The French have a love affair with cream, especially when it comes to dessert. It’s no surprise then, that Paris would boast some of the richest ice cream options in France. Here are the top shops to try.
The most famous Parisian ice cream parlor, Berthillon has been an institution in Paris for locals and tourists since the 60s. Gothic lettering and a plain façade hold the queues at bay, which sometimes reach around the corner on Île-Saint-Louis. With more than 60 parfums, or flavors, 30 of which change according to the season and whim of the expert glaciers (ice cream makers), Berthillon has something for everyone’s taste. The options range from a rich, velvety vanilla to a playful strawberry sorbet to an intriguing salted caramel or pineapple basil. Try mixing and matching to create your own Frankenstein of creamy goodness.
Tucked away in the 16th arrondisement near the La Muette metro stop is Pascal le Glacier. What really makes this ice cream remarkable is the attention to detail that the owner Pascal Combette has taken to craft his vision of an artisanal ice cream experience. The fresh ingredients play an olfactory symphony that is a kick-in-the-teeth of nostalgia. It is reminiscent of childhood trips to a local ice cream parlor. Try the espresso flavor for a pick-me-up before continuing your jaunt through the City of Lights.
The eponymous Alberto takes his ice cream making skills more from the Italian gelato school. You know what that means—excess. Alberto’s gelato is richer than most of the other offerings on the list, probably because that’s the nature of Italian gelato. That is, to not be so subtle. Enjoy sorbets in the warmer months. For a real treat, try the stracciatella and get ready to blissfully shout out “Mamma Mia.”
Martine’s been in a self-proclaimed love affair with ice cream since opening her first boutique in 1975. After years of success setting up her own ice cream brand, she opened a highly popular window on rue de Grenelle in 2003. A flagship Parisian destination opened its doors in 2010. The ice creams and sorbets here include the French favorites like hazelnut praline. Lambert’s “creations” include the Baked Alaska: a sorbet on top of a sponge cake, all wrapped in Italian meringue. It’s great for indulging.
Just because you are a world-renowned chocolatier, doesn’t mean you can’t make delicious ice cream. À la Mère de Famille proves that with a pedigree dating back to the 1700s in the confectionery business. The interplay between the ice cream itself and the chocolates and jellies are what make this shop a go-to in the warmer months. (The ice cream here is more a seasonal offering.) A traditional chocolate scoop always hits the spot. For something a bit more fun, try a frozen bonbon (essentially an ice cream lollipop) coated in your choice of caramels, nuts or chocolate.
It’s not our place to say that the Italians do it better, but there is something ethereal about traditional Italian gelato that is immensely satisfying on a warm summer’s day. This gelateria offers fewer options than many of other places. However, it prides itself on attention to detail and adherence to the most traditional of Italian gelato creation. As such, Pozzetto is a champion of small batch gelato, always made from the freshest of local ingredients. It is served alla italiana with a spatula instead of the more common boule, or scoop. Strawberry/pistachio is a surprisingly good combination. Buon Appetito!
It’s surprising that a shop with a rather pretentious address would be so unassuming and excellent. Le Bac à Glaces, behind Le Bon Marché in the 7th arrondissement has been offering traditional as well as creative options for ice cream lovers since the early 80s. The façade and interior recall a traditional Frenchbistrot. However, the flavors (that change according to the whims of the season and glacier) scream playfulnes. Pineapple and coconut or avocado are two offerings and combinations that constitute a must-try.
Since 1947, Raimo has been building a brand and reputation for exquisite ice cream. In the French tradition, the ice creams are churned and heavy on cream, but that just adds to the flavor. Raimo can be seen as synonymous with gourmand, and that’s just how it should be. If you’re in the Daumesnil neighborhood in the 12th arrondissement, Raimo is a must-go.