Every summer, Sydneysiders flock to their favourite gelato and ice-cream spots to enjoy their pick of flavours, toppings and textures.
If you're hankering to explore beyond these familiar destinations, here is a sample of Sydney's best melting moments.
Good Times Ice Cream
The team at Good Times are making some of Sydney's best soft serve, which they call "soft gelato" due to its higher density. Everything at Good Times is made from scratch including hand-rolled cones, house-baked cookies, macarons and toppings. Tempting vegan and dairy-free flavours include the "Ziggy stardust" made with peach ice-tea soft serve. They also sell ice-cream sandwiches and ice-cream tubs. CBB to drive to Potts Point? Both Foodora and Uber do deliveries.
87B Macleay Street, Potts Point, 0414 448 080, @goodtimes_icecream.
Anita La Mamma del Gelato
Anita's gelato is among Sydney's creamiest, so if you haven't tried it, you're missing out. Head straight for flavours such as cookie man, mille feuilles, chestnut and hazelnut cream, panna cotta and lotus cream, or chocolate with almonds and caramel. With locations all over the world, Anita's is used to catering to the masses, offering specials, sugar-free, fat-free and dairy-free options.
28 Broadway, Chippendale, anita-gelato.com. (Also at Bondi.)
RivaReno is serious authentic Italian gelato. It's made fresh every day, poured straight out of the machine into the cool "pozzetti" counter (lidded freezer tubs), responsible for preserving the gelato's silky texture. Pistachios come all the way from Sicily, and hazelnuts from Piedmont - oh, and there's no artificial flavours, colourings or other questionable additives. Try the "Cremino RivaReno", inspired by the famous multi-layered chocolates from Turin.
280 Crown Street, Darlinghurst, 02 9356 2669, rivareno.com.au. (Also at Barangaroo.)
Cremeria De Luca
Salvatore De Luca's family have been making gelato for more than 80 years. "There are no tricks or secrets to our gelato, nor short cuts or premixes," he says. Classics include gianduja and zabajone cassata, as well as vegan options such as dirty chai and soy chocolate. The gelato burger is a must-try.
84 Ramsay Road, Five Dock, 02 9712 4606, cremeria-deluca.com.
After studying the art of gelato, brothers Michael and Nick Kondilis have dedicated themselves to using fresh, premium ingredients. We love the vanilla malt, pistachio or coffee crunch. Grab a hand-held sweet or savoury crepe made before your eyes (the "cabo" with melted cheese, guac and beef is delish). The bros have even developed a gluten-free crepe batter. The gelato is made daily, along with gelato cakes, milkshakes, homemade custards and condiments.
Shop 1, 104 Miller Street, Pyrmont, 02 8056 5722, lovecrepe.com.
C9 Chocolate & Gelato
Pure melted Belgian chocolate on tap, anyone? Dress up your gelato with this liquid heaven for free, or try popular flavours such as cookies 'n' cream, chocolate brownies, macadamia and caramel, mango sorbet and pistachio. C9's Italian chefs churn out six new flavours each fortnight, and offer playful specials such as "Kendrick LeMars" and "You don't win friends with salad" (coconut gelato with roasted hazelnuts, melted chocolate and pieces of wafer).
55 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest, @c9chocolateandgelato.
N2 Extreme Gelato
This is not the place to go for your standard scoop. N2 makes its gelato to order using liquid nitrogen, offering a roll call of extreme flavours, from cough syrup to beer, or even potato and gravy flavours. Textures and elements also go to extremes, such as the caramelised crackable top of its gelato versions of creme brulee; and the toasted hazelnuts, rice bubbles and chocolate ganache syringe in the "Ferrero reveal".
Shop 43, 1 Dixon Street, Sydney, n2extremegelato.com.au.
Can't handle gluten or dairy? Gelato Blue is your go-to. Made with coconut milk, its gelato is smooth and creamy, and entirely plant-based. Try its honeycomb or panna cotta with Dutch waffles, or indulge in a sundae served with melted Belgian chocolate, crushed peanuts and a crispy waffle (or brownie!)
318 King Street, Newtown, @gelatoblue.
Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream
Hakiki hand churns its ice-cream based on a traditional recipe dating back to the 1600s. Thicker and stretchier than your usual ice-cream (thanks to the use of salep or orchid root extract), the business boasts "it's the only ice-cream in the world that can be eaten with a knife and fork". Even on a hot day, it takes a long time to melt. Sample a scoop of melon and feta, or grape molasses and tahini. Other tempting Turkish options include baklava, sticky date and pecan, rosewater, mandarin and pomegranate, and choclava (choccy and baklava). Oh, and we dare you to resist leaving without some house-made baklava, Turkish delights or a slow-brewed Turkish coffee.
Shop 1, 63-74 Enmore Road, Newtown, hakiki.com.au.
i-Creamy Artisian Gelato
Never judge a book by its cover, but what about a gelato flower? These guys are gold and silver winners at the Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy show, and it shows. Made with fresh milk, cream and eggs, i-Creamy leans towards Asian flavours such as Thai milk tea, durian, taro and jasmine milk. Classics such as chocolate cheesecake and French vanilla are also available. Sorbets are 100 per cent fat, gluten and dairy free, too.
Shop 13, Skyview Plaza, 537-551 George Street, Sydney, i-creamy.com.au.
Meet the new cool treat on the block: frozen custard. They taste a bit like a McFlurry, and come in flavours such as Oreo, vanilla, Snickers, blue cookie dough, Nutella, chocolate and salted caramel. Blend with your choice of topping (Snickers, Tim Tam, M&M's and more), and voila, you have your custard "concrete mixer".
Shop 357, Westfield Chatswood, 1 Anderson Street, Chatswood, 02 9419 2354, royalstacks.com.au.
Devon's chef Morris Baco gets his inspiration from travel and nostalgia so if you love traditional Japanese flavours, look no further than his kakigori: a Japanese dessert of shaved ice with genmaicha soft serve, houjicha and soy cream, house-made dango and sweet red beans, all paired with three different tea powders (genmaicha, houjicha and matcha). On Australia Day, the cafe be teaming up with Short Stop to bring you soft serve in crazy forms using doughnuts and lamington or caramello flavours.
76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, 02 9211 8777, devoncafe.com.au. (Also at Barangaroo.)
Ciccone & Sons
Ciccone & Sons blends and churns its mixes daily using Jersey milk, cream and sugar into flavours such as buttermilk and passionfruit or matcha and honeycomb. Recent projects include the "neapoli-tin", a three-flavour container of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Grown-ups can try their Mark bourbon and Laphroaig whisky options too.
195 Regent Street, Redfern, cicconeandsons.com.au.
Straight outta South Korea come Honey Creme. Their creamy soft serve has a deep and savoury milk flavour base, made with organic ingredients and fresh Australian milk. Try their signature honeycomb soft serve, or get creative with toppings such as coffee, organic cotton candy, popcorn, churros, macarons and cereal milk.
Never tried a macaron ice-cream sandwich? Well, now you can. Hours of manual labour go into the creation of these small works of art. They're fun and delicious.
78 Liverpool Street, Sydney, d21icecream.com.
Dulcet Cakes & Sweets
The naturally green-coloured soft serve is topped with gold leaf. Dulcet uses local fresh milk and no artificial flavouring. Its matcha is imported from Japan.
31 Belmore St, Burwood, 02 8937 2582, dulcetcakessweets.com.au.
Never had goat's milk gelato before? Former Three Blue Ducks chef Dan Hughes came up with the concept, preparing the gelato in-house, churning in small batches and incorporating ingredients from his kitchen garden. The gelato contains less sugar than your standard scoop, as the sweetness comes from seasonal fruit instead. Don't miss Mr Goaty's Sweet Ride, a vintage 1970s ice-cream van doing the rounds at festivals, events and markets in and around Sydney.
Pimp My Chimney
The ice-cream chimney is a global favourite, and these geniuses figured why not pimp it up with Nutella and soft serve? Their cheeky, fun and mouth-watering creations delight from the very first bite.