There aren’t many things better than curling up on a winter day with a cup of hot chocolate. Recently the classic treat has undergone a makeover (and in some cases adult-only additions) at restaurants and bakeries around the country. Try these imaginative takes on the winter favorite in a town near you.
Classic Belgian dark hot chocolate, Cindy’s Rooftop Bar in Chicago, IL
Cindy’s is a Chicago institution that takes its winter beverages seriously, constantly dreaming up new creative cocoas every season. One of our favorites is this classic Belgian hot chocolate infused with Isabela Cream sherry and the aromatic Italian liqueur, Cynar (pictured at top).
12 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 312-792-3502
Hot chocolate at the St. Regis Aspen Resort
Adult-friendly white chocolate hot chocolate, St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen, CO
The St. Regis Aspen Resort has an indulgent winter-weather treat to cozy up with in the mountainside lodge. The “adult-friendly” hot chocolate menu features three dark hot cocoa drinks, each with their own twist, but the eye-catcher is the white chocolate version, complete with rum pearls and a housemade raspberry marshmallow (pictured above).
315 E. Dean St., Aspen, 970-920-3300
Photo courtesy of Maman
Brownie Brittle haute chocolate, Maman in New York, NY
Hip New York kitchen Maman teamed with Sheila G. Mains, the founder of cult snack Brownie Brittle, for a luxe holiday treat that might taste a whole lot like brownie batter. It’s sweetened with brownie filling, topped with whipped cream and crushed chocolate chip Brownie Brittle. Don’t wait on this one: It’s only available in December.
211 W. Broadway, New York, 646-882-8682
239 Centre St., New York, 212-226-0700
80 Kent St., Brooklyn, 347-689-9195
Hot chocolate at The Daily, Photo by Andrew Cebulka
Tahini hot chocolate, The Daily in Charleston, SC
Who knew that the very sesame seed paste you find in your hummus could also jazz up hot chocolate? Lively coffee shop The Daily blends über-rich, French Valrhona cocoa powder, with a bit of agave, steamed milk and tahini for a smooth texture and nutty, rich flavor.
652 King St., Charleston, 843-619-0151
Hot chocolate at Parc
Hot chocolate, Parc Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA
This decadent cocoa by Parc’s pastry chef Abigail Dahan is deceptively simple. French milk (a buttery mix of cream and milk) is steeped with cinnamon sticks, giving just the essence of the spice, and is then mixed with pure dark chocolate for a cup of pure coziness.
227 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, 215-545-2262
Hot chocolate at Osteria Via Stato
Chocolatecello, Osteria Via Stato in Chicago, IL
Chicago may be famous for its cold, snowy winters, but this Italian restaurant is combating the seasonal chill with this piping-hot drink. The Chocolatecello is made with pure cocoa powder and milk, served with a splash of pure vanilla and vodka.
620 N. State St., Chicago, 312-642-8450
Hot chocolate at the Presidio Social Club
Hot mint chocolate, Presidio Social Club in San Francisco, CA
This boozy treat starts with a rich housemade hot chocolate mix: 72% dark chocolate from California-based Guittard Coucher du Soleil, sweetened with brown sugar and vanilla beans. The mint essence comes from special herb- and peppermint-infused Italian liqueur, Branca Menta.
563 Ruger St., San Francisco, 415-885-1888
Hot chocolate at the Standard, Photo by Lazy Mom
Super-dark hot chocolate, The Ice Rink at the Standard Plaza in New York, NY
The Standard High Line serves its hot chocolate alongside a winter village and ice-skating rink. The cocoa is made with extra-dark melted chocolate and rich whipped cream, plus a shot of dark rum can be added for a little extra warmth.
848 Washington St., New York, 212-645-4646
Hot chocolate at Café Adelaide
Double-spiced Crescent cocoa, Café Adelaide in New Orleans, LA
In the bustling Loews New Orleans Hotel, Cafe Adelaide turns out hot chocolate with a kick (much like the infamous red-headed New Orleans socialite that inspired the restaurant’s name). Crescent cocoa is made with Sazerac rye, a spicy chile liqueur, amaretto, creme de cacao and chocolate syrup. The big surprise: mole bitters add a smoky chocolate and cinnamon essence.
300 Poydras St., New Orleans, 504-595-3305
Hot chocolate at Avec Nous
Jamaican rum hot chocolate, Avec Nous in Los Angeles, CA
Turns out sunny California and hot chocolate go together quite well. Inside the posh Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills hotel, 2016 newcomer Avec Nous plays summery (dark Jamaican rum) and holiday (melted chocolate blended with Godiva Mocha liqueur) flavors off each other. The whole concoction is topped with toasted marshmallow fluff for a s’mores effect.
9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, 310-860-8660
Hot chocolate at Beatrix, Photo by Anjali Pinto
Espresso hot chocolate, Beatrix in Chicago, IL
Tucked inside the River North Aloft Chicago City Center, Beatrix mixes hot cocoa with chocolate syrup, cinnamon malt powder, milk, an espresso shot and garnishes with vanilla bean whipped cream for an afternoon pick-me-up.
519 N. Clark St., Chicago, 312-284-1377
Hot chocolate at Fare Well
Fall spiced adult hot chocolate, Fare Well in Washington, DC
From vegan baker Doron Peterson comes this seriously cool cup of hot cocoa. Made with organic dark chocolate, coconut or soy milk and a spiced syrup scented with cloves, anise, cinnamon and cardamom, it’s all topped with coconut whip and a candied orange slice. The cocoa comes with bourbon, but can be ordered without.
406 H St. N.E., Washington, DC, 202-367-9600