Ice Cafe Venezia, Port Melbourne

Down at the beach end of Bay Street is a gelateria with a difference, Ice Cafe Venezia. We never realised that German-Italian ice cream culture is a thing, but there you go. Think of tall curvy glasses filled with gelato, topped with whipped cream, fruit and sweet sauces. And now that culture has come to Port Melbourne.

Before moving to Melbourne, Ice Cafe Venezia’s owner worked in a German ice cream parlour. Melbourne has lots of ice cream shops and gelaterie, but none are quite like the ice cream parlours she loved in Germany. And so Ice Cafe Venezia was born.

It's almost like being in Venice - the wall mural at Ice Cafe Venezia.
It’s almost like being in Venice – the wall mural at Ice Cafe Venezia.

As well as those gelato sundaes, the menu also includes waffles, crepes and sweet gelato versions of savoury dishes. Like pizza, lasagne, cannelloni, and the German invention (yes really!), spaghetti ice cream (Spaghettieis) – vanilla gelato extruded like spaghetti, served with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. Very popular back in Germany.

The atmosphere is set by an enormous mural of Venice, spanning one entire wall of the gelateria. On the other side of the shop are the gelato cabinets, holding 40 flavours, made fresh daily. And on the shelves behind, dozens of colourful Italian glasses of all shapes and sizes. These are the serving dishes for the huge variety of gelato concoctions on the menu.

There are dozens of serving glasses of all shapes and sizes.
There are dozens of serving glasses of all shapes and sizes.

The gelato includes dairy, vegan and diabetic options and is available, if you wanted a more modest treat than the promises of the glossy menu photos, in cones or cups. One, two, three or four scoops – as servings are generous, four scoops must be a massive amount of gelato!

Diabetic dark chocolate paired with diabetic pistachio gelato.
Diabetic dark chocolate paired with diabetic pistachio gelato.

Taking one for the team, Benny opted for a cone of two of the diabetic gelato flavours – chocolate paired with pistachio. Sweetened with stevia, the flavours were excellent – a very rich dark chocolate was a great match for the pistachio. Servings were generous, and the texture was mostly good, but he reported a slight unevenness.

Amarena gelato with an excellent hazelnut gelato underneath.
Amarena gelato with an excellent hazelnut gelato underneath.

I picked hazelnut gelato with amarena, both with gorgeous velvety textures. The latter was swirled through with cherries – a little sweeter than the sour cherry I was expecting, but still good. The hazelnut was excellent, and my cup of gelato included a waffle biscuit.

With gelato this good, no extra embellishment – cream or sauces – is necessary (unless of course you want to indulge). We were very happy with our choices.

Ice Cafe Venezia has seating outside on the footpath, but also plenty of tables inside.
Ice Cafe Venezia has seating outside on the footpath, but also plenty of tables inside.

Our rating: excellentExcellent gelato, with a huge menu of 40 flavours, including vegan and diabetic options. Servings are generous and prices are modest – great value for money. For an extra indulgence, there is a wide variety of iced concoctions, from banana splits through to the German favourite spaghetti ice cream.


Ice Cafe Venezia
65 Bay Street
Port Melbourne Vic 3207

T: (03) 9681 8172
W: www.icecafevenezia.com.au

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