I have a bit of a sweet tooth. In fact, my husband is quite worried that my penchant for sweets may lead to gestational diabetes. (Not to worry, I passed the test with excellent results!) Still, he always helps me find the best gelato on every vacation.
The best tip I ever got for finding a good gelato joint is to look at the color of their pistachio gelato. Is it neon green? That is usually a sign that they aren't using the freshest ingredients and are just trying to lure children with bright colors. If the pistachio gelato is a muted green, that is an indicator of fresh components. Even if you aren't getting the pistachio flavor (which is usually quite tasty), it's a great way to measure the quality of the shop no matter where you are.
I have eaten A LOT of gelato in my life. It starts to blur into one delicious memory. There are two gelaterias that immediately come to mind when people ask me about my favorites. These are places where I will wait in line and I hate waiting in lines. I think Shake Shack is good but I refuse to wait in a 20 minute line to get it. I will wait in line for Gelato Messina and La Carraia.
It may surprise you that one of my favorite gelato spots from my travels is located in Australia. Gelato Messina has a few locations in Australia. Once I tried the one in Melbourne, I made sure to have it again in Sydney. I may have had it twice in both cities (Don't judge me). They have classic flavors like hazelnut and my husband tried a quirky curry flavor (it was quite tasty). My favorite is their salted caramel and white chocolate... just thinking about it has me hoping they will open a location in New York City.
It won't surprise you that my other favorite is in Italy. I knew La Carraia was going to be good as we eyed the line of people outside and heard many of them speaking Italian. Luckily the line at La Carraia went pretty quickly but I would have waited twice as long. It was hard not to try everything but make sure you try a few. You can say, "Per favore, posso gusto questa" and point at the one you want to try. You should definitely get at least two scoops. Our friend got three and I was a little jealous. Will I always remember this gelateria in Florence because it's at the bridge where I got engaged? Or will I always remember the bridge where I got engaged because it's near this gelateria? Both are great memories!