By Bryan Pirolli in Paris—
As the sun starts beating down on a July afternoon in Paris, one surefire escape from the heat is a walk to the frozen food isle of the grocery store. Walk past the frozen bags of spinach and boxes of frozen pizza and you’ll find the cure to even the most sizzling of Parisian summer days: Ice cream. In all shapes and varieties, there is a flavor that is sure to please everyone.
But when you’re visiting Paris, don’t waste your time and money on store-brand desserts. Grab a five euro bill and head out to some of the best ice cream joints that the city has to offer. Here are my favorites:
Main store: 29-31 rue Saint Louis en l’Ile, 75004
Berthillon may just be the most popular ice cream in Paris, and with good reason. These tiny scoops of ice cream are so packed with flavor that one lick will instantly justify the long wait in line. Take note, it’s the only French ice cream on this list.
15 rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, 75006
It Mylk has two locations in Paris serving up something that Parisians still aren’t entirely sure about: frozen yogurt. A far cry from the ice creams at Berthillon, It Mylk offers natural, fat-free yogurt that you can adorn with any combination of berries, granola, chocolate, etc. A quick look at the endless yogurt aisle in the grocery store and you’ll see why this concept works. And hey, it’s basically guilt-free.
25 rue Vieille du Temple, 75004 or 51 rue Saint Louis en l’Ile, 75004
My Berry has the same concept as It Mylk but under a different name, recalling the Pink Berry frozen yogurt franchise in the United States. With tangy tart yogurt and a complicated array of toppings, My Berry is one of the places worth waiting in line for in the Marais on a Sunday after you’ve waited in a similar line for one of the best falafel sandwiches on nearby rue des Rosiers.
Enter the gelato…
Various addresses listed on their Web site
When it comes to the best frozen treats, Parisians know that Italians are the real masters, even when, like Amorino, it’s a French company parading around as an Italian one. These stores can be found all over the city and they serve up picturesque Italian-style gelato in the form of a flower. Their chocolate-hazelnut combo (called the “Inimitable”) is a fantastic choice, especially for Nutella lovers. Chain-haters beware: Amorino boutiques are as ubiquitous as Starbucks, but the demand for ice cream is just so high…
81 rue de Seine, 75006
I first tried Grom in New York, unaware that it started in Torino. I never imagined I’d have the good fortune to grab a scoopful in Paris. Happily, in 2008 the high quality and eco-friendly Italian-based gelato makers brought their craft to Paris’ Saint Germain neighborhood after spreading all across Italy and overseas. They’re also very aware of food allergies, so there is a flavor for everyone.
39 rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004
Pozetto is yet another Italian gelateria that makes it easy for you. Not only is the menu limited to a very select 12 flavors, but they’re all delicious, so there’s no way to lose. Go crazy with pistachio, mint, and panna cotta flavors or go basic with Fior di Latte, a pure cream variety that seems simpler than vanilla with a taste that is anything but vanilla.
1 rue Charles-François Dupuis, 75003
Mary’s is one of those places that will always leave you with a smile. The super friendly owner, Mary, will speak to you in beautiful Italian, rarely English or French, while helping you choose which of her handmade flavors is best for you. The fruit sorbets are probably my favorite in Paris and her tea-based flavors are just as refreshing on a hot day, like a frozen scoop of fresh iced tea. And the entire experience of getting a cone from Mary and talking with her will make your ice cream taste all that much sweeter.
Your favorite ice cream spots
Tell us, Cheapos, do you have any other recommendations for a scoop or two to fight the summer heat? Tell us about your favorite ice cream joint in our comments section.