When temperatures hit 80°F (or higher) in Paris, ice cream cones topped with elegant scoops of noisette or framboise suddenly become Parisians’ favorite edible accessory.
My first summer in Paris, I followed my fellow students eagerly onto Île Saint-Louis hoping for a taste of the city’s famous Berthillon glace (ice cream en français). Sadly, we left empty-handed, deterred by the extremely long line in front of their salon.
I did eventually end up tasting the storied sorbets at the original Berthillon, but not only. Self-proclaimed “ice cream addict” locals also chimed in with addresses from Montmartre to the Marais when I, in preparation for impending Parisian heat waves, begged for their favorites in the city. Would any of them measure up to, or exceed, Berthillon? I took upon myself the sticky-yet-refreshing and oh-so-sweet task of finding out.
Of course, I had to start my Paris ice cream adventure where it all began. There’s a reason why Berthillon is the ice cream of reference for visitors – the simplicity of their recipe and their artisanal fabrication from natural ingredients shines through, particularly in their inimitable passion fruit sorbet. If you are willing to brave the lines, small portions, and high ticket prices, well, Berthillon never fails in quality.
Une Glace à Paris
One of the distinguishing marks of Une Glace à Paris is written on its powder-blue storefront – Emmanuel Ryon, one of the boutique’s co-founders, received the prestigious French Ice Cream Artisan of the Year title. Indeed, their combination of international (black sesame and matcha green tea) and local (mango, pistachio) flavors makes them a delicious crowd-pleaser for any palette!
Who would have thought that one of Paris’ most famous ice-cream boutiques would be Lebanese? Glace Bachir serves up ice cream flavors that I had never tasted before, like rose petal and their special glace achta (milk & cream with pistachio). They also go the extra mile, adding a whipped cream topping and generous pistachio coating to their rich, fragrant creations.
Another Parisian favorite is Pozzetto, an authentic Italian gelateria whose specialties include their fleur de lait (crème fraîche) and their ultra-creamy noisette-chocolat. With their limited selection of 12 homemade gelatos and sorbets made in small batches with ultra-fresh ingredients, this is Paris’ answer to Rome’s ice cream supremacy.
Last but not least is Glaces Glazed, the funkiest ice cream shop of the bunch. Specializing in improbable flavor combinations like “Pump up the volume” (mango spiked with Espelette chili pepper) and “Mister Green” (Iranian pistachio with black sesame cream), their creations surprise and delight—especially after an uphill hike to Montmartre.
After embarking on this wild ice-cream chase around Paris to find a contender to Berthillon, I realized that I was maybe barking up the wrong cone. Why choose one boutique when they could all co-exist in the city (and in my stomach) for different occasions and cravings? And if it just so happens that I’m pining for a refreshing Berthillon sorbet while my friend wants gianduja gelato at Pozzetto, the two are just a ten-minute walk from one another. It just goes to show – in Paris’ ice cream scene, there’s something delicious for everyone.
Written and photographed by Diana Liu for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.