Winter has arrived, which means it’s hot chocolate season. But don’t waste your time sipping an inferior cup: head to a place that serves some of NYC’s best hot chocolate. (There are many!) From classic with oversized marshmallows, to thick and rich or flavored, NYC has a hot chocolate for every kind of kid (and adult). Get cozy this winter at one of our many favorite hot cocoa spots in NYC!
La Maison du Chocolat
La Maison du Chocolat isn’t cheap, but if you’re up for a slight splurge this French chocolatier is one of the best. The hot chocolate is everything you hope a cup would be: silky, rich and perfectly sweet. The luxurious taste may not be one to get every day, but for a special occasion with your little ones this is sure to satisfy your wildest hot chocolate dreams.
30 Rockefeller Plaza
Yes, it's a bit of an oxymoron, but people have been making a pilgrimage to the Upper East Side for Serendipity3's Frrrozen Hot Chocolate for a few decades now. Recently reopened, everything about Serendipity3 is a little extra: the decor (stained-glass lamps, disco balls, puppet of Andy Warhol—a fan—suspended from the ceiling), the menu, giant both literally and figuratively, and the food. Make a reservation before heading over.
225 E. 60th St.
Upper East Side
L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates
Stellar hot chocolate is just one of the reasons to visit this Soho chocolate shop. It's also famous for its handmade chocolate mice and penguins; see how they make them here. Come back in the summer for a rich and refreshing chocolate frappé.
156 Prince St.
One of our picks for the best theme restaurants in NYC, Max Brenner is dedicated to all things chocolate, including hot chocolate. (They have a full food menu as well.) Pick from dark, milk, or white hot chocolate, or one of the many flavored options, such as Mexican spicy hot chocolate, Oreo, peanut butter, or the "Italian Thick", melted blocks of chocolate with fresh vanilla cream. You can get all of these to go, but sipping there means you get to experience the signature Max Brenner "hug mug", shown here. Reservations are recommended.
720 Seventh Ave.
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
A longtime favorite spot for locals, tourists and film scouts (this place looks like an old school soda fountain and ice cream parlor) Brooklyn Farmacy serves a classic cup of cocoa several ways. Options include oat milk hot chocolate, hot chocolate topped with whipped cream or house-made toasted marshmallow fluff, or the delectable salty caramel hot chocolate. Love it? You can buy a tin of it to bring home and make it yourself. Brooklyn Farmacy is closed Tuesdays.
513 Henry St.
It's not cheap and it’s not basic, but for a fancy outing with a child with discriminating tastes, SoHo shop MarieBelle is worth a trip. Antique furnishings and sparkling chandeliers complement fine chocolates of all kinds and a hot chocolate the store describes as "thick and decadent." Choose from a menu with variations such as Aztec (an "Oprah's Favorite Thing"), spicy, Tahitian Vanilla, white chocolate and even hot chocolate with natural banana pulp. A refined menu of cafe bites such as quiche, soup and crepes offers light eating options.
484 Broome St.
Before he became a television star alongside Nicole Byer on Nailed It! Jacques Torres was (and still is) “Mr. Chocolate." Unhappy with the quality of chocolate that was available to him while working as a pastry chef, Jacques Torres constructed his own factory so he could make chocolate exactly the way he wanted from scratch. Try a cup of Classic, made from real chocolate, not powder. Or if you're more daring, go for the Wicked, with its extra kick of allspice, cinnamon and ground chili peppers. Both varieties are so thick they might be mistaken for milkshakes. Tip: They’ll let you try a little sample before you choose your cup. And FYI, JT also sells a Hot Chocolate Gift Set.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
66 Water St.
Upper West Side
Grand Central Terminal
107 East 42nd St.
Bibble & Sip
The house-made hot chocolate at Bibble & Sip tastes like something just lifted from your grandmother’s stove. Even the marshmallow floating on top is homemade. This family-run business specializes in gourmet coffee, espresso and pastries, made in the French Confectionery tradition and inspired by Asian flavors. Good to know: the word “bibble” means “to eat indulgently”—so order up some sweet treats with your cocoa and coffee.
Bibble & Sip
253 West 51st St.
The Chocolate Room
The Chocolate Room is known for all of its outstanding chocolate products, but the Dark Hot Cocoa is our favorite. Made with 61% Belgian chocolate, it is one of the cafe's most popular drinks. Obviously, this is a good choice for chocolate-lovers; pair a cup with the brownie sundae or the chocolate pudding.
The Chocolate Room
269 Court St.
feature photo: Mehkt via Unsplash
—Danielle Krupa & Ilyssa Smith