Five cafes for a great cuppa hot chocolate
The image of a chic Parisian sitting at a café inevitably pops up at the mention of Paris. The French capital indeed has almost as big a selection of coffee shops as it does art, creating an impenetrable coffee culture. I sure have never seen my host parents leave the house without at least a shot of espresso in the morning. However, not everyone enjoys a strong black or even a frothy cappuccino. I for one don’t. I have therefore compiled a list of my top five cafes from which you can enjoy a rich chocolatey hot drink without giving into this addictive social behaviour.
I simply could not talk about hot chocolate without mentioning Angelina. The reputation of this classic Parisian tea room is unparalleled. Its sophistication and elegance are painted all over its name. No matter which of its six branches you visit, you’ll find yourself transported into the most romantic and aristocratic setting at your first step. Their famous “African” hot chocolate is the richest and creamiest hot chocolate I have ever tasted in my life. It is thick without being sickening and served delicately in a little jar and Chantilly cream on the side. The entire act of self-pouring the chocolate into the cup and adding the cream is an experience in itself.
6 Branches in Paris
Located in the calm alley on the side of Jardin de Palais Royal, Café Kitsuné is well loved by both Parisians and bloggers and influencers. Their hot chocolate was the ideal amount of sweetness, although not as creamy as the Angelina’s.
51 Galerie Montpensier 75001 Paris
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love PAUL. It is the only place in Paris where I have a loyal card for. If you cannot afford the Angelina experience, PAUL is a great and much cheaper alternative. For less than half the price, you can get a cup of smoothly blended hot chocolate. The best thing is that they are dotted all over the city so you can find one almost anywhere. Personally, I find the one opposite the Pyramides metro stop and the one on Rue de Buci the prettiest.
A. Lacroix Pâtissier
A lovely cafe that sits quietly on the Left Bank, staring directly at the side of Notre Dame. I love the hot chocolate there. Instead of a readymade beverage, you get a solid block of chocolate at the end of a stick and stir until the chocolate melts perfectly into the hot milk, which reminds me of Christmas for some reason. The place is always calm and the view is one of the best. When I'm feeling extra, I treat myself to one of their giant macarons.
11 Quai de Montebello, 75005 Paris
This happy place is a fusion between its French and Colombian owners. Located in the 9th arrondissement, Léandres a few minutes walk from the Church of Saint-Vincent de Paul. Its warm ambience and bright-coloured decorations make you feel immediately welcome. Even better, its hot chocolate comes in a big cup with pieces of dark chocolate and notes of praline. I paired mine with a Pan de Bono, a savoury cheese bread originated from Colombian.
78 Rue de Maubeuge, 75009 Paris