San Diego’s 11 Sweetest Spots for Hot Chocolate

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The weather is not so frightful, but these sweet treats are more than delightful! We’ve sipped our way through town to round up the sweet deets on where to get a hot chocolate. So bundle up your littles and get ready for a cozy cup at one of our favorite spots in San Diego.

Morning Glory

Can't decide on just one decadent cup of cocoa? Then try several at Morning Glory, a cute Little Italy bistro with a funky flair. Choose between five flavors to tantalize your taste buds: classic cocoa, caramel, strawberries and cream, orange and vanilla, or maple cinnamon. Simply glorious!

550 W Date St.
Ste. #C
San Diego, CA 92101
619-629-0302
Online: morningglorybreakfast.com

Pappalecco

A taste of Italy in Little Italy! This cafe offers an authentic experience with Italian hot chocolate and grown-up fave, affogato (espresso with gelato). Bring home dessert with a nice selection of fresh pastries to share. Bellissimo!

Little Italy Neighborhood
1602 State St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: pappalecco.com

Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop

With the Ghiradelli name on this cafe, you know you are walking into a chocolate paradise. Try the Decadent Drinking Chocolate for a chocolate lover's dream or, for an unseasonably warm winter's day, give the frozen hot chocolate a spin. Add a warm brownie, and your sweet tooth will be more than satisfied!

Sweet note: Enjoy complimentary pieces of chocolate while you wait in line.

Downtown, Gaslamp District
643 5th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
619-234-2449
Online: ghirardelli.com

The Forum Coffee House

With a hip and friendly vibe, this is a sweet hot chocolate pit stop for the kiddos (and you too!) They call their hot chocolate "PG-13" and also serve a peppermint version for the holidays. Here you'll find house-baked croissants, scones, and buns to bring home for dinner. It gets crowded on weekends, so go early!

4340 Genesee Ave, Ste. 110
San Diego, CA 92117
619-317-8066

Online: theforumcoffee.com

Por Vida

Stop by this cute, casual spot and warm up with their signature Mexican hot chocolate (includes nuts). This eclectic cafe is located in an artsy area of San Diego, so it's no surprise that along with fresh Mexican pastries, they also sell local and Mexican art. 

Barrio Lagoon Neighborhood
2146 Logan Ave.
San Diego, CA 92113
Online: porvidacafe.com

photo: Brew Coffee Facebook Page

Brew Coffee Spot

Order up a chocolate drink either hot, cold, or blended with dark, white, or Mexican chocolate at this rustic La Mesa cafe. This bustling spot, located in a strip mall with plenty of parking, is a great place to enjoy your hot cocoa with an acai bowl or croissant. Gluten-free pastry options are also available!

La Mesa Neighborhood
6101 Lake Murray Blvd.
La Mesa, CA 91942
619-713-6698
Online: brewcoffeespot.com

Chi Chocolat

This cozy chocolate shop, connected to the Banyan Kitchen, will surely satisfy your cravings - whether you are in the mood for a quick cup of Chai Chocolate or something more savory. The hot chocolate is crafted from freshly made chocolate spooned into a cup with steamed milk and topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce - magnifique! Adventurous drinkers can spice it up with cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg. Psst: we recommend the caramel mocha for the grown-ups.

Liberty Station
2690 Historic Decatur Rd.
Point Loma, CA 92106
619-546-0650
Online: banyankitchensd.com/drinks

Baba Coffee

Stir up your morning routine and head to Baba Coffee in Carlsbad Village. Indeed, they whip up a good hot chocolate (plus lattes, espressos, and mochas). This outing will delight your whole crew with pastries, an open-air feel, and live music on the weekends. Good to know: we've heard their avocado toast is fresh and yummy.

Carlsbad Village
2727 State St.
Carlsbad, CA 92009
760-994-0666
Online: babacoffee.com

Nibble Chocolate

Nibble is an organic vegan chocolate shop that fits perfectly into walkable Old Town. After that savory enchilada with margs, mosey the fam over for a hot chocolate dessert. Their cocoa, sourced from Peru or Brazil, satisfies when served with almond, coconut, or soy milk. So drink up and feel good!

Old Town Neighborhood
2754 Calhoun St.
San Diego, CA 92110
858-200-7689
Online: nibblechocolate.com

Eclipse Chocolate

Touted by Travel and Leisure as one of America’s best hot chocolates, Eclipse Chocolate Bar and Bistro knows a thing or two about satisfying a sweet tooth. Above all, little sippers will toast the drinking chocolate that comes with two large square marshmallows. They’re known for infusing chocolate with herbs and spices, so don’t be afraid to get daring.

Sweet note: If the kids are hungry, they also have a full brunch and dinner menu. Eclipse Chocolate is a place you may never want to leave.

South Park Neighborhood
2145 Fern St.
San Diego, CA 92104
619-578-2984
Online: store.eclipsechocolate.com

Sugar & Scribe

Come for the hot chocolate with a housemade marshmallow, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce, and stay for the Nutella-Nuts French toast! With a spectacular hot chocolate presentation, it's sure to get slurped up fast. The casual ambiance and excellent breakfast items make this local La Jolla spot a win!

7660 Fay Ave.
La Jolla, CA 92037
858-274-1733
Online: sugarandscribe.com

––Kimberly Stahl, Nikki Walsh & Beth Shea

featured image via iStock

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