F&W hit every arrondissement in Paris in search of culinary brilliance. Here, six Paris chocolate shops serving cutting-edge sweets.
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Paris Chocolate Shops
Sprawling over three floors, the new boutique from Pierre Cluizel (son of chocolate producer Michel) is 2,400 square feet of chocolate entertainment, with a cocktail lounge, tea salon and teaching kitchen. There's a restaurant too, where cocoa finds its way into even savory dishes, like foie gras with melon confit and chocolate.
Flemish-style gaufresthin, chewy little waffle cookies filled with vanilla or gingerbread creamare the hot item at this ornate boutique in the Marais. The first Parisian outpost of the 18th-century business (it's based in the northern city of Lille), Meert also features handmade chocolates, marshmallows in flavors like lime and blueberry, and fruit pâtés, all displayed in confectionary jars.
Chloé Doutre-Roussel, the former chocolate buyer for UK department store Fortnum & Mason, has created a Marais chocolate salon that emphasizes tasting flights, classes and tea pairings.
Jacques Genin made chocolates for some of Paris's best restaurants before opening his own hyper-stylish shop in the Marais. The big draw is his famous and pricey caramels (roughly $70 a pound), which he makes in around 40 flavors, including tart passion fruit-mango and spicy ginger.
Upstairs, behind chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin's famous shoe-shaped chocolates and Roquefort-filled bonbons, is his latest experiment: a bar à chocolat with a drinks menu that changes by the hour. At noon, there's hot chocolate with oysters; after 6 p.m., a cold chocolate emulsion with apricot pulp.
A native of the Lorraine region, Franck Kestener has opened his first Paris shop, focusing on macarons in seasonal flavors like strawberry-basil. His cannelésmini pastries with a custardy texturehave an unusual marshmallow interior. But his most lusted-after item is the Atlantique, a dark chocolate bar hiding crispy shortbread and salted caramel.