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Top 3 Gelato Spots in Sydney

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by Lucy Y.Y. L (subscribe)
Somewhat skilled photographer. Full time tea drinker, reader and part-time napper. Follow adventures at
Published February 1st 2016
Scream for ice cream? Go for gelato
melon gelato, anita gelato sydney
Melon - Anita Gelato (Sydney)

We don't scream for ice-cream, we now scream for gelato! The popularity of this favoured dessert has grown exponentially and with countless gelato joints in Sydney, it could be difficult to track the most divine of them all. Researching the very best gelato in Sydney came down to the following criteria: use of natural ingredients, tradition and process of production. Here are the most exquisite spots:

The sites are not ranked in any particular order or worth.

1. Rivareno Gelato
Traditionally created in the Sicilian fashion, the creators of Rivareno choose the method of utilising 'pozzetti' (metal containers) which enables the finished product to be luxuriously smooth, creamy and silky. Since the pozzetti is lidded and not displayed open in the counter, the Sicilians believe that the gelato will retain its correct temperature and flavour, enabling the final product to be luscious and possess a consistent texture. In addition to this, the gelateria does not use 'hydrogenated fats, artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives' (quoted from the official website) and is produced daily, ensuring the very freshest of taste; Rivareno also obtains its milk from Italy.

rivareno gelato, sydney, darlinghurst
Rivareno Gelato, Darlinghurst

Due to its incredible use of natural ingredients and original methods, the gelato is unquestionably more pricey than the standard gelato stands served in fish and chips stores. I purchased the flavour 'Contessa' which consisted of Sicilian almond, hazelnut from Piedmont and amaretti biscuits. The gelato had the best texture and creaminess; although the consistency was slightly runny, I thoroughly enjoyed every bite/lick. I recommend the 'Contessa' for sweet tooths, the sweetness was at its highest and its methods of creating gelato is commendable. The gelateria has a medium-sized space for sitting (counter area looking out to the street and three to four tables) and can become very busy during the nights. (1 flavour - $4.90, 2 flavours - $6.90, 3 flavours - $7.90) Here are other review sites to validate the popularity and quality of Rivareno:

rivareno, darlinghurst
Rivareno (Ratings, Contact, Opening Times)

2. Gelato Messina (Darlinghurst)
Known for their fun, colourful and quirky desserts, Gelato Messina sells an array of different flavours and provides 35 permanent choices with 5 specials every week. Gelato Messina creates their products using the most natural ingredients, where their desserts are free from 'colourings, flavourings, preservatives and pastes' (quoted from official website). Like Rivareno, their roots and inspiration derive from Sicily, where the gelateria aim to create the most flavourful experience with less cream and raw ingredients. Concocting the most experiential and creative flavours, provided by past examples such as the 'Candy Warhol' and 'The Heisenberg', Gelato Messina will never fail to create the most exciting desserts.

gelato messina, darlinghurst
Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst

I was eager to try the 'Poached Figs in Marsala' but was looking for a fresh burst of fruit and decided on the 'Coconut & Lychee'. I'm glad I chose it over the poached figs, the flavour was not overbearing nor strong; it was a good balance between subtle and sweet. It was such a clean taste, I would definitely try this flavour again. Although the desserts are impressive, the dessert bar at Darlinghurst was limited to only 3-4 seating places and was not very well-lit in daylight. However, I would definitely come back here for more gelato! (Tiny - $4, 1 scoop - $4.80, 2 scoops - $6.80, 3 scoops - $8.80)

Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst
Gelato Messina Darlinghurst (Ratings, Contact, Opening Times)

3. Anita Gelato
Starting its creations in a small Mediterranean kitchen, Anita and her son, Nir, whipped up all sorts of flavours and sold their products to a local market. Now, the creations have expanded international and thankfully, Sydney has the chance to taste the sweet desserts. Anita Gelato uses the freshest local ingredients to hand-make frozen yoghurts and sorbets that are 'sugar-free, fat-free and soy-based' (quoted from official website). Her treats can be experienced in over 150 flavours using seasonal fruits, the richest chocolate and the freshest cream.

anita gelato, sydney
Anita Gelato, Chippendale

I opted for the 'Melon' flavoured sorbet and was very surprised for its fresh and unsweetened taste. Although Anita is famous for their 'Cookieman' flavour, which comprises of chocolate, meringue, hazelnuts and biscuit, I settled on something subtle. I'd like to point out that the portions Anita serves are very generous compared to Gelato Messina's and Rivareno's; the sorbet was overflowing the cup. The interior design of Anita's is admirable, I love their modern and classic take in their gelateria, it is quite similar to their website. Additionally, Anita offers the most space and seating arrangements which is perfect for large crowds! (Small - $5.50, Regular - $8, Jumbo - $9)

Anita Gelato, Chippendale
Anita Gelato (Ratings, Contact, Opening Times)

ALTERNATIVES: Try N2 Extreme Gelato (Locations at Newtown, Sydney and CBD) for whacky flavours (past examples such as wasabi and pea, salt and pepper squid) or Cow & The Moon (181 Enmore Rd, Enmore)

TIPS: Rivareno and Gelato Messina have contacted me through email/phone and have said they encourage customers to try flavours before purchasing, as well as Anita Gelato. In that case, try the flavours that grab your attention, happy gelato eating/licking!
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Why? There's nothing better than allowing yourself indulge without feeling guilty
Cost: $$
Your Comment
Nice article :)
by Diana (score: 2|719) 2490 days ago
I love Anita Gelato and have been back again and again. They are always very accommodating with giving out samples, but that doesn't always make the decision easier. My fave flavours there are Loacker (hazelnut wafer) and watermelon and mint. I like how their gelato is not overly sweet. Thanks for the great rundown, I will give the other places a try when I'm in the area.
by BunnyGalore (score: 1|92) 2491 days ago
Messina are also located in church st, parramatta ...and maybe elsewhere...
by andre (score: 0|2) 2489 days ago
I love Cow & Moon but recently found Toscana Gelateria Naturale in Georges Hall and had the best hazelnut EVER, heaps of other beautiful flavours and sorbets too all made on site (and 10 minutes from my home). Also Cremeria De Luca in Five Dock.
by Jenwr (score: 1|27) 2489 days ago
I love Cow & Moon but recently found Toscana Gelateria Naturale in Georges Hall and had the best hazelnut EVER, heaps of other beautiful flavours and sorbets too all made on site (and 10 minutes from my home). Also Cremeria De Luca in Five Dock.
by Jenwr (score: 1|27) 2489 days ago
Cow&Moon's too sweet to my taste, love Gelatomassi Newtown when I lived in Newtown.
by joyz3 (score: 0|4) 2489 days ago
I like Anita and Messina the best. Anita because the flavours are intense and less sweet, Messina for deliciousness in the face of diversity. However, some of my favourite flavours are available at Gelato Blue, Newtown. Apart from these three, the other main players don't taste great to me.
by b (score: 1|80) 2488 days ago
Gondola in Archer St Chatswood wins hand down.
by ally. (score: 0|2) 2481 days ago
My favourite is actually not a shop but you can pick up from their warehouse, its called Glace in Summer Hill. So good! This is them -
by sjm26 (score: 0|2) 2472 days ago
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