Did you read that popular diet book written by a French woman who suggests to eat a bit of dark chocolate every afternoon ? Well if you wish to apply her advice, a trip to Paris, the capital of chocolate, it is!
No need to feel guilty over a piece of chocolate. In France chocolate is as sacred as wine or cheese: it is a culinary art that is deeply respected and appreciated. There is even a small Parisian museum dedicated to it!
Though you can buy chocolate on nearly every block in Paris, you should buy the best. Some chocolate shops are old institutions dating back to the early 1800s, following generations of family recipes and closely guarded secrets, while others were launched more recently and have a more contemporary style, whether in their décor or their use of ingredients.
They all have an international reputation now, but always, these master chocolate makers offer pure goodness and only the best quality products. For high-end chocolate, the origin of the beans and method of production are highly valued and essential to quality.
So here’s why we recommend this top 10 of the best chocolate shops to visit in Paris:
La Maison du Chocolat:
A classic Parisian institution and now a worldwide name, La Maison du Chocolat, continues to create an excellent range of chocolates, from pure ganache, or salty caramel fillings, to Asian spice infused squares to the standard bars sprinkled with dried fruit or nuts.
In case you forgot a gift for someone, you can find a stand at Charles De Gaulle Airport as well! www.lamaisonduchocolat.fr/en/
- Carrousel du Louvre, 99 Rue de Rivoli 75001
- 19 Rue de Sevres 75007
- 8 Boulevard de la Madeleine 75008
The original Foucher chocolate shop opened in 1819 on rue de Bac in the 7th arrondissement, across from the legendary Le Bon Marche department store, and it is still here today, just a step away at 134, rue de Bac.
Known for their chocolate as much as for the beautiful Art Nouveau design that adorns their delicacies, Foucher was one of the first French chocolate companies to expend abroad. Their chocolate is great gift idea for the mother-in-law or work friend ! The beautiful, vintage-like packing is perfectly French. www.chocolat-foucher.com
- Boutique and tearoom: 134, rue du Bac, 75007
- Boutique only: 30 Avenue de l’Opera, 75002
Á la Mère de Famille:
Created in 1760 by Pierre Jean Bernard, à la Mère du Famille is one of Paris’s oldest shops. It was praised by the famous Grimod de la Reynière, who was one of the first food critics, starting his Almanac of Gourmands in 1810.
This strenghtened the reputation of the company, inherited from generation to generation. It remains a family business today, with contemporary additions such as an e-boutique and cooking classes. www.lameredefamille.com
- 82, Rue Montorgueil, 75002
- 23, rue Rambuteau, 75004
- 39, Rue du Cherche Midi, 75006
- 70, Rue Bonaparte, 75006
- 47, Rue Cler, 75007
- 35, Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009
- 59, Rue de la Pompe, 75016
- 107, Rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, 75017
With his metal, glass and warm wood interiors, Genin freshened the traditional look of chocolate shops. If you visit Paris in the winter, then you must visit the Marais shop with its tea room and taste one of their extraordinary hot chocolates (chocolat chaud).
Yes, you will probably wait in line and it costs 10 euros, but trust me, it is worth it! While you wait, wander around their boutique and buy some of their basil or Tonka bean chocolate squares. And have a look upstairs at the chocolate laboratory which is the heart of the business. www.jacquesgenin.fr
- 133 rue de Turene, 75003
- 27 rue de Varenne, 75007
Alain Ducasse Le Chocolat:
Internationally renowned chef Alain Ducasse has three small chocolate shops in Paris. A great place to find gifts, including the 45-piece discovery boxes, hot chocolate mix, and the incredible Chocolate Box, which consists of a huge, thick block of chocolate that comes in a wooden tray with wooden mallets to break it into pieces.
Ducasse is known for his 5-starred and extremely expensive restaurants in Las Vegas, Hong Kong and New York, so this is truly a luxury chocolate experience. www.lechocolat-alainducasse.com/en/
- 26 rue Saint Benoit, 76006
- 40 rue de la Roquette, 75011- where you can tour the laboratory
- 9 rue du Marché Saint-Honoré 75001
Jean-Paul Hévin came to Paris from the French countryside and instantly began working among the culinary leaders of the time including Chef Joel Robuchon. He was entrusted to open a chocolate shop in Japan for a large hotel and his encounter with Japanese traditions and ingredients inspired his career.
Returning to Paris in the 1980s, he soon opened his own set of chocolate shops, chocolate bars and chocolate cellars, as he refers to them with a couple of stores across Asia as well. If you like hot chocolate, you may want to buy his book titled Chocolate Chaud, with over 40 recipes and tips for making the perfect cup. www.jeanpaulhevin.com
- 231 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001
- 41 rue de Bretagne, 75003
- 3 rue Vavin, 75006
- Lafayette Gourmet- Galeries Lafayette, 35 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009
Though Pierre Marcolini is technically Belgian, this chocolate maker has become an international name. With a very contemporary style, Marcolini stood out by promoting his “from Bean to Bar” philosophy, underscoring his relationship to small-scale chocolate producers and the use of single bean varieties. eu.marcolini.com
- 89 rue de Seine, 75006
- 3 rue Scribe, 75009
- 235 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001
Henri Le Roux:
If caramel is your thing, then a visit to a Henri Le Roux boutique is a must-do. Le Roux studied chocolate and candy making in Switzerland and worked for a time in Paris before returning to his native Bretagne, in the northwest coast of France to open his own shop in the late 1970s.
Looking to create something different, he came up with the idea of using salted butter, an ingredient that Bretagne is famous for, and creatd the salted butter caramel from it. It became an instant international success and a registered trademark (CBS for Caramel au Beurre Salé or Salted Butter Caramel). www.chocolatleroux.eu/
- 1 rue de Bourbon le Chateau, 75006
- 52 rue Saint-Dominique, 75007
- 24 rue des Martyrs, 75009
Á l’Étoile d’Or:
Though opened in the latter half of the last century, Á l’Étoile d’Or is a Paris institution due in part to the generous and one of a kind owner, Denise Acabo. An intimate shop with old wood cabinets and glass display cases which hold a selection of the best pralines, caramels (Henri le roux), and jellies, many wrapped in gorgeous, printed papers. But it is her refined selection of chocolate bars that steals the show.
Specializing in selling makers who promote the “bean to bar” philosophy, Á l’Étoile d’Or is one of the only places in Paris to find the exclusive, Lyon based Bernachon chocolate bars. Her friendly and helpful approach makes it feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. She will guide you through the shop offering suggestions and often a free sample or two to help with any decision. The shop recently re-opened in 2015 after a gas explosion in the building’s basement which destroyed most of the shop and inventory. No website.
- 30 rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009
Located on the lively and famous market street Rue Mouffetard, in the 5th arrondissement, Moocha is a different sort of chocolate shop. Moocha was opened by Marie-Helene Gantois with the idea of creating a unique and engaging experience around chocolate. The shop offers a range of creations by several French master chocolate makers and you can select pieces from each one to create your own individual box.
The shop and website offer information about each chocolate maker, to give you an insider’s look into their work. In addition to the ongoing selection, Gantois features seasonal specialties, including hot chocolate in the winter and ice cream in the summer. She also offers special workshops, tastings and events throughout the year. http://www.chocolatsmococha.com/
- 89 rue Mouffetard, 75005