France may not be as well-known as Belgium or Switzerland for its chocolate, but this country actually has a rich tradition in all things cacao… especially chocolat chaud.
Here are our four favorite spots to indulge in the best hot chocolate in Paris.
La Chocolaterie Cyril Lignac
Celebrity chef Cyril Lignac has taken over a little corner of the 11th arrondissement with a bistro, a patisserie, and this: his chocolaterie, devoted (unsurprisingly) to all things chocolate. The creamy hot cocoa here is best paired with one of the other delicacies prepared by the pastry chef. We’ve got a preference for the buttery pain au chocolat, but those who just can’t get enough sweetness might prefer another house specialty: a chocolate-covered marshmallow bear.
Jean-Paul Hévin literally wrote the book on hot chocolate, and at his Saint-Honoré shop, you can sip an intensely flavored cocoa. This version of the drink boasts a slightly lighter texture than some, but the chocolate flavor here is unparalleled.
You can also taste Hévin’s creations at the spanking new Café Pavane, opened by the chocolatier’s daughter not far from the Luxembourg Gardens. Here, a wide variety of pastries is also on offer to pair with this confection, which is served with fresh whipped cream.
Founded in 1928, this cozy little tearoom (8 rue de l’École de Médecine) has stood the test of time—and it still makes one of the city’s best hot chocolates. A generous dollop of freshly whipped cream covers the top of the barely sweetened cocoa, perfect for pairing with a rustic slice of Austrian-style cake like strudel or sachertorte.
Maison Aleph is one of the most interesting pastry shops in Paris at the moment—their fascinating take on French pastries with a Middle Eastern twist has made them a guest favorite on our Ultimate Paris Food Tour. But it would practically be a crime to not pair one of their delectable treats with their homemade hot chocolate.
Thick, rich and pure comfort in a cup, Maison Aleph’s hot chocolate gets its unique flavor from spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and star anise. It’s the perfect pick-me-up after a morning or afternoon exploring the Marais!