The jacarandas are packing up their blooms, the mangoes are flying off the shelves by the tray, and the sultry fumes are messing up my hair like it’s no one’s business; the scorching season is very nearly almost upon us and we are gearing up to get wild with a round-up of Brisbane’s best gelato.
While the sweltering conditions may make most other activities impossible, summer’s torrid environment is perfect for a gelato binge. Few things cut through the steamy mess of 40-degree heat better than a scoop of strawberry sorbet; the only thing to abate the hell of a broken fan is half a tub of chocolate chip; and nothing takes the edge of a two-hour car ride like a double-serve of salted caramel.
Given the impending hellstorm, sourcing the best gelato spots around town is crucial for our survival. Don’t be caught out there without relief; take note of these time-honoured spots to load up on Brisbane’s best gelato. Let the heat roll in.
All along the east coast, these guys are the absolute Dons of gelato. Originating in Sydney, Messina’s mastery of the churn quickly became so widely appreciated that when they landed in South Brisbane they arrived to a pre-cooked cult-following. Their classic flavours are always reliably delicious, making them a top contender as Brisbane's gelato, but what keeps us coming back is the constantly changing specials board.
Summer tip: check out their specials board for bold, creative scoops.
Teneriffe and West End
Here is the realization of a dream for two Italian boys who wanted to bring traditional Italian gelato to Brisbane’s sultry climate. Taking their gelato-mixing cue from Bologna, the spiritual homeland of gelato, you cannot actually get any more authentic than La Macellaria short of hopping on a 747. Their methods are steeped in tradition, and their flavours are so heart-wrenchingly classic they might as well be wearing Ray Ban Clubmasters. Since opening in Teneriffe, La Macelleria’s popularity has earned them a second location across the river in West End.
Serving suggestion: ask for chocolate in the bottom of the cone—will not disappoint.
Nom Nom Natural Gelato
Often referred to as the Horn of Brisbane, Bulimba is home to many treasures, Nom Nom Natural Gelato among them. The all-natural focus of their gelato is evident in everything from the creamy base (made only on milk from Maleny Dairies) right up to the delectable flavourings. Nom Nom have also winkled out a little nook in our hearts for being so damn versatile and offering plenty of gluten free, dairy free and vegan options.
Best for: catering to dietary requirements.
Undisputedly the finest in the patch, Cremona is a local favourite and the most anticipated and glittering stop on the Rosalie food safari. Classic flavours get their due but it’s the new concoctions that send everyone into frenzy. Expect to see things like black sesame, Snickers, or cardamom and orange on Cremona’s constantly rotating selection. Their gelato technician, Gerry, is bucking for a sainthood.
Serving suggestion: come down on cone night and have your scoop in a fresh-made waffle cone (GF available).
Easily the most decorated gelateria in town, it’s a proper miracle that Milany hasn’t buckled under the weight of all the prizes and accolades their gelato has received. It’s easy to see why – their gelato is super fresh, exceptionally creamy and peppered with pops of blackout euphoria. If you’re planning a frosty blowout, I cannot recommend one of their sundaes highly enough.
Best bet: the dark chocolate gelato; it's won more prizes than a child actor at an eisteddfod judged by their own mum.
Even if you’ve never been to their store, you will almost definitely have tried ShliX’s gelato at one of Brisbane’s finest restaurants. Their commercial operation trades out of an unassuming plot on Brunswick Street so you can cut out the middleman and jump straight to afters #considerate. And where a lot of parlors ply their tubs with additives and preservatives, ShliX is having none of it, choosing instead to make their gelato fresh with quality ingredients. Bless their hearts.
Recommended dosage: bulk.
Lick! Ice Cream
Graceville and Morningside
The darling of deli freezers and Ekka ice creams, Lick! have gone retail on their commercial operation, making their ultra-tasty tub delights available for purchase by the scoop. Though not technically gelato, these guys deserve an honourary mention because if the name of the game is sweet, cold, respite from the heat then these guys have it in spades.
Serving suggestion: squidge your scoop between two cookies for a refreshing lil’ sanga.
Image credit: Nom Nom Natural Gelato by Ariana Gillrie for The Urban List