Have you had enough chocolate yet? Between the Easter and Passover holidays, I am sure we have been indulging (whether it was your Easter bunny, or when breaking the Passover fast), but even if our stomachs cannot handle any more, we can still talk about chocolate, can’t we? And if you are not heading to Paris tomorrow, you’ll eventually be able to treat yourself to any of these six great Parisian places known for their chocolate.
Maison du Chocolat
Treated more like a boutique than a chocolate establishment, Maison du Chocolat has quite a few shops not only in Paris, but also in Cannes, London, New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. In 1977, the first Maison du Chocolat was opened on Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore in Paris and the rest is history.
It offers many different kinds of chocolate creations like ganaches, pralines, and fruited chocolates, that go by names like Othello, Roméo, and Salvador. They even sell a few kinds of pastries—éclairs (caramel, chocolate, and espresso), macarons (chocolate, chocolate raspberry, and vanilla chocolate, to name a few), and even cakes and tarts (their Tarte Chocolat looks delicious).
The boutique can be shopped online too, where you can view all of the assortments, specially gift packaged for delivery to your friends, family, co-workers, maybe even yourself.
The website itself is pretty interesting to explore, especially because it has a “Travel Notebook” which details the “gastronomic voyage” of a chocolate lover through experiencing chocolate with La Maison du Chocolat.
Maison du Chocolat (many other locations throughout Paris)
225 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré
01 42 27 39 44
The Jean-Paul Hevin shop and tea room in Paris blends an atmosphere that meshes modernity and comfort with its contemporary counters and dark wood paneling. You can stop in for lunch and tea, hot chocolate, and of course chocolate desserts.
JPH has quite a few gift ideas, including most recently a cast iron Easter dish filled with all various types of chocolate eggs, each crafted and flavored differently, chocolate boxes shaped like make up boxes (complete with a mirror), and even chocolate cigars that could pass for the real deal!
Perhaps JPH’s most famous chocolate creation is “black pearls,” which are small bites of chocolate shaped like small pearls (also likened to chocolate caviar) housed in decorated boxes. In the shop, one can also buy a wide variety of tarts, pastries, gouter, and verrines.
231 rue Saint-Honoré
01 55 35 35 96
Funnily enough, Michel Chaudun was the head chocolatier at Maison du Chocolat before he decided to open his own shop. At his 17th-century themed establishment in Paris, guests view his chocolate sculptures, such as feathered ducks, miniature Hermés Kelly Bags, Paris monuments and life-size chocolate sausages/hams that look just like the real thing hanging in some European shops.
The most popular creation, made for consumption rather than display, seems to be Les Pavés—little squares of chocolate ganache, perfect for single bites. Many tourists buy boxes of these in the morning to eat throughout the day, and often come back for more the next day too!
149 rue de l’Université
01 47 53 74 40
Patrick Roger really lives his art. He has travelled all over the world to find the most exquisite ingredients in order to make his chocolate elegant and aesthetic. Much of his inspiration comes from nature, which is also seen in his boutique interiors. The counters are very modern looking, made of mirrored surfaces, yet the walls depict a forest of brown trees set against his signature turquoise-colored backdrop.
Some of his chocolate creations include flavors like Trinidad and Tobago (creole rum), Terroir (oats), Delhi (lemon and basil), Ethiopia (coffee from the banks of the Red Sea), and Flurry (vinegar, grapes, and caramel). All of his chocolate is handcrafted, even the smallest order of bonbons. Roger also sculpts.
For the Easter holiday, he made life-like chocolate hedgehogs and a barnyard complete with chocolate gravel. Last Christmas, he made polar bears as a tribute to the endangered species, and for Valentine’s Day he created sets of upside-down chocolate hearts, implying the “sexual” nature of the holiday (as upside down hearts look like buttocks). Patrick Roger certainly makes a statement with his chocolate.
199 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré
01 45 61 11 46
Debauve & Gallais
It’s not common to find chocolatiers with royal history, yet Debauve & Gallais has nothing but. Sulpice Debauve, apothecarist to King Louis XVI, opened his chocolate shop in 1800, and by 1804 it had expanded rapidly throughout France.
Once Debauve’s nephew Antoine Gallais joined ownership, Louis XVIII appointed Debauve and Gallais his official chocolatier. The shop has quite a few collections of chocolate, named after famous figures in French history who are connected in some way to the chocolatier.
On offer are Napolean Croquamondes (caramelized almonds coated with dark chocolate), Linné (bonbons made of several vintages of cocoa beans), and perhaps the most well-known, the Pistoles de Marie Atoinette (chocolate coins that were originally facilitated to help Marie take medicine).
Though many of the chocolate boxes are very expensive, each decadant piece is not only rich in history, but also in flavor.
Debauve & Gallais
30 Rue des Saints-Pères
01 45 48 54 67
Chocolate artist and pastry chef Jacques Genin was very elusive before opening his shop in Paris. The shop itself is very contemporary in design, with hardwood floors, boxy furniture, and a winding staircase.
His flavored caramels (like passion fruit and licorice) and éclairs are especially well-known. Another delicious option is his Paris Brest, which resembles a thin sweet bagel filled with chocolate ganache. People can come into the café and dine on their desserts at small tables, surrounded by the aesthetic appeal of an art gallery.
At Genin’s shop, and the others, we can see that chocolate is more than just a forbidden sweet. In Paris, it is taken very seriously. Each piece is considered an artistic creation to be savored both with the eyes and the mouth.
133, rue de Turenne
01 45 77 29 01