If there’s one thing Sydney is good at, it’s ice cream and gelato which is a blessing in disguise with the hot temps in Summer. But, what’s the actual difference between ice cream and gelato? Long story short, gelato is creamier and has less fat in it, obviously a win win for all! With so many places to choose from, which spot comes up tops?

Luckily this post is brought to you by gelato fanatic Rebecca Shinn, who’s also a Brit and has been living in Sydney for a year now. She’s tried and tested all of the best gelato spots to be our guest writer for this post. Follow her expat journey here.

So without a doubt, and in no particular order, here’s the ultimate top 10 gelato spots in Sydney!

1. Riva Reno

. || PISTACCHIO BRONTE || . ・・・ Want the inside scoop on the pistachio gelato at RivaReno? Sourced from a family-owned company in Bronte (in Sicily, not the eastern suburbs!), the pistachios they use are considered the best in the world, thanks in part to the volcanic soil in the area. Every second year, the pistachio buds are cut off to stop them from producing fruit, giving energy back to the plant, and resulting in an even better quality product the next year. 📷:@effie.ling Repost: @thestreetsofbarangaroo ・ ・ #rivareno #gelato #fresh #crownst #darlinghurst #surryhills #thestreetsofbarangaroo #barangaroo #sydney #nomnom #dessert #rivarenosummer #pistacchio #smallbatch #laboratorioitaliano

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I first clocked RivaReno in Barangaroo on my way for mid week drinks – however, there’s another one in Darlinghurst! The unique aspect about here is the fact that you can’t see the gelato because its in silver tins underneath the countertop. It’s meant to be the only way to have Italian gelato at the correct temperature – the other time I saw this was in Sicily – so I figure it makes sense.

On the menu you’ll find crepes, waffles, brioche and ‘gelato sticks’ which, are basically home made magnums…! The sounds I made after scraping my first taste of ‘Cremino Dark’ – dark chocolate with hazelnut and layers of pistachio crème, it was basically heaven on a spoon. This is without a doubt one of my favourite gelato spots in Sydney.

Where can I find Reva Reno?

280 Crown Street, Darlinghurst

33 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

2. Pink Salt

By a fair stretch, the best thing about this Double Bay eatery is the soft serve. At $10 a pop, its definitely not your standard swirl of soft serve on a little cone.

Arriving in its own holder – It’s a brightly coloured cone filled with pineapple and lime swirl, topped with freeze dried pineapple, toasted oat chip and some other things I can’t remember because I was too busy gawping at it.

The flavours and toppings change regularly, but are sure to dazzle every time.  If you love a bit of theatre with your food – then this is an absolute must.

Where can I find Pink Salt?

53 Cross Street, Doubly Bay

3. Aqua S

Aqua S isn’t your usual ice cream eatery. I remember when the cloud formed fairy floss wrapped around ice cream literally took over instagram at one point. The sea salt blue flavoured base originally comes from (and unsurprisingly) Japan, but they mix it with various random flavours like lychee and green apple.

With 2 flavours changing regularly every two weeks to compliment the sea salt, I will happily admit that I always check the website to see what the newest flavours are. I strongly recommend popcorn, macadamia honey and rosewater melon. I know it all sounds random but trust me, it honestly just works!

Where can I find Aqua S?

501 George Street, Sydney CBD

Chatswood Westfield

Macquarie Shopping Centre

4. N2 Extreme

Chocolates hazelnutty rice bubbly goodness 🤤 📷: @eatwithjesse

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There’s a bit of novelty here with the method they use to make the gelato – liquid nitrogen mixed with the flavor of your choice including wearing goggles and gloves during the process.

The ferrero is incredible, with a syringe full of chocolate sauce sticking out the top of hazelnut ice cream, which is already topped with a hazelnut shell. Crème brulee is also a firm second, complete with blow torched top to smash through.

Where can I find N2 Extreme? 

Sydney CBD: 43/1 Dixon Street (near Darling Harbour)

5. Gelato Messina

The old faithful, the popular and maybe the creamiest spot for gelato – Gelato Messina. There are the regulars, and then the changing specials, like A Salt On The Senses – vanilla and salted caramel gelato with choc chip and caramel cookies. They just announced a new Tim Tam flavour too!! It’s as good as it sounds.

I love coming here, mainly because I get to exercise the try-before-you-buy concept quite heavily! And then of course, I order the exact same flavor every time – hazelnut.

They also have a delivery service where you can order tubs of the cold stuff to your sofa! I mean – door.

Where can I find Gelato Messina?

The Star Casino

241 Victoria Road, Dalinghurst

389 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Tramsheds, 1 Dalgal Way, Glebe

262 King Street, Newtown

61 Hall Street, Bondi

283 Church Street, Parramatta

600 The Kingsway, Miranda

6. Anita Gelato

Anita Gelato is a trendy gelato spot, with graffiti-esque décor on the walls to pull in the customers. But there’s no real need as the ice cream speaks for itself. They specialize in combinations and also, like Gelato Messina, happily let you try before you buy. Ferrero Rocher (again, I know – I’m a fiend) is a winner and probably the most Ferrero rocher-like out of all the ones I’ve tried.

Where is Anita Gelato? 

Central Park Mall, Chippendale

180 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach

7. Cow And The Moon

Some of the days treats! #gelato #gelatosydney #comeatme

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The world’s best gelato winners hail from Sydney’s inner west. That’s right, the world’s best (in 2014) was Cow and the Moon who bring in strong crowds wanting to try the best of the best.

Originals include flavours like; Purple Rain, a vanilla base swirled with blueberries are amongst ‘Hokey Pokey’ and ‘After Dinner Mint’. Delicious and creamy to be devoured in seconds, the only gripe I had was that it melted very quickly – I had barely stepped outside and it was dripping down the sides. What’s with that?!

Where is Cow and the Moon? 

181 Enmore Road, Enmore

8. Pagoto Gelato and Waffle House

This spot is one with a difference and definitely a welcome one. Combining waffles with greek inspired gelato flavours is for the customer who shuns vanilla and chocolate and welcomes watermelon and feta, baklava and passionfruit cheesecake. Fitted out in retro design, it’s a worthy detour away from the hive of Newtown just to sample the crazy combinations. Obviously, the usuals are there, but you have to try the baklava – it’s a bit of a signature which has an authentic flavour.

Where is Pagoto Gelato and Waffle House?


9. Gelato Blue

As I work at the end of King Street in Newtown, gelato is always a welcome suggestion on a weekday at lunchtime when that sugar fix is badly needed. So fast forward a 15-minute walk where I made my selection after the obligatory tasters (“1 scoop of espresso please”) – so delicious and so surprising that it wasn’t dairy based!

I knew this was a vegan joint, but I didn’t know it was 100% plant based. I had gelato in my sights and didn’t pay attention to signage as it’s actually pretty small so I wondered how many others knew about it too. For those doubtful non-vegans, I give this one high praise indeed because all of my vegan friends have said this is the best gelato in Sydney and I definitely give this a big thumbs up. 

Where is Gelato Blue? 

318 King St, Newtown

10. New Zealand Natural

When strolling through the QVB one day, I came across New Zealand Natural. As the name suggests, only natural ingredients are used in all of the ice cream flavours. No preservatives or hidden artificial ingredients which means it’s great for those with allergies, intolerances (me) or just sensitivities.

Where can I find New Zealand Natural?

The Galleries, Sydney CBD

Westfield George Street, Sydney CBD

Level 3, 8 West Street, North Sydney

If you’re up for something a bit healthier which will also keep you cool, check out this post:

Top 11 Acai Bowls in Sydney

The ultimate top 10 gelato spots in Sydney
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