One of the reasons I love winter so much is because it’s the season for hot chocolate! The only time where I can have hot chocolate guilt-free! And of course, in a city where it prides itself on sweets…I was down to go on the hunt for some great chocolat chaud.
My personal taste for this drink is a bit particular. I don’t like a lot of milk, I don’t like it sweet, and I don’t like it watery. It needs to have the right level of consistency and density. I wanna taste the real deal.
My first hot chocolate here was from Angelina, which was way too sweet for me. I got it to-go, so I’m not sure if it’s different had I taken it sur place. It had the consistency I wanted, but not the taste. If you like your hot chocolate sweet and thick, I would say this is the place to go.
I also went to the Berthillon in Ile St Louis…and again, too sweet for me. The hot chocolate and the milk was separated, so I could’ve added more milk to make it less sweet, but like I’ve said, I don’t like a lot of milk. I guess their chocolate wasn’t dark chocolate or high quality chocolate. Not my cup of tea, and a disappointment.
Third time, Jean-Paul Hevin in St Honore, a well known chocolatier. You get quite a bit of options for different types of hot chocolate. My friend and I felt fancy, so we got Grand Crus hot chocolate. Definitely more preferable than my first two experiences. Their hot chocolate is more on the lighter said and not as thick as I expected it to be. I would’ve liked my hot chocolate to be thicker. This one was on the silkier side. But in terms of having the right chocolate-ie taste, the drink was done fairly well. I would go back.
My most recent trip made for hot chocolate was at Patisserie Viennoise in the 6th, as recommended by David Lebovitz in his book The Sweet Life in Paris. This place is more of a hole-in-the-wall, filled with locals. I went at around 12:30pm and the place was packed. They offer lunch sur place as well along with other options for pastries. But obviously, we were there for the hot chocolate, which we had by their counter.
The waitress asked “Petite ou grande?” I had just walked in the rain and was freezing cold, so Grande, s’il vous plaît. (I also recommend getting it without the whipped cream. I think that might just ruin the drink entirely for you.) I was so glad I got the grande. It would have not been satisfying enough to have the petite. It was the best chocolate ever. Compared to all the other high-end places like Angelina, Laduree and Hevin…this place wins hands-down. And for the grande, it was 3 euros. If you had gotten just a regular-sized chocolat chaud at either of those high-end places, it would’ve been double, or more. For 3 euros (and cheaper than vin chaud!) I can get this amazing chocolat chaud? I’m going back. FOR. SURE.
The hot chocolat had the right density, and not sweet, at all. It was the real deal. The chocolate was there, and I can even taste the hints of bitterness. It was not as silky as Hevin, and actually I could taste the coarse-ness, but I love the rustic feeling of that! Best hot chocolate of my life. I am never going back to powdered hot chocolate.