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The only upside to arctic-level winds and donning a giant puffer coat for every outing is that we have the perfect excuse to pick up our favorite hand-warmer: a piping-hot cup of cocoa. Ahead, the best hot chocolate in NYC, from unexpected renditions to classics with a kick.

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nyhotcocosquare
Katherine Kalec

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. Available with non-dairy milk options (oat, almond, soy), the team here will also mix hot chocolate ganache into coffee for a mouthwatering (and energizing) mocha if you request it. Currently offering pickup and delivery.

Multiple locations; dailyprovisionsnyc.com

breads bakery
Breads Bakery

2. Breads Bakery

Breads Bakery’s super rich hot chocolate is a mix of cocoa powder, sugar, whole milk, half ‘n’ half and a pinch of salt that’s then topped with dark chocolate crumbles. Available for pickup and delivery.

Multiple locations; breadsbakery.com

levain bakery
Kate Previte

3. Levain Bakery

While most known for over-the-top, ooey gooey cookies, Levain Bakery is taking a more minimal approach with their hot chocolate. 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 hot chocolate? Mocha lovers can also request a shot or two of espresso, and those who enjoy cold drinks year-round can have theirs served over ice.

Multiple locations; levainbakery.com

best hot chocolate nyc cat
Alexander Stein for Bubby’s

4. Bubby’s

Calling this a mere “hot chocolate” does not do it justice. In these trying times, we’re craving a hot chocolate that not only warms our soul, but also puts us at ease. Cue Bubby’s, the famed pie and brunch spot in Tribeca. Their Valrhona Hot Chocolate is a decadent concoction on its own that comes with a homemade marshmallow, but chef/owner Ron Silver (also founder of CBD company Azuca) is also giving customers the option to add a 25mg dose of hemp-derived CBD sugar to their hot chocolate. Available for outdoor seating, delivery, and takeout.

120 Hudson St; 212-219-0666

5. Sunday In Brooklyn

One of Williamsburg’s favorite brunch spots has a cinnamon-y hot chocolate gracing its menu that’s the perfect accompaniment to their famous avocado toast or hazelnut maple praline pancakes. It’s simple yet sweet and dairy-free to boot. Available for pickup or outdoor dining.

348 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn; sundayinbrooklyn.com

best hot chocolate nyc loulou
Loulou

6. Loulou

The lovely French restaurant Loulou in Chelsea offers a classic hot chocolate that’s quite delicious, but we are here for the 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. Available for outdoor dining and to-go.

176 8th Avenue; loulounyc.com

devocion
Devoción

7. Devoción

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 our 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

8. 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

dr smood
Dr Smood

9. Dr Smood

Hot cocoa that doubles as a beauty potion? Sign us up. The hot virgin cacao is a two-part beverage: Stir the chocolate stick (molinillo) into steamed cashew milk until dissolved. The raw cacao is high in antioxidants and infused with resveratrol, known for its anti-aging properties.

Multiple locations; drsmood.com

10. The Chocolate Room

This Cobble Hill spot serves a luxurious spiced dark hot chocolate that’s made with cinnamon and cloves so you’re basically drinking a chocolate cinnamon roll with every sip.

51 5th Avenue, Brooklyn; thechocolateroombrooklyn.com

caffe panna
Caffé Panna

11. Caffé Panna

Hot chocolate made from ice cream? We’re all over it. Gramercy gelato joint Caffé Panna creates a decadent chocolate con panna, taking chocolate sorbet, along with their signature panna (Italian whipped cream that’s imported from Piemonte), milk and tops it with cinnamon. Their house made chocolate sorbet uses Amano chocolate and gives the final drink an extra rich flavor. Available for pickup and delivery.

77 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003; caffepanna.com

12. 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

jacques torres
Jacques Torres

13. Jacques Torres

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

14. MarieBelle

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

15. Mah-Ze-Dahr

For a standard 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 housemade vanilla bean marshmallows. Available for pickup.

28 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011; mahzedahrbakery.com

16. Dominique Ansel

There is nothing more fun than 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; dominiqueanselny.com

honey brains
Honeybrains

17. Honeybrains

The honey-centric food spot uses raw wildflower honey to sweeten up this healthful treat. The rich chocolate drink contains 80 % dark cacao, rich in antioxidants, that comes with tons of health benefits like boosting blood flow. And of course, your choice of milk, hot or iced. Available for pickup or delivery.

Multiple locations; honeybrains.com

best hot chocolate nyc vestry
Courtesy of Vestry

18. Vestry

The “Grown Up Hot Chocolate” has a bit of a boozy kick as you can imagine — this time from mezcal. It uses 70% dark chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg, pinch of salt, half and half and “chocolate bark.” The mezcal lends this hot cocoa a smoky, campfire-esque flavor. This is also served in a non-alcoholic version too, for those partaking in dry January. Available for outdoor dining.

246 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013; vestrynyc.com

best hot chocolate nyc blue stripes cacao
Blue Stripes Urban Cacao

19. Blue Stripes Cacao

Pre-COVID-19, the chocolate master’s Union Square Cacao Shop served up one of the best, most authentic cacao hot chocolates in the city. (Founder Oded Brenner was the creator of Max Brenner Chocolate by the Bald Man.) However, due to the ongoing pandemic, they have temporarily closed up its storefront, but have launched the Blue Stripes Urban Cacao product line that allows you to get the tastes of cacao from home at any time! Blue Stripe Cacao’s Whole Cacao Bean Powder is made from the whole cacao bean (butter and powder) for an authentic hot chocolate inspired by native traditions. Online orders only.

28 E 13th Street; bluestripes.com

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