Instead of licking on home-brand ice cream or eating tin fruit with cream, take yourself out and taste-test some of Melbourne's best desserts below.
Hot take incoming: Dessert can be enjoyed at any time of day.
Chocolate cake for breakfast? Why not. Slice of pavlova for lunch? Go for it. Waffles for dinner? Treat yo’self!
There isn’t any reason why you can’t indulge your sweet tooth whenever you feel like it, which is great news for Melbourne folk because the city is chock full of restaurants and eateries catering to your dessert needs.
So instead of licking on home brand ice cream or eating tin fruit with cream, take yourself out and taste test some of Melbourne's best desserts below.
Cruise past any of Pidapopó’s locations on a hot summer day and you’ll be greeted by a long line of sweaty punters craving Melbourne’s best ice cream.
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Owner Lisa Valmorbida attended Gelato University and worked at several famous gelaterias in Italy before returning home and opening Pidapopó.
Ten years later and there are three stores across Melbourne selling gelato and sorbet, gelato cakes, takeaway tubs and a range of Pidapopó chocolates handmade in Fitzroy. All gelato is made on-site with fresh ingredients and each season ushers in new flavours, although it’s hard to go past a couple of scoops of the classic pistachio in a cone.
Address: 299 Lygon St, Carlton | 85 Chapel St, Windsor | 8 Degraves St, CBD
Food fusions don’t get more interesting than what Chimnutz cooks up in the kitchen.
They take traditional Hungarian kürtoskalács, cone-like desserts known as chimney cakes, fill them with different flavoured ice cream or custards and finish them with all manner of Asian-inspired toppings. A top pick is the Boba Milk Tea Chimnutz - milk tea ice cream, brown sugar syrup, homemade Boba custard, vanilla mud cake and a wafer cone.
Other flavours include Fruit Salad Custard and Choc-top Bavarian, with patrons encouraged to modify their selection by adding other ingredients to find a flavour that agrees with them.
Address: 20 Booker St, Spotswood
This unassuming little spot in the heart of Melbourne began life as a side hustle for certified pastry chef Brianna during the pandemic. Her macarons quickly became the talk of the town, leading to Brianna quitting her job and opening Dremi Cake.
There’s a massive selection of macarons with different flavours and fillings on show along with a host of other yummy dessert options. Stop in for a macaron and bubble tea or grab a takeaway box, such as the Pokémon or Corgi packs of macarons.
Address: Shop 7, 525 Little Collins St, CBD
If you find yourself in Melbourne’s CBD with a hankering for something sweet that’s quick and easy, La Petite Creperie has you covered. Located in a former kiosk, this popular street vendor has been serving authentic French crepes since 2008.
Choose from an assortment of sweet (Nutella, caramel, jam) and savoury (cheese, ham, egg) toppings or go for a flambé with apple, plum, cinnamon jam and Calvados. Experience a taste of Paris without the jetlag.
Address: Corner Little Collins & Swanston St, CBD
Carlton cafes don’t get much more iconic. Since 1985 Brunetti’s has been serving the finest coffee, gelato, cakes, biscuits, and savoury dishes on Lygon Street.
While the pizza and pasta are great, it’s the sweet stuff that will keep you coming back for more. You’ll find everything from cannolis and tarts to macarons and Danish pastries, with the pear and cheese crumble sure to give you a warm feeling down below.
But be warned, Brunetti’s gets super busy on a weekend so book ahead to make sure you secure a table.
Address: 333 Drummond St, Carlton
This Malaysian dessert bar comes from Chee Wong, the brainchild of the acclaimed noodle bar Lulu’s Char Koay Teow.
Located right next door to Lulu’s, Pandan is the perfect spot where you can try traditional Asian desserts in a friendly setting. We recommend trying the monkfruit jelly (a type of hot soup), the green milk tea bowl (shaved ice dessert) or the Penang Cendol Smoothie Cup with coconut milk, gula melaka bingsu, pandan jelly, and red bean.
Address: 27 Hardware Lane, CBD
Korean dessert café Sulbing is another popular location where you can indulge in your sweet tooth fantasies.
The specialty here is bingsu – a milk-based shaved ice dessert that comes in a wide variety of flavours and includes interesting toppings such as red bean, mango cheese, and green tea chocolate.
We suggest the Oreo bingsu that comes with Oreo cookies, cocoa powder, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. Sulbing also provides Western desserts like waffles and cakes for the less adventurous, but we highly recommend giving the bingsu a whirl.
Address: 168 Lonsdale St, CBD
This pasta bar is, unsurprisingly, famous for its pasta. But Tipo 00 is also envied for its Tiramisu.
Named the Tipomisu (get it), this divine combination of chocolate, coffee, and mascarpone is an Italian winner that will leave you more than satisfied. Not only does it taste fantastic, but it’s also mesmerizing to look at.
And if you’re not a Tiramisu fan, give the Pannacotta a crack – you won’t be disappointed.
Address: 361 Little Bourke Street, CBD
Bibelot is a French patisserie with a wide range of sweet stuff up for grabs including cakes, gelato, pastries, and macarons.
Stop in for a coffee, matcha latte, or hot chocolate and impress your date with the array of desserts on offer, in particular, Bibelot’s signature Our Paris Brest – a crispy choux pastry filled with hazelnut praline and hazelnut crème mousseline, otherwise known as heaven on a plate.
The only downside is Bibelot closes at 5 pm daily so it’s more of an afternoon experience than an after-dinner spot, although they provide takeaway so you can stock up for home.
Address: 285-287 Coventry St, South Melbourne
One of the great things about Melbourne is the diverse cultures throughout the city, resulting in every type of cuisine you can imagine.
This also goes for the sweet stuff, with Homme Dessert an Asian-inspired eatery where all the dishes have been crafted by Thailand MasterChef winner Max Nuntawat.
Everything is made from scratch on the premises with no added food colouring or preservatives, with some of the best sellers including the mango sticky rice bingsu, strawberry cheese pie, and Shokupan, a tasty Japanese milk bread.
Address: 294 La Trobe St, CBD
Although Letao has been around for over 25 years, it wasn’t until 2022 that the first store outside of Asia opened in Melbourne.
The past couple of years have seen the Japanese cheesecake specialists become a favourite of dessert lovers, with the bestselling Double Fromage a delectable mix of Hokkaido cream, Italian mascarpone, and Australian cream cheese that melts in the mouth.
There are also several Australian exclusives, such as the Snow Cake imported from Hokkaido, Japan, and the Spanish-inspired, Melbourne-only Tromage, made using three kinds of premium cheese.
Address: 283 Swanston St, CBD
Cheesecake on a stick sounds ridiculous but that’s exactly what you get when visiting Stickies. This refreshing dessert bar has made its name with slices of cheesecake dipped in sauce and topped with all manner of flavour combinations, such as the classic Dark Knight, which is cheesecake slathered in chocolate sauce and garnished with crushed nuts.
You can also grab a Dutch Pancake (a small pancake loaded with toppings) or one of Stickies’ famous shakes, with 44 flavour combinations available across the entire menu.
Address: 344 Lygon St, Carlton