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:
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.
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. For Easter, you can’t go wrong with their praline filled egg shells.
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.
In the video below, catch a glimpse into Genin’s atelier and his process for making edible works of art for Easter in collaboration with artist Corinne Jam.
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.”
At the age of 24, Jean-Paul 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! The theme for Easter 2023 is “why not?” and the creations for Easter this year are in keeping with Hévin’s wit and playfulness.
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.
- Discover more of our favorite chocolateries.
- And our top spots for a hot chocolate.
- Go behind the scenes to see how French chocolates are made with Oui in France.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.