Jean Paul Hevin's Chocolate Shop
Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (www.eyepreferparistours.com), and also writes a popular insider's blog www.eyepreferparis.com. Richard also leads chocolate and pastry tours of Paris including the ones written about below
Chocoholics think that the Swiss and the Belgian have cornered the market with the best chocolates. They will be eating their words –and chocolate too- when they experience the rich, dark, intense world of French made chocolates. The area between St. Honoré and the Opera has a particularly dense concentration of some of the top chocolate shops in the city, so pace yourself so you don’t go into sugar shock. Here are four of our delicious picks.
Jean Paul Hevin
One of the modern masters, Jean Paul Hevin has received accolades for his Hevin-scent chocolate and won major awards including the Grand Prix International de la Chocolaterie and the best craftsman in France in the pastry/chocolate division. The shop has a full range of products from mouth-watering pastries to hot chocolate mix to a chocolate stiletto. Upstairs is a tea salon so you savor your decadent pastries with a coffee or tea.
231 rue St. Honoré, 1st arr.
01 55 35 35 96
You can tell Michel Cluizel is serious about chocolate when you see the fountain in the window dripping chocolate. Since 1948, they have processed their own cacao beans from around the globe creating a superior brand of chocolate. One of their most popular items is the Single Plantation chocolate bar that comes from the finest cacao plantations worldwide including exotic locales like Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, and Venezuela. Bite into one of their cocoa dusted truffles and feel the rush of the smooth, velvet chocolate on your palate.
201 rue St. Honoré, 1st arr.
Tel. 01 42 44 11 66
Although technically a Belgian chocolatier, we wouldn’t want you to miss one of our favorites, Pierre Marcolini. The pristine shop near the Opera artfully displays their glistening chocolates in glass cases, much like fine jewelry. In the last few years they have created some ground breaking, exotic flavors like pink peppercorn, coffee infused with cardomon, Bergamot with lemon & lime zest, and ganache infused with Earl Grey tea. Don’t get drunk on the new twist on the traditional French macarons they have invented, scented with popular cocktail and liquor flavors of Margarita, rum and coconut, Limoncello, Cuba Libre, and melon vodka.
3 rue Scribe, 9th arr.
Tel. 01 44 71 03 74
Pierre Marcolini's chocolate shop
Maison du Chocolate
Literally meaning house of chocolate, Maison du Chocolate, is the couture “house” of chocolate. Modestly started in a basement over 30 years ago in Paris, it has become one of the most prestigious chocolate brands worldwide. Pralines, ganaches, and fruit infused chocolates are just a few categories the sumptuous chocolates come in and some of the newest, inventive flavors include ginger, fennel, cinnamon, black tea, and fresh mint. A few years ago they made headlines by creating a éclair that eclipsed all others in richness and flavors include chocolate, coffee, and caramel.
8 Blvd. De la Madeleine, 9th arr.
Tel. 01 47 42 86 52