Look, we’re not exactly looking forward to arctic-level winds and that deceptively cheery-sounding moniker “wintry mix.” But as we move away from pumpkin spice lattes and sweater weather and into full-on puffer coat season, we will take any excuse to pick up our favorite hand-warmer: a piping-hot cup of cocoa. Ahead, the best hot chocolate in NYC, from unexpected renditions (oh hello, doughnut croutons!) to classics with a kick.
The Absolute Best Hot Chocolate in NYC, Hands Down, No Question
1. Daily Provisions
Made with a rich ganache using Vesta dark and milk hot chocolates, this delicious seasonal treat pops with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla, and is topped with whipped cream and a vanilla marshmallow. You can also have it made with a non-dairy milk option (oat, almond or soy). They will also mix their hot chocolate ganache into their coffee for a mocha too if you request it. Available for pickup and delivery.
Multiple locations; dailyprovisionsnyc.com
Calling this a mere “hot chocolate” does not do it justice. When we’re craving a hot cocoa that not only warms our soul but also puts us at ease, we turn to Bubby’s, the famed pie and brunch spot in Tribeca. True, their Valrhona Hot Chocolate is a rich hot chocolate that comes with a homemade marshmallow, but Chef/Owner Ron Silver (also founder/chief creative officer of CBD company Azuca) is giving customers the option to add a 25mg dose of hemp-derived CBD sugar to their beverage as well. Ahh, instant relaxation. Available for outdoor seating, delivery and takeout.
120 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013; bubbys.com
3. Levain Bakery
While best known for over-the-top, ooey gooey cookies, Levain Bakery is taking a more minimal approach with their hot chocolate this season. They use just two ingredients: a generous amount of Valrhona dark chocolate (shaved by hand daily) blended with dairy, oat or almond milk until frothy and rich. It's the perfect dipping vessel for their cookies and pastries, because what better way to warm up on a chilly day than with baked goods and cocoa? You can also request a shot or two of espresso for mocha lovers, or serve over ice for those who enjoy cold drinks year round.
Multiple locations; levainbakery.com
4. Sunday In Brooklyn
One of Williamsburg’s favorite brunch spots currently has a dreamy cinnamon-y hot chocolate gracing its brunch menu. The simple but tasty mixture of cocoa and cinnamon (made dairy-free) is the perfect accompaniment to their famous avocado toast or hazelnut maple praline pancakes. Available for pickup or outdoor dining.
348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249; sundayinbrooklyn.com
5. Fan-fan Doughnuts
Move over marshmallows—the latest topping for hot chocolate is now doughnuts. Yes, really. Fan-Fan Doughnuts is a specialty doughnut shop in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, by James Beard-nominated Fany Gerson. Their signature Belgian-style hot chocolate is made with a blend of bittersweet and milk chocolate topped with toasted homemade vanilla marshmallows and doughnut croutons. The croutons are made from their regular "naked" (i.e., not glazed) doughnuts and they are good.
448 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205; fan-fandoughnuts.com
6. Jacques Torres
Want to add a bit of fire to your chocolaty mug? This spicy blend from the famed chocolatier warms up dark chocolate with allspice, cinnamon, ground ancho chili peppers and smoked ground chipotle chili. Shop in-store or available for nationwide delivery.
Multiple locations; mrchocolate.com
Enjoy a cup of what might be more accurately described as liquid pudding, made with 72 percent pure Colombian cacao, in this gorgeous cocoa bar reminiscent of an old-world European café. Available for pickup or delivery.
484 Broome St.New York, NY 10013; mariebelle.com
This honey-centric food spot uses raw wildflower honey to sweeten up this healthful treat. The luxe chocolate drink contains 80 percent Belgian dark cacao that’s rich in antioxidants and supposedly boasts some pretty cool health benefits, like boosting blood flow. You can, of course, team with your choice of milk, hot or iced. Available for pickup or delivery.
Multiple locations; honeybrains.com
9. Bar Pisellino
This thick hot chocolate from famed West Village restaurateurs Rita Sodi and Jody Williams (Il Sodi, Via Carota and Buvette) is crowned with whipped panna. Enjoy it al fresco if you dare. Spot it on the menu under “cioccolato caldo.”
52 Grove St, New York, NY 10014; barpisellino.com
For a classic hot chocolate that is all quality and no frills, head to pastry chef Umber Ahmad's Maz-Ze-Dahr. It combines Valrhona chocolate, steamed milk and a toasted house-made vanilla bean marshmallows. Available for pickup.
28 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011; mahzedahrbakery.com
11. Dominique Ansel
Few beverages are more fun than a hot cocoa made by baking genius and Cronut inventor Dominique Ansel, and the Blossoming Hot Chocolate lives up to the rest of his creative carbs. A delicate marshmallow flower wrapped in a chocolate slowly blooms when the heat from the hot chocolate melts the band. Surprise! There is a white chocolate truffle inside.
189 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012; dominiqueanselny.com
The famed café known for their fresh Colombian beans is now in the hot cocoa game—and it’s just as incredible as their coffee. Devoción’s decadent hot “drinking” chocolate is made in partnership with L.A. Burdick Chocolate (also on this list!), primarily from Criollo and Trinitario cocoa beans, sourced from the finest cocoa growing regions in South America and the Caribbean. Melted into steamy frothed milk, it’s the perfect kick-back-and-relax treat. They also offer an Omanhene Hot Chocolate, a sweeter, less heavy hot chocolate that is perfect for kids or adults. (Psst: That hot chocolate base can also be used as the base for a mocha latte if you request it!)
Multiple locations; devocion.com
The lovely French restaurant Loulou in Chelsea offers a classic hot chocolate that’s quite delicious, but we are here for the spiked Spiced Hot Chocolate with Tanteo Habanero tequila, hazelnut liqueur, Valrhona dark chocolate, brown sugar and heavy cream. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s topped with whipped cream and orange zest.
176 8th Avenue; loulounyc.com
14. L.a. Burdick
These thick “drinking chocolates” from famed chocolate specialist L.A. Burdick are basically melted-down chocolate bars, and yes, it’s as rich as it sounds. Cacao also gets the single-origin treatment here, with dark drinking chocolates from different regions like Madagascar (bright and fruity) or Venezuela (subtle nutty notes). Available in-store or online.
156 Prince St, New York, NY 10012; burdickchocolate.com
15. Blue Stripes Cacao
Blue Stripe Cacao’s 70 percent dark chocolate mocha is warming up holiday market goers at the Union Square Holiday Market this season. Also on offer is their Whole Cacao Bean Powder, made from the whole cacao bean (butter and powder) for an authentic hot chocolate inspired by native traditions.
28 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003; bluestripes.com
16. The Chocolate Room
This Cobble Hill spot serves up a luxurious spiced special Dark Hot Chocolate that’s made with ancho and chipotle chilies, cinnamon and cloves, so you’re basically drinking a chocolate cinnamon roll with every sip.
51 5th Avenue, Brooklyn; thechocolateroombrooklyn.com
17. The Musket Room
The Michelin-starred “Femmes De Virunga” Dark Hot Chocolate with house-made vanilla marshmallows from Musket Room is sourced by the “Femmes De Virunga,” a group of women who founded one of the world's first cacao cooperatives. This hot chocolate is available at The Lodge at The Musket Room, the restaurant's brand new cozy winter popup out front.
265 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012; musketroom.com
18. Angelina Bakery
Baker Antonio “Tony” Park brings the first Asian-inspired Italian bakery to New York City and if you haven’t tried the cakes and tarts yet then you are seriously missing out. Team your treat with his famous hot chocolate that includes a blend of imported Italian chocolate featuring both cocoa powder and liquid mixed up so it's denser and more flavorful.
575 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018; angelinabakery.com
19. Bean & Bean Coffee
This NYC café, with locations on Wall Street and Chelsea, is run by mother-daughter duo Rachel and Jiyoon Han, both certified Q graders (aka coffee sommeliers). Their creamy dark hot chocolate is made with Ghirardelli chocolate syrup and locally sourced Hudson Valley milk — and a non-dairy version is available too.
Multiple locations; beannbeancoffee.com
While the creamy gelato is a favorite at this world-famous chocolate shop, as temperatures drop, New Yorkers head inside for hot cocoa instead. These chocolate specialists, with a flagship location in Flatiron, are offering a Suprema XV Hot Chocolate for Gianduja lovers with Piedmont hazelnuts, cocoa, whipped cream and extra virgin olive oil. Yum.
Multiple locations; us.venchi.com
21. Hole In The Wall
Aussie favorite Hole in the Wall, which has locations in FiDi, Murray Hill, Flatiron and Williamsburg, offers a homemade liquid chocolate with steamed milk in the form of a latte, dusted with Ghirardelli chocolate powder. Can be made with dairy milk, pistachio milk or oat milk.
Multiple locations; holeinthewallnyc.com
Sure, the expectation is for hot chocolate to be hot. And it should be in all cases except when it comes to the famous Serendipity Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. This custom blend of 14 gourmet cocoas mixed in a blender with milk and ice is so worth the brain freeze (especially when you spike it or add chocolate cookies into the mix). Sip with a straw to savor or use a spoon to devour.
225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022; serendipity3.com
A New York City favorite, the thick and rich traditional Italian hot chocolate at gelato specialists Amorino comes in a choice of 10 different flavors including dark, white, hazelnut, orange, cinnamon and caramel. We’ll take one of each, please.
Multiple locations; amorino.com/en-us
Another Italian culinary destination, the ever-packed Eataly is offering their Italian Hot Chocolate made with Eraclea chocolate powder imported from Italy, a producer with more than 40 years of experience. They pair it with local whole milk from Hudson Valley Fresh rather than non-dairy milks, in order to create a hot chocolate that is rich, dense and delicious—just like in Italy, they say. Plus, it’s topped off with fresh homemade whipped cream.
Multiple locations; eataly.com
25. Dr Smood
Hot cocoa that doubles as a beauty potion? Sign us up. The Hot Virgin Cacao is a two-part beverage: You have to stir the chocolate stick (molinillo) into steamed cashew milk until dissolved before imbibing. The raw cacao is high in antioxidants and infused with resveratrol, known for its anti-aging properties.
Multiple locations; drsmood.com
This Modern Greek Taverna recently launched its latest location in Hudson Yards, bringing its authentic flavors and festive atmosphere to the West Side. Special for the holiday season, Kyma is serving up a festive frozen hot chocolate cocktail using homemade hot chocolate, almond bitters and vodka or tequila with chocolate biscuit flakes.
15 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011; kymarestaurants.com
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