‘Annie in Paris’: One of the best chocolat chaud

After our first day of French class, I pulled Gabby apart. “Wanna go get scorching chocolate?” I mentioned. “That sounds good,” mentioned Gabby. I didn’t know Gabby, not nicely. We had mutual associates. I had met her earlier than. However I needed to strive Parisian scorching chocolate, and it was chilly and Gabby appeared like the appropriate associate for the job.

It seems Gabby was the proper associate. Gabby loves scorching chocolate, possibly greater than I do. What started that late afternoon in an off-shoot of the tearoom Angelina subsequent to Jardin de Luxembourg turned a quarter-long quest to search out the most effective Chocolat Chaud within the metropolis. This isn’t a process that Gabby and I took evenly. Angelina is the vacationer favourite, however we requested locals for his or her opinions too. Our French instructor beneficial locations to us: Le Procope (unhealthy) and La Coupole (additionally unhealthy). The web beneficial Carette, and at first sip it was a delight, nevertheless it had this unusual texture that was clearly attributable to thickening brokers that I couldn’t recover from, so it, too, was unhealthy. It was stunning what some locations would try to get away with: Amarino charged us 5 euro, and proceeded to serve us scorching chocolate powder blended with steamed milk. As if!

By way of our travels throughout Paris, I stored in thoughts an vital distinction, which is how to order scorching chocolate in French. Many menus provide a couple of issues: Chocolat Chaud is the overall translation of scorching chocolate. Nevertheless, this will generally check with boring, run-of-the-mill, American-style scorching chocolate. Or it may be the thick and creamy type — it relies on the institution. Chocolat viennois, (Viennese chocolate) shall be scorching chocolate with whipped cream. If chocolat chaud à l’ancienne is on the menu, that is your greatest guess. The purpose is, there is no such thing as a clear distinction between good scorching cocoa and powder blended, so if you happen to’re ever on the lookout for a thick Parisian scorching chocolate, I recommend talking with the employees.

Our Standards:

  • Taste: Dense chocolate. Nearly too dense earlier than the whipped cream is added.
  • Texture: needs to be thick, leaving a skinny layer on the sting of the cup. Mustn’t have the grittiness of added cornstarch or different thickening brokers.
  • Expertise: Sizzling chocolate is supposed to be loved, not consumed. We most well-liked so as to add the whipped cream ourselves, having it primarily served in separate trays, not haphazardly piled on prime.


  • Greatest Total: Angelina, Rue de Rivoli
    • Observe: I want that Angelina wasn’t the most effective one. I want I might inform you {that a} smaller, quainter, much less touristy store had thicker and extra velvety scorching chocolate. That will merely be dishonest. Angelina, at this particular location, is the most effective. We additionally tried the Jardin de Luxembourg location and the Rue de Bac location, and neither held as much as the model right here. Moreover, we tried it at this location each to eat in and perform. Want I say it? It’s higher if you happen to eat in.
  • Shut Runner Up: Grom (close to the Pantheon)
    • The second-best scorching chocolate in Paris might shock you, as a result of it has neither good ambiance, nor self-serve whipped cream, however that could be a testomony to the flavour and texture of this one. Grom is an Italian gelato chain, however their whipped cream was higher than another I discovered in Paris; I want the density of Italian whipped cream. Don’t miss this sudden gem.
  • Additionally is nice and value ingesting: Pierre Herme 
    • When you have a candy tooth, Pierre Herme’s scorching cocoa will not be for you. When you like ingesting scorching chocolate that tastes medicinal, buttery and goes straight to your core: come right here and deal with your self to a paper cup together with a flower-topped macaron (be aware: additionally the most effective macarons in Paris, on this author’s not-so-humble opinion).
A student sits across a small cafe table. She is reading a menu.
Gabby at one in all our few non-hot chocolate-related outings. (Picture courtesy of Annie Reller)

Cliche or not, my favourite a part of discovering the most effective scorching chocolate in Paris was not the decadent drink however slightly making a brand new shut connection over mugs of the steamy confection. Traversing by way of arrondissements, metros and crowded streets, previous Haussmann structure and weiner canines, Gabby and I talked of French males, French politics and dissected our lives — previous, current and future. Being away from Stanford and the comforts of america made somebody I barely knew earlier than really feel like residence.