‘Tis the season in Paris for hot chocolate, now that winter is approaching. (The season officially starts December 21.) Here are our five favorite places to indulge in a cup of chocolate heaven.
Les Deux Magots
The legendary cafe in Saint Germain des Pres where Hemingway, Picasso. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas gathered in the 1920's serves terrific hot chocolate. Presented in a little white porcelain pitcher on a silver tray along with a cup with the iconic Deux Magots logo, the hot chocolate is made the old-fashioned way, with just pure, melted chocolate along with a pitcher of hot milk to adjust the richness.
6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006
One of the great masters of the chocolate universe in Paris, Jacques Genin is known for his sublime chocolates, pastries and candies. The shop in the Northern Marais neighborhood is a temple to the art of confection, filled with Genin’s creations, which come sleekly packaged in brushed aluminum boxes. The lovely tearoom with a handful of tables serves a selection of pastries with coffee and a wide selection of artisanal teas.
Genin’s signature hot chocolate, which is so rich even die-hard chocoholics will have trouble finishing a cup, goes a step further, and is served with a sampling of his delectable chocolates.
133 Rue de Turenne, 75003
Un Dimanche a Paris
Un Dimanche a Paris is a concept pastry and chocolate shop, restaurant, café, retail shop and pastry-making school. Hidden in an ancient, cobblestone passageway from the 1700's off the Boulevard Saint Germain, Un Dimanche a Paris is a wonderland for the sweet tooth.
Owner Pierre Cluziel, who comes from a multi-generational family that owns one of the most respected brands of chocolate in France, not only went to great lengths to perfect his recipe for hot chocolate, he also re-designed an antique, white porcelain pot with a wooden handle to fit his own specifications. (The pot is available for purchase in the retail shop.) Once it’s poured, you may recognize the touch of cinnamon. You can also buy a smaller cup to go at the counter.
4, 8 Cour du Commerce Saint-André 6, 75006
Ladurée, world-famous for its macarons with shop locations around the globe, started off as a one-off bakery and pastry shop in 1862 by Louis Ernest Ladurée. In addition to the pastry shop, Ladurée opened the first tea salon of Paris, with urging from his wife, who wanted to have a place to socialize freely with her female friends during the day. Artist Jules Charet painted Italian-style frescoes with cherubs on the walls and ceilings.
The opulent tearoom is still intact today, and it is a terrific spot to enjoy lunch and pastries. Order their silky-smooth hot chocolate and a plate of macarons to have the total Ladurée experience.
16 Rue Royale, 75008
Under the brick archways of the Place des Vosges, the oldest public square in Paris, is the elegant tea salon and café Carrette. Sitting on the outside terrace is recommended for optimal people watching and to view the beauty of the gardens. Their hot chocolate is served in dainty, fine-china teacups from Limoges, along with a butter cookie. For an extra indulgence, a side of Chantilly (whipped cream) to top the hot chocolate is highly recommended.
25 Place des Vosges, 75003