Paris offers a tempting array of ice cream parlours. While Italy may have a reputation for making the world’s best ice cream, the French capital rivals any Italian city in the range and quality of this sweet treat. Whether you are seeking a sweet treat to enjoy in the gardens of the Marais in the fourth arrondissement or looking for a reward after exploring the 10th, these are the best places to buy ice cream in Paris.
Ask around in Paris for the best ice cream and the odds are that locals will tell you to visit Berthillon. Founded in 1954, it has become a Parisian institution offering some of the city’s best scoops, so almost inevitably you’ll need to join a queue of both locals and visitors. All the ice cream is made from fresh, natural products and there’s an impressive range of 70 flavours on offer, from banana, salted butter caramel and hazelnut to combinations such as praline with pine nuts.
Berthillon, 29-31 rue Saint-Louis en I’Île, 75004 Paris, +33 (0)1 4354 3161
À la Mère de Famille
Founded in 1761, À la Mère de Famille is a charming Parisian sweet shop offering some of the best confectionery in the city. Its quaint ninth arrondissement flagship is the ultimate place to stock on chocolates and pralines and you should also try the brand’s revered ice cream. Be sure to sample the chocolate flavour with candied orange and a hint of vodka.
À la Mère de Famille, 35 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris, +33 (0)1 4770 8369
In the early 20th century the Raimondo family arrived in France from Italy and subsequently established Raimo, one of the first ice cream parlours in Paris. The original shop was so successful that the brand moved to larger premises and also expanded; there are now five Raimo locations across the city. Chic and cosy Chez Raimo lounge was established in the 1960s and is still the ultimate place to try the brand’s original flavours, from espresso to sweet ginger, Iranian pistachio and three spices. You can also dress your ice cream with various sauces and extra cream.
Raimo, 59-61 boulevard de Reuilly, 75012 Paris, +33 (0)1 4343 7017
Based on dairy products from Normandy, Martine Lambert’s ice cream is among the creamiest in Paris. Many of the flavours come from fruit carefully sourced from around the world; some come from ingredients specially made in house, such as coffee extract, nougatine and candied orange. The range includes cinnamon from Sri Lanka, China Nights made with Szechuan peppercorns and chocolate truffles, hazelnut and tiramisu. Martin Lambert’s products are never pasteurised, so original flavours and vitamins are preserved. The brand also offers an array of sorbets which have 70% fruit content, making for vibrant and unforgettable tastes. The shop is located on the rue Cler, a pedestrianised street famous for its speciality food shops. Buy an ice cream to take away and then go window shopping, admiring the displays of French delicacies in other stores.
Martine Lambert, 39 rue Cler, 75007 Paris, +33 (0)1 4062 9718
Le Bac à Glaces
In recent years rue du Bac has become home to some of the city’s most prestigious pâtisseries, bakeries and chocolatiers, making this a must-visit destination for anyone looking to indulge their sweet tooth. Le Bac à Glaces is a top-quality ice cream parlour here. All the ice cream and sorbet flavours are made with natural and artisan products that have no artificial colouring. The sorbets are a particularly big draw, with real pieces of fruit in the mix; choices range from fig to blueberry, green apple and rhubarb. The pistachio ice cream with pistachio pieces is another must-try.
Le Bac à Glaces, 109 rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, +33 (0)1 4548 8765