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The best hot chocolate spots in NYC

Kiss Swiss Miss goodbye—the best hot chocolate in NYC features fiery chilies, marshmallow “flowers” and, yes, booze

Written by
Oliver Strand
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New York's status as a hot chocolate destination can be reasonably traced back to City Bakery more than 20 years ago. Even though that bastion shuttered in 2019, the scene is still piping hot, and baristas lead the way. A great coffee shop is often a great hot chocolate spot—that latte-quality milk or alternative can make all the difference when you want an uplifting cocoa the brutal cold.

But whether you get it from your corner joe joint, one of the city's best bakeries, or as a warming hot cocktail at the bar, hot chocolate in NYC is tops. There are so many high-quality options around town that you could plan a cocoa crawl to last all season. Here's where to start.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to best restaurants in NYC

Best hot chocolate in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • West Village

Cocoa practically overflows in the hot chocolate at Bar Pisellino, a local take on the Italian caffè. Its offering is rich enough to evoke a chocolate fountain—topped with a dollop of slow-melting whipped panna. A lot of hot chocolates split the difference between sweet sippable treat and dedicated dessert, and this one’s firmly situated among the latter. 

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

There are three categories of “drinking chocolates” at this chocolatier chain: Blended (in dark, milk, or white chocolate varieties), single source (Bolivia, Brazil), or a spicy dark brew punched up with chili powder. Each is a treat. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Upper West Side
  • price 2 of 4

The original Levain, whose goods are now sold far and wide, is still a hot spot for all manner of sweets. Its comforting hot cocoa is made with French Valrhona chocolate, and its signature oversized cookies are just a reach away for a super decadent day. 

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

MarieBelle’s SoHo boutique has a whole Cacao Bar replete with four varieties: Aztec, milk hazelnut, spiced chocolate and white chocolate. It also offers each option as a mix, plus tons of other gifts, to take home. 

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Looking for more ways stay warm?

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