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A close up shot of a hot chocolate at Coco Chocolate
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best hot chocolate in Sydney

Stay warm this winter with a cup of something hot and sweet

Written by
Time Out editors
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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.

After something more caffeinated? Check out our guide to the best coffee in the CBD. Maybe something a little stronger? These are the best wine tours just a stone's throw from Sydney. 

RECOMMENDED:  The best day trips from Sydney.

The best hot chocolate in Sydney

  • Restaurants
  • Five Dock

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 (although you can opt for milk, dark or white chocolate). They have a range of flavours available, including salted caramel and hazelnut, 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Darlinghurst

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 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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Darlinghurst

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Parramatta

It makes sense that a place that specialises in beautiful hand-made truffles would also be no slouch on the hot choccy front. They use Belgian chocolate buds here, piling them up a quarter of the way up your glass and then pouring over properly hot, frothy milk with more chocolate shavings pillowed on top. You then stir the chocolate through the milk as it melts. The key detail here is that you can order yours in milk, ark or even white chocolate flavours, and they provide a truffle of your choice to go with it, taking the sting out of the $6.50 price tag into the bargain.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sydney

Their beautiful chocolate shop at the gates of the Strand Arcade is already a compelling prospect for a treat, but did you know that they have a little café hidden downstairs (you go down the stairs behind the counter). Here is where they melt up a 54 per cent Belgian chocolate into hot milk to make a properly thick, rich hot chocolate, with emphasis on the chocolate part. You can also pimp yours, spiking it with coffee, orange, cinnamon, chilli or hazelnut; get it in light or soy versions; or make it a chocolate affogato.  

  • Restaurants
  • Neutral Bay

The teams at the Bourke Street Bakerys around town are temperature agnostic, which is why you can get a cold choccy milk from the fridge on a hot day, or get your Callebaut chocolate melted into milk and capped with milk foam and chocolate powder. It’s not quite as thick and mouth-coating as some of the pure chocolate versions around Sydney, but it has more chocolatey integrity to the flavour than a pure powder number. It’s a very good everyday hot chocolate for when you’ve had too many coffees in a 12-hour period, or you need a sweet treat that will also warm you up.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sydney

Note: The Grounds of the City has temporarily closed its doors. Check social media for the latest on when it will be reopening.

Are you one of those people who want your hot chocolate to be 50-50 chocolate powder to milk? Are you basically looking for the maximum cocoa hit possible in a single glass? At the Grounds in the City your hot chocolate comes in four parts: there’s the glass lined in chocolate syrup, the chocolate sprinkles for garnish, a back-up shot of extra strength chocolate, and a little metal jug of hot chocolate milk to tie everything together. You can just keep adding things until it reaches your preferred sugar level, but move quickly – this one arrives warm rather than piping hot.

  • Restaurants
  • Kirribilli

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Rosebery
  • price 1 of 4

People queue for their morning coffee and a pastry on their way to work, and their sticky chai here is legendary, but they also do a very straight line in hot chocolate if you want something sweeter to dip your ginger ninja into. They use syrup they make from a powder base, and it’s hot, dark and not too sweet.

The Copper Mill
  • Restaurants
  • Alexandria
  • price 1 of 4

These guys flipped the script on the café hot chocolate a few years back when they launched with a coconut hot chocolate. They make theirs with an infused coconut cream in addition to dairy, so the whole thing kind of tastes like a coconut rough. If you want it vegan they can swap out the milk, and if you like yours properly hot, let them know as ours arrives more on the warm side.

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Café Hernandez
  • Restaurants
  • Darlinghurst

Leave the greasy kebab at the door and take a seat at this Potts Point gem where the hot chocolate is so thick you can stand a spoon up in it. It's also open 24 hours, making it one of the only places to get your choccy fix at any sort of hour. 

And now for something chilled...

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