By Rachel Wallace
You can’t go wrong with a winter tradition as delicious as hot chocolate. As a kid, even a watery cup of Swiss Miss hit the spot after a day out in the wet snow. Fortunately, hot chocolate doesn’t have to be that simple. We love these seven spots that offer inventive, gourmet, and fair trade takes on our childhood favorite.
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Chicago
The name of this Chicago dessert bar says it all. Their seasonal menu changes throughout the year, but always offers hot chocolate. For winter 2014, they offer a unique chai hot chocolate, which consists of 1/3 chai, 1/3 of their spicy Mexican hot chocolate, and 1/3 dark hot chocolate. With house-made marshmallows, it sounds like something I would brave the windy Chicago winter for.
L.A. Burdick, Multiple locations
This cafe has multiple east coast locations, all famous for their delicious chocolate creations. Their flagship cafe store in New Hampshire serves single-origin chocolate shavings from Grenada, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Madagascar or Ecuador. hot chocolate comes in milk, dark, or white, and can be spiked with rum or brandy.
Chocolate The Restaurant , Santa Cruz
Although sunny Santa Cruz, California isn’t the typical winter wonderland setting for hot chocolate, this restaurant has an extensive hot chocolate menu with a variety of twists on the drink. The appropriately named “Frida” is Mexican dark coca with cinnamon, and the standout “Vianne” is made with dark coca, soymilk, fresh ginger juice, honey, and cardamon.
The Chocolate Room, Brooklyn
This Brooklyn café is home of the “Hot Chocolate Float,” a dark hot chocolate with a scoop of ice cream.
M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel , Philidelphia
The Morris House in Philadelphia has been standing since 1787, and boasts of being a meeting place for Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and John Adams. M Restaurant is anything but old fashioned, offering up a rosemary infused hot chocolate for dessert.
Dandelion Small Batch Chocolate, San Francisco
The café in this chocolate factory in San Francisco offers a few different varieties of chocolate for drinking, including classic Italian-inspired European drinking chocolate, a foamy and spicy “Mission Hot Chocolate” with almonds, frozen hot chocolate, and more. They also offer free tours of their factory and numerous classes in the art of chocolate-making for anyone interested in learning more about the craft.
If you’re not in Vermont hitting the slopes for the winter, you still can order a tin of hot chocolate online from this Burlington chocolate shop and café. Perfect as a gift or to enjoy for yourself, their Peppermint, Mocha, Spicy Aztec, Traditional, and Winter varieties are all Fair Trade Certified and vegan.
About the Writer
Rachel Wallace is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where she studied psychology, journalism, and warm weather. She recently moved back to her home state of New York to attend the Columbia Publishing Course and pursue a career in writing and editing. Some of her interests include poetry, hip-hip, yoga, and YouTube. She is adventurous when it comes to food and passionate about traveling. Her favorite places to be include London and the New York Renaissance Faire.