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FOOD & DRINK

The Ten Best Ice Cream and Gelato Joints in Brisbane

The temperature is rising and the gelato is freezing; cool down with Brisbane's top tier of iced confections.
By Sarah Ward and Sophia Edwards
December 05, 2019
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The Ten Best Ice Cream and Gelato Joints in Brisbane

The temperature is rising and the gelato is freezing; cool down with Brisbane's top tier of iced confections.
By Sarah Ward and Sophia Edwards
December 05, 2019
  shares

For many, it seems that gelato has assumed ice cream's mantle as the height of iced indulgence. Lower fat content, less air incorporated during the churning process and a lower serving temperature all contribute to its smooth, elastic allure. And, plenty of folks argue that these differences — especially in the preparation process — give gelato a more intense flavour.

Ice cream will always have its diehards, though. If you prefer its rich dairy goodness and light consistency, there are a bunch of franchises awaiting — but there are also a few old school ice cream vendors who make their own product in-house.

Indeed, in the gelato, ice cream and sorbet game, there's a bit of variety out there. Below are our favourite purveyors of chilled confectionery — whether you like it in a cone, in a cup, on a stick, in a sandwich or as part of a decadent sundae.

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GELATO MESSINA, SOUTH BRISBANE AND FORTITUDE VALLEY

Remember that feeling you had as a kid when Christmas finally rolled around? Excitement, enthusiasm and an inability to decide just what you should do first? That's what walking into Gelato Messina's two Brisbane stores feels like. Inside the chain's South Brisbane and Fortitude Valley stores, you'll find display cases filled with flavours of Messina's finest, all chilled to -14 degrees. Flavour-wise, the range spans flavours such as popular best-seller salted caramel and white chocolate, the tasty pandan and coconut sorbet, and a mint choc-chip so distinctive, the staff will ask you if you've had it before. Yes, it's okay to want to try everything. You're only human, after all.

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GOODTIMES GELATERIA, CBD

If pastel colours make you think of gelato — and make your stomach rumble — then prepare to indulge at Goodtimes. The Howard Smith Wharves dessert spot serves its scoops from a pink counter that'll make you hungry for strawberry ice cream, although there's more than one flavour to choose from. In fact, as overseen by HSW Executive Pastry Chef Rhian Shellshear, you can take your pick from 22 different varieties, which includes 12 permanent flavours, six sorbets and four rotating types. Given that you'll be licking their wares by the water, you can't really go wrong, but keep an eye out for baked apple pie gelato and mandarin sorbet.

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HAPPY POPS, SOUTH BRISBANE

Already a hit in Noosa, Happy Pops has made the jump to South Bank — and your tastebuds will be pleased. These artisanal gelato creations are made with Maleny milk, come on a stick, and are available in two styles. If you're fine with licking up one of the set flavours (such as Fruit Pavlova, which features actual pavlova, vanilla gelato, white chocolate, freeze-dried raspberries and passionfruit), then nab a pre-made dessert. If you'd like to get creative, you can also design your own. Those opting for the latter will need to choose a base (gelato, sorbet or yoghurt), style of chocolate (full-dip, half-dip or drizzle) and three toppings (including hazelnuts, sprinkles, macadamia nuts, marshmallows, Oreos, M&Ms and Nerds). Yep, just think of the possibilities.

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Milani Caffé e Gelato

MILANI HOUSE OF GELATO, HAMILTON

A Hamilton mainstay — and one of Racecourse Road's must-visit spots, whether you're heading by after dinner or making gelato your main meal — Milani Caffé e Gelato has picked up a host of awards over the years, nabbing honours at the Australian Dairy Awards, the Australia Dairy Product Competition and the Queensland Royal Food and Wine Show. The panna cotta ranks among their most decorated creations, though you can't go wrong with banana, pistachio or one of their more inventive flavours (pineapple sorbet, for example). Milani also dish up lavish (and customisable) sundaes, but given the store's prime location, prepare to have plenty of company.

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LICK! ICE CREAM, MORNINGSIDE AND GRACEVILLE

After 11 years as a dessert company, Lick! Ice Cream took the next step in 2015 and opened their own western suburbs store, followed by a Morningside shop in 2017. And with that giant leap for ice cream-loving kind, they did something else: started offering up Ekka-style strawberry ice cream all year round. In case anyone is after something different, their rotating range spans 18 flavours and also spans a number of sorbets. Must-tries include old favourites such as macadamia praline, Oreo cookie and rum and raisin, as well as the less commonly seen salted peanut and Redskin. Or, grab a doffle — yes, that's a doughnut-waffle hybrid.

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LA MACELLERIA, WEST END, COORPAROO AND BOWEN HILLS

Simply eating gelato is obviously a delight, but what if you learnt how to make your own? As well as serving up delicious scoops, La Macelleria Gelateria in Newstead and West End hosts workshops in the art of gelato. Roll up your sleeves, listen in and become your own gelato-maestro. Best of all, you get to take home the fruits of your labour, which means you'll have gelato for the week (or as long as it lasts) La Macelleria also has two more Brisbane ice creameries in Coorparoo and Bowen Hills, because these authentic Italian-style desserts have plenty of fans.

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NOM NOM NATURAL GELATO, BULIMBA

Those fond of sweet, frozen dairy treats best flock to Bulimba, where an array of great flavours await. Combining Maleny dairy milk and cream with the best ingredients, Nom Nom Natural Gelato's nom-worthy range includes all the usual suspects. Think Belgium chocolate with or without orange or coffee, Madagascar vanilla bean plus optional salted caramel sauce, as well as fruity servings of blueberry and strawberry. There's also pistachio, almond and cashew concoctions made with 100-percent real nut paste; cheesecake, apple pie and gingerbread varieties — and don't forget fresh mint with chocolate chips, green tea and fresh lemon, banana and cinnamon, and coconut with shreds as well.

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GELATERIA CREMONA, PADDINGTON

A long-term Rosalie favourite, Gelateria Cremona is Brisbane's home of Christmas pudding gelato at the right time of year. It's the city's home of everything from Thai milk tea and liquorice to durian and Anzac biscuits flavours all-year-round, too. The highly regarded Baroona Road gelato cafe serves up a constant rotation of out-of-the-box options, so you'll find something different on each visit. The scoops here are silky and delicious, and, as for the place itself, it has a charming, slightly (and delightfully) old fashioned ice cream parlour vibe.

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SUGO MI, BULIMBA

Dine in at Bulimba's Sugo Mi, and you can follow up your pizza or pasta meal with a bowl of gelato. Keen to simply drop by for a few scoops? You can do that as well. At the back of the restaurant, down a side alleyway that you might walk straight past if you don't know it's there, you'll find a deli and ice creamery that's all about gelato and sorbet made the traditional way. Nab a cone of peanut Butter and chocolate, or a cup toasted marshmallow — or opt for a tasting bowl of four small scoops if you just can't decide upon one flavour. Some flavours stick around, others rotate, and take-home packs are also on offer (which is an ace option if you've had too much at dinner but still want to feast on a frosty treat later).

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CIAO GELATO, NUNDAH

Love ice cream, but don't love gluten? Keen on gelato, but you vegan diet doesn't always play ball? Enter Ciao Gelato. The Nundah spot whips up a range of regular ol' scoops — although with flavours like butterscotch and white chocolate, hazelnut choco crunch, cold-brew coffee and toasted coconut, there's nothing regular about them — but it's a particular haven for those with dietary requirements. You'll find vanilla oreo, honeycomb and peanut butter brownie varieties among the dairy-free selection, plus sorbet cupcakes and cookie dough sundaes. Ciao is also known for its gelato pops, which you can buy individually or take home in six- or 12-packs.

Published on December 05, 2019 by Sarah Ward

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