Chocolate bread and other pastries at Liberté.
Chocolate bread and other pastries at Liberté.

I must admit, I didn’t always understand chocolate bread. When I would see it in bakeries in the US, nestled next to savory rosemary olive loaves and breakfast sweets like cinnamon rolls and croissants it seemed like a bland choice, almost like a treat for someone who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. When my dad told me he had developed a thing for chocolate bread the last time he was in Paris, it dawned on me–maybe I would really like it too. What if I had been missing out on the most amazing pastry in the case all these years? I resolved to do some research and try it out when I got to Paris.

The morning rush at Liberté.
The morning rush at Liberté.

I’ve been spotting intriguing loaves around town, but none more pretty than the dark, shiny one at at Liberté, a new bakery near the Canal Saint Martin in the 10th Arrondissement. When I first spotted this bakery on a quaint corner I did a double take, attracted by the sparse, mostly glass facade that allowed you to see inside. When I peered in the window my eyes were immediately drawn to the waxy loaf of chocolate bread. I resisted the urge to  indulge at the moment but I put it on my list of treats to try. I decided today was the day so I road my bike to the bakery this morning and took my time scanning the pastry case.

Liberté has a clean, modern aesthetic.
Liberté has a clean, modern aesthetic. 

This bakery is a refreshing change from the typical Parisian boulangerie. It’s industrial and modern with concrete walls and ceilings, tubular lighting and and a long marble counter. The all-open kitchen allows you to see pastry chefs hard at working piping teardrops of custard onto tarts and putting the finishing touches on architectural layered cakes. I debated ordering a number of things, as I always do, but I ultimately settled on the chocolate bread and an almond venoisserie. I took my treats to the canal. The bread had been wrapped in paper and when I opened it I was immediately hit full in the face with the scent of rich cocoa powder.

The Tradition Chocolate bread and an equally delicious almond venoisserie.
“Tradition chocolate” bread and an equally delicious almond vennoiserie.

I took my first bite and was pleased by the texture. The outer layer was unmistakably bread-like with a bit of chew but the middle had a light and airy, almost cake-like, consistency. In addition to the chocolate dough, there were bits of dark chocolate and white chocolate throughout that melted in my mouth as I chewed giving another textural element and a sweet burst of flavor.  Needless to say, with an almost triple whammy of chocolate, this is definitely a treat for chocolate lovers. I think, for me, chocolate bread is actually a bit rich for breakfast. The portion at Liberté is generous, I could scarcely finish a third of it, but ofcourse, as the day wore on I found myself taking pulls here and there. I’ve savored the chocolate punch every time–definitely not a boring choice at all.

Pastry Chef's hard at work.
Pastry Chef’s hard at work.

39 rue des Vinaigriers

Paris, France 75010

01 42 05 51 76


  1. Found your article intriguing. I am not much of a chocolate lover but you have me wanting to try this delicacy. I will try to find it at the French bakery on Alberta here in Portland, OR. Love Lulu

  2. Hi Casey! I’m on a no-carb diet, yet decided to read this post anyway… The chocolate bread from Liberte looks amazing! Bakeries are popping up everywhere in San Diego, but I would be interested to taste the difference between bakeries here and in Europe. Thanks for a tempting piece!


    • Casey Hatfield-Chiotti

      Glad more bakeries are popping up in San Diego. They make great chocolate bread at Con Pane in Liberty Station.