The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

T.Cavallaro & Sons Pasticceria

98 Hopkins Street
Footscray VIC 3011
+61 3 9687 4638

My good mate, Martin, who lives in the foodie wasteland known as Broadbeach Waters was lamenting the limited availability of REAL cannoli up on the Gold Coast. Real cannoli, he said, had a crispy shell and was filled with soft ricotta, not custard. To be honest, I wasn’t a cannoli person to begin with but all that talk of the famous Sicilian pastry dessert got me keen to find the best cannoli in Melbourne. I did a bit of research and according to Melbourne foodie royalty tummyrumbles, T.Cavallaro & Sons Pasticceria in Footscray was the way to go.

Although Adam and I walk past this humble shop frequently, we’ve never been inside because we had always assumed that it was just a store that sold coffee-making equipment. Given that the windows were always filled with little stove tops and coffee mugs, I’d say it was a valid assumption. Okay fine, so you can see chocolate eclairs and profiteroles in that photo but puh-lease, we’re both pretty tall for Asians so as if we would be bothered looking down to spot the desserts.

The store itself looks like it has not changed since it opened back in 1956. An old-school espresso machine still churns out decent-looking coffees and the recipes used to make the cakes and pastries remain untouched for over 100 years. Every time I walk into the store, there is always one or two Italian female customers ummm-ing over what size they want their god-daughter’s christening cakes to be or whether to order three or four dozen pieces of freshly baked biscotti. Me? I walk straight to the back where the cannoli are and patiently wait for my turn.

As well as the original ricotta-filled cannoli, the more ubiquitous vanilla and chocolate cream ones are available (both are $3 each take-away, or $3.50 eat-in). As soon as I place my order for a couple (and in today’s case, half a dozen), the lady who is as cheery and matronly as La Befana goes out the back to fill my cannoli from scratch. The result is a beautifully crisp shell filled with the softest ricotta or custard centre, none of them being overly sweet. Dust with a bit of icing sugar and you have the most amazing morning coffee accompaniment. They were seriously the loveliest cannoli I’ve ever tried. Even the ‘try-hard’ custard ones were miles ahead of their competitors wilting away in suburban bakeries.

Obviously if you leave them in the car for 11 hours straight, your cannolo’s shell isn’t going to remain super-crispy. The difference between these cannoli and the ones served at any random bakery, however, is that these ones do not get soggy even after  half a day in the car. Soft, yes, but not soggy. And what’s even more amazing is that they still retain a bit of crunch. Best cannoli in Melbourne? So far, YES.

T. Cavallaro & Sons on Urbanspoon

18 Comments on T.Cavallaro & Sons Pasticceria

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    July 14, 2010 at 04:17 (6 years ago)

    Ooh yes there’s nothing like a freshly filled cannoli. I don’t even bother with the pre filled ones (wasted calories etc 😛 )

  2. mellie
    July 14, 2010 at 08:15 (6 years ago)

    I absolutely ADORE T.Cavallaro cannoli – and so glad you agree! I was in there the other day, and got to know Tony (the owner) and his lovely wife Rosa a little better. Ahh…such history and love for their pasticceria. Businesses like this are rare indeed.

  3. shirlz
    July 14, 2010 at 20:30 (6 years ago)

    You know, I have never tried a cannoli before, like ever.

    I’m thinking I will de-cannoli-virginise myself very soon though, given your rave reviews!

    • Isabel
      August 9, 2010 at 10:42 (6 years ago)

      Hi Shirlz

      Have you been in to Cavallaro’s to try the Cannoli yet?
      I am the grand-daughter of Thomas……the beautiful man who ventured out from
      Lipari to Melbourne to fulfil his dream.

      You will be hooked forever…..

      Ciao Isa

  4. Tony Cavallaro
    July 14, 2010 at 22:05 (6 years ago)

    So happy that you all are enjoying our cannoli. Thank you for your support, regards Tony of T. Cavallaro & sons

    • libishski
      August 25, 2010 at 21:40 (6 years ago)

      Thanks for stopping by, Tony.

      Not only am I enjoying your cannoli, I am constantly telling my friends to pop by whenever they’re in Footscray. Keep up the great work!

  5. Adam
    July 14, 2010 at 23:45 (6 years ago)

    Wow! Tony Callavaro replied to this entry!. Yes i agree. Best cannoli in Melbourne

  6. anna
    August 17, 2010 at 13:56 (6 years ago)

    I so want to try cannoli someday. This is on my bucket list. So sad. Hahaha

  7. anna
    August 17, 2010 at 13:59 (6 years ago)

    I need to start traveling. Where can I order cannoli. Is it even possible? Ah well.

    • libishski
      August 25, 2010 at 21:39 (6 years ago)

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for the comments. Do you live in Melbourne?

  8. Simone
    August 17, 2010 at 23:16 (6 years ago)

    Cavallaro Shop is the best place in Australia…
    I miss everybody a lot.. I will be in there soon..
    Everybody from Brazil`s family send hello..

    • libishski
      August 25, 2010 at 21:39 (6 years ago)

      Agreed. Hello back from Melbourne :)

  9. Fab
    September 10, 2010 at 15:25 (6 years ago)

    The cannoli from Cavalarro’s are the best, I’d export them to Italy, that’s how good they are!!

    • libishski
      September 18, 2010 at 16:26 (6 years ago)

      Hi Fab, yes I agree!

  10. Olly
    October 16, 2010 at 19:45 (6 years ago)

    Went there today, had one with a coffee and ended up eating 4 ricotta cannolis


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