Black Waffle, Northcote

In the middle of the lively High Street shopping strip, Black Waffle has just celebrated its first birthday. It’s a dessert café which specialises – not surprisingly – in Belgian waffles, which are served with house-made gelato.

The café is surprisingly deep and spacious. Beyond the counter, the dining area has a long rustic timber table – ideal for big groups – as well as a number of smaller tables. A couple of equally rustic murals are a nice contrast to the neutral décor.

Our visit was mid-morning and business was brisk – waffles on every table.

It's a tough choice - gelato or cake?
It’s a tough choice  – waffles, gelato or cake?

The waffle part of the menu offers half a dozen extremely tempting concoctions involving Belgian waffles and gelato. Extra components can be added to these dishes (another waffle, mixed berries, custard, Nutella, more gelato….) or even mix and match those components to build your own special creation. The waffles being served to the other diners looked amazing. And very generously sized.

Inside Black Waffle.
Inside Black Waffle.

However we had to resist the waffles – we were there to explore the gelato. We also had to resist some very spectacular small cakes.

Black Waffle’s gelato menu is relatively modest, with around a dozen flavours, including both dairy and non-dairy (vegan) options. The flavours change every couple of months. The gelato is served in cups or cones, on waffles, in shakes, or in tubs to take away.

The gelato cabinet at Black Waffle.
The gelato cabinet at Black Waffle.

Of course we could not pass up the signature black waffle cone. Inky black, the colour is due to activated charcoal.

Black Waffle’s star flavour – and Benny’s choice – was without doubt the citrus ricotta gelato. It was like a rich creamy cheesecake, with extra tang from citrus peel.

Citrus ricotta gelato in a black waffle cone.
Citrus ricotta gelato in an inky black waffle cone.

I chose the vegan dark chocolate, paired with hazelnut gelato. Both were excellent – the chocolate was exceptionally dark (ideal for dark chocolate lovers) and the hazelnut was studded with whole nuts. Black Waffle’s nut gelati – hazelnut and pistachio – are both made from real nuts.

Vegan chocolate gelato paired with hazelnut gelato from Black Waffle
Another inky black waffle cone, this time with the very dark vegan chocolate gelato paired with hazelnut gelato.

We also sampled the pistachio, which was quite good, the caramel – good, but we prefer flavours not quite as sweet – and the charcoal vanilla. The latter was almost black in colour and had a good flavour but there was a grittiness in its texture which we found unpleasant. But if you are keen to get your activated charcoal in palatable forms, you’re probably not overly fussed about texture.

And the black waffle cones? Lovely and crisp – a good counterpoint for the gelato.

On our next visit, we will be sampling those Belgian waffles. In particular the one that involves citrus ricotta gelato.

Black Waffle, High Street Northcote.
Black Waffle, High Street Northcote.

Our rating: excellentExcellent gelato and friendly efficient service – we would be very happy if this was our local gelateria.

Black Waffle
262 High Street
Northcote Vic 3070

T: (03) 9041 2029

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