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Where to Find Greater Boston’s Greatest Hot Chocolate
Warm up with a rich, decadent cup of cocoa at some of Greater Boston's best cafés.
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Rich, luscious, and full of flavor, a steamy mug of hot chocolate is a must-have accessory on many a cold New England day. Watered-down Swiss Miss topped with stale marshmallows? Not this winter. Reward yourself post-shoveling—or simply indulge in a sweet treat any time—with these 17 brilliant twists on a classic mug of cocoa. From a decadent drink by chocolatier Gâté Comme des Filles to the Vietnamese-coffee-meets-cocoa at Reign Drink Lab, here’s where to sip hot chocolate in and around Boston.
This guide was last updated in February 2023; watch for periodic updates. You may also be interested in Greater Boston’s best hot cocktails and our ultimate guide to Boston chocolate.
1369 Coffee House
The Cambridge-based duo of coffee shops offers luscious hot chocolate made with Dutch-processed cocoa. Try the version dubbed Mexican hot chocolate, which spices things up with coriander, cayenne, and cinnamon.
1369 Cambridge St., Inman Square, 617-576-1369; 757 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge, 617-576-4600, 1369coffeehouse.com.
Over at the South End’s sparkling Armenian-inspired spot for labne- or lamb-filled m’anoush sandwiches, za’atar-spiced saj flatbreads, and more fine fast-casual fare, the team tosses a little creamy tahini in the hot chocolate. A shot of espresso, meanwhile, gives it a bit of extra zip.
35 W. Newton St., South End, Boston, 857-265-3195, anoushella.com.
Interrupt your afternoon errands for a cup of decadent drinking chocolate from this chocolate and nut shop. Co-owners Leo Baez and Perla Rosario add a dash of cinnamon to their blend of specialty dark chocolate and milk as a nod to the signature spiced hot chocolate drink of their native Dominican Republic. With or without whipped cream, Cacao’s version is finished with flakes of fresh dark chocolate on top. (Watch for tasty seasonal specials like gingerbread hot chocolate, too.)
23 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, 617-467-4599, cacaonuts.com.
With its cioccolatto caldo, the quintessential North End coffee shop serves the city’s most authentic cup of Italian-style hot chocolate, which is just as much a dessert as it is a drink. The secret ingredient is corn starch, which thickens the whole mixture. You may want a spoon–or a delicious pastry–to go with this one. (There are a couple boozy options, too, like the Sleigh Ride: hot chocolate, Godiva liqueur, and Baileys.)
290 Hanover St., Boston, 617-227-7606, caffevittoria.com.
This Yvonne’s and Mariel sibling, situated in the lobby of the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, gets the day started right for hotel guests and the general public with pretty pastries and a solid lineup of café beverages. The hot chocolate—choose dark or white—is made with Valrhona chocolate and can be amped up with syrups such as caramel or, seasonally, peppermint.
450 Summer St., Seaport District, Boston, cocoricocafe.com.
Unsurprisingly, one of the best chocolate shops in the Boston area also doles out one of the best cups of hot chocolate. It’s available as a packaged mix, too, in flavors like blondie and masala chai (the latter a collaboration with local company Boston Chai Party)—ideal for sipping at your laptop while tuned in to one of the shop’s virtual chocolate-tasting classes.
145 Huron Ave., Cambridge, 617-284-6096, ehchocolatier.com.
Elmendorf Baking Supplies & Cafe
Come for pretty much any specialty baking supply you could ever need; stay for the pleasant café fare, especially the fireside hot chocolate, which gets an intense smokiness from the Chinese black tea lapsang souchong. It feels a bit like you’re drinking a campfire—in a good way—and, of course, there are marshmallows.
594 Cambridge St., East Cambridge, 617-945-0045, elmendorfbaking.com.
Gâté Comme des Filles
No need to feel chilly while browsing the open-air maker market and food hall of Bow Market: The resident chocolatier has decadent, ultra-thick drinking chocolate available all winter long. Gâté Comme des Filles pastry chef Alexandra Whisnant begins with luxurious Valrhona chocolate and has been known to shake things up with rotating flavored whipped creams, as well as blended-in flavors like lavender or coffee.
1 Bow Market Way, Unit #8, Somerville, 617-764-5872, gatecommedesfilles.fr.
Jaho Coffee & Tea
There are several hot chocolate flavors available at these Boston-area coffee and wine bars, including traditional, cookies and cream, and PB&J. Our favorite, though, is the red velvet hot chocolate, a bright pink cake-in-a-cup with notes of cream cheese flavor to balance the sweetness of the red cocoa.
Multiple locations in Boston and Salem (Cambridge coming soon), jaho.com.
L.A. Burdick’s drinking chocolate comes in small servings, but it’s made with a blend of dark couvertures, a top-quality chocolate with a ridiculously high percentage of cocoa butter. It’s so rich and creamy that drinking it feels more like dessert than a pick-me-up. (The spicy dark chocolate version is our top pick.) Flavored drinking chocolates are also available to purchase by the bag, for the inevitable days when Boston winter prevents you from venturing out of the house.
220 Clarendon St., Boston, 617-303-0113; 52 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-491-4340, burdickchocolate.com.
Vegan hot chocolate? You’ll find it at Southie’s cozy, all-vegan café. That means there’s no dairy, but the steamy cocoa is still luscious, and the team occasionally spruces it up with other ingredients, such as reishi mushroom or, the holiday season favorite, crushed candy cane.
246 W. Broadway, South Boston, 617-420-4070, lulugreen.com.
Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop
All of Oakleaf’s hot chocolates are made with a house-crafted mix, but the Aztec version stands out. It’s made with Dutch cocoa, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper for a rich, hearty, and sweet drink with a spicy finish. The even bigger deal here, though, are the house-made marshmallows, which can be enjoyed on their own or left to dissolve in the drink, at the sipper’s discretion.
12 Westland Ave., Fenway, Boston, 617-299-1504, oakleafcakes.com.
Can’t get enough Nutella? This Brookline café makes its hot chocolate using the beloved hazelnut spread instead of a bar of chocolate. The result is a creamy, nutty, and chocolatey blend, topped with cocoa powder, and the option to add raspberry or mint to the whole concoction.
278 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-232-1770, pariscreperie.com.
Reign Drink Lab
Intensely robust Vietnamese coffee holds court at Reign, where it can be paired with dark chocolate for the ultimate hot chocolate with a buzz. It’s topped with sea salt whip to cut the richness, and customers can also choose among a number of other toppings, from mocha drizzle to matcha “Reign clouds.”
1370 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, Boston, 617-863-7353, reigndrinklab.com.
This Davis Square takeout gem—motto: “eat more sunshine”—features sandwiches, baked goods, and “fun drinks,” with the menu constantly changing to highlight what’s seasonal. If you stop by in the winter, chances are you’ll find the excellent hot chocolate on the menu (typically listed with an exclamation point after it, because hot chocolate is exciting!) It’s vegan, even the mini marshmallows, which come from a company called Dandies. The hot chocolate itself is made with Shirley’s maple-y chocolate syrup and oat milk. Grab a cup and whatever delightful baked goods owner Kat Bayle is offering that day.
22A College Ave., Davis Square, Somerville, shirleyeatmoresunshine.square.site.
Sofra Bakery & Café
Hot chocolate tends to appear on Sofra’s menu in the cooler months, infused with a Middle Eastern-inspired flavor like tahini or halvah. The flavors rotate occasionally, but if you’re really into tahini, you can find the recipe for that version in Sofra’s cookbook, Soframiz.
1 Belmont St., Cambridge, 617-661-3161, sofrabakery.com.
It may be hard to pass on Thinking Cup’s world-class Stumptown Coffee, but the French hot chocolate–made with Valrhona’s 64 percent Tainori drinking chocolate–is even more indulgent. When it’s cold outside, a mug pairs perfectly with a good book or some intelligent conversation.
165 Tremont St., Downtown Boston, 617-482-5555; 236 Hanover St., North End, Boston, 857-233-5277; 85 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-247-3333, thinkingcup.com.
Additional reporting by Jacqueline Cain.
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