The best hot chocolate in NYC

Kiss Swiss Miss goodbye—the best hot chocolate in NYC features fiery chilies, marshmallow “flowers” and, yes, booze
By Christina Izzo and Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo |

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

Photograph: Courtesy Dominique Ansel Bakery
Restaurants, Bakeries

Blooming hot chocolate at Dominique Ansel Bakery

icon-location-pin 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. $4.25 

Photograph: Courtesy El Rey
Restaurants, American creative

Brownie batter hot chocolate at El Rey

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

The team at the Lower East Side luncheonette stirs their hot cocoa with egg-less brownie batter and a sprinkle of sea salt for a decadent, salty-sweet rebuttal to winter's chill. $4

City Bakery
Restaurants, Bakeries

Hot chocolate at City Bakery

icon-location-pin Flatiron

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. $5, with marshmallow $5.50.


Cioccolata calda “al bacio” at Grom

icon-location-pin Midtown West

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. Westfield World Trade Center, 185 Greenwich St (212-931-0663) * 1796 Broadway at 59th St (212-974-3444) * 233 Bleecker St at Carmine St (212-206-1738) * Medium $5.50, large $6.50.

Photograph: Courtesy Maman
Restaurants, Cafés

Lavender hot chocolate at Maman

icon-location-pin 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. $3.50

Shopping, Chocolate and candy

Hot chocolate at MarieBelle

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. $5 each

Nutella hot chocolate
Photograph: Courtesy Boqueria
Restaurants, Spanish

Nutella hot chocolate with brandy at Boqueria

icon-location-pin Flatiron
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. $12
Hot chocolate from Choza Taqueria
Photograph: Courtesy Choza Taqueria
Restaurants, Mexican

Mexican hot chocolate at Choza Taqueria

icon-location-pin Flatiron
From their taco-and-tamale counter inside Gotham West Market, Matt Wagman and David Albiero heat up classic cocoas with a hit of chili pepper—soothed with and a dash of more soothing baking spice— that will transport you from nippy New York to a lounger on the Gulf Coast. $3

Venue says Healthy food that is also a guilty pleasure, thats the Choza way! Order online for $5 off your $20 order.

Photograph: Courtesy Amy's Bread
Restaurants, Bakeries

Hot chocolate at Amy’s Bread

icon-location-pin West Village

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

Photograph: Liz Clayman
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Matcha hot chocolate at MatchaBar

icon-location-pin Chelsea
Matcha-loving masters and brothers Max and Graham Fortgang whisk a teaspoon of Japanese tea into hot water until foam appears, then fold in cacao powder and steamed milk to create a chocolatey tea latte. $5.50
Green Chaud hot chocolate from Meadowsweet Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy Meadowsweet
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Green Chaud at Meadowsweet

icon-location-pin Williamsburg
To riff on the French cup, pastry chef Jared Rubin (Bouchon, Dover) serves this chartreuse-splashed cocoa with a scoop of green-chartreuse gelato and a gooey chocolate chip cookie. $9

Looking for more ways stay warm?