Loco for Cocoa: 9 NYC Hot Chocolate Spots
by Jonathan Zeller, 01/30/2013
- more in dining/
Some malcontents grouse about NYC's cold winter temperatures (we suspect they're the same people who spend the summer cranking up the AC in their apartments), but the City's positive thinkers know that chilly conditions are the perfect complement to a piping-hot mug of homemade cocoa. As such, we've compiled a list of excellent hot chocolate spots that'll warm your hands and tickle your taste buds this season.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
66 Water St., 718-875-1269, DUMBO, Brooklyn
285 Amsterdam Ave., 212-787-3256, Upper East Side, Manhattan
Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave., 212-229-2441, Chelsea, Manhattan
350 Hudson St., 212-414-2462, West Village, Manhattan
Rockefeller Center, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 212-664-1804, Midtown West, Manhattan
The man who may well be New York City's most famous chocolatier—and whose shop played a role in DUMBO's revitalization—offers "wicked" hot chocolate made with ancho and chipotle peppers, as well as a satisfying mocha hot chocolate, plus a "classic" variety that some adherents claim is the best of its kind.
225 E. 60th St., 212-838-3531, Upper East Side, Manhattan
Serendipity 3's oxymoronic Frrrozen Hot Chocolate has a lot in common with the 2001 film Serendipity—both require extensive suspension of disbelief. Could such a convenient set of coincidences really unite John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale? Probably not. Can a beverage be simultaneously "frrrozen" and hot? Only when considering quantum physics. But if you don't think too hard, the movie remains a feel-good date-night rental, and the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is an undeniably delicious drink.
The Russian Tea Room
150 W. 57th St., 212-581-7100, Midtown West, Manhattan
Sure enough, the famed Russian Tea Room, home to such ornate decorations as a 20-foot-tall golden tree adorned with Venetian glass eggs—and whose menu features, for example, Golden Caspian Osetra caviar—offers its own "signature hot chocolate," complete with whipped cream and marshmallows. The toasty, tasty treat is an affordable way to get a foot in the door at one of the City's fanciest, most famous eateries.
MarieBelle New York
484 Broome St., 212-925-6999, SoHo, Manhattan
MarieBelle is known for intricately designed handcrafted chocolates that look like miniature works of art. The staff at the confectionery's Cacao Bar and Tea Salon puts the same care into its dark, rich, pudding-thick Aztec hot chocolate, which comes in European (made with water) and American (made with milk) varieties. It's also available in spicy and iced versions (with the latter being served only in the summer).
The City Bakery
3 W. 18th St., 212-366-1414, Union Square, Manhattan
This Union Square–area mainstay peddles delightfully viscous liquid cocoa, which—while satisfying enough in its simplest form—is featured in many imaginative iterations at the bakery's own Hot Chocolate Festival every February. The 2013 flavors include ginger, banana peel and something called "Ode to the Polar Bear."
21 Clinton St., 212-677-7417, Lower East Side, Manhattan
228 Seventh Ave., 718-499-4080, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Cocoa Bar offers mint-, cinnamon- and spice-infused spins on hot chocolate. They taste even better alongside the eatery's triple chocolate mousse cake and other treats, and the Cocoa Bar staff is glad to suggest the chocolate that best pairs with your wine, beer, cocktail or sake.
The Chocolate Room
86 Fifth Ave., 718-783-2900, Park Slope, Brooklyn
269 Court St., 718-246-2600, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
The Chocolate Room is stationed on Park Slope's scenic Fifth Avenue, a fantastic place for a wintertime stroll. Inside, warm up with one of its diverse liquid cocoa concoctions, including "classic," dark and spicy varieties and even a hot chocolate float.
Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man
841 Broadway, 646-467-8803, Union Square, Manhattan
Dessert tycoon Max Brenner (a fictional character who's a composite of the venue's two founders) serves hot chocolate in a specially designed "hug mug," which encourages patrons to hold the drink with both hands, achieving a toasty, comforting feel. The cocoa is available in milk, dark and white chocolate versions or with shots of Baileys, amaretto and other adult ingredients.
134 W. Broadway, 212-791-1360, TriBeCa, Manhattan
401 E. 20th St., 212-727-1505, East Village, Manhattan
466 Hudson St., 212-741-6479, West Village, Manhattan
44 W. 17th St., 212-727-2989, Chelsea, Manhattan
Petite Abeille gets its name from a Belgian children's book—the moniker means "little bee." Belgium is known for its waffles, beer and chocolate, and this place doesn't let diners down on any of those fronts. The hot chocolate is made from 70% Callebaut chocolate, which is shaved, melted down and mixed with whole milk and a little bit of half-and-half.