And the award for the best hot chocolate in Paris goes to...


After months of intensive research, my quest for the best hot chocolate in Paris has officially come to an end. Even though I didn’t manage to try all of the places that I would have liked during the cold winter months, my rapidly increasing waistline has convinced me that it’s time to announce the winner before I have to buy a new wardrobe.


Amorino Gelato Italiano – Scattered throughout the city, this chain is a sure bet if you like thick hot chocolate that more closely resembles pudding than a drink. While it’s not my favorite, their hot chocolate proved hard to resist whenever Stephane suggested that we stop for gelato, his preferred treat.


Angelina – After sampling their hot chocolate on several occasions at different locations, I’ve got to admit that it’s consistently prepared to perfection. And perhaps that’s part of the problem. Since there is almost always a long line of tourists waiting in front of Angelina’s Belle Epoque tearoom, the staff is invariably harried and unfriendly. To make matters worse, it’s the only place in Paris where I’ve been asked to settle the bill because the server’s shift is ostensibly finished. When this happened two times in a row, I realized that it’s their way of ensuring that customers don’t linger. Go here if you don't mind waiting for a seat, unpleasant staff and being rushed out the door.

The recently opened Angelina's tearoom in Galeries Lafayette offers a less crowded option than their tourist central tearoom at 226 Rue de Rivoli. 


L’heure Gourmande Tearoom (22 passage Dauphine, 75006 Paris) – While this charming tearoom tucked away in a narrow passage is a real delight, the hot chocolate that was served lukewarm was a disappointment. I’ll definitely return for more of their delicious clafoutis with a seasonal fruit coulis but will ask for tea or coffee next time.

Jean-Paul Hevin (231 Rue St Honoré, 75001 Paris) – With hindsight, starting my research with Jean-Paul Hevin’s aphrodisiac hot chocolate with strong notes of ginger and spices was probably a bad idea. After seeing that Le Figaro ranks this chocolatier’s gourmet brew as the best in Paris, it’s the first place that I tried and it’s where I returned time and time again. Trying to keep my habit a secret from Stephane, my cover was blown when the waitress greeted me like an old friend and asked if I would have my regular or try one of the other flavors. With a constantly changing range of exotic options like oyster (an Australian customer assured me that he loved the combination!), matcha green tea and raspberry coulis, it's almost impossible for me to pass the discrete boutique without stopping.

During my latest visit to the sleek tearoom with a modern design, I decided to belly up to the chocolate bar to learn the art of making lusciously rich hot chocolate.


Whisk 60 grams of Jean-Paul Hevin's hot chocolate powder with 300 ml. of whole milk to emulsify the mixture and make it frothy and light.


Pour the mixture into a cup.


Add the pear and vanilla pulp in swirls.


Savor the experience before wondering which flavor you'll try on your next visit!

No doubt about it. My archive of photos of hot chocolate is all the evidence that's needed to indict me on charges of willful indulgence in Paris. But it has been fun!

So, without further ado - my vote for the best hot chocolate in Paris goes to Jean-Paul Hevin. Do you agree or disagree? I would love to know who wins your vote for the best hot chocolate in Paris because I may be able to sample a few more before the weather wams up and/or my jeans become unbearably tight. 

Stephane's vote goes to the George V. Served in a pitcher with homemade marshmallows, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles on the side, it's a decadent experience but too expensive for me to drink on a regular basis. I was fortunate that Stephane shared a couple of sips of his hot chocolate when we went there for afternoon tea.

Update: John-Paul Hevin and La Patisserie Viennoise at 8 Rue de l’École de Médecine have received votes via Twitter.

Comments

  1. Yum! I like the sound of the first one. I had a great thick hot chocolate in Barcelona with churros for dipping, mmm! Not sure about the use of powdered chocolate for the Hevin one - maybe it's best not to peep behind the curtain, but I would hope for proper chocolate in a gourmet treat!

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  2. Mmm, I haven't ever dipped churros in my hot chocolate before but it sounds like the perfect combination. Yet one more reason why I need to schedule a trip to Barcelona!

    Since you prefer the really thick hot chocolate like the ones you had in Russia/Eastern Europe, I agree that Amorino's is probably the best option for you. The consistency is the closest to pudding that I've had in Paris and it's the least expensive.

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  3. Welcome back. You were missed this week.

    Down South, growing up, we always made hot chocolate with Hershey's powder and milk on top of the stove. It was pretty good. I never make it now, and rarely order it. I'm more the gelato guy, like Stephane, but think maybe I should start again.

    The reaction of your waitress to your return at J-P Hevin reminds me of one of the big rules of private service: never give more information than necessary. If a guest (or customer) is returning with a friend, greet them as if it's the first time because you never know who the friend may be. Of course there are exceptions but don't give too much away. It can be embarrassing, for everyone.

    But I'm a little unsure which one is your top favorite. Hevin's?

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  4. Thanks, Joseph. It feels good to be back!

    Since you're a gelato guy, I know just the place for you! Pozzetos in the Marais. I went there on Friday to try it out for Stephane and have been raving about it ever since. Maybe I'll actually take him there one of these days! ;)

    Thanks for mentioning that it wasn't obvious which hot chocolate is my favorite. I did some editing to make it clear that Jean-Paul Hevin gets my vote. Although, George V would be my top choice if cost wasn't a factor. I think that it was 25 Euros ($33) for a pitcher.

    I can imagine that discretion must be a very important factor in private service. I started watching Downton Abbey again with Stephane last night since he hasn't seen it yet. The character of Carson is great -- and he's very discrete.

    Have you seen "A Very Carson Christmas" YouTube video?

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    1. I just watched it and it lead me to the Top 10 Lady Grantham moments. That's a classic. "What's a weekend?"

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  5. Oh my... putting this in my December Paris folder. I can't wait to try all the hot chocolate options!

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    1. I'll be sure to let you know if I hear of any other places that you should add to your list. A cup of hot chocolate is the perfect way to warm up after looking at the Christmas lights and visiting the Christmas markets in December!

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  6. Oh My Gosh...Chocoholic Heaven. Now I have a daily "game plan" to follow on my next trip. Plus thanks to Gwan, I know my combo trip to Barcelona and Paris will also appease my chocolate obsession.

    Silly question...but are these hot chocolates served all year or only in the cool months? Of course it makes sense in winter but I drink it all year long (and don't think I'll be visiting in winter, bit of a weather wimp ;)
    dekage

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  7. You're in luck because hot chocolate is served all year long. Jean-Paul Hevin changes the menu according to the season and some of the places also offer cold chocolate drinks - and don't forget about chocolate ice cream and gelato!

    If you need some additional info about Barcelona, Gwan wrote a couple of blog posts about her recent trip. I embedded the link for one of the posts and you'll see the rest of her Barcelona posts in her February archive.

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    1. Good news all around! Thank you, too, for the link to Gwan's blog...some good reading to do.

      Now, perhaps a comparison of those ice cream/gelato shops for the warmer months?

      Thanks! dekage

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    2. As for ice cream/gelato, I have one word - Pozzetos. It's in the Marais. I went there for a second time last Saturday and it's absolutely delicious. The best I've had in Paris.

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  8. Well of course I will have to "research" myself now! I did try on one of my trips, but all that chocolate on one trip was too much and after the second day I had enough. I agree with Stephane George V came pretty high on my list and the service is superb.

    lovefrombolton

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    1. Denise, I look forward to the results of your research. Please let me know if you need any assistance...

      The George V is wonderful - I just wish that I could go there on a more regular basis. I guess that's why it feels like such a treat when I am able to go.

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  9. My vote for best hot chocolate in Paris goes to Angelina, in spite of the crush of tourists and the harried service. It's just a great classic and the décor of the place still impresses.

    Regards, Patricia H

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    1. Judging by the crowds lined up in front of Angelina's, many people feel exactly the same as you. And their hot chocolate is always delicious.

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  10. Torture - so much chocolate!

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  11. YUM! So good to know of so many good options... especially when we have visitors and can't handle the Angelina line. I'm going to try out your winner!!!

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    1. Please let me know what you think of Jean-Paul Hevin.

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  12. Mary Kay - have you tried the African chocolate at Angelina's on r. de Rivoli near the Louvre? I haven't been there in years but I've read online that it isn't as good as it used to be.:-( I loved the ambiance and the pastries, I'm not a chocolate person, so I had tea, but my husband loved it ... but that was maybe 15-20 years ago. We haven't been back there on subsequent yearly trips.

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    1. Yes, I've tried the Angelina's on rue de Rivoli but since I only tried it for the first time last year, I don't know how the hot chocolate compares with what they used to serve. Thanks for mentioning it and enjoy your next trip to Paris!

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  13. Oh my... putting this in my December Paris folder. I can't wait to try all the hot chocolate options.

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