Located on Guling Street in Taipei City, Le Petit Baron is one of the few handmade ice cream shops in Zhongzheng district. The storefront is tiny – I’ve passed by countless times and only recently noticed it was there. Le Petit Baron’s original location is in Tainan, and they only opened their Taipei location last year – they apparently celebrated their one year anniversary just last week! The owner went to Italy specifically to learn the art of traditional Italian-style gelato. Each day Le Petit Baron has up to 12 different gourmet gelatos to choose from, including refreshing fruit flavours, rich cream-based flavours, liqueur flavours, and limited-edition specialty flavours. According to the staff, the only fixed daily offerings are chocolate and vanilla – the others all vary daily.
First, I’ll explain the pricing: regular gelato is $80NT per scoop, $140NT for a double scoop, and $100/scoop for limited-edition specialty flavours (served in a cup). Sorry – no samples! For an extra $15NT, you can switch to a homemade waffle cone. You can also buy a waffle cone on its own for $30NT.
Rear: Passionfruit gelato (dairy-free) is made with local Taiwan-grown passionfruit. It looks super rich and flavourful!
Front: Mixed berry cheesecake gelato. According to staff, this is their top-selling flavour.
後面: 玫瑰荔枝冰淇淋(無奶)，很獨特的口味，我從來沒有看過這樣的配法，應該超美味，我一看就很想吃! 我這一次去小南蕨沒有吃到，但是下次一定會試試看!
Rear: Rose lychee gelato (dairy-free). This is a very unique flavour – I’ve never seen lychee combined with rose before. It sounds amazing, and I wanted it as soon as I saw it, but I didn’t get it this time – I’ll definitely have to try it the next time I come to Le Petit Baron!
Front: Raspberry frozen yogurt. This one looks super rich and smooth! Attractively sculpted into rippling layers and drizzled with deep red raspberry sauce, it’s almost too pretty to eat – presentation like this makes it difficult to choose a flavour!
Rear: Lime gelato (dairy-free) is made from freshly juiced local limes, very simple and pure, flecked with bits of fresh lime zest.
Front: Mint chocolate gelato looks more like black sesame at first glance – it doesn’t really resemble the usual mint ice cream with its bright green tint. You can tell it’s all natural, without artificial colourings.
Rear: Mango gelato (dairy-free) is made with local mangoes – you can almost feel the silky texture just by looking at it.
Front: Matcha gelato is made with high-grade Japanese matcha powder. It looks very rich; the staff said it’s less sweet, with a slightly bitter flavour.
The remaining bit of chocolate gelato was tucked away in the back corner of the display case, almost like it was hiding from me. Just look how smooth and rich it is! I originally wanted to order mango or rose lychee flavour, but the second I heard the server say it was made with 70% dark chocolate from France, I changed my mind and ordered chocolate instead!
Chocolate gelato, $80/scoop. The scoop is quite large, several bites more than what you get at most gourmet handmade ice cream shops – a very satisfying serving. I think a double scoop should be plenty for two to share.
Le Petit Baron’s chocolate gelato has clean, pure dark chocolate flavour. It’s not too sweet, and not bitter either – the taste is very smooth. The mouthfeel is super rich and dense, but not as smooth as I expected – there seemed to be layers of thick chocolate fudge swirled into the ice cream, or perhaps the ingredients just weren’t properly mixed during the production process. In either case, it was still delicious! As a serious chocoholic, I often find standard chocolate ice cream too sweet and not chocolatey enough for my tastes, but Le Petit Baron’s chocolate gelato is rich enough to satisfy my chocolate cravings!
From the outside, Le Petit Baron appears to be a small shop, but once you step inside you’ll find that the space is actually quite large. The ground floor is just the service counter and waiting area – there’s a dining area on the second floor.
The dining area is bright, spacious and clean, and the decor is simple and tasteful, producing a pleasantly relaxed atmosphere. The eight or nine tables can accommodate 20 people or more.
It was pouring rain today. It’s a lovely quiet space to sit and eat ice cream as you gaze out the window at the rainy scene below.
The dining area even has a fireplace on one wall, a rarity in Taiwan. On a cold winter’s day you can still come here and enjoy an ice cream by the fire!
Aside from gelato, Le Petit Baron also offers coffee, tea, gelato floats and other specialty drinks. They also serve homemade cookies and pastries, waffles, quiche, panini and other light afternoon tea snacks.
Le Petit Baron Gelato | 小南蕨手工義式冰淇淋
時間：週二至週日 12:00~22:00 (週一公休)
Address：53 Guling Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei
MRT: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Station
Time：Tuesday – Sunday 12:00~22:00 (closed Mondays)