Food

Best French Chocolates for Easter

by Ali Postma

Easter is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about chocolate. And you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a visit from the Easter Bunny. What better excuse to indulge in a little of the sweet stuff? While perhaps not as renowned as its Belgian and Swiss neighbors, France does have some lovely chocolateries. So, whether it’s a gift for a loved one, or a treat for yourself, here are some of the best French chocolates for Easter:  

Left: a flat lay of a variety of chocolates and desserts by French brand Bernachon. Right: a singular circular piece of chocolate decorated with gold leaf by Bernachon.
Bernachon

A L’Étoile d’Or

The owner of this little old-fashioned shop in Pigalle, Denise Acabo, is a local icon. With her long grey hair styled in her signature plaited pigtails and wearing her signature kilt skirt, she’s certainly a quirky and well-loved character. L’Étoile d’Or is one of the oldest confiseries in Paris. Denise stocks artisanal and rare chocolates and sweets from all over France, including Mazet, Bonnat, and Bernachon.

A tin of chocolates and a chocolate love heart by French brand Patrick Roger.
Patrick Roger

Patrick Roger

Walking into a Patrick Roger store is like walking into an art gallery. And his chocolate certainly looks the part, especially the “design” collection. It’s no surprise then that Patrick Roger is also an exhibiting artist, a sculptor. And what does he sculpt? Chocolate. He then turns these sculptures into bronze, aluminum, marble, or concrete. You can see the original chocolate masterpieces sitting proudly in the center of his shops. 

Chocolate love hearts by French brand Patrick Roger.
Patrick Roger

Bonnat

Founded in 1884, Bonnat is a family business currently run by Stéphane Bonnat, son, grandson, and great-grandson of chocolatiers and confiseurs. Bonnat’s flagship is their bars of Grands Crus, a product they invented for the 100th anniversary of the chocolaterie. Since then, the idea has taken off throughout the profession. The Grands Crus are guaranteed to be made purely with cocoa beans from a single origin. There were eight origins for the original Grands Crus Historiques, and they now also have Grands Crus d’Exception and Grand Crus Lait. I love their vintage packaging. 

Left: a tin and bag of chocolates by French brand Bonnat. Right: a variety of chocolate bars by Bonnat.
Bonnat

Jacques Genin

Jacques Genin has a gorgeous labo (lab) in the Marais. He works with daughter Jade Genin and only uses high-quality, pure ingredients. Their chocolate contains no additives, preservatives, or flavors. Sugar is also reduced to the bare minimum. The Genin duo let their chocolate speak for itself. Their production is entirely manual, except for three wrapping machines. This means that they only produce small quantities and can maintain quality. Their ganaches and pralines look almost too pretty to eat. 

Left: singularly wrapped chocolates in a silver box by Jacques Genin. Right: decorated chocolates in a silver box by Jacques Genin.
Jacques Genin

Bernachon

This chocolatier Lyonnaise opened its first store in Paris in 2019. But Bernachon was originally founded in 1953 in Lyon by master chocolate-maker Maurice Bernachon. His son Jean-Jacques Bernachon worked with Paul Bocuse, married his daughter Françoise Bocuse, and later took over the family business. To celebrate Paul Bocuse’s admission into the French League of Honor, Maison Bernachon invented their famous “Président” cake. But Bernachon is also renowned for being a maître chocolatier, from “bean to bar.”

Left: a variety of chocolates in a decorative box by Bernachon. Right: Circular chocolates in a rectangular box by Bernachon.
Bernachon

Jean-Paul Hévin

At the age of 24, Hévin worked as a pastry chef alongside famous Michelin-starred French chef and restaurateur Joël Robuchon. In 1986, Hévin earned the prestigious tricolor collar when he was awarded  “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (Best Craftsman in France) for his work in pâtisserie and confiserie. He’s a regular at the Salon du Chocolat, where he once crafted a wearable chocolate dress for a fashion show, complete with stilettos and cigars. He also likes to experiment, creating concoctions like cheese chocolates for apéro!

Left: a buche de Noel by Jean-Paul Hevin. Right: a chocolate love heart by Jean-Paul Hevin.
Jean-Paul Hévin

Addresses

A L’Étoile d’Or – 30 Rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009.

Patrick Roger – various locations, click here for all.

Bonnat – 189 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008.

Jacques Genin – 133 Rue de Turenne, 75003 and 27 Rue de Varenne, 75007.

Bernachon – 127 Rue de Sèvres, 75006.

Jean-Paul Hévin – various locations, click here for all.

Left: a vase of poppy flowers with a glass bowl of chocolates next to it by Jean-Paul Hevin. Right: a chocolate dessert by Jean-Paul Hevin.
Jean-Paul Hévin

Related Links

Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates. 

Written By

Ali Postma

Ali is from Melbourne, Australia, where she studied Art History and Art Curatorship at university and worked in various art galleries. Passionate about all things arts and culture, she loves French film, Nordic noir, photography, street art and architecture. Addicted to pain au chocolat, Ali is fulfilling her dream of living in Paris. View Ali Postma's Website

2 comments on “Best French Chocolates for Easter

Here I am 6000 kms. and a COVID world away from Paris, and am reading and salivating over the chocolates. It isn’t fair to torture us like that. Cheers.

Haha I’m sorry! Jacques Genin, Bernachon, and Jean-Paul Hevin all ship internationally but it may be a little pricey! Ali

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