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Best 5 Desserts in Melbourne for 2024 – And 1 to Avoid

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1 month ago

Melbourne is unquestionably the culinary capital of Australia. In many ways, a dessert crawl through Melbourne offers a history lesson (yes, I will justify eating sugar in any way I can). From traditional European cakes to innovative Asian-Australian creations, eating through Melbourne’s dessert scene offers a quick introduction to Australian immigration history and contemporary multiculturalism.

Every trip to Melbourne should include a tour through Melbourne’s iconic arcades and chocolate shops. But to really discover Melbourne’s unique desserts, local insight is crucial. From some of the best Asian fusion restaurants in Melbourne CBD to neighborhood folks experimenting with Australia’s high-quality produce, we’ve ranked the best 5 desserts in Melbourne for 2024.

5. Cinnamon Scrolls at Sebby’s Scrolls (South Caulfield)

Melbourne’s self-proclaimed best cinnamon scroll deserves a place on this list. Despite its suburbia location, Sebby’s Scrolls has quickly taken the city by storm.

I’ll be honest: I was initially skeptical. I tend to be old-school with my cinnamon scrolls and struggle to give culinary energy to anything beyond Cinnabon. But Sebby’s completely won me over: soft, with the perfect balance of doughy moisture and cinnamon intensity.

Sebby’s is extremely popular. You will want to get here early in the morning because the queue builds up quickly. If you are keen to try some uniquely Australian flavors, it doesn’t get more Aussie than Sebby’s Vegemite and cheese scroll.

4. Cone-ception at Gelato Messina (Multiple locations)

I’m really swallowing my pride with this entry. Gelato Messina is one of the (few) great culinary contributions of Sydney to Australia’s dining scene and earns its place as one of the best desserts in Melbourne. Unquestionably, Messina offers some of the best ice cream in Australia with locations across Sydney, Melbourne and across the country. Just recently, Messina opened its first overseas store in Hong Kong!

You can’t really go wrong with Messina’s ice cream. But, if there is one flavor that stands out among the crowd, it is easily the cone-ception. This innovative ice cream masterpiece pulls together a waffle cone flavored gelato with a ribbon of caramelized cone crunch and waffle chocolate chip. 

Keep an eye open for Messina’s weekly specials (usually announced first on Instagram). If there is anything remotely Australian (Milo or lamingtons) or a weekly special featuring those unique Melbourne-Asian fusion flavors (pandan, coconut), don’t miss out on trying them!

3. Vanilla Slice at Haymisha Bakery (Balaclava)

Haymisha Bakery is the epitome of a local secret and easily one of my favorite bakeries in Melbourne. While the old Eastern European bakeries on St Kilda’s Acland Street garner the Instagram-friendly crowd, the best European cakes are no longer found there.

Haymisha has a utilitarian vibe. They know they’re popular and there is no real need to dress up the shop. It’s business as usual at this small, multi-generational family-run Balaclava bakery.

Since I was a kid, I have always loved the vanilla slice at Haymisha. Think something akin to a French mille feuille but with so much more soul and love. They offer both a dairy and dairy-free version for the lactose-friendly crowd. If your stomach permits, I would always suggest going for the dairy version.

The other baked goods are excellent here too, including the best potato borekas outside of the Middle East and the coconut brandy snaps.

2. Peanut Butter Parfait at Supernormal (CBD)

Melbourne’s cuisine is world famous for its fusion of fresh Asian flavors with Australian produce and interpretation. Few restaurants epitomize this mantra as well as Supernormal, one of the iconic and best Asian fusion restaurants in Melbourne CBD.

While the food at Supernormal is among Melbourne’s best, hidden at the end of the menu is one of the best desserts in Melbourne. It’s worth coming here alone for the peanut butter parfait, bathed in salted caramel and a scoop of soft chocolate mousse (or is it soft ice cream?).

1. Taho at Kariton Sorbetes (Chinatown, Footscray)

If I had to define Melbourne cuisine, I would probably lean towards something in the realm of the unique Asian-Australian fusion of Melbourne’s best restaurants. And so, what list of the best desserts in Melbourne could exclude this iconic Asian fusion ice cream store.

Kariton Sorbetes is a Filipino ice cream store, offering the classic flavors of the Philippines – but in a unique Melbourne-style fusion. The menu does change often, but I generally will go for something with pandan (if they have the buko pandan, give this a try) or the Milo Dinosawr (Milo gelato with a Filipino-style malted milk chocolate ribbon).

However, the standout dessert at Kariton Sorbetes is easily the Taho which takes our award for the best dessert in Melbourne. This sundae-esque dessert includes silken tofu soft serve ice cream (trust me on this one), with soy milk panna cotta, sweet tapioca balls and boba pearls and covered in a oolong tea syrup.

I realize this description sounds aggressively sweet, but the silken tofu soft serve is actually quite savory and balances out the flavors perfectly for this increasingly iconic Melbourne dessert.

Kariton Sorbetes is incredibly popular, so be prepared to wait in line!

And one to avoid…

If you had asked me a few years ago to write this list, unquestionably Lune Croissanterie would have featured. Waiting in line in Fitzroy North, hoping they hadn’t yet sold out for the day – Lune used to be a quintessential Melbourne experience.

Sadly, in recent years, Lune has reached that overhyped stage of just being another tourist trap, and is now terribly, terribly overpriced. And even more sadly, the quality of croissants has plunged. To be clear, the croissants aren’t bad – they just aren’t anything beyond average. With Melbourne’s array of outstanding and high quality bakeries, you truly can do so much better.

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