Scoops at the ready, it’s time for a round-up of Brisbane’s best gelato. And no, it’s not the same as ice cream; gelato comes from a completely different part of paradise that has a statue of Robert De Niro and free parking for Vespas.
Proper Italian gelato is hallmarked by a higher fat content and a resultingly intense flavour that makes you go hot and cold and forget how to say your own name properly. From whence did this delightful frigidity spring? Well, LEGEND HAS IT that in the late 16th Century (stay with me) Bernardo Buontalenti, under the patronage of the Medici family, invented gelato as a dessert to impress the King of Spain (probably Phillip II but the facts dry up around this point so that’s mostly speculation. But you get the general idea). Needless to say, Buontalenti nailed the brief and gelato quickly became known across Europe as the pinnacle of human accomplishment.
As we’re heading into summer, sourcing the best gelato spots around town is crucial for our survival. Here are the time-honoured sports where we’ll be getting Brisbane’s best gelato. Let the heat roll in:
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.
Nom Nom Gelato
Often referred to as the Horn of Brisbane, Bulimba is home to many treasures, Nom Nom 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: the fussy eater
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.
Serving suggestion: ask for chocolate in the bottom of the cone–will not disappoint.
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.
Milani House of Gelato
Easily the most lauded and decorated gelateria in town, it’s a proper miracle that Milani 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: best in show, dark chocolate gelato.
Want more? Here's Brisbane's Best Ice Cream Sandwiches!
Image credit: Ariana Gillrie