Winter isn’t coming—the blistery, cheek-blushing chill is here, and there’s no better way to combat the cold than the best hot chocolate in NYC from some of the city’s best coffee shops, best bakeries and best chocolate shops. But these aren’t your average cup ‘o cocoa—they come laced with Nutella, packed with pink peppercorns or spiked with whiskey as warm winter cocktails. Merry sipping!
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Best hot chocolate in NYC
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.
You'll have to wait until February to try the myriad incarnations presented during the bakery's annual Hot Chocolate Festival; for now, sate your sweet tooth with an oversize serving of the traditional version. Thick and potent, the cult favorite can be ordered with a dense, gooey, housemade marshmallow that bobs at the bubbly surface.
Steamed to order, this indulgent version of the wintry classic gets a distinctive essence from Venezuelan gianduja milk chocolate and Tonda Gentile hazelnut chips. Cut only with a hint of white cane sugar and whole milk, the nutty flavors from the chocolate and the chips come through very clearly without being cloyingly sweet.
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. $3.50
The Cacao Bar of this chocolate boutique has a hot cocoa for every palate: Opt for a warm milk chocolate cup with freshly ground hazelnuts or natural banana pulp, or a white-chocolate rendion with Tahitian vanilla.
The Middle Eastern booza may is the coolest ice cream of them all, with a stretchy, soft-cheese texture that you can try. For the winter season, they're rolling out variations on hot chocolate, like Hot Vanilla topped with toasted marshmallows, Hot Horchata topped with cinnamon, and Hot Salted Oreo topped with crushed Oreos—all have sahlab to mimick the creamy consistency of hot chocolate.
This one's a team effort. From January 31st to February 14th, order this 20-pound boozy hot chocolate that's meant to serve 22. Choose your liquor (whiskey, cognac, tequila, mescal) and go to town on the Valrhona-soaked chocolate dream.
No need to spoon it from the jar anymore—Nutella nuts can glug down this hot cup at Yann de Rochefort’s tapas bar instead, where two tablespoons of the hazelnut spread are splashed with a shot of oaky, lightly nutty brandy.
Get a little woozy with this Mexican hot chocolate spiked with tequila. The drink is made with heavy cream, dark chocolate and cocoa mixed with toasted cinnamon and cayenne pepper and garnished with a think, homemade marshmallow laced with a mellowing CBD.
This pared-down cup brims with a ganache made of artisanal chocolates that's whipped with milk until smooth and creamy. A big ol' house-made marshmallow is plopped on top for even more sweetness. $4.95
Hungry Ghost in the bustling marketplace is serving this hot chocolate with soothing green cardamom, star anise, fennel seeds and cloves mixed with, of course, cocoa. There's also cinnamon, confection sugar and turmeric to give it that extra kick.