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Feb 11, 2004 04:07 PM

Best Chocolate in Paris?

  • b

I'm looking for a recommendation for the best chocolate and hot chocolate in Paris!

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  1. One of the best chocolates in Paris are from La Maison du Chocolat, there are five of their stores in Paris. Expensive but very delicious. They also have stores in London, Tokyo, NY.

    Angelina's on the Rue de Rivoli is supposed to be good for hot chocolate, but when I was in Paris in Sept 2003 it was closed (for remodeling?)


    5 Replies
    1. re: Arlene
      Simon Majumdar

      Jean Paul Hevin

      A friend intro'd me to his amazing chocolates and macaron recently




      1. re: Simon Majumdar

        Yes, JP Hevin is the best---far superior to La Maison de Chocolate in my opinion.

        My favorite of his truffles is the earl-grey tea flavored ganache coated with dark chocolate couverture.

        Although JP Hevin is a chocolate specialist, another thing I always get when I go there is his tarte aux quatre fruits rouge.

        1. re: Marty L.

          I do really love the chocolates at
          Michel CHAUDUN
          149, rue de l’Université 7e

          the little square pavees are an incredibly delicious, melt in the mouth, complex taste sensation. I highly recommend them, and wouldn't want to be in Paris without a visit to this tiny, friendly and elegant shop not far from the Eiffel Tower.

          1. re: Debbie

            Michel Chaudun is simply the best. Better cannot be obtained, and believe me I ate a lot of chocolate in Paris. The thing to get are the tiny cube truffles that come in a small box with a toothpick. This is the ultimate chocolate experience. Simple, yet complex. Plus, it's pretty inexpensive and he's a nice guy.

            1. re: ChowFun

              I third this motion - we stumbled upon this accidentally while looking for a place to go to the bathroom on the way to the Eiffel Tower. Oh the paves! Amazing.

    2. m
      Miguel E. Gierbolini

      Christian Constant in Rue D'Assas is pretty good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Miguel E. Gierbolini

        Here's my report on Christian Constant (not to be confused with the Violon d'Ingres chef).

        There is a little tea salon (12 seats) that is very simple, next to the main shop. I picked pastries and chocolates from the main shop, and these were brought to the tea salon for sampling. Constant defines himself more as a chocolate-maker than a patissier like Pierre Herme. Nonethless, he offered a wonderful selection of patisseries, mostly containing chocolate (and in every case dark chocolate):

        (1) “Sonia Rykiel” (Tarte fondant au chocolate banane-braiche, 3.35 euros): A slight acidity from cross-sections from firm, mini bananas. These slices were abundant, and formed a ring on top of the top of the tart, which had a nicely thick crust and a high rim. The rich, gooey chocolate inside the tart was creamy and had some banana taste as well. This was a nice creation by Constant.

        (2) “Fleurs de Chine” (China Flower; mousse legere de chocolate amer, creme croustillante de the vert au jasmin): This is one of Contant’s signature creations. It is a dark chocolate covered square, with a chocolate fan and the Constant logo on a gold little label on top. There are three primary layers, on top of a cake base. Two layers consisted of chocolate; the other was excellent – subtle and flavorful at the same time. This green tea layer was perfumed and more refined than the green tea flavor in green tea ice cream offered at many Japanese restaurants.

        (3) Praline Chocolat (Creme chocolate et creme parlinee caramelisse aux noisette): This was very nice as well, being comprised of two layrs, each with a nice chocolate cake-like (somewhat soft) crust at the bottom. The top layer was yellow-colored and appeared to have slight browning and caramel effects on its surface. On top of that surface were a single almond, praline, small hazelnut and the Christian Constant sign. The second layer was chocolate. In between the two lawyers was apparently a gooey mixture of hazelnut and cinnamon and sugar – moist and crunchy and a nice combination.

        I had the above with Moka d’Ethiopie, described as sauvage and parfume. I also bought small chocolates from the shop for sampling: Ganache au The Earl Grey; Roses et Raisins de Corinthe; Safran en fils (threads); Cardamone de Malabar. None had the ingredients separately discernible; all had the ingredients combined with the chocolate. I’m not a big fan of dark chocolate, so, while nice-tasting, these items were not of particular interest. Other flavors included Frangipanier flowers, Ylang Ylang des Comores; Jasmin du Yemen et The Vert; Ganache au Café Fort.

        Certain Poilane breads, as are a variety of salads (pasta; squid; marinated mussels; chick peas; chicken salad). Roasted farm chicken was also available. Ice cream was also offered in 5-7 rotating varieties. The day I visited one flavor was a wonderful almond milk; another (not sampled) was Coconut. Christian Constant also sells jams made by his shop.

        The chocolate bars available includes:
        Pure Pate sans sucre, 100% cacao (5.35 euros)
        Bitter-Plus (80% cacao, Venezuela)
        Monteserrat’s Plantations (73%, Trinidad)
        Cuba (70%)
        Madong (70%, from [Papouasie])
        Carupano (70%, Venezuela)
        Guanaja (70%, blend from Antilles and Central America)
        Extra bitter (66%, very roasted blend)
        Pur Trinitario (66%, Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada)
        Pur Criollo (64%, Madagascar, Ceylan)
        Guayaquil (64%, [Equateur])
        Grand Caraque (59.5%, Venezuela; also available with dried fruit)
        Lait Amer (64%, also with dried fruit)
        Chocolat Blanc

        33 rue d’Assas, near the Saint-Placide Metro station (01 53 63 15 15)

      2. For chocolats, I'm partial to Gerard Mulot on the Rue de Seine, corner Rue des Quatre Vents in the 6ieme.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GG Mora

          I'm glad to see someone else loves my favorite chocolate shop in Paris. Gerard Mulot never disappoints!!!

        2. My favorite chocolatier in Paris is Michel Cluizel, and his products are served by Catherine Cluizel at 201, rue Saint-Honoré.

          I know la Maison du Chocolat: this is an American style chain of stores for high priced chocolats. Nice, but not the real thing. Hevin is great for lovers of sweets. But the best PURE chocolats are Michel Cluizels chocolat amer of 85% and 99% purity. Amazing with a glass of Bordeaux. And the Cluizel webstore is offering everything for delivery to your doorstep !!!

          BTW: Another amer of similar quaility does not come from France, but from Barcelona: pasta de cacao 100% from Enric Rovira ...


          4 Replies
          1. re: Michael

            I'd have to disagree. I bought a fair bit of Cluizel chocolate when I lived in Toronto from a specialty store, and was always disappointed. When I got to Paris, I found the Cluizel shop here and tried again, but the same disappointment. His chocolates are certainly fine, but he doesn't manage bitterness and acidity very well once you get above 70% cacao. If you're looking for a 100% bar, I'd actually recommend Maison du Chocolat over Cluizel. On the other hand, my current favourite chocolatier is Soma in Toronto. While Paris rocks my world for the generally high level of chocolate-making, Soma beats everyone with their combination of fine chocolate work and imaginative flavors/ingredients. Mind you, I still haven't checked out Hévin or Chaudun yet.

            1. re: LMGM

              I like Cluizel's chocolate very much. The shop is unpretentious and the service is gracious.

              Best chocolates in France? Probably Thierry Mulhaupt in Strasbourg:


            2. re: Michael

              I agree with you on Michel Cluizel; he is my favorite as well. I recently compared his pralines with Maison du Chocolat's, Debauve & Gaullais, and Hevin and they just do not compare. A recent taste of the Conception bar at a Salon du Chocolat in Paris reminded me why I love his dark chocolate. This question is such a matter of taste, you owe it to yourself to give him a try.

              FYI- I tried MC's chocolates in NYC recently and they were not the same. I don't think they travel well to foreign outposts.

              1. re: chickenluv

                That's interesting, Chickenluv. My unfavorable impression of Cluizel is based on products of his which I bought in Oslo. Based on your advice, I'll have to try him in Paris! On the other hand, I did try Debauve & Gallais in Paris once, and found them to be far below the generally high standard maintained by Chaudun, Genin, Maison du Chocolat, Hevin, Patrick Roger etc. Actually I wouldn't rank D&G any higher than Valrhona's mass-produced assortments that you can buy at the airport. As you say, people have different tastes!

            3. In case you are going to Pierre Herme for the macarons or pastries, note that Herme also offers chocolates. I wouldn't consider them the best in Paris, but they are worth a little sample nonetheless.

              Bernachon, a famous Lyons chocolate maker that some like a lot, is, contrary to popular belief, available in Paris. I posted in another forum I can't search about a little shop that sells Bernachon in Paris. I've not yet visited that shop.

              I happen to dislike chocolate, but some of my travel companions who like chocolate like J-P Hevin, as other members have mentioned.

              As for hot chocolate, there has been good mention of Angelina tea salon on the Rue de Rivoli. However, I tasted the hot chocolate and wasn't impressed. Not that that means much, given my preferences. I would suggest looking elsewhere for hot chocolate.

              5 Replies
              1. re: cabrales
                Peter McCarthy

                The shop that sells Bernachon is A L'Etoile d'Or (at 30 Rue Fontaine in the 9th.) The proprietress is wonderful. I'll be in Paris in 2 weeks, and A L'Etoile d'Or is one place I know I'm visiting.

                1. re: Peter McCarthy

                  nice link! if ever you go to lyon, try bernard dufoux as well and let me know what you think. i liked them better.

                  lyonnais chocolates are (just a little) less adventurous than their parisian counterparts but i do have a sentimental spot for them.

                  1. re: sedap

                    imho, the best chocolate in the world is in Lyon, and only in Lyon, at Bernachon on the Blvd Franklin Roosevelt in the 6eme.

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      This may have already been mentioned in this thread, but as far as I know the only place to get Bernachon chocolate outside of Lyon is at Denise Acabo's "L'Étoile d'Or" near métro Pigalle. That store is well worth a visit for all of the amazing chocolates and candies she has for sale. Best in France, IMHO.

                2. re: cabrales

                  We are just back from Paris and loved finding Bernachon chocolate at madame Denises little shop in the 9th called L'Etoile d'Or. She also carries Le Roux's salted butter caramels.......simply wonderful!