Just a short walk from Cathedral Notre Dame, located on the historic Ile Saint-Louis, is perhaps the best ice cream in the world. Correction, Les Glace et Sorbet a la Berthillon (http://www.berthillon.fr/).
Maison Berthillon is owned and operated by the same family since 1954 as a cafe and glacier. Often there are lines winding around the building. There are dozens of articles and reviews online describing this amazing “magic in a cone.” So, why read something else? Because, it simply deserves one more plug from this Examiner. Yes, it is that good. But also to prove that an ice-cream cone does not need to be the size of your head in order for it to make your eyes roll back into your head.
The front of the building is a masterpiece in itself, with its elegant oak trim and black lettering. The list of glacees and sorbets is as long as your arm, with such flavors as cassis (currant), Earl Grey Tea, Tiramisu and many, many more. They use only natural ingredients, in small batches and CONCENTRATE the flavor in such a brilliant, bright way that one only needs a small, ping-pong size scoop. It’s that rich. Fortunately, they do offer a double-scoop cone, so you can mix different flavors; Dark chocolate with Blood Oranges (a combination only nature can make); Framboise (raspberry) and Chocolat Blanc (white chocolate) etc. It also helps to brush-up on a few of the French terms for the flavors, so you know what you’re ordering. The staff is gracious, but like most vendors in Paris they are very appreciative of any effort one makes to use French. Also, please note that most glaciers will have you pay for your cone first at a register and then you proceed over to the long glass case with ticket-in-hand where you can then tell them the flavors you would like. So, please do not just walk directly up to the case like you are at Baskin Robbins. Chances are you are cutting in line without knowing it.
Bertthillon is sold in many cafes around Paris, but it is recommended that you go to the source. Check their business hours before you go as they are closed on some days. Remember, these flavors are made in small batches and run out quickly. The key is to be patient, flexible and adventurous. I promise you, it’s worth the wait.