Yes, coffee is king. However, the rapidly growing number of cafes dedicated to rich and creamy cocoa that are popping up across the nation might just lead you to believe differently. Satisfy your cravings with a cup from one of these um, hot spots.
Max Brenner (Paramus, NJ + Boston, NYC, and Philadelphia )
Sure, they have a full menu of appetizers, entrees, and cocktails. What put Max Brenner on the map, however, are their hot chocolate drinks and the cups they come in. Indeed, the hot chocolate is just that much sweeter when you’re sipping it from something called a “hug mug,” a unique creation that has absolutely no handles. Finally, if you needed another reason to stop in, rumor has it that the marshmallows are plentiful.
L.A. Burdick (Boston and Cambridge, MA, New York City, and Walpole, NH)
Word to the wise: if it’s your first visit to this premium chocolate emporium, order the smallest size and go from there. The chocolate is incredibly delicious, but also incredibly rich, and many visitors’ eyes are bigger than their stomachs! There are plenty of tempting takeaway treats — including the famous cocoa mix — for purchase as well.
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate (Chicago, IL)
A longtime Chicago favorite, Mindy’s serves up both traditional cocoas and more inventive flavors — like pumpkin spice, chai, and half dark hot chocolate-half espresso. Accomplished pastry chef Mindy Segal is at the helm of the restaurant, so sweet treats and drinks take center stage. However, you can enjoy savory lunch, brunch, or dinner entrees from their surprisingly large menu, too.
Serendipity III (New York City)
They my be famous for their frozen hot chocolate, but you can also warm up with the hot variety at this whimsical, quirky spot in the heart of NYC. Adorned with eclectic decor and lots of stained glass light fixtures, you might enjoy the atmosphere as much as the insanely large desserts and drinks. If it looks familiar, it’s probably because it was featured in the 2001 rom-com Serendipity, which starred John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.
MarieBelle Cacao Bar (New York City)
Located in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, MarieBelle makes your hot chocolate experience one to remember. While it is primarily a boutique artisanal chocolate shop, the attached cafe has ornate furnishings and a perfectly cozy vibe that invites you to sit, sip, and stay awhile. Don’t miss out on the Aztec Hot Chocolate, which puts a spicy twist on the tried-and-true.