Entering the store, infiltrated by a waft of baked goods; my eyes zone in on the tray of perfectly portioned vanilla slices. I've travelled far for this treat, and it was well worth the trip.
The classic vanilla slice is a simplistically delicious bite size snack, consisting of a sandwich like crusty pastry, filled in the centre with sweet, creamy custard. Over a period of time, I have tried many varieties of the great classic, and have travelled to far places such as the Mornington Peninsula just for a taste of the renowned vanilla slices. After many repeated experiments, here are my top three favourites:
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Unquestionably one of my all time favourite locations for a vanilla slice; especially enjoyed on the lawn by the ocean. This place sells vanilla slices by the tray-full every day. Their slices are generally larger than your average, but you won't have trouble finishing it. The filling is of course primarily custard, but there is also a nice, thin layer of jam that gives this slice the extra kick. The custard itself is fresh, light, and the flavour slightly edges on the egg-y side. The pastry is light, crusty and tasty but subtle enough to accentuate the filling; it's then topped off with a generous dose of soft icing sugar. Expect messy fingers.
The French Lettuce is also renowned for their vanilla slices. The slices here are comparable, however the filling is more on the creamy side compared to Sorrento, and it is also slightly thicker in texture. In my opinion it's neither better nor worse than the Sorrento slice, it all depends on preference. You also get a slightly more dense pastry, and the jam is a side condiment rather than incorporated in the layers.
Cafe 53 - Melbourne This third place is a little bit less conspicuous than the above two. The vanilla slice can be found in this small café, tucked away on Flinders lane, between Exhibition and Spring streets. The vanilla slice here is fresh, creamy, light and fluffy. It is in good competition with the other two more famous counterparts. Also given the location, I frequently buy my vanilla slices from here.
Of course there are many more equally good vanilla slices out there; you just have to go find them.
Best vanilla slice i've had is from Kinglake bakery - absolutely deeelicious!
By craig36 - reader Thursday, 30th of December @ 02:41 am
I love the ones at Coffee HQ, lovely firm custard, icing not too overpowering, like a little taut slab of heaven :)
By miss.14 - reader Thursday, 30th of December @ 05:03 am
Tiny bakery in Upwey (near belgrave) best vanilla slices, and so cheep. Always crisp pastry, sweet but thin icing and creamy firm custard.Mmmmm..........
By jadel0 - reader Monday, 10th of January @ 09:54 am
Station St Foodstore in Fairfield and Enni on High St Thornbury do excellent vanilla slices.
By Liza Dezfouli - senior reviewer Friday, 11th of February @ 05:19 am
Hi Quinn B, would you please tell me who makes the vanilla slices like the one in the photo - it looks yummy. Thanks
By tinal2 - reader Saturday, 12th of February @ 05:17 pm
Umm, I love my vanilla slices and I think I know where there is a great vanilla slice, yet its not from a cafe. I might tell you one day.
By Jody Kimber - senior reviewer Monday, 28th of February @ 11:27 pm
I'd love to give a big shout out to Cafe 287 in Balwyn for their delicious vanilla slice. Creamy, frothy custard, flaky pastry, and dusted with a thick layer of icing sugar. Trust me, you'll be licking your fingers, lips, and anywhere else you managed to get it while devouring this sweet little slice of heaven.
By Lisa Williams - senior reviewer Friday, 15th of July @ 05:12 am
According to the vanilla slice purists, the best vanilla slice in Melbourne is in Heidelberg West, of all places! the company, Sweet by Nature recently worn the The best Vanilla Slice in Australia competition at Ouyen. This cafe is in the middle of nowhere but is simply amazing.. Is a Direct outlet with seconds and offcuts and a dazzling display. Place was packed when I went there! Must see!
Margaret, Doncaster East
By Anonymous Saturday, 16th of July @ 05:43 am
the french lettuce in carlton is definetly the best in melbourne. nice crispy pastery and amazeing creamy custard.. YUM ;P