I’ve heard people say that Sydney doesn’t have a food culture. I’ve heard people say that the food is boring and dull, and stolen from a mixture of other international cuisines. Well, I call BS, especially when it comes to finding the best desserts in Sydney.
I’m one of those people who are extremely difficult to please when it comes to food. I’m fussy, and I always have been. When living in Thailand, I hated the food – SHOCK! HORROR! I know, I know, most people love the cheap and cheerful food in Thailand, but I spent a majority of my time there eating one meal a day and feeling sick. The constant combo of rice/noodles and the same veg just wasn’t for me.
So, coming to Sydney where the food was fresh and simple, where you can have whatever kind of meal you fancy was such a relief for me. Put your hands in the air if you praise the gods of food for the Australian obsession with avocado!
I particularly love dessert, and I’ve taken it upon myself to try as many delicious and affordable desserts in Sydney, to compile a list of the best desserts in Sydney, so you don’t have to (it was all for research, I promise).
Animal Choux Buns from Doux Amour, Rosebery.
These were definitely my favourite, so deserve to be at number 1, and are crowned as the best dessert in Sydney. Just look at these little guys! The buns were crunchy on the outside, and filled with a delicious flavoured cream. The owners were super friendly, and I spent a couple of hours just relaxing in there with my pig and my journal. The buns come in a selection of flavours from chai to Nutella, although the pig is rose and lychee, and rumoured to be the best.
It’s in a bit of a weird area, but you can get a bus from the city centre to smack bang outside. Also, I got there for when they opened, as I was terrified that they would sell out immediately.
Flavoured Lattes from The Local MBassy, Ultimo
$4 – $6
I’d seen these guys crop up on my Facebook a couple of times, so on a day off I decided to cycle from the city centre to Ultimo (turns out it’s pretty hilly, fyi). It was a Tuesday lunchtime, and to my surprise, The Local MBassy was heaving. Famed for their red velvet waffles and other dessert selection, I was desperate to try, but I’m also inherently lazy so couldn’t be bothered to wait. (Side note: on a later occasion I went for brunch, and the savoury food was fairly average. Perhaps stick to the sweets if you head that way).
The interior is boiler room chic (is that a thing? It is now), and the staff are, yet again friendly. I had planned to get a red velvet latte, but totally love taro (the one food stuff I can thank Thailand for), so bought a takeaway one and went to sit in the park opposite. About an hour and a half later, I actually headed back inside to try the red velvet one, because clearly I needed a double reward for all that cycling. I explained to the girl behind the cash register that I had cycled there having seen them on Facebook, and she gave me my red velvet one for free! On the condition that I returned with friends, which I have done several times since. I know this might not technically count as a dessert, but the drinks are fairly rich, and so in my eyes deserve to be on the list as one of the best desserts in Sydney.
Flower Gelato from i-Creamy Artisan Gelato, Haymarket.
$4 – $10
The best thing about i-Creamy is that it’s centrally located, so easy for you to nip in and get the famous flower gelato if you’re in the city for a meal anyway. This one is definitely a gimmick, but worth the price just to see them make it and to take that great Instagram photo. The disadvantage is that only certain flavours can be used for the flower, and the taste of the gelato didn’t live up to its appearance. You might as well pop in if you’re around, but don’t make the journey especially for that.
Golden Gaytime Doughnut Milkshake from What The Fudge Café, Cabramatta.
These milkshakes seem to be taking travellers in Australia by storm, and I see backpackers asking every day where they can get them in Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane. I’ve tried a couple, so the next 3 points should help you find them!
I had wanted to try these doughnut ball Nutella milkshakes for a while as they look INSANE on Facebook, but where the heck is Cabramatta?! Fortunately, a twist of fate meant the dessert Gods allowed me to taste this piece of heaven, as What The Fudge had a pop-up stall on Darling Harbour, and I dragged my boyfriend along.
Bearing in mind I had just gone out for lunch, I did really well with this enormous shake. I’ve never tried a Golden Gaytime, but the girl behind the counter was great at her job, and I’m a sucker for a good sales pitch.
What I liked about this shake compared to the others, is the shake itself wasn’t monstrously thick, sweet, or overpowering. Having a slurp between bites of the doughnut was actually refreshing. Obviously I felt the need to down a gallon of water afterwards, but that’s to be expected.
If you can’t be bothered to trek to Cabramatta (still don’t know where that is), keep an eye on the What The Fudge Facebook, in case they do any more pop ups. I would say these are the best doughnut ball milkshakes in Sydney, and therefore have earned their right on the list of the best desserts in Sydney.
Doughnut Milkshakes from Foodcraft Espresso and Bakery, Erskineville.
This was the first of my ball milkshake experiences, and one of the best, although that may have had something to do with the company. Like many good food places in Sydney, it was in the middle of nowhere, and my friend and I made the journey especially. The café is owned by a Dutch couple, who were very friendly, but had very nearly sold out of doughnuts. My friend had a salted caramel milkshake with salted caramel doughnut, and I had to make do with a waffle stuck on the top of mine with Nutella drizzled over it – it was a shame as I wanted the ball, but it was still sickeningly sweet, so the end result was the same.
I love a milkshake, but I will admit that this was a bit much for me.
Doughnut Milkshake from Tella Balls Dessert Bar, Dulwich Hill.
I don’t even know why I went for this one. I didn’t fancy it, but I was out on my day off and had wasted the morning trekking to a rubbish botanical garden, so was determined to do something useful.
Tella Balls seems to be one of the most frequently mentioned in Facebook groups, but I think that this might just be because of their apt name (that is some good business planning there, good sir).
The setting is yet again bizarre, but if the weather is nice you can sit outside and enjoy the sun, and walking back to get the bus through the cute little houses is very quaint.
The milkshake itself was a bit sweet and thick for me, but that could just be because I’ve overdone the doughnut milkshakes now. I should have quit whilst I was ahead, I know.
Fro-Yo from Yoforia Frozen Yoghurt, Darling Harbour.
$$ However much you want!
I love frozen yoghurt, and I nabbed myself a sneaky deal on Groupon, where I got $10 worth of Fro-Yo for $5. I got a little carried away and still managed to spend $22 (story of my liiiife). Although it was nice to go and sit on the harbor and devour my dessert, I thought that was pretty outrageously expensive for what it was, but the yoghurt itself was really refreshing in the fruit flavours.
Waffles and Desserts from Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café, Darling Harbour.
$15 – $20.
OK, so not strictly ‘affordable’, but I feel like I have to include these guys through a sense of loyalty (I worked there for six months).
You can get your waffles with a choice in toppings of ice cream and cream; bananas and walnuts; or fresh fruit. On top of that, you can choose milk or dark chocolate sauce and quite frankly I would have bathed in that milk chocolate if I had the choice. I like to still feel refreshed when indulging, so the fresh fruit was my ‘one’.
They also do some really posh and kind of overpriced desserts, that are worth it for a special occasion. Below you can see the Passion Temptation that I treated myself to on the last day (white chocolate and passion fruit yo!). If you want something cheaper, my boyfriend assures me that the $5 apple and mixed fruit crumble is really good.
On colder days try the prailine hot chocolate, where they drop one of their signature chocolates in the cocoa solids mix. I’m not going to tell you how much weight I have lost since I stopped working there.
I hope that my gluttony has helped to point you in the direction of your ideal dessert, and the best desserts in Sydney. Let me know if you try any of them, which were your favourite flavours, and at what point did you throw up?