*** A VERY SAD UPDATE TO THIS POST: After 46 years in business, Denise Acabo closed her iconic Parisian candy shop in September 2022. ***
Paris is home to dozens and dozens of top-quality candy shops (boutiques de bonbons). But there is nothing in Paris—actually the entire world—like A l’Etoile d’Or (The Gold Star), a tiny shop in Paris’s Pigalle district that is jammed with the best artisan candies made in France.
The incomparable boutique is helmed by Denise Acabo, a vivacious woman forever dressed as a Parisian schoolgirl in necktie, plaid skirt and pig tails, who is widely considered one of the most knowledgeable candy sellers in Europe. (She’s also a delight to meet; she’ll talk incessantly at you in French, even if you don’t understand a word she says. No matter – she just plows right on!)
There are two undeniable reasons to visit her shop: 1) She is the only seller of Bernachon chocolate in France other than the Bernachon shop in Lyon, where the chocolate is literally made from scratch, starting with raw cacao beans. And she carries caramel-beurre-sale (salted butter caramels) made by Breton Henri Le Roux, which are nearly impossible to find outside of Brittany. And they are simply the best caramels you’ll ever eat in your life.
A l’Etoile d’Or is found in the 9th Arrondissement, at 30 Rue Fontaine, just a block or so from the Moulin Rouge.