5 Sweet Treats to try in Sydney

Leafy trees on a dark blue and black background

2min read

Published 26 April 2011


You may already be familiar with some of Sydney's attractions - the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach - but have you heard about it's tantalising cake shops and gelato bars? Heather Rudd, a career breaker who left the USA to move to Australia for a year, has been working her way through them all! In this post she shares with us her Top 5 sweet treats in Sydney.

Whenever there's travel on the horizon, there are always questions about where to sleep, what to eat, and which sites to visit. If you're anything like me, scoping out affordable and delicious eats is a priority.

When I moved to Australia 10 months ago on a 1-year visa, I never expected to find my inner foodie along the way. Thanks to a wicked sweet tooth, it should come as no surprise that some of my most noteworthy eating experiences have revolved around sweets.

If you're planning future travel to Sydney, consider a trip to one (or more!) of my favourite places to find a sweet treat in the city.

Cake break at the beach at The Gelato Bar

140 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach

The Gelato Bar serves up meals, but the abundance of tasty cakes, slices, and strudels in the window will stop you in your tracks. Before or after a trip to the iconic beach, grab a few friends and share a dessert or two -- you'll want to try more than one and the portions are ample enough for sharing.

Cherry strudel - a deep maroon filling with crusty pastry dusted with sugar
Cherry strudel - a deep maroon filling with crusty pastry dusted with sugar
Cherry strudel - a deep maroon filling with crusty pastry dusted with sugar

Cherry strudel from Gelato Bar at Bondi Beach

Gelato at Gelato Messina

241 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

After sampling gelato in five shops in the city, there's only one place for me - Gelato Messina. With one taste of the salted caramel with white chocolate chunks, I knew this place was something special. I also tried a scoop of coconut pandan - more subtle but still full of flavor. Sometimes gelato, ice cream, and frozen yogurt just taste "cold", but at Gelato Messina, the texture and wicked flavor combinations won't let you down.

Tarts from Bourke Street Bakery

Surry Hills, Marrickville, Alexandria, Potts Point (mid-2011)

You'll know you've found Bourke Street Bakery (the original location in Surry Hills) before you arrive, as a queue will surely have formed, spilling out onto the street. The inside of the bakery is quite small, so it's helpful to know what you want before you enter. What's a first timer to do?! Take the recommendation of Sydney foodies and try the strawberry vanilla brulee tart. All of the components - the pastry base, the thin layer of strawberry, the vanilla custard, and the perfectly crispy, crunchy top - worked together like a dream.

Gluten free goodies at Healthy Feast/onefiveseven

157 Norton Street, Leichhardt

When you live with food allergies or sensitivities, finding tasty treats often poses a challenge. The average bakery or shop tends to offer one or two options at best, and those may not be of the best (i.e. delicious!) quality. Enter Healthy Feast - also known as OneFiveSeven, due to its physical address. The small shop serves up gluten free cakes, tarts, pastries, and more, and there are dairy free options as well. On my first visit I asked a staff member for a newcomer recommendation and tried the lemon merginue tart at her suggestion. The textures and flavors played together beautifully.

A lemon meringue tart
A lemon meringue tart
A lemon meringue tart

Something out of the ordinary at Adriano Zumbo

Balmain, Rozelle, and Manly

Known as one of the best pastry chefs in Australia, Adriano Zumbo has a strong, loyal following for good reason. His French-style macarons come in a wide array of flavors and colors and are a $2 melt-in-your-mouth bite of heaven. Zumbo's innovative thinking also produces quality cakes, often with quirky names. I became such a fan of his treats that I elected to go on a No Macaron Left Behind Mission - a lofty goal to taste every flavor of macaron before my 1-year visa meets its end. Mission Status: Work in progress.

Multi-coloured macaroons in a box
Multi-coloured macaroons in a box
Multi-coloured macaroons in a box

A sample of macarons - including salted caramel, pineapple and coconut, and even fish 'n' chips!

A thin slice of light brown cake, likely chocolate flavoured
A thin slice of light brown cake, likely chocolate flavoured
A thin slice of light brown cake, likely chocolate flavoured

Zumbo's "Chill my nuts" cake - we asked Heather what was in this cake and where the came from but she wasn't sure. We will just have to go to Sydney and ask Zumbo himself - any excuse :)


For more of Heathers food adventures in Sydney and around Australia visit There's No Place Like Oz. If your mouth is now watering at the sight of these sweet treats head to Sydney and try them yourself. Flight time to Sydney from London is between 22 and 24 hours depending on where you stop over. Popular stopovers include Bangkok and Singapore and we'll be bringing you information on what to do in these places if you decide to stay a few nights very soon.

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