226, rue de Rivoli
Angélina's falls into the affordable luxury category where one may indulge in the decadent and, some say, best hot chocolate (chocolat chaud), l'Africain, in the world. This extremely rich concoction holds a pure, velvety flavor & texture, accompanied by unsweetened whipped cream in a white ceramic pitcher (see Photo#2 - you'll note the packets of sugar one uses to sweeten to one's liking) and a beautiful globe glass pitcher of ice water (note: one of the few places you can get ice water in Paris) all provided by white-aproned servers. They'll bring by a dessert tray in case your menu French is not up to par. Frommer's calls it "the best hot chocolate in Paris...hands down", while Patricia Wells deems it "lethally rich, delicious hot chocolate".
Although it's a salon de thé they also serve excellent salads, quiches, desserts and the like. The Mont Blanc is particularly to-die-for! Angélina's is one of my favorite places in Paris. I recently voted this as my #2 favorite place (following Le Vieux Bistro) for Zagat's Restaurant Guide.
Famed French writer Marcel Proust, who loved their madeleines, declared they could transport him back to childhood.
Once known as Rumpelmayers, this belle époque salon de thé is set in a frescoes-and-gilded-mirrors décor enclosing closely set cloth-covered marble-topped tables set for Parisian grande dames & blue-jeaned tourists who are treated equally in these elegant surroundings.
Listed in the following guides/books:
Cadogan Guides Paris
Fodor's Paris (Gold Guide series)
The Food Lover's Guide to Paris by Patricia Wells
Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Paris
The Historic Restaurants of Paris by Ellen Williams
Favorite Dish: Mont Blanc, a meringue base piled with chestnut purée & whipped cream. And l'Africain, naturellement!
Has anybody seen
A dog died dark green
Sunglasses & a bonnet
And designer jeans with appliqués on it
I've also enjoyed pink (rosé) champagne, quiche Lorraine (photo#3) (had to try it because of the B-52’s song of the same name) served with salade & mustard vinaigrette (vinaigrette à la moutarde) and the heady Baba au Rhum (rum-soaked cake topped with rum-infused fresh fruit).
However, my favorite entée must be the Croque Madame (photo#4) upon which my son supped this past trip (April 2010)
Photos: April 2010
I had a whole list of possible places to eat on my one day in Paris, and I am so glad we decided on Angelina. Besides looking like a doll house, with its marble, gilded ironwork, and mirrors, I had the best hot chocolate of my life here!
Americans, do be aware that the servers here do not appear to speak fluent English. I ordered in broken French, and thankfully that was good enough for our waitress, who spoke to us mostly in French herself. Most of the menu does have English descriptions as well as French.
Favorite Dish: The Chocolat Africains, which is most closely related to hot chocolate, but ten times better...a thick, creamy, intense pitcher of chocolate served with a whole parfait glass of rich whipped cream. Amazing.
Angelina's is located across from the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre so it's got a really great location. It's a Parisian institution that has been in existence since 1903.
There is usually alot of people who frequent Angelina's, a mix of tourists and locals-usually the 'grand dames' of Paris.
The tearoom's decor is like the original Laduree tearoom: plush with mirrored walls and small marble tables.
Caveat: When we were there last (long time ago in 1991) they seated us upstairs. Wait for a table in the main salon instead! Upstairs was dark and empty. We eventually asked to be seated down in the main salon when a table became available.
Favorite Dish: Angelina's is famous for the chocolat africain which is like a chcolate bar (or a few bars) melted in a pot and served with whipped cream. Yes, it is good but overly sweet!
Angelina's is one of those places that you hear so much about especially by other travelers. They are written in every single guide book I have looked at and the only reason I ever came here was that my friend insisted they do have the best hot chocolate in Paris.
With that said, the lines can be long depending on the time you come, but they do move quickly. The interior is quite beautiufl and will overwhelm your senses. The decor is a bit dated now, but the experience is just the same. You're here to experience what may be the very best hot chocolate your mouth will ever taste.
On my most recent visit I was a bit disappointed though. I always order the same thing, their specialty, the l'Africain chocolate and the Mont Blanc, but the Mont Blanc seemed like it had been seating out for a while and didn't taste fresh as my previous visits. The hot chocolcate as usual is divine!!!
The chocolate is served hot in a white ceramic pitcher with a side of delicious whipped cream. The chocolate is rich and thick and so heavenly you don't mind splurging on this decantant treat.
Favorite Dish: I usually order the same thing, the l'Africain and the Mont Blanc (a meringue base piled with chestnut purée & whipped cream). They also serve a wide variety of other dishes like salads, quiches and all sorts of desserts.
It's going to be difficult writing a tip more then 2 years after the fact without my notes (gives me a good reason to clean the house so I can find my notes) but I'll give it my best.
We had heard of Angelina's before out trip to Paris and really didn't know if we would get the chance to stop in with only 3 1/2 days to spend touring. Fortunately on a cloudy and partially rainy Sunday after we had visited both Notre Dame and the Louvre and before our evening excursions we decided we needed a quick pick me up and Angelina's was nearby.
We waited in line for probably about 20 to 30 minutes (some of it outside) all the while looking at all the delectable pastry offerings in the window. When we were finally escorted to our table upstairs we were fairly certain what we were going to order.
Favorite Dish: Since we hadn't had any macaroons in Paris and this was our last day there well of course we needed to try them, but the ice cream with some type of wafer looked good also as did the figs and of course the hot chocolate. Hey, why not have them all and split everything which we indeed did do. I wish I had written down what I liked about each one, but I think you can see from the picture of Sue and I, we did enjoy our late afternoon, early evening snack.
Don't cry for me Angelina...
I'm sure i still will come back
Despite having gone a bit way down in the last years, the salon de thé/patisserie "Angelina" remains THE temple of hot chocolate (even if the new recipe they introduced some years ago contains way too much sugar for my taste)
This venerable institution (formerly maison Rumpelmeyer) is interesting, not only for the chocolate and the pastries, but also for the patrons : you will come across - among the crowds - celebrities (past, present and wannabe), real "grandes dames" and "p'tites mamies" (and, of course, tourists)
You go there, for the deco, for the name, for the casting, to say you have been there, and, eventually, to eat a morsel.
OK, enough bad things said : the pastries are adequate (even excelent if you like them VERY VERY sweeet (i don't - prefering the -unkilled- strong cacao taste)) and you can't beat the location - under Rue de Rivoli's archway - to have either a light lunch or an afternoon coffee(chocolate) break.
A rather good new is the change of owner end 2004, this may give a new impulse to the tired staff (and the dusty carpets)
PS : closed on tuesday in summer
Favorite Dish: The house speciality : "l'Africain" a thick hot chocolate
Among the pastries : the "Mont-Blanc" : creamy chocolate cake
You can also have a light lunch or just buy some patries or chocolate (powder or plates) to take away
Angelina's is a very ritzy place -- gilt and mirrors; think high tea and blue-haired ladies in Ferragamo shoes -- but not at all snooty. When all seven of us trooped in, the waitress didn't bat an eyelash.
I heard that since our last visit, Angelina's has been sold to the owners of Lipp. I hope that the chocolate hasn't changed.
Favorite Dish: Angelina's is famous for its chocolat chaud. It costs 6.5 Euros per person but is so worth it! It comes in pitchers and is THE best hot chocolate I've ever tasted.
It was like smooth liquid fudge, served with generous dollops of whipped cream. It was a whole meal in itself, and even the hardcore chocoholics in the group (naming no names) were chocolated out.
2nd visit July 2011 to Versailles location inside the palace, try to go to the Rue de Rivoli location if you have the time, so much better!
There are many menu items on Angelina's menu, indeed we saw several people eating sandwiches and salads but my focus for my birthday splurge was two of the menu items that Angelina is famous for, the hot chocolate l'Africain and the Mont Blanc.
At around 2 pm we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table but by the time we left there was no line. You see all kinds of dress here, from the chic Parisian ladies to tourists in shorts, service is quick and efficient but certainly not friendly or pleasant. Not that I'd expect friendly or pleasant Parisian waiters....
Favorite Dish: The hot chocolat l'Africain (6.90E) is a thick dark chocolate served in a pot for one with a side of fresh whipped cream to mix in with it, not overly sweet but perfection when mixed together. Coupled with the Mont Blanc pastry (6.70E), a chestnut puree covering over cream and a meringue base, I was practically in a sugar coma by the time we left.
David ordered a pot of hot white chocolate (6.80E) which was very sweet and another pastry (6.10E), everything on the pastry trays at the entrance looked decadent and divine. It's a bit of a splurge, 26.50E was our total bill, but totally worth it for this chocoholic on her birthday!
Angelina also has a couple of locations on the grounds of Versailles but I would recommend trying to go to the original, they didn't give us the fresh whipped cream to mix in at Versailles and we had to eat standing up at a table. I took one sip without the whipped cream and I knew my niece wasn't going to drink it and I couldn't possibly drink two.
I had heard so much about Angelina's that by the time I got there I was underwhelmed. The surrounding seemed a bit worn and the service was far from solicitous. I was not up for the hot chocolate, needing, as I did, a caffeine jolt, but I did taste my companions -- it certainly is rich and yummy -- but a whole cup? We had between us the pictured "Mont Blanc", a whipped cream concoction covered in chestnut paste [MUCH too sweet for me ...] and the madeline [dry] I WANTED to love Angelina's, but I didn't.
We went to this tea room (salon de thé) just for 2 things - their famous hot chocolate (L'Africain) and meringue with chestnut puree (Mont Blanc). This tea room was established in 1903, and if they can last for so many decades, they must be doing something right.
The hot chocolate lived up to its reputation (as well as our high expectations). It was very thick and sweet, and you can add whatever amount of whipped cream you fancy on top of the drink. It had been raining that whole morning, and drinking this hot chocolate was a total bliss.
The meringue was not too sweet (perhaps it was because we ate that AFTER drinking the hot chocolate?), which suited me fine.
Loved the interior of this place - charming and beautifully decorated.
Favorite Dish: Definitely the L'Africain (hot chocolate)!
The line was out the door but we waited because we heard that we had to try Le Chocolat Africain.It was hard for our toddler to wait to fifteen minutes and we managed to avoid any meltdowns. We were seated towards the rear of the tea salon and the first thing I noticed is that the tables and floors were not clean. The table was still a bit sticky and the floor needed a cleaning. I suppose all of this is expected when there is so much traffic going in and out of this place! The waitress came quickly and took out order. We ordered the Le Chocolat Africain 6.20 E, Fragilite Pistache 5.70E , and Pain au Chocolat 2.60E. The hot chocolate lived up to its hype and we enjoyed sipping the thick, liquid. Angelina’s serves Teas (4.25 to 6E), Patisseries (2.50 – 6.20E), Ice Cream (6.20 – 7.70E), Salads (5.90 – 21.50E), Fish (14.80 – 27E), Meats (13.50 – 21E), Quiches (8.40 – 9.90E), Sandwiches (5.90 – 9.65E), and Cheese (5.75). Although I read that this tearoom was kid-friendly I only saw 1 other child and she was around 8 years of age. The atmosphere was very formal and my husband really didn’t want to go in because he felt uncomfortable. There were tons of other tourists as well as locals in there for tea and light lunch but they were all without children. Although the décor looked as if it demanded at least a button down shirt and slacks, and believe me there were quite a few people dressed in suits and dresses, but there were tons of tourists wearing jeans. The staff was very kind to us and even gave me a chair so I could sit while waiting in line because I was holding my son. We left the stroller in an area the Maitre’d created for us. Our son loved the hot chocolate and desserts and he was certainly accommodated but we felt uneasy. Overall, we did have a lovely time but the hot chocolate is best enjoyed slowly and it is close to impossible to do this if you have a toddler. We would do it all again and I would recommend everyone to go here because the food, drink, and service was excellent.
Favorite Dish: We only had 3 items and I would recommend the Le Chocolat Africain ( “the”hot chocolate) 6.20 E and Fragilite Pistache 5.70E. Both had rich and strong flavors that are unique and yummy! The Le Chocolat Africain is so thick and rich. Just sip it and let it settle. Drinking it too quickly might make you sick.
The woman who recommended Angelina's to us lives in our town and told us that her husband had gotten the recommendation from a biker friend. She was a little dubious, asking herself what a biker could know about fine hot chocolate. At her husband's insistance they went there for hot chocolate early in their stay in Paris. She said it was so good they went back the next day, and the next! I had tried to tell my family that this was a beautiful and famous place whose hot chocolate had lured the likes of Marcel Proust, Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel as frequent guests. But when we sat down I was the only one who ordered the hot chocolate. It was so smooth and delicious I couldn't believe it and insisted that the grandchildren give it a taste. Immediately they all ordered it as well and agreed with my assessment.
The place itself is a fine old (1903) belle epoch cafe with gilded mirrors adorning the walls, lovely tablecloths and a take out counter of eye popping confections. It has a wonderful elegance associated with affluent matrons and famous people, but even with a party of 10 we were courteously and promptly seated and served.
My wife and I were back in Paris in 2012 and she insisted that we had to go for lunch again. It is still a wonderful experience.
Favorite Dish: In my opinion the hot chocolate is not to be missed. It is so smooth and creamy it invites gulping rather than sipping and is served with a "mont blanc," a white mountain of whipped cream on the side. The cream thankfully is not sweetened so that it compliments the chocolate without competing with it. I had a truly delicious quiche lorraine as did several others and my son-in-law had a millefeuille a la vanille bourbon that he is still talking about a month later. The food is excellent but the chocolate is unbelievable (and normally I am not a hot chocolate fan).
Whenever my wife and I are in Paris we have to stop at Angelina. My wife first took me here a few years back when we were not yet married. I know this is known as a "tourist" spot and is considered dated but we love it. The hot chocolate here is a must especially the rich and delicious l’Africain served with a heaping of fresh whipped cream on the side. The pastry here is also excellent. I have enjoyed the éclair as well as their saori.
Our last visit here was in January 2011. My wife and I arrived around 10am and wanted just a snack and some hot chocolate. The place was pretty empty save a few tables so we had a choice of seating. I let my wife choose and she decided on a nice table for two on the second level overlooking the main level. Despite the menu; we already knew what we wanted. We ordered some l"Africain hot chocolate, an éclair for me and a St. Honore pastry for my wife.
The hot chocolate arrives in a carafe along with a bowl of fresh whipped cream. As my wife poured the hot chocolate I start to salivate. The hot chocolate is rich, thick and creamy. Adding some whipped cream only creates a more silky texture. Upon first sip it is heaven; indescribably good. My éclair is always a good choice with light pastry shell and delicious chocolate cream filling. My wife loves their St. Honore pastry and swears they make it the best here. The best way to describe the St. Honore is flaky pastry topped with mini cream puffs covered in caramel and bourbon cream. I always steal a bite of hers but could never eat a whole one; it is too sweet for me.
To me this is a great place for a sweet tooth and a lover of hot chocolate. You won't be disappointed in what you get at Angelina.
Favorite Dish: The l'Africain hot chocolate is to die for and a must try when in Paris.
Angelina, a stunning place to stop for Afternoon Tea. The romantic, elegant and impressive decor lends to a fantasy that Marie Antoinette might walk in at any moment.
In this lovely restaurant, one doesn't have to dream. The prices are high, but not extravagantly so. You may have to wait in line for a few minutes, but the experience of eating here is worth the wait.
Favorite Dish: My friends and I shared several cakes and pastries! Each item was rich and mouth watering delicious. I can't remember the specific names of our treats, but can assure you that the pastry chef is excellent and you will not be disappointed with anything you choose to order.
I always seemed to miss this on my trips. I do remember a few times showing up way too early and peering longingly inside the windows. My trip in June however I made a point of going, with my guide. Oh my dear sweet Lord. How did I ever miss this place?
Favorite Dish: The rich and creamy hot chocolate. I don't remember the specific name, drat!
update: Beatchick informs me it was L'Africain. You cannot miss this. You may want to order a brioche with it, it is sooo rich and creamy, having something a little less "mouth-feel" is a good contrast.