The Best Hot Chocolate in Boston

Warm up with sweet treats from L.A. Burdick, Tatte, Cacao, and more.

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.

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 served in virgin and rum liqueur-spiked versions, and—we humbly suggest—best enjoyed around the restaurant’s patio fire pits, which can be reserved for fondue-dipping small groups in 90-minute increments. Rather sip it by a fireplace? Take home packages of Piquette’s cocoa mix from the Alcove Market, and have it any time at home (or on your next hearth-equipped Airbnb getaway).

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

Lookout Rooftop

The Envoy Hotel’s rooftop “Ice Boxes”—glowing, plexiglass enclosed mini-lounges for six-person pods—are one of the coolest places to sip outside in the wintertime. Naturally, there’s a hot chocolate cocktail to accompany such a swanky, skyline-facing occasion: the Golden Ticket, which adds a Dutch caramel vodka to the warm cocoa. It’s enough to make Willy Wonka woozy.

70 Sleeper St., Boston, 617-338-3030, theenvoyhotel.com/fb/lookout-rooftop.

MET Back Bay hot chocolate experience

/ Photo by Recess City

Stephanie’s on Newbury

Lately, the Newbury Street venues in local hospitality legend Kathy Sidell’s Met Restaurant Group have been playing musical chairs: Saltie Girl, her modern seafood restaurant, moved into Met Back Bay’s larger address. The latter restaurant’s menu items, meanwhile, have been popping up at cross-street sibling Stephanie’s on Newbury. In fact, that’s where you’ll now find Met Back Bay’s famous Hot Chocolate Experience, a four-variety flight of the drink that includes dulce de leche and toasted coconut iterations. Any one is also available in full-sized form, if you’re prepared to commit, and there’s the option to booze ’em up with Bailey’s or caramel vodka-spiked “adult” versions.

190 Newbury St., Boston, 617-236-0990, stephaniesonnewbury.com.

Woods Hill Pier 4

Thanks to their up-close-and-personal harbor views, the translucent winter igloos at Woods Hill Pier 4 earned a spot on our list of the best winterized patios in Boston. Well, we’ll award the place even more points for its Mexican Hot Chocolate, which combines stone ground Mexican chocolate from Somerville’s Taza with reposado tequila. That’ll warm you up—although it’s available booze free too, of course.

300 Pier Four Blvd., Boston, 617-981-4577, woodshillpier4.com.

The Best Hot Chocolate in Boston

You know ’em, you love ’em—and they’re back in action. Here’s our recap of the best places to find hot chocolate in Boston, with details on their status during the pandemic. Watch this space for more updates!

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

Status: Both locations are open daily. Also offering Monday and Friday delivery of whole bean coffee, cold brew, and other select menu items. 

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.

Cacao JP hot chocolate

Photo provided by Cacao

Cacao Nuts and Chocolates

Status: Both locations are open daily. 

Interrupt your afternoon errands for a cup of hot cocoa from this sweets shop, which launched its first location in Jamaica Plain in 2018 and just added 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

Status: Open daily.

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.

Alex Trimm Photography

Alex Trimm Photography

Diesel Café

Status: Open daily for curbside pickup. 

Jazz up your rich hot chocolate with a shot (or two) of espresso at this Davis Square cafe, which also offers the drink at its nearby sibling, Forge Baking Company.

257 Elm St., Somerville, 617-629-8717, diesel-cafe.com.

Photo courtesy of Flour Bakery + Cafe

Photo courtesy of Flour Bakery + Café

Flour Bakery + Café

Status: Open daily, check website for location-specific hours. 

James Beard Award-winning baker Joanne Chang’s food may be the main reason to visit one of eight Flour Bakery locations, but the drinks are the reason to linger. The spots offer both traditional hot chocolate and a slightly sweeter, white chocolate spin—both are equally adept at blasting the winter blues away.

Multiple locations, flourbakery.com.

Gâté Comme des Filles drinking chocolate

Photo provided by Gâté Comme des Filles

Gâté Comme des Filles

Status: Closed through January 27.  

No need to feel chilly while browsing the open-air maker market and food hall, 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 shakes things up with rotating flavored whipped creams, or blended-in flavors like lavender or coffee.

1 Bow Market Way, Unit #8, Somerville, 617-764-5872, gatecommedesfilles.fr.

Photo courtesy of Gracenote Coffee

Photo courtesy of Gracenote Coffee

Gracenote Coffee

Status: Boston location open daily. Cambridge location Monday through Thursday, as well as Saturday. 

Java may be the focus at the espresso bars from Central Mass. roasting company Gracenote Coffee, but the hot chocolate is equally well made. With Mapleline milk from Hadley and Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate ganache from Eureka, Calif., it has notes of molasses, orange, raisins, and toast–but most importantly, chocolate.

108 Lincoln St., Boston, 857-321-0744; 150 First St., Cambridge, 857-777-0330, gracenotecoffee.com.

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Jaho Coffee & Tea

Status: All locations open daily. 

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

Status: Both locations open daily. 

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 molten chocolate mix is also available to purchase by the bag, for the inevitable days when Boston winter prevents you from venturing out the house.

220 Clarendon St., Boston, 617-303-0113; 52 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-491-4340, burdickchocolate.com.

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop

Status: Open Wednesday through Sunday. 

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. But the star of the cup is the house-made marshmallow, which can be enjoyed on its 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

Status: Open daily. 

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.

Paris Creperie, 278 Harvard St, Brookline, 617-232-1770, pariscreperie.com.

Photo courtesy of Sofra Bakery

Photo courtesy of Sofra Bakery & Cafe

Sofra Bakery & Café

Status: Open daily. 

The COVID-era walk-up window at this acclaimed, street-corner Middle Eastern cafe dispenses hot chocolate swirled with sesame caramel for an inspired, soul-warming take.

1 Belmont St, Cambridge, 617-661-3161, sofrabakery.com

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Photo by Lloyd Mallison

Tatte Bakery & Café

Status: Most locations are open daily; check website for specific hours by location. 

If you prefer your cocoa on the sweeter side, seek out a version with high-quality Belgian white chocolate at one of Tatte’s Parisian-style cafés. The white chocolate morsels are added to the bottom of the cup, melted by pouring steamed milk over them, and then mixed by hand for a light, sweet, and steamy beverage.

Multiple locations, tattebakery.com.

Thinking Cup hot chocolate

Photo provided by Thinking Cup

Thinking Cup

Status: All locations open daily. 

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.