My name is Kathy and I am a chocoholic. They say recognition is the first step. I really don't want to recover from this addiction and have no plans to go through any 12-step process to help cure me. I like being a chocoholic.
I wanted to go on the Paris-Walks chocolate walking tour. I had been on a few of their historical walking tours and really enjoyed them, but their chocolate walking tour schedule didn't work with mine, so I created my own. I didn't really need to venture out of my area to do it. The 6th arrondissement has chocolateries everywhere, quite possibly there is one on every block.
Jean Paul Hevin is usually the place I go if I want to give someone or myself a special chocolate gift. He's very pricey---remember the 36 euros chocolate Easter egg? (My friend Karina bought one and said the egg was worth every centime.) I usually go to his shop near the Place de la Concorde, so I can also visit La Duree and Pierre Herme's macaron shop in the same area. Jean Paul Hevin also has a shop in the 6th arrondissement. That's where I started my chocolate tour.
I stopped at each shop, purchasing a few chocolates at each, between 3 and 5 pieces. The cost was between 2 and 6 euros, depending on the shop and how many I bought. The box of 12 chocolates from Jean Paul Hevin pictured above was 13.40 euros. After three or four chocolate shops, I realized that I'm not the full-blown addict of this dark and creamy drug like I claimed to be. Instead of wanting more and more, my purchases became smaller and smaller as I went along. Now, I'm experiencing sugar blues, but I'm sure I'll be jonesing for some more chocolate later tonight. (I'm glad I saved a few pieces from my walk.)
Below is a list of the chocolateries that I visited, mainly in the 6th and 7th arrondissements. If you, too, are an admitted chocoholic, or even a closet one, you can create your own chocolate walking and tasting tour. See if you can outlast the chocolate. If you like more organized tours you can try Paris-Walks. My favorite blogger in Paris also has a chocolate tour, which he talks about here.
Jean Paul Hevin, 3 rue Vavin, 6th arr., Metro: Vavin
Jean Charles-Rochoux, 16 rue d'Assas, 6th arr., Metro: Rennes or Saint Sulpice --Small and stylish boutique. There is a Cuban tabacco flavor ganache-filled chocolate.
Maison du Chocolat, 19 rue Sevres, 6th arr., Metro: Sevres-Babylone -- This was the very first chocolaterie I visited the first time I was in Paris twelve years ago. I was daunted by the fanciness of the chocolate boutique and walked out without purchasing anything, too afraid to disrupt the beauty of the chocolates under the display case.
Philippe Pascoet, 52 rue Saint Placide, 6th arr., Metro: Saint Placide -- Extremely friendly shop and the clerk told me what the specialties were, in English even.
Pierre Marcolini, 89 rue de Seine, 6th arr., Metro: Mabillon--When I went to school in Paris, I lived above this shop. He's from Belgium and his chocolates are petite pieces of art.
Patrick Roger, 108 boulevard Saint Germain des Pres, 6th arr., Metro: Odeon -- He won the very prestigious Meilleux Ouvrier de France (Best Worker of France) in chocolates in 2007 and seems to be the celebrity chocolatier of the day. Every food show in France that focussed on chocolate had him in it.
Michel Chandun, 149 rue de l'Universitie, 7th arr., Metro: Pont de L'Alma
Debauve et Gallais, 30 rue des Saint Peres, 7th arr., Metro: Sevres-Babylone -- This is the oldest chocolaterie in Paris. It started out as a pharmacy and then became the favored chocolaterie of kings.