Australia's best gelato shops

Author: Maya Kerthyasa and John Hannan
Photography: Courtesy of Gelato Messina

Here's the inside scoop on some of the hottest (or should we say, coolest) gelato shops in the nation right now.

Gelato Messina
The various branches of Messina across Sydney, and now Melbourne, have earned something of a cult-like following and for good reason. Go for the special of the week, but be quick - lines grow early and flavours often run out faster than you can say, "white chocolate and salted caramel, please". Check out their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds for new flavour announcements. Gelato Messina, shop 1/241 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, NSW, 1800 435 286
N2 Extreme Gelato
The N2 crew has taken a scientific approach to making gelati, using liquid nitrogen (in KitchenAid mixers, no less) to minimise ice-crystal formation. What that means for the lay gelato-lover is a smoother, creamier scoop that's made right in front of your eyes in less than two minutes. Flavour combos range from cinnamon jam doughnut with a syringe of strawberry jam to Oreo cheesecake, and they take suggestions on their website, too. N2 Extreme Gelato, Shop 43/1 Dixon St, Sydney, NSW
Cremeria de Luca
The de Luca family has been making gelati since 1937, so it's fair to say they know their stuff. After closing the original Leichhardt outpost in 2009, they've since reopened at Five Dock, where they continue to scoop out such icy Italiano delights as pistachio and cioccolato. Buono. Cremeria de Luca, 84 Ramsay Rd, Five Dock, NSW, (02) 9712 4606
Pizza isn't the only star attraction at Pompei's. Their gelati, made fresh daily and entirely on-site, are equally brag-worthy. Dive straight into the dark chocolate option made with Amedei Toscana Black 70 per cent cocoa, or go a little lighter with the organic cream and homemade caramel combo. Either way, you won't be disappointed. Pompei's, 126-130 Roscoe Street, Bondi, NSW, (02) 9365 1233
Spring Street Grocer: Gelateria Primavera
It might be served in classically styled cardboard cups, but there's nothing pedestrian about the gelati at Spring Street Grocer. They're produced under the watchful eye of master gelato-maker, Massimo Bidin, who insists on making them egg- and preservative-free. Salted caramel and choc-flake is among his biggest hits, not to mention the killer fior di latte. Spring Street Grocer, 157 Spring St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9639 0335.
Lygon Street stalwart Gelobar has been delighting the good people of Melbourne with frosty deliciousness for over two decades. Head there for classic Italian flavours along the lines of cassata, zabaglione and limoncello. Gelobar, 74 Lygon St, East Brunswick, Vic, (03) 9388 1419
The various branches of Fritz (we like the South Melbourne original) are best known for their blockbuster flavour collections. Among the favourites are pecan and maple, caramelised fig and roast almond, cinnamon and ginger, and chili chocolate. Fritz, Stall 2, South Melbourne Market, Coventry St, Vic, (03) 9681 3109
Massimo's Gelateria
Heading to Noosa? Don't skip Massimo's. The classic menu puts the spotlight on the likes of hazelnut and Ferrero Rocher, with the odd foray into local flavour territory (take the best-selling macadamia nut number, for example). You'll be hard-pressed to find a tastier way to beat the tropical Queensland heat. Massimo's Gelato, 75 Hastings St, Noosa Heads

Colin James Fine Foods
With more than 60 kinds of gelati on offer, it's a pretty simple task filling your cone at Colin James. Everything is hand-churned using local Maleny Dairies Guernsey milk and cream, resulting in a creamier, richer product. Take the classic path of hazelnut, espresso and tiramisu, or get a little more adventurous with Cherry Ripe, banoffee or jaffa. Colin James Fine Foods, 37 Maple St, Maleny, Qld, (07) 5494 2860
Gelateria Cremona

This old-school gelateria offers some of the freshest scoops in town. Everything is made in-house and while the flavours can err on the side of unusual (Vegemite, we're looking at you) they almost always hit the spot in terms of taste and quality. Gelateria Cremona, 5-151 Baroona Rd, Paddington, Qld, (07) 3367 0212
The good folk at Shlix are all about authenticity, so you won't find any additives, preservatives or artificial flavours in their artisan gelati. Their main business is supplying restaurants and cafés around the city, but fortunately you can also get your hands on their gear at the funky little retail shop in Fortitude Valley. Shlix, 364 Brunswick St, Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3252 2229
Sweet Envy
Okay, so Sweet Envy's ice-cream doesn't fall strictly into the gelato category, but when it comes to icy treats down Hobart way, there's no denying it reigns supreme. Flavours range from the way out-there (gin and roses, say) to the downright delicious (passionfruit, orange and guava - yes please) and you'll find them either at the North Hobart shop or, during the warmer months, rolling through the streets of Hobart, as well as at events and festivals in Big Bessie, the ice-cream truck. Sweet Envy, 341 Elizabeth St, North Hobart, Tas, (03) 6234 8805

Evercream Gelati
Bruno Ocampo's 100 per cent fruit gelati are some of the finest in Adelaide. They're crafted to a traditional Italian recipe without preservatives or additives and you'll find them at the likes of Fudge It Café in Newton and their own Evercream Ye Olde Icecreamery in Hahndorf. Fudge It Café, 145 Montacute Rd, Newton, SA; Evercream Ye Olde Icecreamery, 27 Main St, Hahndorf, SA, 0401 645 140

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