The Best Hot Chocolate in Boston

Warm up with a steamy, sweet treat, from cocoa-based classics to decadent warm cocktails.


Rich, luscious, and full of flavor, a steamy mug of hot chocolate is a must-have accessory on many a cold New England day. Wondering where to get the best cup around? We’ve got your list of the all-time best places to find it, updated with availability during COVID-19. In addition, we’ve added a quartet of new options for finding boozy renditions, because sometimes you want to warm up with an adult spin on the drink that always makes you feel like a kid again.

Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop, Aztec Hot Chocolate

Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop, Aztec Hot Chocolate. / Photo by Lloyd Mallison

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 15 brilliant twists on a classic mug of cocoa. From Flour Bakery’s spicy sipper, to a decadent drink by a chocolatier like Gâté Comme des Filles, here’s where to sip hot chocolate around Boston.

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

1369 Coffee House

The Cambridge-based coffee shops offer luscious hot chocolate made with Dutch cocoa, as well as a “Mexican hot chocolate” spin that 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.

Photo courtesy of Alcove

Alcove

Bar manager Will Piquette makes Alcove’s cocoa powder in-house using Valrhona Dark Chocolate and warm spices like ginger, nutmeg, and cayenne. It’s available as a mix to take home, or enjoy it in La Marseillaise, a hot cocktail that kicks things up with the anise-based French spirit Ricard Pastis de Marseille.

50 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston, 617-248-0050, alcoveboston.com.

Anoush’ella

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, they toss a little creamy tahini in the hot chocolate. (Mmm.) A shot of espresso, meanwhile, gives it a bit of extra zip.

35 W Newton St., Boston, 857-265-3195, anoushella.com.

Cacao JP hot chocolate

Photo provided by Cacao

Cacao Nuts and Chocolates

Interrupt your afternoon errands for a cup of decadent drinking chocolate from this sweets shop, which launched its first location in Jamaica Plain in 2018 before adding a sibling spot in Newton. 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.

660B Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-390-2400; 23 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, 617-467-4599, cacaonuts.com.

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Caffe Vittoria

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.

290 Hanover St., Boston, 617-227-7606, caffevittoria.com.

EHChocolatier

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 to take home, too, in flavors like blondie and masala chai—all ideal for sipping at your laptop, while tuned in to one of EHChocolatier’s virtual chocolate-making classes.

145 Huron Ave., Cambridge, 617-284-6096, ehchocolatier.com.

Gâté Comme des Filles drinking chocolate

Photo provided by Gâté Comme des Filles

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 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.

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Jaho Coffee & Tea

There are several hot chocolate flavors available at these Boston-area coffee and wine bars: traditional, cookies and cream, and PB&J. Our favorite, though, is the red velvet hot chocolate, a bright pink-colored cake-in-a-cup with notes of cream cheese flavor to balance the sweetness of the red cocoa.

665 Washington St., Downtown Boston, 857-233-4094; 1651 Washington St., South End, 617-236-1680; 116 Huntington Ave., Back Bay, 857-233-2704; 197 Derby St., Salem, 978-744-4300, jaho.com.

Photo courtesy of L.A. Burdick

Photo courtesy of L.A. Burdick

L.A. Burdick

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. 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.

Lulu Green

Vegan hot chocolate? You’ll find it at Southie’s peppy lil’ plant-based cafe. The still-luscious, steamy cocoa doesn’t have dairy, but they occasionally spruce it up with wellness-enhancing ingredients: Right now, that would be reishi mushroom, known as the “mushroom of immortality” for all its purported immunity-boosting impact.

246 W Broadway, South Boston, 617-420-4070, lulugreen.com.

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

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, Boston, 617-299-1504, oakleafcakes.com.

Photo courtesy of Paris Creperie

Photo courtesy of Paris Creperie

Paris Creperie

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.

Publico

If you want to get the apres ski experience without actually having to drive to the mountains, head instead to the Lodge at Publico, an annual setup at the South Boston restaurant that transforms its covered courtyard into a swinging scene out of Aspen Extreme. Luckily, the salted caramel hot chocolate, spiked with Bailey’s and vodka, is served communal-style in a French press—very social-sipping friendly.

11 Dorchester St., South Boston, 617-622-5700, publicoboston.com.

Reign Drink Lab

Intensely robust Vietnamese coffee holds court at Reign, where it’s also paired with dark chocolate for a hot-cuppa’. The foam? That’s a sea salt whip. (Pro-tip: Time your trip for hot chocolate to coincide with a weekend pop-up appearance by Lionheart Confections, a cult-fave doughnut maker that visits Reign often.)

1370 Dorchester Ave., Boston, 617-863-7353, reigndrinklab.com.

Photo courtesy of Rochambeau

Rochambeau

The Back Bay’s buzzy contemporary French restaurant, Rochambeau, offers its hot chocolate in the form of a warm cocktail with amaro and anise-flavored Pernord. If hot chocolate was a hand-game, this one would beat rocks, papers, and scissors.

900 Boylston St., Boston, 617-247-0400, rochambeauboston.com

Thinking Cup hot chocolate

Photo provided by Thinking Cup

Thinking Cup

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. (Boston Common), 617-482-5555, 236 Hanover St., North End, 857-233-5277, 85 Newbury St., Boston, 617-247-3333, thinkingcup.com.


Jacqueline Cain contributing reporting.