Inspiration Destinations Europe The Crème de la Crème of Hot Chocolate in Paris

The Crème de la Crème of Hot Chocolate in Paris

September 4, 2023
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From cafes steeped in literary legend to hidden boutiques perfumed with roasting cacao – these are the finest hot chocolates in the ‘City of Light’.

Paris – home of the baguette, brie and macarons – is no stranger to extraordinary artisanal food, but our new sweetheart in the ‘City of Love’ is its incredible hot chocolate. From generational family chocolatiers to emerging craft chocolate makers, France’s ethically produced offerings are pushing the humble hot chocolate to dizzying new heights. Thick, European-style drinking chocolates and single-origin brews to soothe the soul – Paris is the perfect sweet spot for fine food fanatics to get their chocolate fix.

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Jean-Paul Hévin, 1st Arrondissement

Between touring the Louvre and strolling the Seine, a visit to master chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin is the perfect place to recover. Tucked up the stairs of a boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré – one of the world’s most famous shopping streets – Jean-Paul Hévin’s Chocolate Bar is a glamorous setting for carefully curated flavours. Having literally written the book on hot chocolate, Jean-Paul Hévin’s concoctions can be trusted to balance the familiar with the unexpected – from the intense classic dark blend to fiery ginger and mind-bending oyster chocolate.

Michel Cluizel, 1st Arrondissement

Just a few doors down, and only a block away from the majestic Jardin des Tuileries, lies Michel Cluizel’s chocolate boutique. For over 75 years, the Cluizel family have dedicated themselves to the craft of flavourful, quality chocolate-making. A spectacular winter warmer, the 72% house blend drinking chocolate offers notes of tart red berries, cosy gingerbread and deep cocoa. Served to go, it’ll set you up to sip your way through the manicured lawns and cobbled streets of the picturesque Parisian city centre.

PLAQ Chocolat, 2nd Arrondissement

Served amid the heady aroma of freshly roasting cacao from Tanzania, Peru and Belize, a hot chocolate at PLAQ is a true sensory experience. Down a quiet alley in Paris’ trend-setting 2nd arrondissement, this hidden haven is the ideal spot for people-watching over a cup of ‘chocolat chaud’. Choose refined decadence or creamy comfort when you order ‘à l’eau’ (with water) or ‘au lait’ (with milk), served by the mug or by the shot. For the adventurous, there’s the chance to taste the rare cacao pulp – a vibrant and zingy tropical juice made with fresh cacao fruit, served still or sparkling.

Jacques Genin, 4th Arrondissement

Sometimes, simplicity is key. At Jacques Genin’s bright and elegant cafe in the fashionable Marais district, hot chocolate is stripped back to the delicious essentials: silky, melted chocolate and creamy whole milk. With its rounded flavour, accentuated with sweet spicy notes, this moreish Venezuelan chocolate is served with vanilla-infused whipped cream for ‘le parfait’ European chocolate experience. Before you set off to explore ‘gay Paris’, grab a glorious chestnut and honey or hazelnut and lime praline for the road.

Les Deux Magots, 6th Arrondissement

Write your own sweet Parisian fantasy with a generous pot of sumptuous chocolat chaud at Les Deux Magots. At the centre of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Les Deux Magots is the historic haunt of literary legends, from Ernest Hemingway to James Baldwin and Simone de Beauvoir. Like the best literature, their showstopping hot chocolate is a delicate art, meticulously prepared using Valrhona’s finest 55% dark chocolate. Sit out front to admire the tree-lined boulevard, watch the passing people and take your time sipping (or spooning) this thick and velvety delight with soothing notes of vanilla – then pour yourself a second cup, because one is never enough.

La Manufacture de Café Alain Ducasse, 11th Arrondissement

To Alain Ducasse, chocolate is “a terribly sensual and bewitching substance”. So, what better way to prepare for a night on the town in the thriving Bastille area than with a visit to the factory where chocolate magic is made? Rustic decor and a perpetual fragrance of roasted cacao set the scene for this classic cup of hot chocolate. Made in-house, using the world’s finest cacao beans, Ducasse’s meticulously grated chocolate is expertly blended for the optimal silky texture and dreamiest French flavour – roasty and warm. C'est délicieux.

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About Finn
With an insatiable appetite for fine food, live music and the world's very best craft chocolate, Finn loves stumbling on the unexpected by taking the path less travelled (after meticulously planning the route, of course).

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