The best hot chocolate in Tokyo
‘Bean to bar' chocolate is definitely bubbling under in Tokyo. Maintaining in-house control of the entire production process, such specialist makers share a commitment to producing only the finest choc. One of the first exclusively bean-to-bar focused shops in the city, Minimal uses its ‘Nutty’ chocolate, made from Haitian beans, for this decadent mixture served with milk. Don’t be surprised to find tiny cacao nibs still floating around in your smooth drink. ¥650
Run by pioneering chocolatier Yukihiko Kawaguchi, Origines has attracted plenty of fans with its chaud since opening back in 2003. Bitter chocolate is mixed with 100% cacao for a punchy, aromatic brew that's served out of a narrow-mouth cup in order to preserve the heat for as long as possible. Combine the drink with a macaron at the in-store café or get one for the road. ¥600
Only available at Jean-Paul Hévin's new Chocolate Bar in Marunouchi, this concoction is made simply with hot water and brings out the full aromas of the bitter chocolate. For a gentler flavour, try the milk-based 'Chocolat Chaud Parisien', or choose from some of the quirkier mixtures – how about a hot chocolate with cheese? Take-out available. ¥584
Find a seat at the counter in the back of Le Chocolat De H's Ginza flagship and while away the hours while pouring yourself heavenly, extra-creamy hot chocolate from a sizeable pot. The seats also offer nice views of the bar, so you can watch your chaud get prepared and take in the aromas while you wait. Even the background music here is top-notch. ¥1,200
If you have a hard time choosing at restaurants, stay away from Blondel: the Swiss choc purveyors offer a whopping 15 varieties of hot chocolate at their Ginza outpost, with flavours including chilli, ginger, rum milk and even whisky. You can also adjust the cacao content, with 80% – our favourite – being the upper limit. Considering you get around two and a half cups in one pot, the ¥1,300 price tag isn't too off-putting.
Opening in newly trendy Kuramae in February, San Francisco bean-to-bar import Dandelion's 'European' has been a hit in the Bay Area, so we're already eager to try the treat, made exclusively with fine Ecuadorian cacao. Getting one of their original cookies or marshmallows on the side is another nice touch. Take-out available. ¥580