Whether it’s a half-melted cone dripping onto the pavement or a piled-up sundae, ice cream (and gelato and frozen custard) hits the spot during summer.
Rocking some truly unique and delicious flavours like the Geisha—vanilla frozen custard, cheesecake, pink rose petals, strawberries, watermelon and crushed pistachio—and Apple Pie—vanilla frozen custard, a cinnamon donut, real crushed apples plus cornflakes—Mookie concretes are made with vanilla and chocolate frozen custard that’s spun fresh every day.
More of a sip-it kinda person? Their frozen custard is also used in their shakes which include flavours such as Red Velvet, Peanut Butter and Miso and Matcha Green Tea.
Bertoldo’s Gelato Mio
Sometimes you need a coldie to get you through an epic shopping trip—a cold gelato, that is! Made on its Canberra Outlet Centre premises, you will find a huge range of authentic Italian Gelato at Bertoldo’s, including flavours like Lemon Sorbet, Nutella, Cookies and Cream, Caramelised Fig, Roasted Almond Praline, Snickers and Honeycomb.
This purveyor of American frozen custard has been a Canberra institution since the late ‘90s and no list of local cold treats would be complete without it. From shakes and sundaes to Goodberry’s trademark concretes, this creamy custard concoction is delightful when blended with sweets, fudges, fruits and nuts. We love the Golden Good Time with butterscotch fudge and honeycomb biscuit.
Not only are Via Dolce the producers of beautiful authentic gelato, they also make the most magnificent desserts, cakes and pastries—the perfect place for an after-dinner treat in the city.
Choose from flavours such as Blood Orange, Mango, Biscotto, Salted Caramel, White Chocolate, Coffee, Lemon and the list goes on!
Frugii Dessert Laboratory
A Canberra icon, Frugii is a hidden gem, located in Braddon’s Ori Building. Frugii make their own range of ice cream, gelato, sorbets, chocolates, and spectacular chilled cakes, all from scratch! Canberra’s ice cream alchemist John Marshall whips up flavours to challenge the mind and excite the palate—think classics like Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Vanilla Bean, and the more adventurous Fennel, Butter Chicken, Musk Stick and Pialligo Estate Bacon.
Since opening in Darlinghurst in 2002, the obsessive Gelato Messina team have sought to set a new benchmark for gelato in Australia, serving up a diverse range of over 40 flavours at any one time and a select number of bespoke gelato cakes and single-serve pieces.
Every day they churn out some crazy concoction such as the Zabaglione con Martini Rosso—marsala egg custard gelato with martini rosso-soaked ladyfinger biscuits. Don’t try and say it, just point at it.
That Gelato Place
Serving up award-winning Pure Gelato in everything from cones to cakes, this Weston Creek gem is a must-visit for more than 100 flavours made the finest natural ingredients: hand-selected fruit, farm fresh milk and rich, fresh cream.
From Cookies Choc-Chip to Champagne, Roasted Almond to Rochér, there’s a gelato for every taste, as well as coffee, fresh gelato cannoli, and an array of Italian sweets.
Stocked with ice cream made onsite to their own recipes, Stripey Sundae is set in the beautiful historical Ginninderra Village. A quaint little shop that is perfect for families to sit back and enjoy a cuppa and a delicious ice cream treat.
Expect to find all your favourite flavours, plus unusual options such as Maltese Spiced Almond and Redskin, plus dairy-free options like Coconut Salted Caramel and Cookie Batter.
Known as a chocoholics’ paradise, Oliver Brown is the place to go if you’re hankering for waffles, crêpes, chocolate fondue and drinks—but it also serves up some mind-blowing sundaes.
We love the Fruitti Sundae—two flavours of fruit gelati topped with bananas, strawberries whipped cream, sweet flakes and a chocolate wafer stick—and with Oliver Brown stores open late most days of the week, it’s the perfect end to a summer day.
Fresh, artisanal and delicious. Using a secret tradition Calabrian family recipe, these guys churn out freshly-made gelato every day with only the best, natural ingredients. You won’t know where to start with flavours like Salted Macadamia & Dulce de Leche, Maple Pancake, Red Velvet Royale, Peanut Butter Fudge with Choc Chips and Luxe Lime & Coconut.
Lolo and Lola
Sometimes you find the most delicious ice cream in the most unlikely of places. Filipino eatery Lolo and Lola first made a splash across Canberra socials with their eye-catching purple Ube cake back in 2015; now they’ve extended their talent for all things sweet to a new range of artisanal ice cream. Choose from Ube, Avocado or Queso Royale (Cheese)—sounds odd but it works…oh how it works! Available for dine-in or takeaway.
Contenders for the Frozen Custard crown, Meadows mixes up their shakes and sundaes with Artic Frosts, Custard Bars, Gelatis and Italian Ice.
The Hawaiian Delight swirl—vanilla custard, pineapple, banana, coconut, macadamia—is the perfect summer dessert, and it’s hard to go past the classic Banana Split—scoops of frozen custard topped with a banana, cherry and whipped cream—for old-fashioned indulgence.
Thanks to Tim Bean for the fabulous photographs included in this article.