Chocolat Chaud. Two words I know how to pronounce in French. There are few things better to do in Paris on a cold afternoon than indulge in a luxurious cup of thick, velvety, hot chocolate. During our most recent trip to Paris, we went on the hunt for the best hot chocolate in Paris, having done the same in London a few months earlier (read more on that here). Having tried six different chocolat chauds in three days it only made sense for us to write up our thoughts. Read on to find out which one was our favourite. Spoiler: it wasn’t Angelina’s.
Ah Angelina. I remember my first taste of their hot chocolate in their Belle Epoque tearoom – it was love at first sip! Their famous ‘L’Africain’ (The African) hot chocolate is made using three carefully selected cocoas sourced from Niger, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. When it opened, Angelina was the place to be amongst the Parisian aristocracy and even hosted the likes of Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn. Nowadays, it’s flooded with tourists (we waited in a queue of around 100 people in our most recent visit!) who eagerly await being seated in the famous tea room (they also serve hot chocolate to go from their cart outside the Rue de Rivoli cafe). The chocolat chaud is rich and distinctive in taste. Served in a branded mug with a side of cream, the hot chocolate feels as luxurious as the setting.
Address: 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001
Metro: Tuileries, Concorde
Opening Times: Monday – Thursday (7.30am – 7pm), Friday (7.30am – 7.30pm), Saturday – Sunday (8.30am – 7.30pm)
Angelina loyalists may be surprised to hear this but we think we may have just found the best hot chocolate in Paris! Yes, you read that right. Jacques Genin is a chocolatier and caramel maker serving a delightful hot chocolate made using Araguani de Valrhona chocolate (70%) melted in whole milk. When we visited, the tearoom was fairly quiet which was a stark contrast to what we had encountered at Angelina. Unlike the tearooms of Angelina and Ladurée, Jacques Genin has a minimalist approach and serves hot chocolate with an optional side of vanilla infused cream as well as a small plate of two square chocolates. The hot chocolate at Jacques Genin is dark, velvety and although it’s not sweet, it isn’t bitter either. Takeaway isn’t an option here but with a spacious tea room, comfortable sofas and calm in comparison to tearooms mentioned, you would want to take a seat and enjoy a velvety, traditional hot chocolate. A must try in our humble opinion.
Address: 133 Rue de Turenne, 75003
Opening Times: Monday (closed), Tuesday – Friday (11am – 7pm), Saturday (11am – 7.30pm), Sunday (11am – 7pm)
Famous for its macarons, Ladurée also serve a great tasting hot chocolate. Though not as smooth as that of Angelina and Jacques Genin, Ladurée’s hot chocolate is a dark hot chocolate served with homemade Chantilly cream. If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, stir in the Chantilly cream for a more subtle flavour. As with Angelina, expect queues to get in to the tea room, particularly at their Champs-Élysées cafe.
Address: 75 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008
Metro: George V
Opening Times: Monday – Thursday (7.30am – 11pm), Friday – Saturday (7.30am – 12am), Sunday (7.30am – 11pm)
La Fabrique Givrée
We stumbled upon La Fabrique Givrée after a visit to the Pantheon. The A board caught my attention with an image of waffles and chocolate. I can’t resist anything chocolatey and so in we went to see what this dessert shop had to offer. On the menu we noticed a deal that combined the waffles, chocolate sauce and a hot chocolate for €8.50. The hot chocolate here was made using Valrhona chocolate, making it a delightfully dark hot chocolate. Mixed in with whole milk, this was much milkier than the hot chocolates in Angelina, Ladurée and Jacques Genin. In fact, we commented that if Chin Chin Labs in London used more milk in their hot chocolate, it would taste just like the one at La Fabrique Givrée. A great choice for those of you who prefer a milkier hot chocolate.
Address: 26 rue Soufflot, 75005
Metro: Luxembourg, Odéon
Opening Times: Monday (12pm – 9.30pm), Tuesday (closed), Wednesday – Thursday (12pm – 9.30pm), Friday – Saturday (11am – 10.30pm), Sunday (11am – 9.30pm)
Located just behind Shakespeare & Company bookshop (and opposite the Notre-Dame de Paris), Odette is well known for its exquisite choux pastries. A three storey building with views of the Notre Dame, Odette also serves a milky hot chocolate which makes a great accompaniment to a choux à la crème. Another great option for those of us who prefer a hot chocolate with more milk used in its preparation.
Address: 77 Rue Galande, 75005
Metro: Saint-Michel – Notre Dame
Opening Times: Monday – Friday (12pm – 7.30pm), Saturday – Sunday (10am – 7.30pm)
Close to the Sacre-Couer is Carette, serving pastries, crepes and drinks. We ordered a hot chocolate to accompany our sweet crepe having heard great things about their offering. The hot chocolate was silky in appearance and thinner than the others on this list but incredibly sweet. We assumed that either the quality of the chocolate wasn’t as great or as high of a percentage as the other hot chocolates we had tried, or they had used a sweetener in the hot chocolate. Whatever it was, it was certainly a different taste to the the aforementioned hot chocolates. If you like a sweet hot chocolate that isn’t too dark you may enjoy this one. It’s worth noting that this branch doesn’t have seating and only has one table inside for two people to stand at.
Address: 7 Place du Tertre, 75018
Metro: Anvers, Abbesses
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday (8am – 8pm)