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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

Written by
Oliver Strand
,
Allie Early
&
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

  • 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Gramercy
  • price 1 of 4

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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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

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.

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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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Soho
  • price 1 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Carroll Gardens
  • price 1 of 4

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.

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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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. 

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4

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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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Little Italy
  • price 2 of 4

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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Serendipity 3
  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 2 of 4

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.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Upper East Side
  • price 2 of 4

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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  • 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

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  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Upper East Side
  • price 1 of 4

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.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 1 of 4

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! 

  • 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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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Noho
  • price 3 of 4

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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