Paris is world-renowned for its culture, architecture, fashion, and food—especially the sweeter delights. Among those most revered is chocolate. This sweet treat is considered an art form in Paris, perfected through centuries of work from confectioners and pastry chefs since its introduction to France in 1615. With its initial popularity among nobles and royals—King Louis XIV was known to be a great lover of chocolate—chocolatiers were regarded with the utmost respect and esteem. Lucky for us, the tradition lives on in present day.
David Lebovitz is a renowned pastry chef, author, and blogger who worked at Chez Panisse in Berkley, California, for 12 years before moving to the French capital in 2004. He’s the author of many well-known cookbooks and an avowed chocolate hound. Below, he shares where to find the best chocolate in Paris that shouldn’t be missed on your first (or 100th) trip to Paris, so you can have your perfect Emily in Paris experience.
Patrick Roger is an artist chocolatier specializing in ultra-innovative and refined creations. The attention to detail in his elaborate confections is truly magnificent. Lebovitz claims, “Patrick Roger uses inventive flavors, like lime, basil, and saffron, but he uses them with restraint, adding just enough to make them exotic, but not enough to overwhelm the great taste of the chocolate he’s working with.”
3 place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, Tel. +33(0)9 67 08 24 47
Pierre Hermé, pastry chef and author, earned the title “The Picasso of Pastry” after starting his career at the young age of 14. He’s particularly renowned for his macarons but can turn any dessert into a complex, layered masterpiece. “Famous pastry chef and chocolatier Pierre Hermé is so wonderfully playful. I love the way he’s so reflexively unexpected, doing things like using salted roasted corn in chocolates, along with orange, or a sprinkling of fleur de sel, which surprises and delights,” says David.
72 rue Bonaparte, Tel. (33) 01-43-54-47-77
La Manufacture d’Alain Ducasse
The beautiful chocolate shop of La Manufacture d’Alain Ducasse combines old vintage machinery with modern sensibility. They carefully select their ingredients from a dozen difference provenances around the world lending to some of the best creations you’ve ever tasted. Lebovitz raves, “Not only do they make their own chocolate, but their house-made pralines, especially the peanut and pistachio, are particularly fresh-tasting and excellent with the bean-to-bar chocolate that enrobes them.”
40 rue de la Roquette, Tel. (33) 01-48-05-82-86
This high-end chocolate shop is not to be confused with the upscale brasserie that shares the same name, Fouquet, on the Champes-Élysées. (Be sure you’re using the address provided below.) This is one of the oldest confectioners in Paris and a true artisanal experience. Boasting some of the most inventive and realistic creations like a winter wonderland display—equipped with penguins, igloos, and more—you’ll be amazed by the craft of these talented pastry chefs. “The darkest chocolate you’ll find in Paris. Less cream, more nuts, and other ingredients fill these chocolates, which are incredibly intense,” says David.
23 rue François 1er, Tel. (33) 01-47-23-30-36
As one of the few chocolate shops with a workshop on-site, you’ll be enveloped by sweet smells of chocolate and caramel as soon as you walk through the door. Chef Jean-Charles Rochoux is known for many inventions, one of which being the introduction of “spreading pastes” to the craft. Spread these smooth, silky creams on classic artisanal French bread for the ultimate experience. David says they have “very classic dark chocolates with no surprises, these are just perfect Parisian chocolates.”
16 rue d’Assas, Tel. (33) 01-42-84-29-45