Baby, it’s cold outside. And what better way to warm up than a nice cozy cup of comforting hot chocolate? From classic with oversized marshmallows, to thick and rich, spiced with cinnamon and of course, even “frozen”, NYC has something to offer everyone, big and small. Get cozy this winter at one of our many favorite hot cocoa spots in NYC!
When Your Passion is Chocolate: 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. The Madison Avenue location is our favorite as it’s typically the least crowded, but check out any of their five Manhattan locations when you’re in need of a rich cup that can turn an average day into the extraordinary.
Good to know: the chocolate macaroons are just as heavenly as the hot chocolate…enjoy!
La Maison du Chocolat
1018 Madison Ave.
Upper East Side
30 Rockefeller Plaza
Where Chocolate is the Specialty: Cocoa Bar
This chocolate bar is a cafe and wine bar during the day, but transforms into a dessert and wine bar at night. The reasonably priced $4.50 hot chocolate here comes in Dark, Mint, White, Cinnamon, Spicy or the Funky Monkey (sure, you could just say Banana Flavor, but why would you want to)?
Good to know: not only location spacious on the inside, but there's also an outdoor patio plus a garden for all of your running around needs. And did we mention the free wi-fi?
21 Clinton St.
Lower East Side
For a Fancy Cup: MarieBelle
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, 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.
NYC’s Famous Cocoa: Serendipity 3
Of course, no round up of New York City hot chocolate spots would be complete without the world famous Serendipity 3. Their titular Serendipitous Hot Chocolate, topped with whipped cream, grated valley orange, cinnamon and shaved French chocolate is a must as is their Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. These two are priced at a bargain compared to the World Record breaking Golden Opulence Sundae, which will only set you back $1,000, but, hey, it’s sprinkled with real gold!
Good to know: due to its popularity, the restaurant area won’t accommodate strollers, and reservations are required for lunch or dinner (though not dessert). This may make it tourist (and celebrity!) friendly, but not so much for the folks who live in the city. Good news? Their hot chocolate mix is available to order on Amazon.
225 East 60th St.
Upper East Side
Straight from the Chocolate Factory: Nunu Chocolates
How awesome would it be to cozy up with a cup of cocoa right at a chocolate factory? Well, head to Nunu Chocolates to find out. Not only is their flagship store (in Boerum Hill) outfitted for kiddos - a kid-level chalkboard for making art while they wait, pint-sized tables and chairs and a stack of old school board games at the ready - but also, as you sip on homemade cocoa (classic or spicy), you can watch chocolatiers dip caramels, fill truffle molds and make all kinds of delicious looking treats.
Good to know: not in the mood for a cup of sugary-sweet chocolate yourself? Treat your kiddos and then order a glass of wine or a beer for yourself at their Café & Tap Room in Park Slope.
529 Atlantic Ave.
179 Fifth Ave.
For fun, fun, fun: Popbar
Can you say hot chocolate on a stick? That’s what Popbar (a popsicle shop) in the West Village offers and it is sure to be huge hit with kiddos and adults alike. Choose your stick: Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, and Vanilla Chocolate and then simply stir it into a cup of steamed milk. The flavors are rich and decadent, but not overly sweet. This gem of a spot is sure to become a family favorite. Our only advice, good luck getting your kids to stir and not eat the chocolate right off the stick!
5 Carmine St.
Indulgent, Decadent and Rich: Grom
They key to Grom’s decadent hot chocolate? No water or milk is added. It is just pure melted chocolate. That’s right. Straight chocolate. It is dark, it is rich, and it is for the true chocoholic. But not to worry - kids will love the homemade whipped cream topping (for an extra $0.50) that is light, fluffy, and totally mellows out this indulgent treat.
233 Bleecker St.
For the Sophisticated Palate: Vosges Haut Chocolat
Doing some holiday shopping in SoHo? Stop into this gorgeous shop on Spring St. to warm you up. Vosges offers 3 hot chocolates to satisfy a more sophisticated palate. Aztec chipotle chile and cinnamon offers a spicy kick, the Parisienne is a thick and rich dark hot chocolate with a slightly bitter twist, and the white hot chocolate is silky and smooth with a hint of lavender and vanilla. While you’re there, pick up a gift for a loved one or even yourself. You can buy some of the best gourmet, designer, artistic, and chic chocolates anywhere, including truffles filled with matcha, curry, and even absinthe!
Good to know: there are a few stairs leading up to the store so strollers are tricky, but there is a small sitting area where you can hang with the kids and watch passerby’s.
Vosges Haut Chocolat
132 Spring St.
For Cocoa as Pretty as it is Delicious: Maman
Looking for a new twist on the traditional cup of cocoa? The lavender hot chocolate at Maman is the way to go. The milk is infused with dried lavender, steamed and combined with melted dark chocolate, creating a delicate and delicious drink. Maman also happens to have 4 charming locations in NYC where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or some of the best pastries you will ever have, including pain au chocolate and Nutella beignets. Definitely the perfect accompaniment to your warm cup of hot cocoa.
211 West Broadway
239 Centre St.
837 Washington St.
80 Kent St.
For a Classic Cup: Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery
Fans of the hot chocolate at City Bakery (seen here) will love their new affiliate location, Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery. With locations on the Upper West Side, Midtown East and SoHo, Birdbath serves salads, sandwiches, delicious baked goods, and insanely good hot chocolate. The cocoa here is kept in a huge metal pot, stirred and treated throughout the day as you would your favorite soup recipe. You will love it on its own, but if you’re in the mood for a splurge ($2.50), you can purchase a GIANT marshmallow to float on top!
Good to know: only 2 Birdbath locations offer seating: Upper West Side at 72nd St. and Midtown East. All other locations are take-out only.
Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery
140 East 45th St.
160 Prince St.
518 Columbus Ave. at 85th St.
Upper West Side
274 Columbus Ave. at 72nd St.
Upper West Side
From Mr. Chocolate Himself: Jacques Torres
A man who calls himself “Mr. Chocolate” sets a pretty high bar. 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. Now, that’s commitment! In addition to extraordinary hot chocolate, his thematically cocoa bean shaped retailers sell a variety of items, including bon-bons, chocolate-covered almonds, cornflakes, pretzels, and even cheerios (sure to be a kid favorite!) While you’re there, pick up a Hot Chocolate Gift Set for anyone you missed on your holiday list, we’re sure they’ll love it.
Good to know: 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. Hint: They’ll let you try a little sample before you choose your cup.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
Various NYC locations
House Made Cup of Heaven: Bibble & Sip
Midtown rejoice! 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! It’s pure comfort in a cup. Just like Grandma would want for you. So next time you take the kids to a show in midtown, or even a stroll through Times Square, stop by Bibble & Sip for a sweet taste of home.
Good to know: the word “bibble” means “to eat indulgently” (we can’t think of a better indulgent treat than hot cocoa!).
Bibble & Sip
253 West 51st St.
‘There’s Always Room for Chocolate’: The Chocolate Room
When the motto speaks to you like this one does, you bet we’ll make room for it! The Chocolate Room is known for all of their outstanding chocolate products, but their Dark Hot Cocoa is our favorite. Made with 61% Belgian chocolate, it is one of their most popular drinks. Check out their cafés in Cobble Hill and Park Slope, or order online to enjoy at home!
Good to know: the Chocolate Room also offers frozen, spiced, classic, and a ½ coffee - ½ dark hot chocolate mixed cup!
The Chocolate Room
269 Court St.
51 Fifth Ave.
Did we miss your favorite? Tell us about it in the comments!
—Danielle Krupa & Ilyssa Smith