Although my bags have been unpacked for about a month now, I’ve still got Paris on my mind. Since my last blog, I’ve had people ask me for recommendations on patisseries and chocolate shops. After looking through my notes, photos and maps, it’s really hard to narrow it down to one or two shops, so here are some suggestions by arrondissement:
This district, which is home to the Louvre and Tuileries Gardens, has some amazing shops. Angelina’s at 226, rue de Rivoli, is one of my favorites. Near the Louvre, it’s a beautiful Belle Époque patisserie where you can stop in the midday to have some of the best hot chocolate on the planet. It is called L’Africain Chaud. Marcel Proust once said the madelines they make could transport him back to his childhood. Amazing.
Angelina’s has decadent hot chocolate.
La Maison du Chocolat has many locations throughout the city, including one on 99, rue de Rivoli. It would be wise to stop in at least to one or two of their shops. In my opinion Robert Linxe really took gourmet chocolate to a new level with La Maison. Still great to this day.
This left bank district is also known as the Quartier Latin. There’s an Eric Kayser Artisan Boulanger at 8, rue Monge with great baguettes and pastries. If you don’t get to this one, you can find his bakeries scattered throughout practically every arrondissement in the city.
La Patiserrie Viennoise at 8, rue de L’ecole de Medecine serves delicious, bittersweet hot chocolate topped with a huge mound of homemade whipped cream and traditional Viennese pastries. Stop in to sip on a cup with the students during the week. It’s closed on weekends.
This is where you find the mother-load of chocolates!
The park in front of Saint Sulpice, with it’s grand fountain, is a great spot for eating Pierre Herme treats.
Pierre Herme at 72, rue Bonaparte is not to be missed. The macarons are the best in the city for my palate. The chocolates are divine and they always have a fresh basket of pastries opposite the cash register. The shop is very near Saint Sulpice, so I would take my pastry and sit in the square by the fountain to enjoy the morning.
Jean-Charles Rochoux at 16, rue d’Assas makes small, exquisite chocolate sculptures and bonbons. Writer David Lebovitz is a big fan. When I visited his lovely shop, Jean-Charles was very friendly. He helped me himself and I got a photo with him!
Patisserie Gerard Mulot, on the corner at 76, rue de Seine, has wonderful macarons, chocolates, chacuterie and breads: it’s the French version of the gourmet deli you wish was around the corner. Just across the street at 89, rue de Siene, is Pierre Marcolini, an innovative Brussels-based chocolatier with “chocolate salons” in London, Moscow, New York City and Tokyo as well as Paris.
The awning of one of the nicest chocolatiers in Paris.
Chocolatier Michel Chaudun is a sweet man who has been doing great things with chocolate. His shop is on a corner at 149, rue de l’Universite. Just how sweet a guy is he? Read this article about him by Lebovitz.
Checking out the creative chocolates of Christian Constant.
Christian Constant’s shop at 37, rue d’Assas, features his beautiful chocolates and pastries with a little tea salon that seats about 12. He also has sorbets, teas and wine. And, much like Michel Chaudun, Christian is a really nice guy.
There are dozens more, but these are my top picks. What I love about Paris is that it’s such a great place just to wander. I always stumble upon a shop that I had read about and hoped to find. Ah, Paris! I hope you get a chance to try these shops someday. In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to bring some of that wonderful Parisian artistry to you.