As an American cartoonist Charles M. Shulz once said, “all you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”. I don’t know another city in the world, where you will find so many exceptional chocolate shops as in Paris. Here are some of my favourites (my favourite pastry shops can be found here).
89 Rue de Seine, 75006; 3 Rue Scribe ,75009 Paris marcolini.be
Belgian chocolate master Pierre Marcolini is always looking for daring new flavor combinations, but he stops short of the kitsch. He travels the world visiting plantations and meeting farmers, examining the hand-picked beans that go into his chocolates himself. This “bean-to-bar” attention makes his creations some of my favorites. Try the caramels as well.
108 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 3 place de la Madeleine 75008 45 avenue Victor Hugo, 75016 Paris patrickroger.com
Who would think to carve a life-size orangutan out of chocolate? Patrick Roger would. A self-declared chocolate artist, his talent is on display in his stores, both in the form of massive sculptures and delicate, meticulously crafted chocolates. His attention to detail stretches all the way to the packaging—fine turquoise and black metal boxes full of chocolate make irresistible gifts.
If you’re a fan of melt-in-your-mouth caramels, then Jacques Genin has just what you want. In addition to the exquisite chocolates, try a muscadine: a truffle-like creation infused with cognac. If you have time, settle in the tea room with an unctuous hot chocolate.
There’s a reason this shop near Saint Germain smells so divine—all the chocolates are made on-site. Another cocoa sculptor, Jean Charles Rochoux has a quirky side. The window of his shop looks like a natural history museum, full of sleek chocolate animals that bring to mind distant travels. Try a luxurious little box of cocoa-dusted truffles.
Jean Paul Hevin
231 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris 6 rue Vavin, 75006 Paris 23 bis avenue de la Motte Picquet, 75007 Paris jeanpaulhevin.com
A Meilleur Ouvrier de France and a must-try classic. Jean-Paul Hévin’s creativity matches the quality of his creations: in 2000 he unveiled a series of chocolates made with cheese! Compose your perfect box of chocolates (honey trio, grapefruit or cinnamon perhaps?) then pick up a luxury bar of chocolate, a pastry or a macaron.
Hugo et Victor
40 Boulevard Raspail, 75007 Paris 7 rue Gomboust, 75001 Paris hugovictor.com
With a nod to French writer Victor Hugo, Hugo & Victor offers a contemporary play on classic chocolates and pastries. A story of five seasons, each with its own unique flavor, the Hugo & Victor universe is elegant with a touch of the exotic. The brand’s own combawa plantations provide a milder citrus alternative to lemon or lime. Infused in caramel and encased in a thin chocolate shell, the result is a delightful half-sphere that will surprise you with its delicate texture and subdued flavor. Another great idea for a gift box (or rather book!) of chocolate.
La Maison du Chocolat
52 rue François 1er, 75008 225 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, 75008 8 Boulevard de la Madeleine, 75009 19 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 Carrousel du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli, 75001 120 av Victor Hugo, 75116 Printemps de la Maison, 2ème étage, 64 bd Haussmann, 75009 Paris lamaisonduchocolat.com
There’s a reason this name is known worldwide. Perhaps THE classic Paris chocolate shop, La Maison du Chocolat is best known for their ganaches. One of the first-ever shops dedicated to chocolate alone, the legend is 30-years strong and still a reference for those seeking perfection in chocolate.
Everyone knows Ladurée makes some of the best macarons, but they also do chocolate very well. Now you can indulge in a place dedicated entirely to the world of chocolate, a marquis’ dream in Versailles style. Take a chocolate workshop to learn about the history of chocolate and try your hand at creating a small masterpiece.
Tucked away in the 11tharrondissement in a former auto body shop, Alain Ducasse’s La Manufacture is the first bean-to-bar chocolate factory in Paris. Find your favorite among the 44 different varieties of chocolate bars and then try the ganaches, pralines and truffles in classic and more daring flavors. And rest assured next time you eat at a Ducasse restaurant: all the chocolate served there is made at La Manufacture!
If you love salted butter caramels, then you have to thank Henri Leroux. This inventive Breton chocolate master is also the inventor of the famous CBS original. He also won an innovation award at the 2011 Salon du Chocolat for a yuzu matcha chocolate bar. But don’t worry, if you prefer more classic chocolate flavors, you’ll be sure to find something you love in the many dark and milk chocolate bars made with the world’s best cocoas.