The best hot chocolate in NYC for kids—and grownups!

The best hot chocolate in NYC is sure to please all palettes. Grab a cup and add some whipped cream for good measure!

Bar Pisellino Hot Chocolate
Photograph: Oliver Strand
By Oliver Strand, Allie Early and Danielle Valente |
Advertising

The hot chocolate in NYC has never been better! There are so many amazing, high-quality options in this city that you could take your kid on a season-long cocoa crawl, and try everything from classic cups to more creative expressions: cardamom almond milk hot chocolate, anyone?

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas for kids in NYC

The scene is strong even with the recent closing of City Bakery, where this hot chocolate revival got its start more than 20 years ago. One reason? Baristas. A great coffee spot is often a great hot chocolate spot—that latte-quality milk can make all the difference when you want a cocoa to lift your spirits on your way to one of the best children's museums in NYC, or to warm up after tackling the best sledding hills in New York City.

Fancy techniques aside, the best cocoas are comforting—there's a reason why hot chocolate is one of the defining flavors of childhood. And adulthood: Check out the more grownup list of the 12 best hot chocolates in NYC from Time Out New York.

Best hot chocolate in NYC

1
Bar Pisellino Hot Chocolate
Photograph: Oliver Strand
Restaurants, Italian

Bar Pisellino

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. West Village (barpisellino.com), $6.

2
Photograph: Katherine Kalec
Restaurants, Cafés

Daily Provisions

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. Gramercy, Upper West Side (dailyprovisionsnyc.com). $6.50.

Advertising
3
Hot Chocolate
Photograph: Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery
Restaurants, Bakeries

Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

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. West Village (mahzedahrbakery.com). $5.

4
Photograph: Squish Marshmallow

Squish Marshmallows

It's only right that NYC's go-to marshmallow shop would serve a lovely cup of hot cocoa. The marshmallow is optional, but c'mon, who are you kidding? East Village (squishmarshmallows.com). $6.

Advertising
5
Blossoming Hot Chocolate at Dominique Ansel Bakery
Photograph: Courtesy Dominique Ansel Bakery
Restaurants, Bakeries

Dominique Ansel Bakery

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. SoHo (dominiqueansel.com).

Advertising
7
MarieBelle
Photograph: MarieBelle

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. SoHo, (mariebelle.com), $5.

8
Photograph: Courtesy the Standard Hotels
Hotels, Boutique hotels

The Standard East Village

East Village

The Standard East Village is the embodiment of low-key luxury, a tastefully cool kid spot on a still-gritty street. What does this have to do with the cocoa, which is made with Valrhona Caraibe dark chocolate? Well, you can get a mug in the cafe, or you can throw a little party by reserving one of the heated yurts in the Winter Garden: Order a crock of hot chocolate, a pot of fondue—maybe some warm cocktails for the grownups. It's as cozy as it is stylish. East Village, (standardhotels.com).

Advertising
9
Mexican Hot Chocolate Atla
Photograph: Courtesy of the ATM Group
Restaurants, Mexican

Atla

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. Noho (atlanyc.com). $9.

10
Photograph: D. Robert Wolcheck
Restaurants, Coffee shops

Joe

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 ChocolatesVarious locations (joecoffeecompany.com). $4.15.

Advertising
11
Get a decent coffee at Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Photograph: Jolie Ruben
Restaurants, Coffee shops

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Flatiron

The hot chocolate at Stumptown is so good because the baristas know their way around a steam wand. They texture the milk to the perfect temperature and consistency, then mix it with a housemade ganache. So gorgeous, so simple. Flatiron, Greenwich Village (stumptowncoffee.com). $3.50.

12
Devocion Coffee Cafe
Photograph: Liz Clayman
Restaurants, Cafés

Devoción

Williamsburg

A recipe for hot chocolate success: L.A. Burdick chocolate, expertly-steamed milk, a handsome and family-friendly room with plenty of room for strollers. Various locations (devocion.com). $6.25.

Advertising
13
La Churreria
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl
Restaurants, Spanish

La Churreria

Nolita

A postage-sized outpost of Spain that specializes in churros con chocolate—the idea is to dip the delicate churros in the dense chocolate, but it's ok to eat your drink with a spoon. Nolita (lachurrerianyc.com).

14
L.A. Burdick, chocolate, shops
Shopping, Chocolate and candy

L.A. Burdick

Soho

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

Advertising
15
Restaurants, Coffee shops

Blue Bottle Coffee

Midtown West

Straightforward and tasty: Good chocolate, good milk, good technique. Substitute oat milk and enjoy a creamy, lactose-free hot chocolate. Various locations (bluebottlecoffee.com). $4.

16
Lexington Candy Shop
Photograph: Michael Kirby
Restaurants, Diners

Lexington Candy Shop

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. Upper East Side (lexingtoncandyshop.com). $3.25.

Advertising
17
Photograph Courtesy: American Girl
Restaurants

American Girl Cafe

Midtown West

Every little lady will love sipping cocoa with her family and her dollies. Head to the Rockefeller Center shopping hub for a warming mug of hot chocolate, then let her treat her American Girl to some TLC at the salon. Midtown West (americangirl.com).

18
Maman
Photograph: Courtesy Maman
Restaurants, Cafés

Maman

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. Various locations (www.mamannyc.com). $3.50.

Advertising
19
serendipity01
Restaurants, American

Serendipity 3

Lenox Hill

The "Serendipitous Chocolate" at this whimsical restaurant is topped with whipped cream, orange zest and shaved French chocolate. Lenox Hill (serendipity3.com). $7.95.

20
lamaisonduchocolat
Photograph: Julia Gartland
Shopping, Chocolate and candy

La Maison du Chocolat

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. Various locations (lamaisonduchocolat.us). $8.

Advertising
21
Eddie's Sweet Shop
Photograph: Joanna Fantozzi
Restaurants, Ice cream parlors

Eddie's Sweet Shop

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. Forest Hills, Queens. $3.50.

22
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp + Laila H

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. Various locations (marthascountrybakery.com).

Advertising
24
Photograph: GODIVA
Restaurants

GODIVA Café

Flatiron

Just as you'd expect, there's an extensive hot chocolate menu at the GODIVA Café. One seasonal speciality is the peppermint hot chocolate, made with dark chocolate and peppermint pieces, then topped with whipped cream and even more peppermint pieces. Various locations (godiva.com). $4.95.

Advertising
25
Hot chocolate at Max Brenner
Photograph: Courtesy Max Brenner
Shopping, Chocolate and candy

Max Brenner

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. Union Square, Bryant Park (maxbrenner.com). $6.

More fun for kids

Advertising