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Best hot chocolate in NYC

One upside to winter: license to drink gallons of cocoa at the best hot chocolate spots in NYC.

Almondine Bakery
*442 9th St at Seventh Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-832-4607, almondinebakery.com). Subway: F, G to Seventh Ave.
*85 Water St between Dock and Main Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-797-5026, almondinebakery.com). Subway: A, C to High St.

At either of the Brooklyn patisserie's locations, your family can cozy up with Valrhona hot cocoa ($3–$4)—but the Park Slope branch earns bonus points for the fireplace.

Blossom Bakery
174 Ninth Ave between 20th and 21st Sts (212-242-3339, cocoav.com). Subway: C, E to 23rd St.
The lactose-intolerant have nothing to fear at this vegan, organic and fair trade spot. Little ones can choose from regular or spicy cocoa ($4.50-$5.50).

Bouchon Bakery
Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle at Broadway, third floor (212-823-9366, bouchonbakery.com). Subway: A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th St–Columbus Circle. High chairs.
Three kinds of chocolate—dark and milk, and cocoa powder—plus hints of vanilla bean and cinnamon add up to one decadent beverage ($5). If your babe won't sit still or you're at the mall early, get your drinks to go at the retail counter.

Chocolate Bar
19 Eighth Ave between Jane and W 12th Sts (212-366-1541, chocolatebarnyc.com). Subway: A, C, E to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave.
After a brisk browse through West Village tot shops like Kid O and YoyaMart, linger at this retro-hued neighborhood joint with a frothy, bittersweet beverage ($4–$5).

The Chocolate Room
*86 Fifth Ave between St. Marks Pl and Warren St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-783-2900, thechocolateroombrooklyn.com). Subway: B, Q to Seventh Ave; 2, 3 to Bergen St.
*269 Court St between Butler and Douglass Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-246-2600, thechocolateroombrooklyn.com). Subway: F, G to Bergen St.

Creamy hot cocoa ($4.75) with gooey marshmallows (75 extra) beckons at this brick-walled sweet spot.

Chocolat Michel Cluizel
584 Fifth Ave between 47th and 48th Sts (646-415-9126, chocolatmichelcluizel.com). B, D, F, M to 47–50th Sts–Rockefeller Ctr.
Peruse the elegant selection of French truffles, and then enjoy an equally luscious dark, milk or white hot chocolate ($6).

City Bakery
3 W 18th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-366-1414, thecitybakery.com). Subway: L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 to 14th St–Union Sq. High chairs, changing table.
The renowned brew here ($3–$5) is made even richer with the addition of a jumbo house-made marshmallows ($1 extra). During the annual Hot Chocolate Festival (Feb 1–28), the rotating roster of flavors might include anything from banana peel to caramel.

Cocoa Bar
*228 Seventh Ave between 3rd and 4th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-499-4080, cocoabarnyc.com). Subway: F, G to Seventh Ave.
*21 Clinton St between E Houston and Stanton Sts (212-677-7417, cocoabarnyc.com). Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave.

At this comfy, modern caf, the hot chocolate ($4.25–$5) is served extra milky and a bit cooler for little ones. Adults can go for the darker original with a subtle mint kick.

Dylan's Candy Bar
1011 Third Ave at 60th St (646-735-0078, dylanscandybar.com). Subway: N, R to Lexington Ave–59th St, 4, 5, 6 to 59th St. High chairs, booster seats, changing table.
Indulge in a cup of cocoa ($5-$7) at the upstairs caf—whimsically named varieties include Mint-Tastic, Cookie Derby Caramel and Birthday Party Vanilla, all made with milk chocolate shavings.

Estrellita Poblana III
2328 Arthur Ave between Crescent Ave and 186th St, Little Italy, Bronx (718-220-7641). Subway: D to 205th St.
In the heart of the Bronx's Little Italy you'll find a little Mexican star. Order champurrado ($1.50), a cornmeal-based chocolate drink spiked with cinnamon.

Il Bambino
34-08 31st Ave between 34th and 35th Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-626-0087, ilbambinonyc.com). Subway: N to Broadway. High chairs.
The panino maestros at this charming eatery also dole out a generous portion of Nutella or peanut-butter hot chocolate ($4), served in a mug or French press.

Jacques Torres
350 Hudson St at King St (212-414-2462, mrchocolate.com). Subway: 1 to Houston St. See website for other locations.
If your kids visit the legendary chocolatier's 8,000-square-foot West Village factory, with its cocoa pod–shaped caf overlooking the candy-making facilities, they can watch as cocoa beans are transformed into chocolate bars while sipping their cocoa ($3.50–$4.75). But all locations offer a delicious choice of regular or "wicked" (spicy) hot drinks.

La Maison du Chocolat
1018 Madison Ave between 78th and 79th Sts (212-744-7117, lamaisonduchocolat.com). Subway: 6 to 77th St. See website for other locations.
The Madison Avenue outpost of this Paris-based chain is a hushed temple to the namesake ingredient. To get to the salon in back, steer your little ones through the gauntlet of wary-looking salespeople guarding meticulously stocked display cases, and then proceed up the carpeted stairway. Smooth, rich chocolat chaud ($8) is served in a beautiful porcelain cup with a side of fresh whipped cream and chocolate pearls. (If the very thought of china strikes terror in your heart, get a paper cup to go.)

Max Brenner
841 Broadway between 13th and 14th Sts (212-388-0030, maxbrenner.com). Subway: L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 to 14th St–Union Sq.
High chairs, booster seats, changing tables. Young chocoholics will have a hard time choosing among the myriad cocoas ($5.25), accented with the likes of chocolate wafer balls and caramel toffee. Our pick: the smooth Italian drinking chocolate with vanilla cream.

119 W 56th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-708-7460, normasnyc.com). Subway: N, Q, R to 57th St. High chairs, booster seats, changing table.
Located within midtown's swank Le Parker Meridien hotel, the eatery is known for its decadent brunch—and the pot of ganache hot cocoa ($7) with freshly whipped Devonshire cream is pure perfection. To make sure you'll snag a table among the crowds, reserve online in advance (you'll need to provide a credit card number to hold your spot).

Nunu Chocolates
529 Atlantic Ave between Third and Fourth Aves, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (917-776-7102, nunuchocolates.com). Subway: B, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave; D, N, R to Pacific St.
You've seen Justine Pringle's addictive salt caramels at the Brooklyn Flea and local gourmet shops. These and the rest of the Nunu line are available at the flagship store, where your brood can hunker down at the farmhouse table for a post-perusal hot chocolate ($4–$5), a blend of steamed milk and 65 percent dark chocolate shavings.

Pasticceria Bruno
1650 Hylan Blvd at Alter Ave (718-987-5859, pasticceriabruno.com). Travel: From the S78 bus toward Tottenville to Hylan Blvd-Delaware Ave.
The first S.I. outpost of Manhattan's Bruno Bakery serves Dutched cocoa ($3)—an ideal match for the dizzying array of luscious pastries.

5 Carmine St at Sixth Ave (212-255-4874, pop-bar.com). Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, M to W 4th St.
Take a cube of chocolate, dunk it in a cup of frothy milk and stir. The DIY treat ($3.75) comes in dark chocolate and chocolate caramel flavors.

Sanctuary T
337B West Broadway at Grand St (212-941-7832, sanctuaryt.com). Subway: A, C, E to Canal St. High chairs.
Staffer Kermit (no, not that Kermit) dreamed up the peppermint hot chocolate ($6): mint tea steeped in cocoa powder and syrup.

Shake Shack
366 Columbus Ave at 77th St (646-747-8770, shakeshacknyc.com). Subway: B, C to 81st St–Museum of Natural History; 1 to 79th St. High chairs, booster seats, changing tables. See website for other locations.
When it's too cold for the eponymous beverage, a salted peanut butter hot chocolate ($3.75) does the trick.

10-93 Jackson Ave at 11th St, Long Island City (917-832-6726, sweetleaflic.com). Subway: 7 to Vernon Blvd-Jackson Ave; G to 21 St.
The recently expanded caf mixes two ounces of Jacques Torres chocolate with four ounces of milk, steamed, for an eight-ounce cup of pure joy ($3.50).

Vosges Haut-Chocolat
*1100 Madison Ave at 83rd St (212-717-2929, vosgeschocolate.com). Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St.
*132 Spring St between Greene and Wooster Sts (212-625-2929, vosgeschocolate.com). Subway: R, W to Prince St.

The drinking chocolate offerings ($5) here are as exotic as the truffles—think white chocolate with lavender and lemon myrtle.

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