Shannon has turned into a hot chocolate connoisseur- probably because it’s warm AND chocolaty, combining two of her most favorite things. It all started with a still unknown chocolate shop in Seattle that tasted like pure melted chocolate… then in the following year, we went to Torino in Italy and found the most amazing Italian-style chocolate caldo. (find name of place on the square?). Now in Paris for our honeymoon for several days, she wanted to sample EVERY hot chocolate in town. With the help of some other blogs and some random sampling, we are off to a good start. Rule #1: don’t buy hot chocolate from a cafe, or better yet, ONLY buy chocolate from a chocolate shop. We tried several cafes, and the chocolate chaud was always disappointing: sometimes tasting like a slightly better version of Nestle powder, and sometimes like a dark chocolate syrup. Not good.
1. A Dimanche a Paris, 8 Cours du Commerce Saint-André
Our first good hot chocolate in town, but we weren’t trying too hard. We picked up some nice macarons also. The chocolate was thick and pudding like, with intense chocolate notes. More sweet than bitter, but good nonetheless. The cups were small- more like an espresso, and for only 2.20 euro, it was a nice treat on the cheaper side so you didn’t feel like you had to spend $10 on a snack. It was good enough to go back several different days! (post-note: this was Shannon’s favorite place)
2. La Maison du Chocolate, 52 Rue François 1er
Our second good hot chocolate. Good, but we still preferred the “A Dimanche a Paris” better. The La Maison du Chocolate portions were bigger, and it was nice on a cold afternoon walking, but the chocolate notes were more subtle and “yummy” than dark chocolate flavor like we want. 4.20 euro for a little cup, but more generous than Dimanche.
3. Angelina (at the Louvre)
This was probably the most expensive hot chocolate we had at 8 euro, but likely more expensive just because we were at the Louvre location. Very good hot chocolate, thick and chocolately with some nice unsweetened whipped cream on the side. Shannon thought it may be a mix of some chocolate and some cocoa because it seemed a bit gritty to her. It comes in a pitcher so it’s a good sized portion. Good stuff.
After walking by this place several times and noticing “bowl of chocolate” on the menu, we wanted to try their hot chocolate also. The location is nice; a little place with a church across the way. The chocolate comes, as the menu says, in a bowl. Then there is a little pitcher of hot milk on the side, and you can add as much as you want. I added it all, and Shannon only added a little. The result for me was a runny hot chocolate with decent flavor, and Shannon’s was more intense, but still not “thick”. The chocolate quality was good. It seemed as if they made their own home-made chocolate syrup, or perhaps bought a good quality one. Good, but not great. 5.50 euro.
5. Wittamer chocolate in Brussels, Belgium (Petit Sablon)
We took a day trip to Brussels, and had a great time… it turned into a chocolate tour, and there were only a few places that had a hot chocolate. We went to Wittamer and ordered their hot chocolate, and despite the very poor service in their tea room, the chocolate was just ok. The problem was that it was more runny than we’d like it, and there were bits of chocolate still in the liquid. Kudos for using real chocolate bits, but it needs to be mixed up better. Good flavor, but just not intense enough. 6.50 euro.
6. La Charlotte De L’Isle, 24 Rue Saint Louis en L’Ile
Our last stop (after a few more quickies at A Dimanche). This was another thick chocolate, and is advertised on the window of the newly remodeled shop as “Chocolate chaud a l’ancienne”. That’s a good sign. We showed up just before they were going to close so the server didn’t want to help us too much, but eventually she sold us a cup of chocolate to go. It was very thick, but still liquid and not gelatinous like the a Dimanche. Perhaps this one has a bit more milk, or milk instead of cream? I thought it had a great chocolate intensity, with a slightly bitter finish and good body without being too thick, but Shannon picked out the one thing that was problematic: too much sweetness. If we hadn’t had the a Dimanche, then this may probably be our favorite. The serving size was huge, 0.3L, and the price was large also at 7 euro.
7. Paul sandwicherie
Our last last stop was for lunch at the Paul sandwich shop near the Opera. Shannon saw the reasonable looking hot chocolate and decided to give it a try with lunch. It wasn’t too thick, but not exactly thin either… we figured that it was likely all cocoa and water, which gave it a watery finish on the spoon and a slightly watery finish in the mouth. The flavor was good, though. It was sufficient if there was an emergency, but we wouldn’t seek this one out according to Shannon “unless there was nothing else around and there weren’t any other opportunities to get chocolate in any other way for a while”. I asked for clarification what “a while” meant: 24 hours.