The best ice cream in Paris

The scoop on the capital's best places for ice creams, sorbets and gelati

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Our sticky-fingered guide to the best ices in the capital takes you from glorious gelati in luxurious ice cream parlours to sweet shops full of bonbons; simply the best places in Paris to indulge a sweet tooth.

La Maison du Chocolat

  • Rated as: 5/5

Most people associate La Maison du Chocolat with luxurious boxes of chocolates; but come here in summer and you’ll discover (in addition to the chocolate stands) a superb ice cream section with endless tubs of mouth-watering glaces and sorbets. Chocolate ice cream takes pride of place – there’s even a low-fat chocolate sorbet for calorie counters. But non-chocoholics have plenty of choice too, with expertly prepared flavours like salted caramel, coffee, strawberry cream and that timeless classic, vanilla.

  1. 120 av Victor-Hugo, 16th
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A la mère de famille

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

If traditional ice cream cones just aren’t enough any more, head along Rue du Faubourg Montmartre to A la Mère de Famille. As well as traditional scoops, this 250-year old sweet shop (filled with bonbons, jellies and chocolates) serves scrumptious homemade ‘Exquimaux’ (frozen ice cream lollypops, coated in chocolate, caramelised almonds, biscuits or crushed hazelnuts) and delicious rochers glacés (small chocolate logs filled with peach, caramel or chocolate marshmallow flavoured ice cream). Another indulgent speciality is the sachets of ‘Palets de Montmartre’ – chocolate discs filled with nougat, caramel or lemon ganache.

  1. 35 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 9e
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Pozzetto

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Pozetto might not be the most famous gelateria in Paris, but it’s one of the best, serving classic Italian flavours like gianduia torinese (a Turin speciality of chocolate and hazelnuts from Piémont), fior di latte (made from milk, cream and sugar) and pistacchio (a creamy Sicilian pistachio blend). Fruit lovers are in for a treat too with peach, berry, pear and orange sorbets all made from real fruit. Order your scoop through the little window overlooking Rue du Roi Sicile (€4) and eat it on the go, or sit down on a bench at nearby Place Baudoyer. If you do decide to eat in, the same ice cream costs €7.

  1. 39 rue du Roi de Sicile, 4e
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Raimo

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

This former family ice cream parlour, founded in 1947, was bought in 2008 and converted into a salon de thé. Fortunately, the new owners keep the old Raimo spirit alive by making delicious ice creams and sorbets (according to traditional 19th century recipes) from only natural, seasonal ingredients. As well as time-honoured varieties like vanilla, praline or blackcurrant, there are quirkier varieties like orange flower and violet; if you really can’t make up your mind, choose the ‘palette de couleurs Raimo’, which lets you try eight different flavoured scoops.

  1. 59-61 boulevard de Reuilly, 12e
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Le Bac à Glaces

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

At Bac à Glaces, ice cream maker extraordinaire Sylvain Roël wows customers with consistently delicious ice creams and sorbets – all home made with only the choicest ingredients and no artificial colourings. Popular flavours include Créole (rum and raisin), chestnut, pineapple and coconut. Roël particularly likes playing with textures, adding pieces of fruit to his sorbets and chunks of chocolate or nuts to his ice creams. Sweet-toothed dieters are in for a particular treat here with a reduced sugar range that includes velvety strawberry, mango and blackcurrant sorbets. And liqueur lovers can get their fix too, with three tangy sorbets – cherry, raspberry and pear – infused with Eau-de-vie.

  1. 109 rue du Bac, 7e
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Martine Lambert

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

You’ll be hard-pushed to find thicker, creamier ice cream than at Martine Lambert’s parlour on Rue Cler, where Normandy lait cru (unpasteurised milk) and crème fraîche are used in most of her recipes. Her sorbets are top-notch too: since she opened her first boutique in Deauville in 1975, Lambert has selected the best fruits from around the world to ensure that her flavours are as intense and fruity as possible. Even the nougat, preserved oranges and caramel are made on site to ensure the best quality. If you’re planning a dinner party, check out her ‘Créations’ range, which includes macaroons filled with sorbet and an extravagant ‘Omelette Norvegienne’ (meringue filled with sorbet on a layer of buttery biscuit) to share.

  1. 39 rue Cler, 7e
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Clasico Argentino

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Forget French glace, Italian gelati and British Mr Whippy: every self-respecting Parisian nowadays eats Argentinean helado – preferably from luxury fast food store Clasico Argentino. Founded by Argentineans Enrique Zanoni and Gaston Stivelmaher, the shop-cum-restaurant serves eight flavours of ultra-creamy ice cream made on the premises, including dulce de leche (a sweet, milky cream) and fruit helados laced with alcohol. If you want to take the Argentinean theme to the extreme, borrow one of Clasico Argentino’s DVDs (€20 deposit). The collection includes famous and lesser-known Argentinean films: perfect for watching over a tub of ice cream.

  1. 217 rue du Faubourg St-Antoine, 11e
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Berthillon

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

You can recognize the Berthillon ice-cream parlour and tearoom from the queues of people outside, except (somewhat strangely) in summer when the shop is closed! The flavours change throughout the seasons, but if it’s available don’t miss the strawberry sorbet, or the bitter chocolate sorbet made without and dairy products. In winter Berthillon offers delicious hot chocolate, made from melted chocolate and cream, and – perhaps even naughtier – a chocolate ‘affogato’ (a ball of vanilla ice-cream, served in a white porcelain mug with hot chocolate poured on top and topped with praline cream). Don't be put off by the queues - they're rarely for the tearoom itself.

  1. 29-31 rue Saint-Louis en l'Ile, 4e
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Grom

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Created by two young Italians in 2003, Grom has grown into an international ice cream chain with boutiques in Europe, the States and Japan. But don’t let that put you off: their caramel ice cream with pink Himalayan salt and cioccolato fondente made from Venezuelan chocolate are still as good as ever. And sorbet lovers won’t find a better version of limome (lemon sorbet, made from Sicilian lemons) anywhere else in town. If you have food intolerances, Grom’s a good choice, with a clear list of flavours to avoid if you’re allergic to ingredients such as milk, eggs, nuts or gluten. You can check the list online beforehand here.

  1. 81 rue de Seine, 6e
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Gelati d’Alberto

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

You come to purple and white Gelati d’Alberto for two things: the delicious ice cream and to watch the employees turn your scoops into a flower-shaped work of art before your very eyes. Once you’ve tasted the classic flavours, try the Nutella, green tea or even the vodka Red Bull varieties. The more flavours you choose, the prettier your ice cream flower becomes. On a sunny day, rows of expectant ice cream buyers snake their way along Rue Mouffetard, so be prepared to queue.

  1. 45 rue Mouffetard, 5e
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