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20 of Europe's best ice-cream parlours: readers’ travel tips

Lifestyle2018-08-10

Winning tip: La Martinière, Île de Ré, FranceLegendary ice-cream shop La Martinière is on the quayside in Saint-Martin-de-Ré, and also has a quieter outpost at the far end of the island by the Baleines lighthouse. There are too many flavours to count: my three-year-old was bowled over by the simple vanilla, my husband by the local caramel fleur-de-sel (sea salt, for which the island is famous) and I couldn’t get enough of the Ferrero Rocher and the peppered raspberry. Eat in La Martinière’s garden reclining on the deckchairs, or stroll down to the lighthouse gardens and enjoy the view over the Atlantic as the waves crash onto the beach below. • 17 quai de La Poithevinière/9 Allee du Phare, la-martiniere.frJo DevineMartine Lambert, ParisThe best ice-cream parlour in Paris is Martine Lambert, a few minutes away from the Eiffel tower. In a delightful untouristy pedestrian street, it offers incredibly tasty artisan and natural ice-creams and sorbets, competing on flavour and price with the more famous Bertillon. You instantly feel like you are eating a fruit (the seasonal fruit varieties are incredible, such as vine peach). The chocolate sorbet is the best I have tasted in Europe; you will not want to eat any other chocolate ice-cream any more. For the beachside version, head to Deauville, the chic Normandy town.• 39 Rue Cler, Paris/76B rue Eugene Colas, Deauville, martine-lambert.comlydieAmorino, Nîmes, FranceTongue-tingling gelato, made from natural ingredients – milk, eggs and soy – with names such as Caffe Altura, Luz Supremo, Lime Basil and Organic Late Harvest Mandarin. The range of cups and cones includes a wide choice of toppings and even macaroons. But the treat and surprise is that they use a flat paddle-like spoon cutting a slice of whatever flavour combination you choose to create perfect petals of gelato sculpted to form a delicate rose in your cone. Almost too good to eat! Prices start at around €3.• 15 Place du Marché, amorino.comLydnaGelateria Duse da Giovanni, RomeItaly is the undisputed capital of ice-cream but I’d argue its twin cradles are far from the capital: in Bologna, where the gelato is eggy and rich, and in Sicily, where flavours tend to be lighter and sweeter. That said, my favourite address will always be Gelateria Duse in Parioli, an elegant residential district of Rome. When your Roman friend or colleague claims never to have heard of it, it’s because he or she has probably only ever known it as Giovanni’s. Well into his 80s, Giovanni remains a pillar of the community, and those he sold cones to as children now come to see him with their own. Giovanni uses fruits fresh from the market and his scoops are big, while his prices are small (€2 for a single cone). Nowhere will you find as pure an expression of what ice-cream means to the Italians: basic rite, real pleasure and the importance of a shared tradition. • 1B Via Eleonora Duse, no websiteEdGelateria Il Doge, VeniceFacebookTwitterPinterestThe best artisanal ice-cream in Venice: the fig and mascarpone is amazing. Cheap prices (scoops from €1.50) perhaps because it is close to the university (a 20-minute walk from Rialto Bridge), and usually has a queue because of this. Has a mix of traditional and unusual interesting flavours – cream of the doge (candied orange and chocolate) and all the Italian classics, stracciatella, amarena etc – buonissimo!• 3058 Dorsoduro, a campo S Margherita, gelateriaildoge.comAlexis EastonChalet Ciro, NaplesFacebookTwitterPinterestEven Neapolitans travel for miles in pilgrimage to family-run Chalet Ciro in the beautiful little port of Mergellina in Naples. The ice-cream will ruin all future ice-creams; rich, dense and fresh. Try the fior di latte – the most pure of gelato flavours – for a sophisticated version of that old-school childhood taste for milk and cream. Also a great place for coffee and cakes.• Via Caracciolo, Mergellina, Naples, chaletciro.itRussell SimpsonBella Blu Gelateria, PugliaA pitstop at Bella Blu Gelateria is the perfect way to cool down from an afternoon on the beach in Polignano a Mare in Puglia. The dreamy pastel decor of the parlour mirrors the colourful selection of gelato flavours on offer. After much deliberation, I opted for a “cono” with a scoop of pistachio. It was delicious. So much so, that I returned the next day for an equally scrumptious scoop of hazelnut. • Via Martiri Di Dogali, on FacebookDanielleSüßfein, BerlinFacebookTwitterPinterestA short walk from the Berlin Wall Memorial park, Süßfein makes ice-cream and sorbet in fresh-tasting flavours such as apricot and goat’s cheese, pistachio with nougat and marzipan, Indian mango, raspberry, and Moscow mule. At €1.40 for one scoop it is slightly more than the average in Germany but the flavours are bright and true. The menu changes regularly – and the delicious cakes are not to be overlooked, either. Tables are few but there are parks nearby where you can enjoy your treats.• Brunnenstraße 156, suessfein-berlin.deShelleyBallabeni, MunichThe flavours are truly a display of craft and inventiveness; rose and hibiscus, chocolate and ginger, olive and lemon are all a creamy revelation. The location is beautiful; it’s right by several museums – Museum Brandhorst, for art, and the wonderful Reich der Kristalle for crystal displays – and you can just about stroll to the Englischer Garten before your ice-cream starts to melt. Excellent value at €1.60 for a scoop, and you get a spoonful of another flavour to try.• 46 Theresienstraße, ballabeni.detiagoBrymor, North YorkshireFacebookTwitterPinterestBrymor’s ice-cream is made using the milk from Guernsey cows grazed on the lush grass around the farm close to the ruins of Jervaux Abbey between Middleham and the brewery town of Masham in the Yorkshire dales. Rich, creamy concoctions such as liquorice and blackcurrant, banana and mango or the famous thunder and lightning, or all three, can be enjoyed on site after watching the cows being milked, taking a stroll to enjoy the magnificent Wensleydale scenery, browsing the farm shop and letting the kids run free in one of the play areas. • High Jervaulx Farm, Masham, brymordairy.co.ukDianeCraig’s Farm Dairy, Weymouth, DorsetCraig’s makes its own ice-cream, from milk produced by cows on its farm. You can watch them grazing in the fields as you sit on a wooden bench outside the little farm shop. All the regular flavours are available, such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and rum and raisin. Things are kept traditional with apple crumble flavour ice-cream but it also has something a bit more adventurous in Turkish delight,melon and ginger, and lemon cheesecake flavours.Cones from £2.25; portion sizes are generous, so you will not be disappointed. • Craiglea House, Weymouth, craigsfarmdairy.co.ukCaseyGreen & Jenks, MonmouthFacebookTwitterPinterestThe freshest, healthiest gelato … and a delightful assault on the senses, as well as inexpensive and served by friendly staff. Green & Jenks is in a historic, Georgian building on Monnow Street, in the town centre. A place of sweetness and laughter that my children’s memories will hopefully always return to. • Gelato from £2.20, 11 Agincourt Square, Monnow Street, greenandjenks.comSarah WoodallNicholls of Parkgate, CheshireFacebookTwitterPinterest Photograph: AlamyFor me, the only place to buy ice-cream is Nicholls of Parkgate. The Nicholls family have been making delicious homemade ice-cream for 75 years. You can buy a cornet at £1.60, or fancy cones and tubs – and even buy a 1 litre box of your favourites to take home. There are more than 10 regular flavours, including banana choc chip, cinder toffee and lemon and line.• The Parade, Parkgate, Neston, nichollsicecream.co.uk Catherine RenfreySottoZero, MaltaFacebookTwitterPinterestThere are fantastic regular flavours here but new ones are always being experimented with. It also does a great range of sugar-free ones and ices to suit most dietary needs. You can take out or eat in, though it’s always busy. It is our “go to place” when we arrive in Malta. • 44 Spring Street, Bugibba, St. Paul’s Bay, sottozerofactory.comPatriciaRoberto Gelato, Utrecht, the NetherlandsFacebookTwitterPinterestThis place serves award-winning gelato. Creamy, luscious and with distinctive flavours I’ve never seen anywhere else. Try the Frollini, an Italian chocolate with hazelnut cookies. The ice-cream is made fresh every day using organic milk and includes the Capriccio, which is a panna cotta with homemade caramel sauce and caramelised peanuts. Don’t let the queue deter you. It moves fast. • Poortstraat 93, lekkerijs.nlJakobCasa Mira, MalagaFamily-owned, this typical Spanish ice-cream parlour and turron boutique has a great old-school interior. I thought it was amazingly cheap considering the quality and flavour (around €1.50 a scoop) on offer – and the servings are generous, too. Try orange with chocolate chips or leche merengada (a Spanish classic based on a chilled “whipped milk” and cinnamon drink). Enjoy your ice-cream while strolling around the cathedral area and/or the Paseo del Parque boulevard. • Calle Marqués de Larios 5, no website ChrisIsoteket, CopenhagenFacebookTwitterPinterestThis parlour is tucked away in Østerbro but still has queues out of the door. The selection of organic gelato changes daily but extraordinary regulars include hazelnut and bergamot, coffee and lemongrass, lemon and poppy seed and coconut with hibiscus. Would recommend getting at least two scoops of the cinnamon with caramel (about £4) and snapping a photo of the stylish little shop – even the method of displaying the flavours on offer is a typically cool Danish design.• Isoteket, 43 Randersgade, on FacebookRachelLody Roma, Wrocław, PolandOn a quiet alley on the less-touristy side of the River Oder, Lody Roma was opened in 1946 by two soldiers: an Italian and a Pole. It’s still going strong and serving up creamy, characterful flavours. Black sesame (czarny sezam) is a must and look out for seasonal specials such as pumpkin (dynia). It’s a stone’s throw from the river, so you can stroll the waterfront as you eat. • From 84p a scoop, Ludwika Rydygiera 5, 50-248, lodyroma.plRichard GreenhillGelarto Rosa, BudapestFacebookTwitterPinterestIn a corner of St Stephen’s Basilica square, this parlour, founded by head chef Niki Szökrön, a former fashion model who trained in ice-cream making in Bologna, serves ice-cream beautifully scooped out into petals to form a flower in the colours (or rather tastes) of your choice. Delicious and inventive flavours (strawberry and elderflower, pear and chocolate, sorrel) and it’s really cheap, too: £1.40 for two flavours; £1.90 for four. It even had a rainbow-coloured special for Pride recently – top marks!• Szent István tér 3, St Istvan Basilica, gelartorosa.comEllieEmanha, Figuera da Foz, PortugalFacebookTwitterPinterestThere used to be a network of garages under this shop, which the owner converted into an ice-cream factory in the 1970s after arriving from Angola. Artisanal, great ingredients and a family business. Try the seaweed flavour. It’s magnificent. Just behind the broad Claridade beach.• 62 Avenue 25 de Abril, emanha.pt(THE GUARDIAN)

Winning tip: La Martinière, Île de Ré, France

Legendary ice-cream shop La Martinière is on the quayside in Saint-Martin-de-Ré, and also has a quieter outpost at the far end of the island by the Baleines lighthouse. There are too many flavours to count: my three-year-old was bowled over by the simple vanilla, my husband by the local caramel fleur-de-sel (sea salt, for which the island is famous) and I couldn’t get enough of the Ferrero Rocher and the peppered raspberry. Eat in La Martinière’s garden reclining on the deckchairs, or stroll down to the lighthouse gardens and enjoy the view over the Atlantic as the waves crash onto the beach below.  17 quai de La Poithevinière/9 Allee du Phare, la-martiniere.frJo Devine

Martine Lambert, Paris

Martine Lambert, Paris

The best ice-cream parlour in Paris is Martine Lambert, a few minutes away from the Eiffel tower. In a delightful untouristy pedestrian street, it offers incredibly tasty artisan and natural ice-creams and sorbets, competing on flavour and price with the more famous Bertillon. You instantly feel like you are eating a fruit (the seasonal fruit varieties are incredible, such as vine peach). The chocolate sorbet is the best I have tasted in Europe; you will not want to eat any other chocolate ice-cream any more. For the beachside version, head to Deauville, the chic Normandy town. 39 Rue Cler, Paris/76B rue Eugene Colas, Deauville, martine-lambert.comlydie

Amorino, Nîmes, France

Ice-cream cone with ice-cream served in a petal design, from Amorino, Nimes, France.

Tongue-tingling gelato, made from natural ingredients – milk, eggs and soy – with names such as Caffe Altura, Luz Supremo, Lime Basil and Organic Late Harvest Mandarin. The range of cups and cones includes a wide choice of toppings and even macaroons. But the treat and surprise is that they use a flat paddle-like spoon cutting a slice of whatever flavour combination you choose to create perfect petals of gelato sculpted to form a delicate rose in your cone. Almost too good to eat! Prices start at around €3. 15 Place du Marché, amorino.comLydna

Gelateria Duse da Giovanni, Rome

Italy is the undisputed capital of ice-cream but I’d argue its twin cradles are far from the capital: in Bologna, where the gelato is eggy and rich, and in Sicily, where flavours tend to be lighter and sweeter. That said, my favourite address will always be Gelateria Duse in Parioli, an elegant residential district of Rome. When your Roman friend or colleague claims never to have heard of it, it’s because he or she has probably only ever known it as Giovanni’s. Well into his 80s, Giovanni remains a pillar of the community, and those he sold cones to as children now come to see him with their own. Giovanni uses fruits fresh from the market and his scoops are big, while his prices are small (€2 for a single cone). Nowhere will you find as pure an expression of what ice-cream means to the Italians: basic rite, real pleasure and the importance of a shared tradition.  1B Via Eleonora Duse, no websiteEd

Gelateria Il Doge, Venice

Gelateria Il Doge, Venice, Italy.

Pinterest

The best artisanal ice-cream in Venice: the fig and mascarpone is amazing. Cheap prices (scoops from €1.50) perhaps because it is close to the university (a 20-minute walk from Rialto Bridge), and usually has a queue because of this. Has a mix of traditional and unusual interesting flavours – cream of the doge (candied orange and chocolate) and all the Italian classics, stracciatellaamarena etc – buonissimo! 3058 Dorsoduro, a campo S Margherita, gelateriaildoge.comAlexis Easton

Chalet Ciro, Naples

Chalet Ciro, Naples, Italy.

Pinterest

Even Neapolitans travel for miles in pilgrimage to family-run Chalet Ciro in the beautiful little port of Mergellina in Naples. The ice-cream will ruin all future ice-creams; rich, dense and fresh. Try the fior di latte – the most pure of gelato flavours – for a sophisticated version of that old-school childhood taste for milk and cream. Also a great place for coffee and cakes. Via Caracciolo, Mergellina, Naples, chaletciro.itRussell Simpson

Bella Blu Gelateria, Puglia

A pitstop at Bella Blu Gelateria is the perfect way to cool down from an afternoon on the beach in Polignano a Mare in Puglia. The dreamy pastel decor of the parlour mirrors the colourful selection of gelato flavours on offer. After much deliberation, I opted for a “cono” with a scoop of pistachio. It was delicious. So much so, that I returned the next day for an equally scrumptious scoop of hazelnut.  Via Martiri Di Dogali, on FacebookDanielle

Süßfein, Berlin

Süßfein, Berlin

Pinterest

A short walk from the Berlin Wall Memorial park, Süßfein makes ice-cream and sorbet in fresh-tasting flavours such as apricot and goat’s cheese, pistachio with nougat and marzipan, Indian mango, raspberry, and Moscow mule. At €1.40 for one scoop it is slightly more than the average in Germany but the flavours are bright and true. The menu changes regularly – and the delicious cakes are not to be overlooked, either. Tables are few but there are parks nearby where you can enjoy your treats. Brunnenstraße 156, suessfein-berlin.deShelley

Ballabeni, Munich

The flavours are truly a display of craft and inventiveness; rose and hibiscus, chocolate and ginger, olive and lemon are all a creamy revelation. The location is beautiful; it’s right by several museums – Museum Brandhorst, for art, and the wonderful Reich der Kristalle for crystal displays – and you can just about stroll to the Englischer Garten before your ice-cream starts to melt. Excellent value at €1.60 for a scoop, and you get a spoonful of another flavour to try. 46 Theresienstraße, ballabeni.detiago

Brymor, North Yorkshire

Brymor Ice Cream, Yorkshire.

Pinterest

Brymor’s ice-cream is made using the milk from Guernsey cows grazed on the lush grass around the farm close to the ruins of Jervaux Abbey between Middleham and the brewery town of Masham in the Yorkshire dales. Rich, creamy concoctions such as liquorice and blackcurrant, banana and mango or the famous thunder and lightning, or all three, can be enjoyed on site after watching the cows being milked, taking a stroll to enjoy the magnificent Wensleydale scenery, browsing the farm shop and letting the kids run free in one of the play areas.  High Jervaulx Farm, Masham, brymordairy.co.ukDiane

Craig’s Farm Dairy, Weymouth, Dorset

Craig’s makes its own ice-cream, from milk produced by cows on its farm. You can watch them grazing in the fields as you sit on a wooden bench outside the little farm shop. All the regular flavours are available, such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and rum and raisin. Things are kept traditional with apple crumble flavour ice-cream but it also has something a bit more adventurous in Turkish delight,melon and ginger, and lemon cheesecake flavours.Cones from £2.25; portion sizes are generous, so you will not be disappointed.  Craiglea House, Weymouth, craigsfarmdairy.co.ukCasey

Green & Jenks, Monmouth

Green & Jenks, Monmouth

Pinterest

The freshest, healthiest gelato … and a delightful assault on the senses, as well as inexpensive and served by friendly staff. Green & Jenks is in a historic, Georgian building on Monnow Street, in the town centre. A place of sweetness and laughter that my children’s memories will hopefully always return to.  Gelato from £2.20, 11 Agincourt Square, Monnow Street, greenandjenks.comSarah Woodall

Nicholls of Parkgate, Cheshire

Facade of Nicholls Ice Cream Parlour Parkgate Wirral Cheshire UK.

Pinterest

 Photograph: Alamy

For me, the only place to buy ice-cream is Nicholls of Parkgate. The Nicholls family have been making delicious homemade ice-cream for 75 years. You can buy a cornet at £1.60, or fancy cones and tubs – and even buy a 1 litre box of your favourites to take home. There are more than 10 regular flavours, including banana choc chip, cinder toffee and lemon and line. The Parade, Parkgate, Neston, nichollsicecream.co.uk Catherine Renfrey

SottoZero, Malta

SottoZero, Malta.

Pinterest

There are fantastic regular flavours here but new ones are always being experimented with. It also does a great range of sugar-free ones and ices to suit most dietary needs. You can take out or eat in, though it’s always busy. It is our “go to place” when we arrive in Malta.  44 Spring Street, Bugibba, St. Paul’s Bay, sottozerofactory.comPatricia

Roberto Gelato, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Roberto Gelato in Utrecht from https://www.lekkerijs.nl/

Pinterest

This place serves award-winning gelato. Creamy, luscious and with distinctive flavours I’ve never seen anywhere else. Try the Frollini, an Italian chocolate with hazelnut cookies. The ice-cream is made fresh every day using organic milk and includes the Capriccio, which is a panna cotta with homemade caramel sauce and caramelised peanuts. Don’t let the queue deter you. It moves fast.  Poortstraat 93, lekkerijs.nlJakob

Casa Mira, Malaga

Family-owned, this typical Spanish ice-cream parlour and turron boutique has a great old-school interior. I thought it was amazingly cheap considering the quality and flavour (around €1.50 a scoop) on offer – and the servings are generous, too. Try orange with chocolate chips or leche merengada (a Spanish classic based on a chilled “whipped milk” and cinnamon drink). Enjoy your ice-cream while strolling around the cathedral area and/or the Paseo del Parque boulevard.  Calle Marqués de Larios 5, no website Chris

Isoteket, Copenhagen

Isoteket, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Pinterest

This parlour is tucked away in Østerbro but still has queues out of the door. The selection of organic gelato changes daily but extraordinary regulars include hazelnut and bergamot, coffee and lemongrass, lemon and poppy seed and coconut with hibiscus. Would recommend getting at least two scoops of the cinnamon with caramel (about £4) and snapping a photo of the stylish little shop – even the method of displaying the flavours on offer is a typically cool Danish design. Isoteket, 43 Randersgade, on FacebookRachel

Lody Roma, Wrocław, Poland

On a quiet alley on the less-touristy side of the River Oder, Lody Roma was opened in 1946 by two soldiers: an Italian and a Pole. It’s still going strong and serving up creamy, characterful flavours. Black sesame (czarny sezam) is a must and look out for seasonal specials such as pumpkin (dynia). It’s a stone’s throw from the river, so you can stroll the waterfront as you eat.  From 84p a scoop, Ludwika Rydygiera 5, 50-248, lodyroma.plRichard Greenhill

Gelarto Rosa, Budapest

Gelarto Rosa, Budapest, Hungary.

Pinterest

In a corner of St Stephen’s Basilica square, this parlour, founded by head chef Niki Szökrön, a former fashion model who trained in ice-cream making in Bologna, serves ice-cream beautifully scooped out into petals to form a flower in the colours (or rather tastes) of your choice. Delicious and inventive flavours (strawberry and elderflower, pear and chocolate, sorrel) and it’s really cheap, too: £1.40 for two flavours; £1.90 for four. It even had a rainbow-coloured special for Pride recently – top marks! Szent István tér 3, St Istvan Basilica, gelartorosa.comEllie

Emanha, Figuera da Foz, Portugal

Emanha, Figuera da Foz, Portugal.

Pinterest

There used to be a network of garages under this shop, which the owner converted into an ice-cream factory in the 1970s after arriving from Angola. Artisanal, great ingredients and a family business. Try the seaweed flavour. It’s magnificent. Just behind the broad Claridade beach. 62 Avenue 25 de Abril, emanha.pt

(THE GUARDIAN)

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