Summer is coming and the weather gets warmer and warmer… especially on the stuffy Paris subway trains. Fortunately, ice creams, gelati, sherbets are here to help us to cool down. Here are a few addresses of ice cream parlours you’ll love to visit.
I will not pretend that I have visited all the famous ice cream parlours mentioned in this Paris Time Out article, but I can share with you my experience with three of them.
- Berthillon, tradition and legend
- Pozzetto, the best from Italy
- Amorino, modern and genuine
The number 1 ice cream shop in Paris is considered to be Maison Berthillon. Berthillon seems to be seen as the Bocuse of ice cream. Berthillon’s main historical shop is located on the famous Ile Saint Louis, an island in the middle of the Seine River. Everybody simply calls it » Berthillon ».
If you go to the Ile Saint Louis , just next to the Ile de la Cité ( the Paris island where Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral is), you will find a queue of customers standing in the main road of the little island. These are hungry customers queuing up to buy ice creams at the Berthillon parlour or to have high tea at their tearoom.
As you can see below, there are all kinds of nice specialties to try, ice creams bowls of course, but pain perdu as well ( brioche or bread pan fried in cream, egg and milk sometimes with caramel) I have tasted their sherbets and ice creams, they are excellent and tasty. One famous flavour used to be the Marron Glacé flavour. The « marron glacé » is a sugar iced chesnut confectionery ( a chesnut cooked in sugar syrup). That confectionery is either made in France or Italy. Berthillon made an ice cream of that chesnut confectionery.
Berthillon has developed a distribution network of shops in many other locations. Feel free to check their flavour list and latest ice creams. http://www.berthillon.fr The original shop at Ile St Louis opens from Wednesdays to Sundays from 10h to 20h.
Beware, credit cards are not accepted. ( and ATM on the island may be scarce, better ensure you carry some cash before crossing the Seine River. Otherwise, I know there’s a bank ATM on the Ile de la Cité, not far from the Ministry of Justice). Other Berthillon distributors have different opening times and payment policies.
A friend of mine is a big fan of Pozzetto’s. Last month, she dragged me to their little ice cream parlour , almost hidden in the Marais area , decidedly a district full of gourmet places. After a crusty and fragrant saffron millefeuilles at Pramil, why not an ice cream break at Pozzetto ? Their little gelato café is not far from the Hotel de Ville ( City Hall), at 39 Rue du Roi de Sicile. They do not have a huge list of flavours, but just a selection of chocolate and almond flavours made with top traditional Italian ingredients. A guarantee of quality and seriousness. Rates are worth it too. http://www.pozzetto.biz , @PozzettoParis
Amorino is a gelato ( Italian style ice cream) brand present worldwide through franchise distribution, however it is still worth the mention here in France. Because it was founded in 2002 by two French gentlemen of Italian origin, Cristiano Sereni and Paolo Benassi. Their very first shop was located on the Ile Saint Louis… not far from the legendary Berthillon of course.
Their brand positioning is to provide excellent ice creams and sherbets made with genuine, natural source ingredients. I have tasted their ice creams in Barcelona, and I find their ice cream faithful to their credo, genuine taste, not too sugary nor fatty, a modern ice cream full of taste and worth the price. Buy a cornet so you can admire the customer service clerk sculpting their famous rose flower ice cream . You can ask for a few flavours and the flower will be even more fun ! Amorino has been pretty innovative and open minded, creating various ranges of products such as ice cream macaroons or frozen yoghurt ice creams. Popular brand but rigorous quality. As a result, Amorino has achieved an impressive commercial success across the world in a rather short time span of 13 years. You can enjoy Amorino ice creams everywhere in France’s cities and towns and even in other European cities.
More ice cream ? You know the proverb: Taste as many flavours as you can !
As you can see, Paris is the place to enjoy authentic ice creams ! If you like chocolate flavours, why not trying the chocolate ice creams by La Maison du Chocolat. Many pastry shops and chocolate shops in Paris actually offer excellent ice creams.
- Special tip : the chouchen ice cream at Breizh Café
Book a table at the Creperie Breizh Cafe ( the place is small and full of Japanese independent tourists) and try their Chouchen ice cream. Chouchen is a kind of Britanny cider that tastes a bit like beer. It is an exclusive flavour you will not find easily in any other ice cream parlour around. Good news, Breizh Cafe is also considered one of the very best creperies in Paris. ( French salty and sweet pancakes restaurant). I was lucky to find a table there once ( we had to book) and to have lunch on their terrace, at the end of August. I still remember the chouchen ice cream.
Breizh Café 109, rue Vieille du Temple ( Marais District) , 300 m farther than Robert and Louise Restaurant, booking 99% recommended. Tél: 01 42 72 13 77 ( booking calls from 9h30 to 12h or from 15h30 to 19h). Opens from Wed to Sund , 11h30-23h.
To read further, read these articles.
- Blog article by D Lebovitz on Paris best ice creams ( our top 3 happen to be the same ! )
- A selection by Time Out Paris