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.

A very thick drinking chocolate fills a white mug with a floral pattern. The chocolate is topped with large marshmallows in purple, blue, pink, and green.

Thick, Parisian-style chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) with house-made rainbow marshmallows at Zuzu’s Petals. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Rich, satisfying, 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 the chocolate experts at Zuzu’s Petals 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 November 2023; watch for periodic updates. You may also be interested in Greater Boston’s best hot cocktails and our ultimate guide to Boston chocolate.

A clear glass mug of hot chocolate, decorated with a heart in the foam at the top, sits on a wooden table.

1369 Coffee House’s hot chocolate. / Photo by Lloyd Mallison

1369 Coffee House

The Cambridge-based duo of coffee shops offers friendly vibes and luscious hot chocolate made with Dutch-processed cocoa. Try the version dubbed Mexican hot chocolate, which spices things up with coriander and cinnamon.

1369 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge, 617-576-1369; 757 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge, 617-576-4600, 1369coffeehouse.com.


This one’s more mocha than hot chocolate, but we can’t stop ourselves from including it. 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 mocha. A shot of espresso, meanwhile, gives it a bit of extra zip.

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

A white mug is full of hot chocolate and surrounded by sweet treats. Bottles of Baileys and Maker's Mark are visible in the background.

Hot chocolate at “Avery Bar Chocolat.” / Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton, Boston

“Avery Bar Chocolat” at the Ritz-Carlton

From late October through the holiday season, Avery Bar turns into Avery Bar Chocolat on Saturdays (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.), featuring hot chocolate and sweets (with tableside service) by the cozy fireplace. It’s a family-friendly occasion, with a richer cocoa (and optional addition of spirits) for the grownups and a lighter, easy-drinking cocoa for the kids. Either way, choose among a selection of house-made toppings—caramel whipped cream! double fudge brownies! more!—and pastries that pair well with hot chocolate. Pastry chef Christoper Goluszka uses a blend of Maracaibo milk and dark chocolates for his holiday-season special.

10 Avery St., Downtown Boston, 617-574-7100, ritzcarlton.com/boston.

White paper cup and cardboard sleeve holds hot chocolate, topped with ample whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Cacao’s hot chocolate. / Photo courtesy of Cacao


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.

A white mug of hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder, sits on a round marble table inside a cafe.

Caffé Vittoria’s hot chocolate. / Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Caffé 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. (There are a couple boozy options, too, like the Sleigh Ride: hot chocolate, Godiva liqueur, and Baileys.)

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

Two dark blue paper cups are full of hot chocolate—one white, one dark—each topped with cocoa powder.

Cocorico’s white and dark hot chocolates. / Photo courtesy of Cocorico


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 (such as a croissant absolutely stuffed with raspberry and pistachio cream) and a solid lineup of café beverages. The hot chocolate 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.

Elmendorf Baking Supplies & Cafe

Come for pretty much any specialty baking supply you could ever need; stay for the pleasant café fare, including hot chocolate (add a shot of peppermint, if you’d like.) We’re hoping the fireside hot chocolate returns this year, too; it gets an intense smokiness from 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.

An orange mug is full of hot chocolate, with a heart shape in the cocoa powder on top.

Jaho’s hot chocolate. / Photo by Lloyd Mallison

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, Cambridge, and Salem, jaho.com.

A person wearing a brown apron is holding a mug of hot chocolate.

L.A. Burdick’s hot chocolate. / 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. (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., Back Bay, Boston, 617-303-0113; 52 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-491-4340, burdickchocolate.com.

Lulu Green

Vegan hot chocolate? You’ll find it at Southie’s cozy, all-vegan café. That means there’s no dairy, but the steamy cocoa—made with chocolate agave syrup—is still delectable, 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, Aztec Hot Chocolate

Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop’s Aztec Hot Chocolate. / 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., Fenway, Boston, 617-299-1504, oakleafcakes.com.

A mug, emblazoned with a restaurant's logo featuring the Eiffel Tower, holds hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.

Paris Creperie’s hot chocolate. / 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.

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 or ube “Reign clouds.”

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

A paper cup is filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows and sits on a wooden counter.

Shirley’s hot chocolate with marshmallows. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


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, cinnamon from local spice shop Curio, 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.

A mug of hot chocolate is accompanied by two macarons and sits on a table that looks like pages of a book.

Thinking Cup’s hot chocolate. / Photo courtesy of 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., 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.

A small mug and a large mug are each filled with very thick drinking chocolate. One is topped with a dollop of whipped cream, the other with large marshmallows in a variety of pastel colors.

Zuzu’s Petals chocolat chaud. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Zuzu’s Petals

The chocolate shop Gâté Comme des Filles has closed its Somerville storefront, but that means chocolatier Alexandra Whisnant is now focusing all her efforts—and skills with chocolate—at her Cambridge café and wine-and-dessert bar Zuzu’s Petals. And there’s good news for fans of the ultra-thick, Parisian-inspired chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) at Gâté Comme des Filles: It’s on the menu at Zuzu’s during daytime café service. It comes in two sizes, and it’s so rich that you might want to opt for the mini if you’re getting it with a sweet treat, like a fudgy brownie or an Earl Grey ganache chocolate tartelette. Choose house-made rainbow marshmallows or whipped cream as a topping, and add Chartreuse if you want to get a little boozy.

204 Hampshire St., Inman Square, Cambridge, 617-945-7749, zuzuspetalscambridge.com.

Additional reporting by Jacqueline Cain.