7 NYC Spots for Yummy Hot Chocolate

7 NYC Spots for Yummy Hot Chocolate

(Photo by Clem Onojeghuo)

Chocolate beverages have been a “thing” for over 2,000 years—thank you to the Aztec and Mayan cultures for this. Through European influence, drinking chocolate hot became a more popular practice, with the bitter taste being sweetened by sugar, vanilla or other flavorings. Hot chocolate is made with melted chocolate, while hot cocoa is made from powdered cacao beans, but most people use the terms interchangeably. Regardless what you call it—I almost always call it cocoa—this indulgent drink has become a favorite, especially during the colder weather and holiday season. Here are seven spots around NYC where you can order a warm mug of this yummy drink.  

Cocoa Bar (Lower East Side): No website to click on for additional information, but ample hot chocolate flavors that include dark, mint, white, cinnamon or spicy. There is also the boozy French Hot Chocolate, which is dark hot chocolate mixed with Graham’s Tawny Port. 

Sugar Factory (Meatpacking District and Upper West Side): In addition to several “frosty hot chocolate” choices (hot chocolate that has been blended with ice), Sugar Factory’s hot hot chocolate options are classic rich, banana, coconut, red velevet and s’mores (topped with toasted marshmallows, whipped cream and crumbled graham crackers).

Jacque Torres Chocolate (nine NYC locations): Jacques Torres, known as Mr. Chocolate, opened his first chocolate factory in DUMBO, Brooklyn in 2000. Now he’s got stores all over town that have, among other chocolatey treats, Classic hot chocolate and Wicked hot chocolate (spiced with allspice, cinnamon, ground ancho chili peppers and smoked, ground chipotle chili peppers).

Voilà Chocolat (Upper West Side): Stop in this shop where you can make your own artisanal chocolates and enjoy some of “New York’s Happiest Hot Chocolate.” Choose from the custom House Blend or Daredevil mix (made with exotic spices like cloves, cinnamon, ginger, anise and chili). Both flavors are made with 72% Guittard chocolate with no added sugar or starch.

City Bakery (Union Square): For about 25 years, City Bakery has been a staple bakery/coffee bar/cafeteria/chocolate shop in NYC. Its classic hot chocolate is a highlight of the menu—rich, with a large, homemade marshmallow to top it off. In February, City Bakery celebrates this tasty drink by featuring a different flavor each day of the month. From spicy cinnamon to fresh ginger to lemon to salted caramel and more, City Bakery means business when it comes to hot chocolate. 

La Maison du Chocolat (five NYC locations): This upscale sweets purveyor is known for its chocolates (ganaches, pralines, fruited chocolates, truffles, among others), macarons and pastries is also popular for its hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream on the side.

Max Brenner (Union Square): Max Brenner wants you to “experience chocolate,” which must be why they serve their hot chocolate in their specially designed Hug Mug that’s meant to be cradled in both hands as you sip any one of their creamy cocoas. In addition to choosing among milk, dark or white chocolate, Max Brenner serves classic hot chocolate, Italian thick, Mexican spicy, Swiss whipped, marshmallow, peanut butter, hazelnut and mocha.

Enjoy a warm cup of chocolate-y goodness!

Hot chocolate in a Hug Mug (Courtesy Max Brenner)

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