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. $4.25
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.
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. 2165 Broadway at 76th St (212-362-1837) * 1796 Broadway at 59th St (212-974-3444) * 233 Bleecker St at Carmine St (212-206-1738) * grom.it. Medium $5.50, large $6.50.
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
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Executive pastry chef Christina Lee cuts crafts cookie sheets of sage-infused marshmallows that she cuts into hefty squares and plunks them into these dark, and peppery cups during weekend brunch service. The best part? You can lace it with bourbon or tequila. $7, $16 with liquor