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Jacques Genin in Paris: The caramels, chocolates and pastries you don’t want to miss.

Jacques Genin in Paris: The caramels, chocolates and pastries you don’t want to miss.

There are the classic caramels, the famous ones au beurre salé (salty butter caramels) from Brittany and then there are the flavored ones such as the passion-mango caramels from Jacques Genin that are absolutely decadent and probably some of the best in the world—I weigh my words. Other flavors are: pistachio, almond, hazelnut, coffee, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, licorice… They are so soft and buttery you wonder how they manage to keep their shape and you tell yourself you can’t eat more than one but you can’t stop going back to them. His chocolates drive me nuts—oh! the caramelized almond Rochers, mmm the hazelnut pralinés! They are made with the finest ingredients, the flavors are as delicate as the patterns drawn onto their perfectly square shape and their names are as playful as they are appetizing. And then there are Jacques Genin’s pastries: he has mastered the art of the classic French pastries (éclair, Paris-Brest, tarte au chocolat noir, mille-feuille…)
After years of working in his lab and selling his treats to high-end restaurants and hotels, Jacques Genin has finally opened his own shop/tea salon. It is located a few blocks away from the busy area of rue de Bretagne, its trendy cafés and popular shops.

Jacques Genin
133 Rue de Turenne
75003 Paris
tel: 01.45.77.29.01
Metro: Filles du Calvaire

Tu-Sun: 11am-7pm
Closed on Monday

Patrick Roger in Paris: Chocolate spectacle and gustative excellence.

Patrick Roger in Paris: Chocolate spectacle and gustative excellence.

Patric Roger is one of France’s finest chocolatiers—he has been awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) title in 2000 and is systematically amongst France’s top ten chocolate artisans of the year.
Patric Roger is known for his extravagant chocolate sculptures that are a total delight for the eyes. He is a must-see and must-try. Aside from his top-of-the-line treats and entertaining sculptures (I’m crazy about the “Allegory”—a caramelized almond, orange and grape chocolate candy, and the “Cuzco”—almond nougatine chocolate candy), what I love about Patrick Roger are his opening hours—they are as straightforward as can be. The hours are the same everyday in every boutique. And this, believe me, is very refreshing in the land of awfully puzzle-like and debilitating store opening hours!
Check out Patrick Roger’s website to see his chocolate creations and have a look-see at his portrait… it’s worth the detour.

Patrick Roger
Patrick Roger 6th arrondissement
108 Boulevard Saint-Germain
75006 Paris
tel: 01.43.29.38.42
Metro: Odéon, Cluny - La Sorbonne

M-Sat: 10.30am-7.30pm
Closed on Sunday

91 Rue de Rennes
75006 Paris
tel: 01.45.44.66.13
Metro: Rennes

M-Sat: 10.30am-7.30pm
Closed on Sunday

Patrick Roger 8th arrondissement
199 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
75008 Paris
8th arrondissement
tel: 01.45.61.11.46
Metro Charles de Gaule - Etoile, Ternes

M-Sat: 10.30am-7.30pm
Closed on Sunday

Patrick Roger 16th arrondissement
45 Avenue Victor Hugo
75016 Paris
tel: 01.45.01.66.71
Metro: Charles de Gaule - Etoile, Ternes

M-Sat: 10.30am-7.30pm
Closed on Sunday

La Petite Rose in Paris: Fine chocolates and pastries near the Parc Monceau.

La Petite Rose in Paris: Fine chocolates and pastries near the Parc Monceau.

La Petite Rose in Paris is a great place to get some high quality pastries and chocolates. Along with Blé Sucré’s their mendiants are my favorite. The chef Miyuki Watanabe worked with renown pastry chef and chocolatier Gérard Mulot before opening her own shop a few blocs from the Parc Monceau and the Nissim de Camondo museum. La Petite Rose has a few tables in lieu of a tea salon and is located right next to the metro station Villiers.

La Petite Rose
11 Boulevard de Courcelles
75008 Paris
tel: 01.45.22.07.27
Metro: Villiers

Th-Tues: 10am-7.30pm
Closed on Wednesday

Goût, Thé et… Chocolat: A fine selection of award winning artisans’ chocolates on Rue d’Aligre.

Goût, Thé et… Chocolat: A fine selection of award winning artisans’ chocolates on Rue d’Aligre.

**UPDATE: Goût, Thé et… Chocolat is closed. It will re-open later at a different location. As for the shop it is taken over by a jovial man from the Pyrenées who will also sell chocolates.

*UPDATE: Goût, Thé et… Chocolat no longer sells Fabrice Gillotte’s chocolates. You can find his chocolates at:
Mococha
89 rue Mouffetard
75005 Paris

At Goût, Thé et… Chocolat on rue d’Aligre you’ll find a careful selection of chocolates, dark and milk pralinés or ganache made by France’s finest artisans. The chocolates that are for sale in this tiny shop are by a select few such as Rémi Henry or Hubert Masse to name a few.
There are also other sweet things such as artisanal ice-creams and sorbets by Mr Phoenix who only sells to reputable restaurants, macarons, tuiles au chocolat, dragées, hot cocoa, artisan jams, cheesecake… If they are selling the dark chocolate-covered hazelnuts with cocoa powder on top when you stop by, try them!
If you are looking for high end chocolates in the 12th arrondissement, this is the place to go to.

In the same neighborhood, check out Les Crus du Soleil for great wines at an unbeatable price, Sur Les Quais for some delectable tapenades or La Graineterie du Marché for a one-of-a-kind picturesque dry goods store.

Goût, Thé et… Chocolat
13 Rue d’Aligre
75012 Paris
tel: 01.43.40.34.45
Metro: Ledru-Rollin, Faidherbe-Chaligny

Tu-F: 9.30am-1.30pm / 3pm-8pm (4pm-7.30pm in August)
Sat: 9am-8pm
Sun: 9am-2pm
Closed on Monday

Fabrique Chapon: An award winning chocolatier in Paris.

Fabrique Chapon: An award winning chocolatier in Paris.

I always go for the dark praliné. One day I tried Mr Chapon’s rocher… o H m Y g O d!
I want a Fabrique Chapon rocher for every hour of the day. Fabrique Chapon is another chocolatier in Paris to add to your list of places to try. A few years ago the city of Paris awarded Patrice Chapon the “Grand Prix du Chocolat”.
For the little story, Mr Chapon worked with the Crazy Horse girls and dressed them up in chocolate outfits.

Chocolat Chapon
69 Rue du Bac
75007 Paris
tel: 01.42.22.95.98
Metro: Rue du Bac

Tu-Sat: 10am-7.30pm
Closed on Sunday and Monday

52 Avenue Mozart
75016 Paris
tel: 01.42.24.05.05
Metro: Ranelagh

Tu-Sat: 10am-7pm
Sun: 10am-1pm
Closed on Monday

L’Etoile d’Or in Paris: high end chocolates and famous salty caramels.

L’Etoile d’Or in Paris: high end chocolates and famous salty caramels.

What can I possibly add to what has already been said about the famous Denise Acabo and her shop l’Etoile d’Or in Paris? Probably nothing. If you are a chocolate fiend, a stop by l’Etoile d’Or is a must. If you are more into candy (i.e: bergamot candy from Nancy, Fouque’s Nougat from Signes, Calisson from Aix-en-Provence…) there will still be a lot for you to choose from. It is a bit pricey but that is what comes with quality and uniqueness. Denise Acabo is the only person, aside from the chocolate maker himself, to sell the famous Bernachon chocolates (outstanding chocolatier since 1958, the Bernachon family roasts its own cocoa beans imported from many different countries and creates over 50 different kinds of chocolates only available at their shop in Lyon!)
Chocolate lovers and connoisseurs come from all over the world to Paris’ l’Etoile d’Or (Denise told me that Meryl Streep came by), a precious early 1900’s style boutique nested in the 9th arrondissement, near the very lively rue des Martyrs.
Denise tries everything she sells and only sells what she likes. She’s uncompromizing when it comes to the quality of her sweets and won’t hesitate to discontinue selling one of her items if she finds that its quality has gone down a notch, such as the “quernon d’ardoises” of Angers— a blue chocolate-covered nougatine, a square-shaped sweet bearing the color of Angers’ famous stone: slate.
The classics of l’Etoile d’Or in Paris are Bernachon’s chocolates and Leroux’s salty caramels. As much of a delight those treats can be, I’m almost more enticed by the array of specialty sweets from the varied regions of France found in Denise Acabo’s kingdom. Be ready for a very special tour de France at l’Etoile d’Or!

L’Etoile d’Or
30 Rue Fontaine
75009 Paris
tel: 01.48.74.59.55
Metro: Blanche, Pigalle

M: 3pm-7.30pm
Tu-Sat: 11am-7.30pm
Closed on Sunday

Pierre Hermé: Paris’ divine pastries.

Pierre Hermé: Paris’ divine pastries.

Pierre Hermé is one of the most talented and talked about pastry chef in the world.
The front of his pastry shop on rue Bonaparte looks like a jewelry store, the inside like a casket of very precious highly talked about edible jewels. Sometimes the window displays some sweet original pop culture items such as the series of Voltron (Goldorak for the French) character made out of chocolate.
Among the amazingly colorful and tempting pastries are the very popular macarons:
Here are a few of his macarons’ flavor (all subject to change):
-Chocolate
-White truffle & hazelnut
-Mogador passion fruit & milk chocolate
-Fleur de Sel caramel
-Chocolate & foie gras
-Pistachio
-Chocolate and caramel
-Black truffle
-Balsamic vinegar (“tradizionale di Modena” aged for 25 years)
-Olive oil & vanilla (that’s right)
-Eglantine, fig & foie gras
-Grapefruit & campari
-Passion fruit & chocolat

These macarons are so pretty, such a treat to look at. The powder blush effect of some of them gave me a sweet flashback into the early 80’s when I would stand against the bathroom door and watch my mother get pretty.
Aside from THE macarons (the ones that will leave your tourist friends speechless because they never tasted anything like this before) there’s all the other marvelous pastries, precious sculpted goods, that i won’t attempt to describe because no words will suffice. But if you get a chance, try the Tarte Sarah. It’s a lip-smacking, finger-licking wonder made out of chestnut, passion fruit and Matcha green tea cream in a perfect pate sablée crust. And do not leave Paris without trying his Carrément Chocolat chocolate cake. It is simply the best I’ve had. Ever.

Pierre Hermé shops:
72 Rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris
tel : 01.43.54.47.77
Metro: Saint-Sulpice
M-Sun: 10am-7pm
Sat: 10am-7.30pm

185 Rue de Vaugirard
75015 Paris
tel : 01.47.83.89.96
Metro: Pasteur
Tu-W: 10am-7pm
Th-Sat: 10am-7.30pm
Sun: 10am-6pm
Closed on Monday

4 Rue Cambon (Macarons & Chocolates only)
75001 Paris
tel : 01.58.62.43.17
Metro: Tuileries
M-Sat: 10am-7pm
Closed on Sunday

Publicis Drugstore (Macarons & Chocolates only)
133, Avenue des Champs-Elysées
75008 Paris
Metro: Charles de Gaulle - Etoile
M-Th: 10am-11pm
F-Sun: 10am-12pm