Berthillon, 31 rue Saint Louis en l’ile, 75004
I recently asked Danny Meyer, the New York-based restaurateur (Shake Shack, Union Square Café, The Modern, Gramercy Tavern, and twelve others) of boundless innovation and success, what his favorite ice cream shop is in Paris. A Francophile who has regularly returned to France since his youth internship at La Réserve in Bordeaux, his advice was essential to launch my quest for the best cones. Without hesitation, he replied, “I haven’t found a scoop that I like more than the salted butter caramel at Berthillon on the Ile Saint-Louis. Walking around is always a delight and that scoop is like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Oh the Berthillon! In 1954, Raymond Berthillon was working in the family café-hotel at 31 rue Saint Louis en l’ile when he thought it might be a good idea to use an ice cream maker he had bought a few years earlier. It turned out to be a really good idea. Still located at its original address, Berthillon serves over a thousand liters of ice cream daily and supplies over one hundred and forty restaurants and cafes. The list of flavors is too long to list here, but to give you a little taste, the best of Berthillon includes; caramel-ginger, speculoos, amaretto praline, pistachio, and (here drum roll…) eight varieties of chocolate! The Berthillon Salon de Thé also serves tea, pastries and toast. Expect a line in July and August and if the show is full you may want to buy your Berthillon at one of the many cafes or scoop shops a few blocks away that also service it . 3€, 4.50€, 6€, 7.50€ for 1,2,3,4 scoops, respectively.
The Ice Tray, 109 rue du Bac, 75007, 01 45 48 87
It was a real pinch-I-have-to-dream moment when I sat down with Julien Yoel, the ice cream parlor’s third-generation ice cream parlor and flagship Bac à Glace tearoom for a tasting of six (of their more than fifty ) flavors. Tucked away on charming Rue du Bac in the 7th arrondissement, it’s a perfect break if you’re in the neighborhood visiting the Musée d’Orsay, Rodin Museum, Eiffel Tower or shopping at La Grande Épicerie de Paris for edible treats to accompany. Yoel explained to me that since its creation by his grandfather in 1955, their ice cream has always had less air, sugar or fat than many other ice creams, and that they have never opted for flavors fancy or fashionable. You won’t find crushed cookies or candy bars. But you’ll find ice cream of exceptional quality in satisfying flavors, from revisited classics to more innovative ones.
If the intense dark chocolate sorbet is their bestseller, it’s easy to see why the refreshingly refreshing strawberry with rose extract is so popular. (There’s also a strawberry with fresh mint.) The tangy lemon basil sorbet would make a great palate cleanser, and the candied ginger apricot would appeal to any stone fruit lover. For me, the “wow” factor of the halva ice cream, based on the sesame and pistachio confectionery popular throughout the Middle East and beyond, was out of this world. There is a nice outdoor terrace, and crepes and other treats are also served. €3.50 for a single ball, €5 for two and €6.50 for three.
Hugo and Victor 40 Boul. Raspail, 07, 06 28 91 00 23
Pastry chef Hugue Pouget’s ice cream served in a trolley outside his elegant chocolaterie on Boulevard Resail is as exceptional as you’d expect from a pastry chef who has won the French dessert championship and worked with three luminaries like Guy Savoy and at Le Bristol. The eight flavors, based on seasonal ingredients, are both simple, yet reflect the inspired innovative touches I’ve seen from some really great chefs: salted butterscotch is what caramel should always have – pure and succulent. Chef Pouget’s soft spot for citrus fruits (also reflected in his range of pastries) is evident in his grapefruit (grapefruit) sorbet, the most faithful to its namesake ingredient I’ve ever tasted.
Luc, the extremely knowledgeable and affable boutique manager, explained the painstaking process of peeling the membranes from each section of grapefruit, a process that explains why such pure grapefruit sorbet is hard to come by, but also reflects the care of the chef. to details. Another signature flavor, Mango (Mango) Sorbet, with subtle notes of passion fruit, cinnamon and vanilla, is made with 70% candied mango fruit from Stephan Perrotte, named best confectioner in France and world champion in jam. Praline and verbena also stand out. But the highlight for me was the dark chocolate sorbet which has the creamy mouthfeel of ice cream and the taste of dark chocolate that a chocolate lover like me needs. For this sublime ice cream maker, Chef Pouget worked with Valrhona, his favorite chocolate maker, to imagine his personal blend of different percentages of cocoa and bean origins. With so much French mastery and know-how packed into a cone, how could it not be one of the best? Hugo & Victor ice cream cones are €4.50, €6 and €7.50 for one, two and three scoops. [Note: Victor & Hugo ice cream is served at Café Flore, the see-and-be-seen “must” since the 1920s when “lost generation” made it famous.]
The Ice Cream Triporteur at Tour d’Argent Bakery, 2 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005
Under the entrepreneurial eye of third-generation owner André Terrail, famed restaurant Le Tour d’Argent has expanded its culinary empire overlooking the Seine at Quai de la Tournelle with La Rôtisserie d’Argent and Boulangerie Tour d’Argent. During the summer months, you can also enjoy sensational scoops from their Le Triporteur à Glaces parked in front of this exceptional pastry-bakery.
The honey nougat is a faithful but creamy interpretation of the iconic soft confectionery from Montélimar. For those who think, like me, that chocolate and nuts are among the most perfect pairings in the world, you will be delighted to discover hazelnut chocolate. The salted caramel ice cream had just the right caramel notes and tastes very French! Perennial favorites mango, strawberry, raspberry and vanilla are also available in cones or containers. You can cross the narrow street to enjoy your cone on the bridge facing Notre Dame (which houses the superb terrace of La Rôtisserie) for an inordinately Instagrammable photo. Balls are €4, €7 and €10 (Euros) for one, two and three balls.
The Ice Cream Shop13 rue du Temple 75004
If you’re shopping on this bustling street known for its laid-back clothes, you’ll find respite with the decidedly fine ice creams at La Glacerie. Founder David Wesmaël is a Maître Ouvrier de France (Maître Artisan de France), the country’s highest culinary honour. If rue du Temple isn’t on your itinerary, don’t worry, its sublime frozen desserts are served in some stores in Paris. They are presented at La Tour d’Argent, the Tour d’Argent Bakery and the Tour d’Argent Rotisserie. You can also enjoy it served from carts at Edward Chocolate, The shops of rising star chocolatier Edwin Yansané in the Marais, rue Rivoli (near the Louvre), a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe and in the trendy Batignolles district. Balls cost €3.90, €6.30 and €8.40 for 1, 2 and 3 balls.
Philip Ruskin is an external lecturer (ESSEC Bus. School), consultant (food and travel marketing), writer, drummer and regular contributor to Frenchly. He loves cycling in his adopted city, Paris. Find it here, on Instagram.