the ice-cream truck’s music as it moves from neighbourhood to neighbourhood never fails to excite us, which is the same feeling we get when we see Ruby coming our way. This imported ice-cream van (built in Southampton in 1973) has been done up and transformed into a roaming soft-serve dispensary, serving specialty treats such as sherbet cones, choc tops, sundaes and more,
Gelato à go-go, food truck: You may have spied a done-up Citroen H Van cruising the streets lately, serving gelato to sweet lovers across Brisbane. Gelato à go-go is the name of this dessert mobile, which is equipped with Pozzetti gelato chambers for optimal refrigeration. Gelato à go-go serves up some of the finest gelato made in Queensland by Maleny Food Co, with more than 100 flavours in its repertoire. Eight flavours are served on a rotating basis, encompassing classics such as chocolate, salted caramel and peppermint, with more flavours appearing based on public demand.
Is there a gelato spot we missed? Let us know by dropping us a line at [email protected].
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.