Do you remember the first time you realized “Wow, I am in Paris”? Those of us who have been lucky enough to visit Paris have all, I think, had that moment — a tingling, joyful, excited realization that there’s something about Paris that can make one happy simply to exist and observe. We have asked a few of our favorite writers to share their true First Paris moments with us . For our first installment, Tory tells us about when she discovered the magic of Angelina’s chocolat chaud… – Geneviève

Justine Robinett

It was the hot chocolate that did it. For a girl who had grown up on watery Swiss Miss with tiny, desiccated marshmallows in it, the chocolat chaud in Paris was a life-changing revelation.

Angelina’s hot chocolate; macarons (Justine Robinett)

First of all, I was allowed to drink it for breakfast. It was no longer something I had to “earn” by clocking hours on an icy ski slope, trying to ignore the fact that I could barely breathe through my ice-encrusted neck-warmer. No, in Paris, it was my inalienable right to drink hot chocolate, simply because I had woken up. No neck-warmer needed.

The mouth-watering display at Angelina’s (Julien Hausherr)

But more specifically, it was the hot chocolate at Angelina that did it. Yes, this charming tea salon has become an unabashed tourist trap, but like all the best Parisian clichés, its charm is not diminished by its over-exposure.

Hot chocolate (Benjamin Harrison)

Since opening in 1903, the elegant Belle Epoque tea salon has attracted the likes of Proust and Coco Chanel. Now, it lures chocoholics who make the pilgrimage for the famous “Chocolat à l’Africain”—a concoction so sinfully thick that it coats the sides of the porcelain pitcher in which it’s served. One cup can fuel you for days. Luckily, at age 12, I had no concept of “chocolate as sin.” (Actually, I still have no concept of chocolate as sin). And on that first trip, as I sat across from my mother beneath the gilded moldings of this historic cafe, I knew that Paris was my city. Hot chocolate was just the beginning.

Angelina’s. 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001. +33

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Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Julien Hausherr is a photographer based in Paris, specializing in architecture, still-life and reporting. Contact: Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


Tory Hoen

Tory Henwood Hoen has been published by New York Magazine, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Fortune, and others. She was Creative Director of Brand at M.M.LaFleur, where she founded the brand’s digital magazine, The M Dash. Her debut novel, The Arc, is available in bookshops near you and online.


  1. I love a thick hot chocolate and unfortunately didn’t try angelina’s while I was there! I did try the mont-blanc though, and to me it was a bit of a disappointment – too sweet and too pasty. It might be because I’m used to a lighter kind though. See my reivew and pictures at:

  2. couple of months ago had the same thing at laduree. holy cow that Chocolat à l’Africain” is the most rich thing you can drink. i’m sure of it.

  3. Just got back from a week in Paris and am so sorry to not have known about this place. I didn’t even have any hot chocolate. Something to remember for next time…Posting my journal entries and photos this week on my blog. Thanks for all the wonderful posts!

  4. “Chocolate as sin” is the most blasphemous phrase I’ve ever heard! I’m thrilled to know you’ve finally been seduced by Angelina’s charms!

  5. After you discover what that chocolat chaud can do you for you, like really DO for you, all day long, you just can’t live without it when you’re in Paris. And then you grieve like you’ve never grieved when you come back to the Midwest and are faced with powdery mixes topped with squirts of whipped cream from a can…

  6. Wow, I’m discovering so many new spots in Paris that I’d never heard about. J’adore. Thanks for sharing and drop by my little blog too, soon.


  7. I was just there with my brother and they let us split a single serving no problem and no attitude. It was the perfect portion! Lindsey, they do give you some whipped cream but it’s extremely rich in it of itself so don’t know if that’d help…

  8. I used to regularly make myself sick on chocolate at Angelina’s.
    It is the best kind of sick to be 😀

  9. Angelina’s hot chocolate is too…. chocolatey for me! I know, blasphemous even saying that. But I need a little milk in my cup! I DO, however, recall the very first Angelina Mont Blanc I ever had. Definitely couldn’t finish it alone – go at it with a partner or two!

  10. I have yet to go to Angelina’s! I remember my first pain au chocolat however 🙂

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