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Cold Weather Favorites: Hot Chocolate

Cold weather wandering in New York often requires a stop for something warm to drink, and I’m especially partial to hot chocolate. Though most every coffee shop and café offers a cup in a pinch, below are three favorites where you’ll find it’s well worth walking a bit out of the way for a cup of rich, thick cocoa.

  • Jacques Torres is our go-to, with a location close enough to home to make stops there habit-forming. I almost always go for the Classic, but the Wicked, with cinnamon, allspice, and ground chilies is perfect for those looking for a bit of a kick. Both options are closer to melted chocolate in consistency than water or milk; fitting given Jacques Torres makes all manner of other enticing chocolate confections. Make sure to add whipped cream! Locations can be found in Dumbo, Soho, the Upper West Side, Rockefeller Center, Noho, Midtown, and Grand Central.

  • The Chocolate Room has two Brooklyn locations in Park Slope and Cobble Hill. As the name suggests, the focus here is on everything chocolate, from handmade chocolates, to fondue, to hot chocolate. A short menu of hot chocolate options includes both dark and milk chocolate versions, and I have to confess a preference for the dark version, which is rich and intense.

  • The City Bakery, located just north of Union Square, offers far more than excellent hot chocolate. Open most of the day, you can stop in for baked goods or a light snack or lunch from the eclectic and seasonally-focused salad bar. Like their signature pretzel croissant, the hot chocolate is a standout – served in thick bowls with an optional homemade marshmallow melting into the center. During the month of February their Hot Chocolate Festival is a big draw, with a different flavor each day (salted caramel, fresh ginger, and spicy cinnamon were included last year).

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