Like heat? Like chocolate? Lucky you – we scoured the streets of Sydney to find the best hot chocolates in town. And we're still on a jittery sugar high. From thick and rich to smooth and creamy, these five drinks will make any winter's day a whole lot sweeter.
The hot chocolate at RivaReno is so thick and rich you'll think you're eating dessert. That's Italian-style hot chocolate for you. It's made with Valrhona Manjari – one of the best commercially available chocolates in the world. Here, the hot chocolate is sweetened (a little too liberally, we think) and kept hot in a churner that sits on the pass – so it's extra quick to get your chocolate fix. Ask for it topped with whipped cream to up the indulgence factor. Or even get some of their amazing gelato into the picture. Eat with a spoon – you'll need one.
More like a chocolate pudding than drink, and you'll need a spoon to cut the thickness. It's heady with the flavour of cocoa and on the sweet, rather than bitter, side of things. They have a range of flavours available, including coconut and gianduja, and the drink is served in cut-glass cups on vintage crockery saucers, with a big scoop of softly whipped cream melting over the top. It’s hot choc done the Italian way.
Wanna get a bit fancy with your hot chocolate? This Kirribilli spot does it with panache – or should we say ganache? The drinks here are full-bodied, not too sweet, and made from hand-flaked chocolate, tempered in-house. Plus it comes in flavours like lavender, cinnamon or our pick: rose and black pepper. You even get some dark chocolate on the side to indulge messy, melting dipping possibilities.
Hand-flaked chocolate is mixed with Valrhona cocoa and heated with milk to create a brew that is aerated, not too dense or sweet, and still packs a punch of that deep cocoa-rich flavour we all want. It's even served in an adorable glass cup and saucer. With a tiny, buttery Madeleine. And the shop has French music playing on the stereo. Are we in Surry Hills or Montmartre right now?
No cream, no thickeners, no bullshit. Just a chocolatier heating up house-made ganache and milk in a wee pot over a single-ring stove before you. With the barest hint of sweetness, it reveals the raw elements of the chocolate itself: silky, bitter and smoky. There's a caramel option for those on a sugar mission, and a chilli infusion if you need a good kick up the arse. Replace our coffee with this any day.
And now for something chilled...
Ever since Messina opened back in 2002, Sydney has been head over heals in love with gelato. Which we always should have been, really, given that we are a seaside city that’s also stinking-hot half of the year – because what do beaches and heat equal? That’s right: ice cream. There are a thousand places to get it – from the gummy, overly saccharine crap, to smooth, silky excellence. Rest assured, though, that these ten are all in the latter category. Here are our top ten favourite gelaterias in Sydney right now.