There’s no shortage of ice cream, gelato and sorbet shops and stands in Paris. You don’t have to travel far to get your fix, but you might want to explore some of these addresses if you’re looking for a more unique take on the artisan sorbet experience. And – does it even need to be said? – these gourmet treats aren’t just for summertime!
Some of My Favorites
These are a few of my most recent favorites, not an exhaustive list of every shop in Paris (been there, done that…exhausting!). I also try to stick to “glaciers”, so I’ve left out some great pastry and chocolate shops that also make delicious artisan ice cream and gelato, such as Un Dimanche à Paris and À la Mère de Famille.
By far the most rebellious of the group is Glazed, which I first discovered at the Rock-en-Seine festival in 2012. Their first boutique was opened on Rue des Martyrs in the 9th, too far for me to indulge, until their most recent opening near the Jardin des Plantes in the 5th, just ten minutes by Vélib’ from my place. Dangerous! Just like their crazy flavor combos which somehow work even for the sorbets: “Black Sugar Sex Magic” (chocolate sorbet with wasabi and ginger), “Orange Mécanique” (or Clockwork Orange in English, orange sorbet with Campari and balsamic vinegar), “Porn Cop” (popcorn flavored ice cream), “Tunnel of Love” (strawberry and Sansho peppers), “Red Alert” (red peppers, raspberries, red currants and harissa), and “Dirty Berry” (raspberry-lime-sumac).
Glazed may adhere to the hipster rock & roll aesthetic, but they’re truly artisan and “engage” as they say: all of their products are made in-house (at the Jardin des Plantes shop) using mostly organic and/or locally-sourced ingredients. In addition to their core flavors, they produce seasonal flavors depending on what’s ripe: this week it’s organic figs from Solliès, wild blackberries from Burgundy and organic yellow peaches. “We work with the best sources or producers by maximizing short circuits and organic products.” They also sell frozen cheesecakes, milkshakes, buches de Noël, waffles, and “Skimos”, their version of ice cream and sorbet pops on a stick, aka “Eskimos” in France. Prices for the ice cream to go are €5 for two scoops, or €9 for the 350ml containers (about ¾ of a pint). There is some “Covid” seating outside the Jardin des Plantes location. They also do “click & collect” or delivery if you don’t want to get caught in a long line on a sunny day.
19 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 5th
Open Wed-Sun 2-7pm; Confinement hours Thurs-Sat 2-6pm
54 Rue des Martyrs, 9th
Open Tues-Fri 12:30-8:30pm, weekends 11am-8:30pm
Une Glace à Paris
I met up with Jane Bertch from La Cuisine Paris at Paris Plage one hot day in July, and after strolling a bit we were both ready for something cold. “I’m really craving Une Glace à Paris” she said, which was nearby in the Marais. As I’d always been a Pozzetto fan, I hadn’t even tried this one. I’m ready to make up for lost time! Created by friends Olivier Ménard and Emmanuel Ryon (a Meilleur Ouvrier de France Glacier and World Pastry Champion) who come from a slightly different angle than the average ice cream maker: they see themselves as frozen pastry creators. And it shows! Everything is so beautiful you can’t help but Instagram it before biting in – not such a bright idea when it’s hot enough to melt as soon as you walk outside and whip off your mask to dive in.
Made in-house, with the highest quality ingredients from small producers (some ingredients like Goji berries or Venetian pistachios in their “prestige” line increase the price). They’re already famous for their three flavors of vanilla ice cream (including smoked vanilla), and sorbets such as peach and lavender honey, carrot-orange-ginger, banana-caramel-litchi, buckwheat and green apple, cranberry-goji berry, and – when we visited – hibiscus-blackberry-raspberry. The gorgeous “Rose Parisienne” is made with strawberry sorbet and geranium, coconut, and Matcha green tea ice cream. They also have a pistachio and Matcha green tea “Esquimau” pop made covered in rose petals, and chocolate hazelnut “iced cookies”. I tested the chocolate sorbet with the apricot-Earl Grey tea sorbet (the tea taste is really, really subtle). Price for two scoops is €4.50; or €16 a half-liter (500ml) container to go (“prestige” flavors are €19.50).
15 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 4th
Open Wed-Sun 1:30pm-8pm (Fri until 10:30pm, Sat until 11pm, Sun until 7pm) Tearoom currently closed due to Covid, so take out only.
16 place des Abbesses, 18th
Open Wed-Sat 1:30pm-8pm (Fri until 10:30pm, Sat until 11pm), Sun 11am-7pm. The sidewalk terrace closes 30 minutes before the boutique.
La Tropicale Glacier
I have a soft spot for La Tropicale because – up until this month – this family-owned ice cream shop was located right here in the 13th arrondissement, just off the Place d’Italie. But as tourists and bobo’s don’t normally tread these streets, La Tropicale has been sadly underrated. Their new location between Bastille and the Marché d’Aligre on the Right Bank should remedy that. The “nose” of La Tropicale is Thai-Thanh Dang, who now runs the business founded by her father in 1976. Instead of focusing on “Instagrammable” creations, she creates the flavors the same way a perfumer would create a scent, paying special attention to the texture, form and the “aromatic spectrum” (like wine, the temperature is important for how it tastes).
Made on-site like all good artisan glaciers, all flavors are gluten-free, and many are dairy-free for the vegans like me. I’m addicted to the black sesame (which comes made with milk or coconut milk). Sorbet flavors include tea-cardamom-fennel, yuzu-Espelette pepper, strawberry-Szechuan pepper; ice creams come in flavors like Curcuma-grapefruit and basil-yogurt. There are other frozen creations, such as sorbet frappés made with non-dairy milk. They also do workshops (such as how to make Mochis). Two scoops are €5. Healthy salads and dishes served for Sunday brunch, €20. The 12th isn’t that far from the 13th, right? Sniff…
7 rue de Prague, 12th
Open Tues-Sun noon-7:30pm (until 5:30pm weekdays in fall/winter).
Tearoom and terrace seating.
I’m including Louise because I can’t resist stopping for a cone after a run in the Jardin des Plantes. There are three stands, so they’re hard to miss. I actually stopped here between visits to La Tropicale and Glazed, because I’m a sucker for their marketing: artisan ice cream and sorbet made in Provence; the milk for the ice cream comes from a small dairy farm in the Pyrenees, and the fruit is all sourced from cooperative farms in France. Their sorbet flavors reflect their roots: Toulouse Violette, Charentais cantaloupe, Peach on the vine from Lyon, and for icecream, a Façon Opéra (chocolate ganache and coffee cream).
I got two scoops, the cantaloupe (or “melon” en français) and the sorbet of the day, “Redlove apple and elderberry”. I like it as I’ve liked all the sorbets I’ve tried, but I’m not an expert like David Lebovitz, so I can’t tell you if they – or any of the places I’ve tried – would pass the taste test of more seasoned buds than mine. The only thing I found a bit off-putting was their website, which seems to be targeting potential franchisees than actually sharing info about their product (for example, who is “Louise” anyway?). Other locations already exist in a few malls outside Paris, and perhaps their encouragement will result in more of these Louise kiosks popping up in airports and shopping centers around France. Two scoops for €4.50.
Three kiosks in the Jardin des Plantes, 5th
Open seasonally, April through September
Shop at 131 rue St Martin, 4th (by the Centre Pompidou)
Open daily 11am-9pm (closes Tues at 8pm)
Glacier Pierre Geronimi
I’m including this one because everyone who describes it seems to start frothing at the mouth with enthusiasm, even though I have struck out three times when trying to “pop in” without checking the hours in advance (granted, this last time I checked but they were still closed because of Covid). Pierre is from Corsica and has a very interesting tearoom concept where he combines salads with savory sorbets: Salad Niçoise with olive sorbet, summer vegetable salad with anchovy sorbet, and tabbouleh with fresh herb sorbet. I’m not sold but I’m intrigued. If you just stick with the scoops of ice cream or sorbet, flavors include Champagne, black garlic, beefsteak tomato, Corsican olive oil, etc. Happy to hear from any of you if you’ve tried this one (and I’ll update this post when I do).
5 rue Férou, 6th (near St-Sulpice Church)
Open Tues-Sun 9:30am-7:30pm, tearoom seating.
Ice Cream Truck Bonus
If you read my recent article on Paris Rooftop Bars, you might remember I treated myself to some sorbet from the Crillon’s vintage Citroën ice cream truck while waiting (90 minutes!) for a spot at their new rooftop bar. The frozen creations here are made by the Crillon’s Head Pastry Chef Matthieu Carlin. I tried the apricot and Granny Smith apple sorbet. Other sorbet flavors are rather traditional, lemon and raspberry. For the ice cream there’s vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut praline, and salted caramel (sigh, when will someone make this without dairy?!) I like that they top it off with caramelized nuts and Chantilly whipped cream at no extra cost. At €5 for two scoops, it’s not more expensive than its competitors, and has the additional Palace Hotel Touch of being able to ogle the expensive cars while enjoying your treat.
Crillon Hotel Ice Cream Truck
10 Place de la Concorde, 8th
Open Wed-Sun afternoons until September 30th
Other Addresses I Like
Grom: 81 rue de Seine, 6th; Italian gelato, they grow most of their own primary ingredients. The sorbets are classic flavors (although pink grapefruit and blueberry are surprising). I love the sorbet pops that you can have dipped in dark chocolate. Plenty of terrace seating.
Pozzetto: 39 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 4th; Another Italian gelateria that has been a longtime fave of mine, and I’ve dragged almost every single tour client here, too! I always liked the pistachio and gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) when I could still tolerate dairy, but the Sicilian lemon sorbet is also amazing. Note that the price doubles if you want to eat sitting down inside.
Berthillon: 29-31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 4th; Open since 1954, this was the first real artisanal ice cream in Paris, so due respect for the late Raymond Berthillon and his Ile St-Louis empire (even if I do find their “dainty” scoops to be the smallest in Paris). They still make their ice cream and sorbets on-site guaranteed without preservatives, sweeteners or acidifiers. Berthillon has all of the classics, as well as roasted pineapple with fresh basil, or mojito (rum, fresh mint and lime). They still stubbornly close up shop the hottest time of the year (mid-July until end of August), but resellers are all over the island.