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©kawaiikiri/Flickr
©kawaiikiri/Flickr

The Best Ice Cream Parlors In Sydney

Picture of Alex MacKay
Updated: 9 February 2017
If you’re fading on a hot day or need a sweet pick-me-up, you’ll find no end of tantalizing options on Sydney’s ice cream scene. This industry hosts a healthy mix of innovative mad scientists and tried and true traditionalists, from maverick chemists using liquid nitrogen to instantly whip up gorgonzola-infused scoops, to old-school pros following the same techniques their forefathers used a century ago. Whatever methods they choose, their goals are the same: to serve impeccably fresh, flavorful ice creams, sorbets and gelato to the citizens of Sydney. Take a look at our list of the best parlors in town, and see which one suits your style.

Cow and the Moon Artisan Gelato

Located on Enmore Road in a teeny tiny shop front, Cow and the Moon is a local favorite drawing queues every day of the week. The best time saving advice is to turn up early and get a tub for takeaway. Their gelato is all made onsite, and has earned the business continuing acclaim at the Sydney Royal Dairy Awards. The bulk of their flavor concoction occurs in the laboratory in the back of the shop, resulting in tempting, inventive combos like caramelized fig and walnut, and merango tango: a lemon meringue pie in ice cream form. Cow and the Moon’s coffee is also highly regarded, so grab a cup of that to sip alongside a scoop of their caffe latte.

181 Enmore Rd, Enmore, Australia, +61 2 9557 4255

Pompei’s

Already well known for their expertly made pizza, Pompei’s of Bondi Beach is becoming at least equally famous for their gelato.  This recent acclaim is backed by decades of experience, as the owner George Pompei spent 20 years in Italy learning the gelato trade. This high degree of dedication shines through in the richness of their hazelnut and dark chocolate flavors, and the subtlety of their sweet and nutty pistachio. These are all available to enjoy inside, or to takeaway and savor on a sunny stroll along the nearby beach. What could be better than a seaside scoop of their guava sorbet.

Address and telephone number: 126-130 Roscoe St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia, +61 2 9365 1233

N2 Extreme Gelato

This Haymarket parlor has earned a rep throughout Sydney as a ‘crazy chemist meets gelato bar’ for its use of liquid nitrogen in the gelato-making process. The ingredients of each gelato flavor are first infused in individual glass beakers, until they’re ready to be poured into colorful bench top Kitchen Aids, where the ice cream is immediately churned for your order. Since the product is made on the spot, the integrity of the ingredients is completely preserved, and customers get to experience the taste of utterly fresh ice cream that’s just come off the churn. This especially suits N2 Extreme Gelato‘s purist approach to serving ice cream, as their menu hinges on the exclusive use of real, fresh ingredients, without any artificial toppings, syrups, or colorings to interfere with the true flavor. Their experimental flavors are so striking that they don’t need any extras: take the Chinese cough medicine, the Rosemary’s Baby, or the buttered popcorn and gorgonzola, to name only a few.

 43/1 Dixon St, Sydney, Australia

Gelatomassi

A reliable and endearing Newtown staple, Gelatomassi is quick to make an impression and difficult to overlook. Staying open until nearly midnight and offering a generous sampling policy helps make this spot a thriving community hub and meeting point, but it’s the quality gelato that seals the deal. Their flavors are ever-rotating to keep locals on their toes; past favorites have included apple crumble, coconut, and Tim Tam ice creams, as well as delicately flavored champagne, fresh pear, and ginger sorbets.

262 King Street, Newtown, Australia, +61 2 9516 0655

Gelato Messina

Widely touted as purveyors of the best gelato outside Italy, Gelato Messina is a name that carries serious clout in the Australian ice cream industry. They continue to make their ice cream the same way it was done 100 years ago, creating all flavors on site with an discerning eye for premium ingredients. Gelato Messina serves forty rotating flavors each day and they do offer samples to try before you buy. Standouts here include the salted caramel and white chocolate, the coconut and lychee, the apple pie, the cassata, and the blood orange sorbet. For a special occasion, you’ll blow any other birthday gifts out of the water with one of Messina’s ice cream cakes.

241 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, Australia, +61 2 9331 1588

Passionflower

Passionflower resides at the Chinatown end of George Street alongside other acclaimed Asian restaurants, staking its own claim as a unique Sydney seller of ice creams with an Eastern influence. Open late into the night to host a steady stream of customers, Passionflower has earned a dedicated fanbase around a menu of rare flavors you won’t find at other gelaterias in town, like black sesame, sticky rice, lychee rose, jackfruit, and taro. Those dining in should try the epic Final Fantasy, a mix of black sesame and coconut ice creams with pieces of black jelly doused in a shot of evaporated milk. 

Shop G12,Capitol Square/730-742 George St, Haymarket, Australia, +61 2 9281 8322