If I had a centime for every “Best Hot Chocolate in Paris” post on the internet…as if we all have the same exact tastes and preferences. I personally can’t drink the sludge they serve at Angelina‘s. If I need a glass of water to make my hot chocolate go down more smoothly, why bother? Even Ladurée‘s hot chocolate is a bit too heavy for me, and you know I adore Ladurée.
There are a few places in the 4th I really like on the Ile St-Louis and in the Marais, but this chilly weekend while roaming around the Montorgueil district (again), I had three cups of hot chocolate in three different places, all open on Sundays (I think I was channeling the Salon du Chocolat, which ended today without me finding the energy to withstand the crowds).
– Deliziefollie (7 Rue Montorgueil) is an Italian gelato shop that has expanded into a restaurant and tea room so you can sit down inside (did I mention it was chilly?) and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate for €4.60. There are a few flavors including dark chocolate (my friend got this) and caramel (I got this). We watched them tossing chunks of chocolate into the glasses before pouring the hot milk on top. They arrived at the table with a sugar dispenser. The French always give you sugar with the hot chocolate, as if it’s not sweet enough. I actually expected mine to be sickly sweet, but it wasn’t at all. It had the perfect texture, not too thick nor too watery, and was delicious. I finished the whole thing and didn’t need water, nor a stroll around the block to “walk it off”. Perfect. Only the setting is a bit disturbing, too bright, too crowded, not very cozy like a tearoom should be. Note: Their gelato is heaven, but I was too chilly to order any.
– Caldo Freddo (34 rue Montorgueil) is also Italian, but styled more like a sandwich/pizza trattoria with take-away at street level and a dining room upstairs. I have always loved their cappucino’s, so seeing the hot chocolate menu posted on a chalk board across from the bar had me thinking about stopping in for weeks. They have five flavors, including the “house” hot chocolate, chocolate with caramel, and chocolate with rum. They actually ran out by the time my friends and I arrived Saturday night, so I had to go back Sunday. Their chocolate is made in a large machine that keeps stirring it throughout the day, like a Slurpee machine. Thick and satisfying, again without being too goopy. A steal at €3 and you can get it to go if you feel like keeping your hands warm while window shopping (which is increasingly interesting in this neighborhood in the past two years).
– DEPUR (4bis rue St Sauveur) is a branch of Drôle d’Endroit Pour une Rencontre (at 58 rue Montorgueil) in the lobby of the Klay Club. I went with a friend to have a look around and decided to relax in the leather club chairs at the bar for a hot chocolate to thaw out. The setting is nice, with a funky sports theme that doesn’t make it feel like you’re in a gym. It was probably from a mix, the hot chocolate, but still not bad. Unfortunately it was about €5.50 for a small cup, so I probably wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re going for the setting (which, again, isn’t bad at all, especially for people-watching).
According to the France Météo reports, the 45°F cold snap we’ve had in Paris this week is going to ease up a bit this week, with rain and temperatures hovering closer to 60°F. That will hopefully give the plumbers time to figure out why the boiler in my 150-year-old building hasn’t managed to push any hot water into the radiator pipes up on the 7th floor. If I keep drinking hot chocolate to stay warm I’m going to have to take the stairs to be able to fit into my clothes! (I’m sure there’s a chapter on that in French Women Don’t Get Fat)
Bien sur, particularly in the first two. The Italians make better coffee than the French, I hate to admit. 😉
Excellent idea for the cold weather. Are the non-hot chocolate items in these places good as well (in case I’ve got a friend along who only drinks noisettes)?