Home Food Five Great Spots for Hot Chocolate in New York City

Five Great Spots for Hot Chocolate in New York City

0 45

Brent Herrig © 2010

THE MISSION: Nine friends descend upon lower Manhattan in search of the tastiest chocolate indulgence. A necessary quest as the colder weather and shorter days make us crave something warm and delicious to soothe us until spring. We test several options from five different renowned locales to determine which chocolaty treats are best.

THE RATING SYSTEM: We\’ve rated each cup of chocolate on a 1 – 10 scale and made sure to account for relative drinkability and taste. “Drinkability” in this case means the ability to imbibe an entire serving without needing a shot of insulin or a 10 pound bag of salt to counteract the sugary rich overload.

Max Brenner – 841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Located in Union Square, this restaurant/store is usually incredibly busy which is not surprising considering it emits a chocolate smell so seductive that the sidewalk in front of the place could be considered a gateway to ecstasy. We decided to try the classic Milk Chocolate made from Venezuelan Cocoa and a wonderful concoction called Choco-Pops which adds a (friggin\’ amazing) serving of crunchy chocolate wafer balls to your drink. The milk chocolate was surprisingly weak and a little watery but the addition of Choco-Pops elevated the drink to eye rolling, lip smacking levels.

Milk Chocolate

Drinkability – 7

Yumminess – 4

Choco-Pops with Dark Chocolate

Drinkability – 8

Yumminess – 7

Brent Herrig (C) 2010

Jacques Torres – 75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Located in the back of the Chelsea Market, Jacques Torres could get lost in the delightful maze of shops offering all sorts of culinary pleasure. You might be tempted to eschew the chocolate and get a lobster roll or some fancy pastrami sandwich but that would be a big mistake! The hot chocolate here is hot, rich and thick without being too sweet or gooey. It might have scored a bit low on drinkability (only because the thickness and relatively large portions) but it more than made up for that in taste. The chocolate is so delicious that you may be tempted to throw caution to the wind by drinking an entire large serving and crying out “indigestion be damned!” We wouldn\’t blame you. We tasted the regular hot chocolate and the ‘wicked\’ hot chocolate featuring allspice, cinnamon, and ground chili peppers and chipotle chili.

Hot Chocolate

Drinkability – 6

Yumminess – 9

Wicked Hot Chocolate

Drinkability – 6

Yumminess – 9

Brent Herrig (C) 2010

Chocolate Bar – 19 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

Possibly the friendliest shop we visited, Chocolate Bar is located in the heart of the West Village and is populated with hip locals and a very cheerful staff. They also offer a large selection of flavored hot chocolates made with Belgian Cacao, we decided to sample the Classic, Caramel, Coconut and Buzzed Hot Chocolate (which is a hot chocolate with a shot of very strong espresso). The Classic was a huge hit, rich and creamy without being too thick or too sweet. The gang had mixed feelings about the flavored varieties, the coconut in particular was very sweet and fruity and was definitely one of those ‘love it or hate it\’ experiences. The Buzzed was too bitter to be considered a truly amazing cup of hot chocolate but makes for an absolutely delicious coffee drink, just make sure to adjust your taste buds accordingly.

Classic

Drinkability – 10

Yumminess – 10

Coconut

Drinkability – 6

Yumminess – 5

Caramel

Drinkability – 7

Yumminess – 7

Buzzed

Drinkability – 9

Yumminess – 6 (but a 10 as a coffee drink)

Brent Herrig (C) 2010

Mariebelle – 484 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

Mariebelle is an absolutely gorgeous tea and chocolate salon in Soho and an elegant place to treat yourself during a long day of shopping. At first we were dismayed by how small the portions seemed (a small size to-go cup is only about 4 or 5 ounces) but as soon as we sipped the thick, pudding-like chocolate we realized that any more and we would be heading for an epic sugar crash. This stuff is thick as Paula Deen\’s accent but, oh, is it delicious! We sampled the white chocolate, which is almost like drinking a melted down bar of gourmet white chocolate (there were even little vanilla specks in the drink) and the very flavorful and chili flecked spicy hot chocolate.  Both were a huge hit but the entire group agreed that a little goes a looong way.

White Chocolate

Drinkability – 4

Yumminess – 9

Spicy Dark Chocolate

Drinkability – 4

Yumminess – 8

Brent Herrig (C) 2010

Cocoa Bar – 21 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

And finally we rested our over-worked feet at Cocoa Bar in the Lower East Side. This place has a very chic coffee house vibe by day and a sultry wine bar vibe by night but don\’t be distracted by their other offerings (like cocktails and sake) this place is a gourmet chocolate lover\’s delight, even offering a flight of five chocolates so you can have your own tasting. We decided to end the day with a mint hot chocolate and it was just what the doctor ordered, rich and sweet with just a hint of minty flavor…. the perfect end to a wonderfully chocolaty day.

Mint Hot Chocolate

Drinkability – 9

Yumminess – 7 ½

Brent Herrig (C) 2010

Erika lives in New York City with a cat named Mr. Darcy. In the 'Which Golden Girl Are You' quiz she is a Dorothy and in the 'Which Buffy Character Are You' quiz she is a Giles. Some have described her lifestyle as “hopelessly lame” but she prefers “Spinster Chic.”