The sizzling summers of France make it the perfect time to enjoy some of the finest ice creams available. The French take their food very seriously, and it is no wonder that even ice cream in France is a gourmet pleasure and a much-desired artisan summer delicacy.
While some of us still prefer the classic flavors, the assortment of quirky and exotic flavors, sundaes, gelato, and sorbet, is just irresistible for most. Here are my picks for the best ice cream in France from their vast selection of traditional French ice cream parlors.
Berthillon ice cream on the Ile Saint-Louis has some of the most luxurious ice creams in the world. The iconic tea room serves ice creams, pastries, and sorbets amid historic, wood-paneled surroundings. Raymond Berthillon, the founder, is almost a household name!
It’s a favorite ice cream shop not only for tourists, but for Parisians, evident from the long queues. Among the 60+ stunning flavors, about 30 vary seasonally. So there is something to suit everyone’s taste here.
Their delicious ice cream made from natural flavorings have no chemical preservatives, stabilizers, or artificial sweeteners. While you could go for a rich, velvety, classic vanilla or dark chocolate scoop or some one of their fresh fruit sorbets, there are many more intriguing options.
From their popular salted butter caramel to original flavors like gingerbread, whipped cream, coconut, pistachio, pineapple basil, rose petal, etc., it’s pure creamy goodness. Surprisingly, Berthillon remains closed in August (the peak of summer).
- Berthillon, 46 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004 Paris, France
While Amorino has over 200 stores globally and has an Italian name, Paris is the place where it was born in 2002 on the Ile Saint Louis. One look at their sculpted rose-shaped ice cream on a cone, and it is love at first sight. Add a gelato-filled macaron over it, and it’s a sight to behold.
Amorino’s gelato is made mostly with organic ingredients. Apart from classic flavors like strawberry sorbet with added twists, many exotic options are available, like salted butter caramel, Ecuador pure origin chocolate, Amarena (cream and black cherries), and Sri Lankan coconut, among others.
They also have a lovely collection of gelato macarons in many flavors. Amorino has made its mark globally and is a treat for your eyes and tastebuds. In the summer months, there is a line around the corner!
- Amorino, 47 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004 Paris, France (the original shop, and hundreds of other locations, including the Rue Cler, near the Eiffel Tower!)
La Maison du Glacier
Among the best artisanal ice creams in Bordeaux, nestled in the heart of this historic center in Saint-Pierre, is La Maison du Glacier. Their wide selection of ice creams and sorbets are crafted from fresh, natural ingredients.
With about 80 flavors total, some of them are pretty unexpected, yet most are organic. From matcha green tea, gooseberry, and rhubarb to chestnut, quince, apple, and ginger, they even provide an exclusive gourmet experience with maple, foie gras, and madeleine.
Once you’ve had one of their artisanal ice creams, you’ll struggle to return to anything else!
- La Maison du Glacier, 1 Pl. Saint-Pierre, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Glacier Vanille Noire
As strange as it may sound, the black vanilla ice cream has a unique savory taste that’s difficult to resist. While the first lick will feel like rich Madagascar vanilla, you’ll start getting salty hints after a few seconds.
Other intense flavors that will excite your taste buds include pêche blanc and green tomato ice creams. Their sorbets (with 65 – 80% fruit) are rich in fruity and herb flavors; the fragrant basil, tart fig, and the brightest red fraise are some of the exquisite tastes.
Vegans won’t be disappointed as there are a handful of options for them too. Their secret is in their ice turbines that don’t add air into the ice creams resulting in a highly intense flavor.
Walking into Fenocchio on Place Rossetti in Nice’s old town, you’ll be overjoyed with their colorful display of ice creams. They’ve been ice cream makers since 1966!
They have a mind-blowing 94 flavors of ice cream, with 59 ice cream flavors and 35 sorbets. The creaminess and deep, intense flavors of their ice creams are to die for; of course, some weirdly unexpected flavors taste just as awesome.
Their range of different flavors includes lemon verbena, cactus, lavender, beer, cappuccino, guava, spice-bread, and rice pudding, to name a few. Their confiture de lait (French version of dulce de leche) has an exceptional taste and is beautifully gooey.
This is one place you simply shouldn’t miss in France.
- Fenocchio, 2 Pl. Rossetti, 06300 Nice, France
Pozzetto Gelato Caffè
It’s no surprise that most of France’s best ice cream shops are in Paris. With Pozzetto, in Roi de Sicile, you’ll find seriously good gelato without the rainbow displays like in most ice cream shops.
Truly unique in several aspects, Pozzetto makes 12 exceptional, all-natural flavors, prepared daily in small batches. Rather than a shiny display, they keep their ice creams in basins or wells (Pozzetto in Italian) to maintain the desired temperature and texture of the gelato.
Their Gianduja gelato is one of the best in the world, while their pumpkin and kiwi flavors feel like you’re biting into the actual fruit. Their gelato intends to make people feel like they didn’t have any like they could have another.
It certainly leaves a refreshing taste in your mouth, with no unwanted aftertaste or sugary film on your teeth.
- Pozzetto Gelato Caffè, 39 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris, France
From their production in Provence, Scaramouche’s lip-smacking ice creams and sorbets are available in Rue la Vieuville in Montmarte, Paris.
They make artisanal ice creams with locally-sourced natural ingredients, including raw milk, fresh fruits and herbs, and organic eggs. While the less adventurous can enjoy the blood orange or vine peach sorbets, those looking for adventurous tastes can relish rose geranium and pistachio, rosemary and olive oil, honey and thyme, and Provencal saffron flavors, among others.
With their intention to restore the scents of Provence through their ice creams and sorbets, the results are exceptional and loved by children and adults alike.
- Scaramouche, 3 Rte des Alpes, 04700 La Brillanne, France
Une Glace à Paris
I would be remiss not to mention one of the best ice cream parlors in Paris, the Une Glace à Paris, founded by pastry chef Emmanuel Ryon, winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the top honor of the Best Ice Cream Maker in France. He opened the shop with partner Olivier Ménard and the rest is history.
With two shops, one in Marais and one in Montmartre, Ryon says “We want to create a gastronomic experience with our ice cream. People come for the classics like vanilla, pistachio, and caramel. But orange-carrot-ginger is also one of the big sellers in our assortment.
We also experiment with new flavors like ice cream with black garlic, smoked chocolate ice cream or vanilla with sake kasu: a fermented paste that is used to make sake.”
Along with his creamy ice creams like orange blossom and black sesame, he also make vegan and lactose-free flavors – the sorbets flavors are amazing! Perfect for everyone’s sweet tooth.
- Une Glace à Paris, Marais: 15 rue saint Croix de la Bretonnerie 75004 Paris & Montmartre, 16 place des Abbesses 75018 Paris
Additional places for the best ice cream in France
- Most of these are in Paris!
- Martine Lambert glace-sorbet, 39 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris, France
- À la Mère de Famille – various locations – great chocolates, plus ice cream
- Pierre Hermé, various locations – the macaron king also does exceptional homemade ice cream
- La Glacerie Paris, 13 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris, France – Run by David Wesmaël, also a MOF winner
- Le Bac à Glaces, 109 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, France
- Gelati d’Alberto, 45 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris, France
The cherry on top!
As good as French cuisine are French ice creams too. These are some strong competitors to Italian gelato! Sunshine or not, some of the best ice creams in France can be enjoyed in any season.
Try Ice cream in these places:
Pin it later