Bar Pisellino Hot Chocolate
Photograph: Oliver Strand

The best hot chocolate in NYC

We rounded up the best hot chocolate in NYC to ensure that your winter is extra delightful

By Oliver Strand, Allie Early and Danielle Valente
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When winter arrives, we can't help but indulge in the best hot chocolate in NYC. 

After a few hours on the city's best sledding hills or while curling up with a few good family movies, a cup of cocoa never disappoints! Some of our go-to spots include the Brooklyn Farmacy and Max Brennar. For those Instagrammable dessert spots—you know, the places that are a feast for the eyes and tastebuds—might we suggest a trip to see what Dominique Ansel is up to?

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas for kids in NYC

So, which location are you hitting up first? No matter which spot you choose, one thing is for sure: Seconds are always welcome. 

Best hot chocolate in NYC

Bar Pisellino Hot Chocolate
Photograph: Oliver Strand

1. Bar Pisellino

Restaurants Italian West Village

There's more chocolate than there is milk in the hot cocoa at Bar Pisellino, a jewel box of an homage to the Italian caffè. The hot chocolate is so rich that it's like drinking warm cake batter—topped with a dollop of firmly-whipped panna that melts oh-so-slowly, this is a drink with the personality of an elegant dessert. Think of it as special-occasion coca, a reward for good behavior. In other words, you get one too.

Photograph: Katherine Kalec

2. Daily Provisions

Restaurants Cafés Gramercy

The Daily Provisions Hot Chocolate is made with three kinds of chocolate: Guanaja dark chocolate, Bahibe milk chocolate 46%, and Guittard chocolate ganache. It's complex, and delicious, and when topped with whipped cream and a housemade vanilla marshmallow it's tasty, messy fun. 

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Hot Chocolate
Photograph: Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

3. Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries West Village

Pastry chef's Umber Ahmad's take on hot chocolate is straightforward and perfect: Valrhona chocolate, steamed milk and a toasted housemade vanilla bean marshmallows that will haunt your child's dreams.

Photograph: Squish Marshmallow

4. Squish Marshmallows

Marshmallows aren't just toppings at Squish—they're the main event. A dessert "side," if you will, is the star of the show, and flavors like gingerbread, banana pudding and s'mores are begging to soak in some cocoa. You could let your hot chocolate fly solo, sans marshmallow, but what's the fun in that? It'd be in your best interest to snag additional marshmallows for snacking once you're done with your hot chocolate. 

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Blossoming Hot Chocolate at Dominique Ansel Bakery
Photograph: Courtesy Dominique Ansel Bakery

5. Dominique Ansel Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Soho

It looks like magic but really, it’s just dessert-world ingenuity—pastry maestro Dominique Ansel crowns his rich cup of hot cocoa with a marshmallow flower that’s wrapped in a band of chocolate. When the chocolate hits the warm liquid, it melts and the flower “blooms” and reveals a chocolate truffle in the middle. Note: The marshmallow flower is only at Dominque Ansel Bakery, and not available at Dominique Ansel Kitchen.

Hot chocolate at Max Brenner
Photograph: Courtesy Max Brenner

6. Max Brenner

Shopping Chocolate and candy Greenwich Village

The Chocolate Man has ten varieties of hot chocolate, all served in a signature "Hug Mug" that's designed to be held with two hands. 

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Brooklyn Farmacy HOT COCOA Chocolate
Photograph: Amber Wolabaugh

7. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Restaurants Ice cream parlors Carroll Gardens

Brooklyn Farmacy serves up delicious sweets with a side of nostalgia. The old-timey soda fountain is known for its decadent sundaes and classic treats like egg creams and root beer floats. Come winter, you'll want to make sure to taste test its delightful hot chocolate. Toasted marshmallows atop of a mug of cocoa gives off that campfire vibe as if you were just making s'mores. For extra cold days, we recommend going the salty caramel hot chocolate route.

8. The Chocolate Room

Restaurants Park Slope

You've come to the right place for authority on all-things chocolate—the hot cocoa is no exception at this Brooklyn eatery. Kids will get a sugar high from the classic and dark chocolate drinks but Mom and Dad should opt for Café Torino, dark hot chocolate with a shot of espresso, or Spiked Dark Hot Chocolate, which is sprinkled with ancho and chipotle chillis, cinnamon and cloves.

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Photograph: D. Robert Wolcheck

9. Joe

Restaurants Coffee shops Greenwich Village

Delicious hot chocolate is as close as your nearest Joe—which has 20 locations and counting. It's an upgrade on the classic: Artisanal Askinosie chocolate is mixed with steamed milk is mixed and topped with a marshmallow from Brooklyn's JoMart Chocolates.

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12. Snow Days NYC

The shaved ice cream shop does not disappoint when it comes to beverages. Its hot chocolate flavors range from the classic to peanut butter and matcha. Plus, the presentation is totally Instagrammable—a win-win for the eyes and taste buds. 

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13. MarieBelle

MarieBelle doesn't play around. The Cocoa Bar Salon in the chocolatier's SoHo boutique offers more than a dozen variations of hot chocolate, from the classic Aztec dark chocolate, to Hindu cardamom, to white chocolate Tahitian vanilla. Choose from whole milk, fat-free milk, almond milk, soy milk. This might be the most comprehensive cocoa menu in the five boroughs. 

14. L.A. Burdick

Shopping Chocolate and candy Soho

This distinguished chocolatier offers a range of drinking chocolates (that's gourmet speak for "hot chocolate") in the cafe at its SoHo boutique. There's a classic milk chocolate, and a dark chocolate blend. More refined palates might prefer one the single-origin selections.

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Maman
Photograph: Courtesy Maman

16. Maman

Restaurants Cafés Little Italy

What better accompaniment for the bakery's exceptional chocolate-chip cookies than a steamy mug of creamy hot cocoa made with melted dark chocolate and infused with dried lavender. This year, they're serving the cocoa in a teddy bear-shaped glass—perfect for the kiddos! Various locations (www.mamannyc.com). $3.50.

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17. Serendipity 3

Restaurants American Lenox Hill

The "Serendipitous Chocolate" at this whimsical restaurant is topped with whipped cream, orange zest and shaved French chocolate. But, if you're making a pitstop to the ever-crowded dessert hotspot, we suggest going the Frozen Hot Chocolate route, or at least taking a packet of the famed treat home $7.95.

lamaisonduchocolat
Photograph: Julia Gartland

18. La Maison du Chocolat

Shopping Chocolate and candy Upper East Side

The chocolat chaud is of the intensely dense variety, a style you see at the better chocolatiers in France—your spoon will (almost) stand up straight. The presentation is elegant, from the fine china cups and saucers to the attentive and subdued staff.

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Photograph: GODIVA

19. GODIVA Café

Restaurants Flatiron

Godiva is not fooling around, folks. With selections like peppermint hot chocolate and cinnamon spice hot chocolate, the cafe always satisfies when you need a sweet fix. As much as we love variety, you can't beat the classic hot cocoa with a scoop of whipped cream. We have a feeling you'll be making several pitstops here this winter

Eddie's Sweet Shop
Photograph: Joanna Fantozzi

20. Eddie's Sweet Shop

Restaurants Ice cream parlors Forest Hills

Eddie's Sweet Shop will tap into the New York nostalgia that drives your cravings. This Forrest Hills gem has been in business for over 100 years—best known for the ice cream, the hot chocolate is a classic.

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Lexington Candy Shop
Photograph: Michael Kirby

21. Lexington Candy Shop

Restaurants Diners Upper East Side

Don't let the name fool you: This isn't a candy shop as much as it is a wonderfully-preserved luncheonette, a neighborhood throwback with chatty locals gather. And the hot chocolate? Perfectly fine. You go here for the ambiance, not the super-fancy ingredients.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp + Laila H

22. Martha's Country Bakery

Martha's Country Bakery combines two beloved sweets for a glorious marriage. Red velvet hot chocolate takes the winter beverage to new levels, and you'd be remiss to forgo a taste of its deliciousness.

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Dylans Candy Bar
Photograph: Imogen Brown

23. Dylan’s Candy Bar

Shopping Chocolate and candy Lenox Hill

If you're planning on going on a super-sweet shopping spree, you might as well throw some hot cocoa mix into your cart. The selection from Dylan's has a lovely variety of flavors and goodies: milk and dark chocolate sea salt caramels, peppermints and other treats that will send your cup of cocoa to extraordinarily delicious levels. Plus, it's a great accompaniment for a family movie night! 

Photograph Courtesy: American Girl

24. American Girl Cafe

Restaurants Midtown West

Little ladies and—their dolls—love making a pitstop at the American Girl Store. Not only is it a great place to snag some swag for their favorite toy, it's also a great place to eat and celebrate special occasions. The cafe offers hot chocolate that pairs well with holiday shopping spree!

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25. Atla

Restaurants Mexican Noho

The Mexican hot chocolate at Atla is a chocolate callente for sophisticates. Dark, dense, delicious—just what you'd expect from the kitchen of Daniela Soto-Innes and Enrique Olvera. Pair it with a side of churros con cajeta.

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