Hot Chocolate at Cafe de Flor, Paris, France


Café de Flor on Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris is an institution. One of the oldest and most well known cafes in Paris it was opened in 1885. Its main rival, Les Deux Magot which sits just down the street, was closed for renovations which meant that Café de Flor was very busy even at the early hour we went on a Saturday morning. Inside Parisians and tourists alike were enjoying their coffee with a croissant or demi baguette with strawberry jam. Outside to one side a covered area was full of smokers busy smoking while reading the morning paper and sipping their café au lait. Despite the chilly temperature we decided to sit on one of the tables outside so we could watch the world of Saint Germain go by.


We weren’t in a rush which was good because it took the waiter a good 15 minutes to serve us. ‘Deux chocolat chaud’ or two hot chocolates will set you back 14 euros which may seem steep. But despite the price I would sit here again and again and have over the years. The hot chocolate came in a little white ceramic pot on the side. I love it when hot chocolate is presented in a separate little pot. I have only found places in France do this but it is such a great idea. I filled my white cup to the top and sipped it happily, refilling whenever it got low or the liquid a little cool. It seemed that my little pot of hot chocolate never got low, it seemed never ending. In the end there were a good three cup fulls of hot chocolate for one person in that ceramic jug making it well worth the 7 euros, and probably enough to share with another person, not that I’d recommend sharing it!.


The hot chocolate itself is so nice, the perfect everyday French hot chocolate and the perfect way to start that morning. It was creamy and chocolatey without being too sweet, but still light and airy. Paris was just waking up and there were more and more people walking by, eyeing my hot chocolate jealously. I imagined all the interesting people over the years that must have walked in and out of these doors. The Surrealist Manifesto was set down here and during the German Occupation of 1939-1945 Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir made this café their office. Sofia Coppola the film director uses this café for her production meetings and a literary prize is given here yearly. IMG_6174


Verdict: What can I say, this one is a no brainer – one of my favourites. If the price seems a little high you can always get one for two and share. Try to go early so that you will be surrounded by more locals than tourists. Café de Flor, 172 blv Saint-Germain, Paris, France

Hot Chocolate at Charles Chocolatier, Paris, France

IMG_3468Once upon a time, it seems like quiet a long time ago, rue Montorgueil in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris was my home. I would wake every morning, walk downstairs to buy a fresh baguette and a pain au chocolate. In the afternoons I would walk up and down the street buying cheese from the cheese shop, meat from the meat shop, veggies from the veggie shop. Then in the evening I would meet friends for a glass of wine on one of the many terraces.

IMG_6189 Charles Chocolatier

This evening while on a long overdue trip back to Paris, we walked up and down Montorgueil again. We bought some cheese, some bread and as we neared the end of the street right next to Les Halles we spotted Charles Chocolatier. I thought I knew every single inch of this neighborhood by heart but it seems I missed this little chocolate spot. I honestly don’t remember it being there. But then again, when I lived here I wasn’t as obsessed with hot chocolate as I am now! This family business has been here since 1993, but has been operating since 1910 making chocolates in the traditional way using, no milk, no butter, no crème, just 100% cocoa butter.

IMG_6187Their hot chocolate, chocolate a l’ancienne (3.80E) is 100% cocao powder, pure cocao butter, a little milk and very little sugar. The hot chocolate was unsweetened but the woman at the counter offered us sugar to sweeten it to taste.. We didn’t add any sugar, since I usually prefer my hot chocolates less sweet, but this was really unsweetened, a little bitter for my taste.  With hindsight, I wish I’d tried adding a bit of sugar, as this had the making of a very good hot chocolate.  The shop is very small but there are a few seats along the side in sit in and since the hot chocolate is presented in a paper cup you can either drink it in or take it out to enjoy as you walk up and down rue Montorgeuil.


Verdict: If you like your hot chocolate unsweetened this is the place for you. Charles Chocolatier is also known for their delicious looking Buches de Chocolate made from nuts from Piemont region. Charles Chocolatier,  15 rue Montorgueil, Paris, France.