15 Best Places to Drink Hot Chocolate in America

As the winter months approach and staying warm becomes a priority, there's no tastier way to beat the cold than with a rich, creamy cup of hot chocolate. Chocolatiers across the country are putting their own spin on the delicious beverage, from adding salted-caramel marshmallows to spiking their hot chocolate with spices (or spirits!). Whether you’re taking a break from the slopes at The Little Nell in Aspen, or cozying up with cocoa at New York’s Serendipity 3, these 15 shops and restaurants provide the perfect antidote to the cold weather. Here's where we'll be indulging in a cup of hot chocolate this winter.

By Emily Wasserman

Angie Garbot Photography

Katherine Anne Confections, Chicago

WHERE: Chicago

Chicago winters aren’t for the faint of heart, so fortify yourself with the perfect remedy at Katherine Anne Confections: steaming mugs of delicious hot chocolate. The chocolate shop features eight different varieties of the sinfully sweet beverage and serves its chocolate with fluffy house-made marshmallows. Popular marshmallow flavors include salted caramel, cinnamon, and vanilla-black pepper.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Chicago Guide

Courtesy of Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co.

Cacao, Atlanta

WHERE: Atlanta

For a drink that'll warm your tongue and your stomach, visit Cacao. Owner Kristen Hard infuses her Aztec Aphrodisiac sipping chocolate with six chilies and spices. Mugs of the spicy brew come topped with house-made marshmallows. Cacao also sells bags of sipping chocolate and hot cocoa mix, so customers can enjoy the elixir at home.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Atlanta Guide

Jeremy Swanson

The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado

WHERE: Aspen, Colorado

A day on the slopes is best finished with a piping-hot mug of chocolate—and Aspen’s The Little Nell serves some of the best in the country. Pastry Chef Danielle Riesz’s recipe includes 58 percent Trudelia chocolate, extra-strong cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. The drinks are served with house-made marshmallows, and adults can add a shot of their favorite liqueur.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Aspen Guide

Courtesy of COMPARTÉS CHOCOLATIER

Compartes Chocolatier, Los Angeles

WHERE: Los Angeles

The iconic Compartes Los Angeles shop was frequented by celebrity chocoholics Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe and is still home to some of the country’s best hot chocolate. Chocolatier Jonathan Grahm makes his signature blends with Tahitian vanilla bean and cinnamon infusions.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Los Angeles Guide

Lockie Photography

La Chatelaine Chocolat Co., Bozeman, Montana

WHERE: Bozeman, Montana

For authentic French hot chocolate look no further than Bozeman’s La Châtelaine Chocolat Co. Chocolatier Wiady Grochowski and his wife Shannon serve their fleur de sel-infused blends in café au lait cups and offer seasonal flavors like Spice White Hot Chocolate.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Bozeman Guide

Courtesy of Chocolopolis

Chocolopolis, Seattle

WHERE: Seattle

Chocolate-lovers will rejoice at Chocolopolis. The Seattle chocolate shop offers a variety of drinking chocolates served with house-made vanilla marshmallows. In addition to its signature milk and dark chocolate blends, the shop features single-origin blends and infused creations. Visitors can also purchase any chocolate bar, and the store will make it into a cup of drinking chocolate.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Seattle Guide

City Bakery, New York City

WHERE: New York

For one of the best cups of hot chocolate in Manhattan, visit City Bakery. The shop serves sweet, thick drinking chocolate and hosts an annual Hot Chocolate Festival in February. For those who want a quick fix the bakery also offers shots of its super-rich brew.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's New York City Guide

Courtesy of Artfully Chocolate

Artfully Chocolate, Alexandria, Virginia

WHERE: Alexandria, Virginia

Putting a spin on traditional hot chocolate, Artfully Chocolate serves up delicious surprises. The shop's Cocoa Bar offers a variety of blends, all named for famous “divas.” Guests can order a “Judy Garland” with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles, or a “Liz Taylor” infusion of semi-sweet chocolate and lavender. 

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Alexandria Guide

Courtesy of Serendipity 3

Serendipity 3, New York City

WHERE: New York

The biggest dilemma guests will face at New York’s Serendipity 3 is whether to order their hot chocolate warm or frozen. The restaurant’s signature “Frrrozen Hot Chocolate” is popular year-round, but colder months often call for a warmer brew. The “Mochaccino” blends rich hot chocolate with espresso, and the “Serendipitous Hot Chocolate” includes grated orange, cinnamon, and shaved French chocolate.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's New York City Guide

Scott Shigley

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Chicago

WHERE: Chicago

At chef Mindy Segal’s namesake spot, hot chocolate takes center stage. Ingredients are perfectly proportioned to create unique blends like “Black & Tan” with hot fudge, and “Mexican” with fresh cinnamon and cayenne. All hot chocolates are served with giant house-made marshmallows.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Chicago Guide

Tom Seawell Photography

Chocolate Lab, San Francisco

WHERE: San Francisco

Confectioner Michael Recchiuti is known for his Bay Area chocolate stores, and his newest venture, Chocolate Lab, still offers many of his signature sweets. The restaurant’s hot drinking chocolate is made with beads of pure chocolate and topped with a vanilla bean marshmallow. Don’t let the four-ounce cup size fool you—the chocolate is rich enough to satisfy your sweet tooth for days.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's San Francisco Guide

Courtesy of Kakawa Chocolate House

Kakawa Chocolate House, Santa Fe

WHERE: Santa Fe, New Mexico

For hot chocolate that has stood the test of time, visit Kakawa Chocolate House in Santa Fe. The shop specializes in Mayan Aztec drinking chocolates, and its recipes date back to the pre-Columbian era. “Elixirs” are served in large and small cups, and flavors include “Havana Rum,” “Chocolate Chai,” and the “1631 Spanish Elixir” with roses, cinnamon, and chile.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Santa Fe Guide

Caffe Vittoria, Boston

WHERE: Boston

Boston’s Caffe Vittoria serves up some of the finest hot chocolate in the country. The old-world Italian café is famous for its “Cioccolatto Caldo,” a thick, creamy hot chocolate with a mound of whipped cream on top. For those who want the best of both worlds, the café also offers a “Café Corretto” with a shot of espresso coffee and hot chocolate.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Boston Guide  

Courtesy of French Broad Chocolates

French Broad Chocolates, Asheville, North Carolina

WHERE: Asheville, North Carolina

Visit French Broad Chocolates in Asheville for a taste of “liquid truffle.” The shop’s signature hot drinking cocoa is made with local, organic ingredients, and includes unique flavors like Indian Kulfi with rose, pistachio, and cardamom, and Cayenne & Cinnamon with extra bittersweet chocolate ganache.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Asheville Guide

Arthur Mullen

XOCO, Chicago

WHERE: Chicago

For authentic Mexican hot chocolate, look no further than Rick Bayless’s XOCO. To make its bean-to-cup chocolates, the restaurant uses fresh-ground chocolate and follows a traditional Mexican recipe. Guests can sample flavors like the “Aztec” with chili and allspice, or the “Iced” version with milk and fresh mint.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Chicago Guide

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