If you have only one ice cream cone in Paris, make sure it comes from Berthillon, the long-standing grande dame of glaces. The tea salon is worth a visit, too.
An absolute favorite
Address: 31 rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile, 75004
Nearest transport: Pont Marie (7)
Hours: Closed Monday, Closed Tuesday
Telephone: 01 43 54 31 61
Reviews of interest
Lucky Peach (2016) “I go straight to Berthillon—the original one, not one of the weird offshoots—for thechocolat amer sorbet. It’s the best chocolate sorbet in the world, and one of the best chocolate things I’ve ever eaten. Yes, you’re on the Île St-Louis, surrounded by tourists, but it is so worth it.”
GQ (2013) “Fruits de saison, respect du produit et savoir-faire font de l’entreprise familiale l’un des meilleurs glaciers de Paris. Tous les week-ends, les mangeurs de glaces prennent leur gourmandise en patience et attendent sagement de pouvoir commander à leur tour, le fameux cornet glacé.”
Serious Eats (2012) “The fruit sorbets are decidedly potent but never too sweet—every year I’ve declared I’ve found a new favorite flavor…The scoops are tiny so you could easily do a double or triple with no regrets.”
Gilles Pudlowski (2012) “Il y avait moins de monde [en hiver], pas de queue, le service souriait. Et le joli et récent salon de bouche qui permet de prendre ses aises était quasi vide. Bref, c’est le moment de redécouvrir le plus célèbre, quoique finalement le moins connu des glaciers de Paris (il ferme toujours l’été!), au coeur de l’île Saint-Louis.”
Barbra Austin (2010) “The one and only, incontournable, classic…”
Dorie Greenspan (2008) “No one knows how Berthillon does it (and they’re not telling), but they make ice cream with the deepest, truest flavors ever churned.”
Clotilde Dusoulier (2008) Recommended in Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris.
David Lebovitz (2007) “This most-famous of all Parisian glaciers makes what many consider the best ice cream in the world.
Overrated. We went a few times in March and while some flavors were smooth, others had chunks of ice – evidence of melting and refreezing that you wouldn’t expect from the flagship store. I recall thinking the same thing when I lived in Paris in 1998, but back then there were smaller, less famous sorbet shops with more consistently delicious product. Unfortunately, in the last 20 years, those smaller, better shops seem to have closed – it seems gelato is beating out sorbet in Paris.
Margot and Katie: According to the Berthillon website – “Pour les fêtes, nous serons exceptionnellement ouverts les lundis 22 et 29 décembre et les mardis 23 et 30 décembre. Nous fermerons les 25 et 26 décembre ainsi que les 1 et 2 janvier pour rester en famille. ”
or – “For the holidays, we will be open exceptionally on Monday, the 22 and 29th of December, and Tuesday, the 23rd and 30th of December. We will be closed the 25 and 26th, then closed on the 1 and 2nd of January.”
My question is the same as Katies: what days during Christamas week will it be open.
Also is the tea room very crowded ? Are there some times better than others to get seated ?
Thankyou so much,
Do you know what Berthillon hours will be over Christmas?
Yes, SO delicious! There’s almost (almost!) a hesitation to go there because it seems cliché to say Berthillon has good ice cream. But it is really that lip-smacking good – the place is an institution for a reason! I’ll leave the omnipresent Amorinos to the amateurs and take Berthillon any day. While the fruit flavors are refreshing (they have a sorbet-ish texture), I much prefer the creamy goodness of the true ice creams. And as many other flavors tempt me (last week, the salesgirl strongly recommended the “caramel au carambar”), I cannot resist the caramel au beurre salé, a flavor that is now in vogue among plenty of yuppy American ice cream shops (e.g., Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco, Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica), but that I first learned of and tried at Berthillon. Your marginal enjoyment of each bite of ice cream is sustained by the fact that each “scoop” (melon ball, really, by American standards) is preciously small.
Incidentally, hailing from Los Angeles, home of Pinkberry, I will say publicly here first that Mÿberry (25 r. Vielle du Temple, 75004) is one of the best approximations of Pinkberry that I’ve tasted. And I’ve sampled quite a few of natural yogurt places christened “[insert name here]-berry.”