Friday, February 10, 2017

Gelobar, Brunswick East by Bilby Blue

After more than 25 years, Gelobar must be considered a Brunswick institution. Far more than just a gelateria, the cafĂ© / restaurant offers everything from breakfast right through to late night drinks and desserts. However our objective was clear – Gelobar’s gelato offerings.

Gelobar, Brunswick East
With loads of tables both inside and outside on the footpath, Gelobar can seat a lot of customers, but on our mid-morning visit, only a handful of tables were occupied.

Gelobar, Brunswick East
Walking past the cabinets full of luscious pastries and cakes was very distracting – our gelato mission was almost derailed before we got started. However once we saw the array of gelati all thoughts of Italian pastries vanished.

Gelobar, Brunswick East
The gelati (and the pastries) are made on the premises. Out of a fairly comprehensive repertoire of flavours there are a couple of dozen available at any time, including non-dairy options. Tastings were generously offered.

As usual for our gelato samplings, we each had two flavours in a waffle cone.

Gelobar, Brunswick East, chocolate, blood orange
My choices were chocolate sorbet and blood orange, both non-dairy. The chocolate was magnificent – it held its own against the chocolate I had at Zero Gradi. Rich and creamy, strictly one for dark chocolate lovers. The blood orange, fresh and fruity, was an excellent accompaniment to the chocolate. A classic combination of flavours.

Gelobar, Brunswick East, crostata del nonna, passionfruit
Benny selected crostata del nonna (“grandmother’s tart”) and passionfruit. In the cabinet the former looked like a pastry tart, a zabaglione base topped with Nutella and decorated in criss-cross patterns with cream. Our friendly server made sure Benny got a big swirl of the chocolate. He thought the passionfruit was very nice, but it didn’t quite have the sharp acidity of really fresh passionfruit.

We also tried the zuppa inglese – a bit like a trifle, with custard and chunks of sponge cake and more than a hint of marsala. This was not to Benny’s taste, but it was our friendly server’s favourite, bringing back very fond memories of growing up in Sicily, and recalling the classic combination of zuppa inglese with nocciola (hazelnut). I was disappointed with my taste of the limoncello – I was expecting a lot more zing (having splashed a few different limoncellos, both home-made and commercial, into Nigella’s Anglo-Italian trifle which the family demands each year for Christmas lunch. Look it up, it is truly awesome and not difficult to make).

Gelobar, Brunswick East, pistachio, mixed berry
A few weeks later, we made a return visit. This time, I had pistachio and mixed berry sorbet. Both were lovely and creamy, and the flavours were true to the fresh ingredients. It was also a good combination.

Gelobar, Brunswick East, panna e fregola, hazelnut
Benny’s choices were panna e fregola (strawberries and cream) with hazelnut. He was delighted to discover some whole nuts in his hazelnut, giving a crunchy contrast. The strawberries and cream had a lovely flavour, but the fruitiness was much more mellow than my mixed berry sorbet, possibly due to the inclusion of cream.

Gelobar, Brunswick East
One observation: serving sizes varied markedly between our two visits. On our first the cones were a goodly size – not excessive, but enough to make us quite happy. As can be seen from the photos, the serves on our second visit were considerably smaller.

Gelobar, Brunswick East


We really liked it
We really liked it.
Cheap eats
Cheap eats.


For more than 25 years, Gelobar has been delivering gelato to the citizens of Brunswick. The best flavours are as good as any we have tasted, but the quality is variable and some just don’t have the “wow” factor of the best establishments. Or maybe that was just a reflection of the flavours we chose.

Find it at

74-76 Lygon Street
Brunswick East Vic 3057
Telephone: (03) 9381 2252

Gelobar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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