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The best hot chocolates in Paris

Rich, complex hot chocolate from Paris's finest chocolatiers

© Robyn Lee

The best hot chocolate will banish all memories of milky bedtime cocoa – it's rich, complex and made with quality raw ingredients. Paris has woken up to the idea of hot chocolate as a serious drink; here's our pick of some of the best purveyors in the city.

Parisian hot chocolates to die for

Berthillon

This famed ice cream parlour is easily recognisable by the queue that forms year-round outside its doors – except at the height of summer, when the shop is closed! In winter, Berthillon doesn’t offer old-fashioned hot chocolate, but an even classier treat: chocolate affogato. At the bottom of a white cup is a dollop of vanilla ice cream, decorated with melted chocolate, frothy milk and hazelnut-flavoured whipped cream... 

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Ile Saint Louis

Angelina

Angelina is home to Paris's most lip-smackingly scrumptious desserts - all served in the faded grandeur of a belle époque salon just steps from the Louvre. The hot chocolate is pure decadence; try the speciality 'African', a velvety potion so thick that you need a spoon to consume it. Epicurean delights include the Mont Blanc dessert, a ball of meringue covered in whipped cream and sweet chestnut...

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Opéra

Jacques Genin

Jacques Genin has been providing major hotels and restaurants with chocolate and confectionery since well before opening this bright and modern shop/tea room with a laboratory upstairs. In winter it attracts crowds with its exquisite hot chocolate, made simply by melting Araguani de Valrhona chocolate in whole milk. It comes accompanied by small plate of ganaches and candied fruit, or the house specialty of caramel éclair... 

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The Marais

Jean-Paul Hévin

A master of novel combinations, this young chocolatier spices things up at the 'chocolate bar' on the first floor of his flagship store. If you can't quite bring yourself to try the hot chocolate with oysters, iodized foam and strange jelly balls, try the energizing banana and chilli version or the subtle carrot hot chocolate. Hévin also offers more traditional hot chocolates, and three raw cocoa drinks. If you want something to take away... 

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St Germain des Prés

Christophe Roussel Boutique et Bar à Chocolat

With the bright colours of his décor, Christophe Roussel brings a certain modernity to the often kitsch art of chocolate-making. Novel spins on the usual product range are the order of the day here. You’ll find not only several varieties of hot chocolate to sample in store, but also ganaches inspired by Roussel’s travels (including a recent trip to the south of India)... 

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École Militaire

Chloé Chocolat

‘Food taster’ Chloé Doutre-Roussel worked as a buyer for Fortnum & Mason’s in London before opening her chocolate showroom here in Paris, where you can sign up for chocolate tasting lessons or a chocolate-themed city tour. The chocolate she sells (both in the boutique and online) is from the Bolivian chocolate cooperative El Ceibo. Her hot chocolate, melted in hot milk and sugared to taste, is an 85% pure elixir... 

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Alésia

Charles Chocolatier

Created in 1910, this family-run chocolate shop only uses natural ingredients. The hot chocolate is divine: made from 100% cacao powder (from the Ivory Coast), pure cacao butter, half-fat milk and very little sugar, it thickens naturally in a copper cauldron. You can’t drink it in the shop, but on a cold winter’s day there’s nothing better than warming your hands (and soul) with a cup in the street...

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Montorgueil

Café de Flore

According to some regulars, the Café de Flore serves the best hot chocolate in Paris – and for €6.80 it had better be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are more tourists than celebrities at this traditionally literary café these days, but there are few places where it is more fun watching the interaction between waiters and customers. The kitchen doesn’t mess with the classic hot chocolate recipe: it’s an intensely-flavoured jug... 

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St Germain des Prés

Ladurée

Decadence permeates this elegant tearoom, from the 19th century-style interior and service to the labyrinthine corridors that lead to the toilets. While you bask in the warm glow of bygone wealth, indulge in tea, pastries (the pistachio pain au chocolat is heavenly) and, above all, the hot chocolate. It's a rich, bitter, velvety tar that will leave you in the requisite stupor for any lazy afternoon.

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Champs Élysées and western Paris

Un Dimanche à Paris

This concept store dedicated to chocolate, opened by Pierre Cluizel, quickly won over the chocophiles who used to queue at Patrick Roger and Jean-Charles Rochoux. In the tearoom, which turns into a restaurant for lunch and dinner, you can stop by between 3pm and 6pm to warm up with a luxury hot chocolate enriched with a little cream and lightly flavoured with vanilla and cinnamon. To complete the experience, they bring you a plate of three Lilliputian cakes – true masterpieces.

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Odéon
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