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9.28.2023: French Peer Tutor Eliza Reviews Parisian Hot Chocolate

From left to right: A cup of hot chocolate and plates of food from Les Deux Magots on a table; the inside of Angelina's featuring their bakery selection

Paris and good food are synonymous. One thing that gives the City of Lights this reputation is some of the best tasting hot chocolate in the world. French hot chocolate is special due to its use of real (usually dark) chocolate, combined with milk and/or heavy cream as the two main ingredients. This ensures a rich, creamy, not overly sweet cup of warm goodness. Though this hot chocolate will certainly warm you up on a cold winter’s day in Paris, hot chocolate season is year round in this city; it’s too good to pass up even in summer’s heat!

This summer, I had the chance to try out three of the most famous cafés (and hot chocolates) in Paris: Les Deux Magots, Carette, and Angelina. And, like everyone else, I certainly have my rankings on these three. Let’s dive in!

Les Deux Magots:

I must say, I am partially biased towards Les Deux Magots because I visited the café before my trip this summer. I spent two weeks in France in January, during high school (3 days in Paris) as part of an exchange program, and during our stay in Paris we hurried over to Les Deux Magots to warm ourselves up before heading out to continue exploring the city. I have fond memories of running up to the waiter, requesting a place for 14 “en terrasse” (outside), sitting in a book-filled alcove of the restaurant and sipping on the most decadent drink I had ever tasted in my life, complete with a little square of dark chocolate on the side! However, this will not play into my review now of the hot chocolates.

Les Deux Magots is unique in that of the cafés on this list, it is the only café that does not have an alternate location. Les Deux Magots is located in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près, a thriving neighborhood of the 6th arrondissement with a rich cultural history. They have a delicious, extensive menu; I and some classmates chose to spend a breakfast here! However, the pièce de résistance is, of course, Les Deux Magots’ old-style hot chocolate. The chocolate is served in a small pitcher with enough liquid to fill up a teacup about 3 times. The tableware was thick and sturdy, ensuring no burnt hands! The pitcher was a little difficult to pour with as some of the hot chocolate dribbled down the pitcher when I tried to stop the flow. The hot chocolate itself is nothing short of decadent. Made with 55% dark chocolate, this hot chocolate is one of the darkest-tasting on the list. It looks and tastes just like melted chocolate which, frankly, is the only way to drink hot chocolate! Unfortunately, nothing is served on the side with this hot chocolate (though I enjoyed it with a delicious breakfast) unless you ask for a carafe d’eau on the side to sip in between cups of chocolate. Because of my love of dark chocolate, I have to give this hot chocolate a 9.5/10, due to its basic presentation but fantastic taste.


Carette and views of the Eiffel Tower go hand-in-hand in most people’s minds, due to the plethora of photos/videos at the original Carette location, right next to Trocadéro. However, Carette boasts three locations: the original at Place du Trocadéro, located in the 16th arrondissement; a second at Place des Vosges, located in the 3rd arrondissement; and a third, take-out only location in Montmartre, the heart of the 18th arrondissement. Since I had other things to do in the 3rd, I chose to visit the Place des Vosges location which, on a Saturday afternoon, was probably just as busy as its flagship location. The gorgeous tea room transports you to 18th-century France with high, gold ceilings, mirrored walls, and decadent flourishes on the furniture. The atmosphere fits right in with the Place des Vosges just outside, the first planned square in Paris, built in the 17th century!

The Instagram famous drink from Carette is the Chocolat Carette; this is the hot chocolate served with a side of whipped cream. This is more expensive than just the hot chocolate, but the whipped cream is a delicious side (which I ended up eating with my croissant). The hot chocolate here is also served with a little side biscuit/cookie that I believe was made with almond. The hot chocolate was beautifully presented, though my waitress’s attitude despite my efforts to be kind and speak in French slightly ruined my experience. Perhaps it was because I was sort of wasting a table on a hot chocolate and croissant, but I digress. True to the tearoom motif, everything was served in dainty tableware – very thin plates and cups that clink and thin engraved metal housing the whipped cream and hot chocolate. I adored the gooseneck kettle and the little serving spoon for the whipped cream.

The hot chocolate was the wateriest of the three – it was still in the “thick” range of hot chocolate, but it wasn’t as rich. The closed kettle kept the chocolate nice and hot for each new cup, but something about the hot chocolate simply tasted off. Maybe it was due to the kettle; despite its beautiful construction, the metal might have been rubbing off into the chocolate. I give this hot chocolate a 7/10 for being underwhelming and expensive (even a simple hot chocolate without the whipped cream would have cost the most).


The household name for hot chocolate is Angelina. Besides their permanent and seasonal locations in the city of Paris, they also have locations at Versailles, and even in New York! Their flagship location is located on Rue de Rivoli, right across the street from the Tuileries Garden, halfway between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre (where they have another location). I visited Angelina on the Saturday before I left Paris as I was finishing up gift shopping, so I was a little pressed for time and was not able to wait for a table. One thing to note about Angelina: there is generally always a line to get into the dining room, though I am told the line moves relatively quickly. However, they do have a side entrance for their boutique, which hosts the take-out menu: bakery items, sandwiches, salads, and most of their drinks, including the famous hot chocolate.

Excited to try the hot chocolate I had been trying to get since my tour at Musée d’Orsay, I joined the takeout line and ordered a cup of hot chocolate before stepping back out onto the busy street to finish my shopping. The boutique servers were friendly and moved quickly. Though I had opted for a cup of take-out hot chocolate, the experience was still pleasant. The server poured the hot chocolate out of a large coffee chafer into a beautiful pastel pink cup that was thick enough that a cardboard zarf was not necessary to hold the drink. Dear reader, Angelina’s hot chocolate is famous for a reason. This chocolate is velvety smooth, slightly on the sweeter side, and looks exactly like melted chocolate. Even though I couldn’t have “refills” on this drink, I spent well over an hour sipping it as it was so rich that I could only take small sips! For all of these reasons, I would give Angelina’s hot chocolate a 9.5/10, due only to the hot chocolate being a little too sweet for my taste.


Having thus explored my abilities to be a food critic, I present you with my final ranking. Should you have one day in Paris, Angelina’s hot chocolate is the way to go. However, dark chocolate lovers like myself will much rather appreciate the darker taste of Les Deux Magots’s hot chocolate and should head there instead. Carette, though beautiful, was my least favorite and worth visiting only if you have time (for the aesthetic photos, of course).

Can’t make it to Paris? Though I haven’t tried any gourmet hot chocolate in downtown Chicago, Bittersweet Pastry Shop and Cafe and Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea claim to sell the same chocolatey goodness you can find in Paris. Should you ever try one of these two, let me know your thoughts. Now, go enjoy a cup of chocolat chaud!