Summery Indulgence: 4 Places I Recommend for Ice Cream & Gelato in Paris

(Last Updated On: September 8, 2019)
The best places for gelato in Paris
Image credit: Pozzetto/Official Facebook Page

Small confession: I’m not someone you can really trust with a pint of ice cream left in the freezer. If it’s there, it’s pretty certain I’ll eat it– and often too much at once. Along with good pasta and pizza, ice cream is something I have a hard time saying no to, or enjoying just a small portion of. But there’s a notable exception: when the stuff is good enough, a small cup or cone can be enough to satisfy my craving.

And that’s true of my favorite places in Paris for ice cream and Italian-style gelato. These glaciers (ice-cream makers/shops) manage to pack so much flavor and satisfying creaminess into a single scoop that I don’t feel a need for much more. Well, at least most of the time. Many of these places churn out their homemade ice cream using old-fashioned, time-tested methods that will have you wondering why you waste so many calories on the commercial garbage from the supermarket. And in the late spring and summer, what could be more pleasant than scoring a cone or cup and tucking in at a nearby park, or while strolling streets and riverbanks? It’s relatively cheap, a treat for all travelers no matter their age, and can even be thirst-quenching if you go for an all-fruit, dairy-free and vegan sorbet. Keep reading.

1. Pozzetto

Image credit: Courtney Traub/Paris Unlocked Instagram page

I have long had a ritual of indulging in a couple of scoops of the close-to-perfect Italian gelato from this family-owned business while out on a walk in the Marais district. More often than not, this is my second stop after scoring some delicious falafel on Rue des Rosiers (See my complete guide to the best street food in Paris).

Image: Courtesy of the official Facebook page

Opened in Paris over a decade ago by a group of Northern italian friends, Pozzetto makes what I and many food writers I respect consider to be the best gelato in the city– and some of the most delicious I’ve tasted hands-down, including in Italy.

Read related: Some of the Best Italian Restaurants in Paris

Rather than displaying aesthetically pleasing, heaping mounds of gelato behind decorative glass cases, the ice-cream makers at Pozzetto store theirs in small batches in lidded metallic containers, keeping the gelato fresher, denser, creamier and bringing out the native flavors of pistachio, hazelnut, vanilla or melon.

Image credit: Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

Pozzetto always offers 12 flavors at any given time (shown above): generally around seven milk-based gelatos and five dairy-free/sorbet-like flavors made with fruit only. While the latter are intensely fruity and refreshing, I’ve almost invariably gone for the creamy flavors. My favorite? A scoop of gianduja, a traditional Italian hazelnut and chocolate flavor similar to the nutty confections of the same name and, if my appetite allows, a scoop of pistachio or yogurt. I’m not sure I’ve yet found a version of pistachio gelato that so magically brings out the intense native flavors of the seed. (Yes, it’s a seed, not a nut).

Practical Info & Getting There

There are two locations in close walking distance of one another in the Marais, with the original on rue Roi de Sicile mostly serving gelato, Italian-style coffee and desserts and the second location also serving simple dishes.

  • Address (Main location): 39 rue Roi de Sicile, 75004 (4th arrondissement (secondary location at 16 rue Vielle du Temple, 75003/3rd arrondissement)
  • Metro: St. Paul (Line 1) or Hotel de Ville (Line 1, 11)
  • Open: Daily from around noon to midnight (open until 12:30 pm on Friday and Saturday)
  • Tel:+33 (0)1 42 77 08 64

2. Berthillon

Some of the best ice cream in Paris at Berthillon
An unusual and eclectic combination of flavors from Berthillon: salted butter caramel, yuzu and roasted pineapple. Image credit: Hey Tiffany/Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons license

I’d be remiss if I didn’t put this classic Parisian glacier on the Ile St-Louis high on this list. While I admittedly don’t go often– trips here are usually made to impress friends and family–I invariably enjoy it.

Established in 1954 by Raymond Berthillon, the beloved traditional French ice-cream maker uses only high-quality ingredients such as milk and cream from highly reputed creameries and fresh fruit from trusted producers. You can taste their attention to quality: each bite is packed with surprising flavor, whether you opt for a creamy, salted butter caramel, dark, bitter chocolate, sweet summery strawberry or intensely acidic yuzu. I especially like their sorbets for how true-to-the-fruit they are, and because they tend to contain pieces of fruit that somehow make it more satisfying.

You can choose from up to 70 different flavors of ice cream and sorbet, which can lead to some “difficult” decision-making. Life is hard.

Image credit: Maison Berthillon

If you feel like having your ice cream or other dessert (an ice cream scoop on a macaron is one gourmet treat I recommend), that’s certainly a good idea on a rainy or cooler day, and one sit-down location on the Ile St Louis offers it. On a hot summer’s day, though, I personally find a walk or perch by the riverbanks of the Seine too tempting a prospect to pass up.

Related: The History of the French Macaron, From Saint-Emilion to Paris

Practical Info & Getting There
Image credit: Maki/Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons license
  • Address: 29-31 Rue Saint-Louis-en-Ile, 75004 (4th arrondissement); secondary location at 2, Quai d’Orléans, 75004
  • Metro: Pont Marie (Line 7)
  • Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Tel:+33 (0)1 42 77 08 64
  • Visit the website

3. Bachir

Bachir Lebanese ice cream in Paris
Image credit: Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

For something different, head to this wildly trendy Lebanese glacier in the cheerful shadow of the Centre Georges Pompidou in central Paris. Unless you arrive right at opening time, you’ll likely have to stand in a long line to get your hands on a deep, generous cup of their intensely airy yet rich and creamy organic ice cream.

Established in the Lebanese town of Bikfaya in 1936, the family-owned ice-cream maker’s outpost in Paris has proven a wild success. Try their signature Ashta flavor, with pure flavors of fresh organic cream, topped with chopped pistachios and if desired whipped cream.

Image credit: Courtesy of Bachir

The full menu of flavors includes rose, mango, chocolate and dark chocolate, coffee, Madagascar vanilla, and almond.

Image credit: Courtesy of Bachir

Whatever flavor you choose, I suggest first stopping at the Man’Ouché Lebanese pizza stand a few doors down for a filling flatbread made on the spot and filled with zaatar, Lebanese cheese, tomatoes and other goodies.

Practical Info & Getting There
Bachir in Paris is located near the Centre Georges Pompidou.
Image credit: Bachir
  • Address: 58 rue Rambuteau, 75003 (3rd arrondissement)
  • Metro: Rambuteau (Line 11) or Les Halles (Lines 1, 3,4)
  • Open: Monday to Friday, 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm; weekends until 11:00 pm
  • Tel:+33 (0)952 79 73 00
  • Visit the website

4. Amorino

Amorino ice cream
Image: Courtesy of Amorino

While this one’s a chain, it still makes some pretty delicious, relatively authentic Italian gelato and sorbet, served in alluring, seemingly gravity-defying petal arrangements. The flavors are all natural and Amorino doesn’t use artificial colors or preservatives. Ingredients are carefully sourced. This is a good prospective choice when you’re out sightseeing and suddenly crave some decent gelato, since there’s bound to be a location reasonably nearby.

What makes it fun is that you can choose as many flavors as you like, in theory– although I suspect they might raise a firm eyebrow at anyone who dared ask for more than 5 or 6 in one cone or cup.

Flavors I especially love from Amorino include coffee, salted caramel, pistachio, lime-basil and Stracciatella, a gelato flavor resembling chocolate-chip that usually leaves me indifferent. This version, though, manages to pack lots of texture and satisfying creaminess.

Practical Info & Getting There

More Fantastic Places for Ice Cream & Gelato in Paris

I’ve only included ice-cream makers I’ve made repeat visits to in this list, which will be expanded over time (if I can help it!) But others have some excellent suggestions, too. See this list from David Lebovitz and this one from Time Out for still more places to get your summery fix.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Leave 'em Here

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