Stay Warm This Winter with Boston’s Best Hot Chocolate

By Eric Twardzik
Where to Find the Best Hot Chocolate in Boston
Hot Chocolate from Cacao

Nothing takes the edge off New England winter quite like a cup of hot cocoa, so next time you need to warm up with rich hot chocolate, head to one of these local cafes or chocolate shops. From ultra-traditional drinking chocolate to spiced chocolate blends with dark, milk, or white chocolate—and even dairy-free alternatives—these are the best cups of hot chocolate in Boston.

Gâté Comme des Filles

Gâté Comme des Filles hot chocolate

Bow Market’s resident chocolatier Gâté Comme des Filles is helmed by Cambridge native Alexandra Whisnant, who studied patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and was a pastry cook under Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. Translation: You can expect the Chocolate Chaud to be on point. And it is: Crafted with high-quality chocolate, it’s crowned with a thick dollop of fresh crème chantilly. Note that though the Somerville marketplace is open daily, each shop sets their own hours, and the counter-service chocolate boutique is open Wednesday through Sunday.

L.A. Burdick Chocolates in Boston

Swiss-trained, New York City-founded, and New Hampshire-headquartered, L.A. Burdick Chocolates and cafe chain has local locations in Back Bay and Harvard Square. Known as a pioneering chocolatier in the U.S., Burdick’s specialty for sipping is European-style Drinking Chocolate that’s deliciously like a whole bar just melted in your mug. Choose milk, dark, Spicy Dark, or white hot chocolate blends—or sample a single-source variety touting the terroir of cacao grown in Ecuador or Madagascar. 

Flour Bakery + Cafe | Harvard Square Restaurants

Nothing about acclaimed chef Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery + Cafe is basic, the Hot Chocolate included. From any of the local chain’s locations scattered throughout Boston and Cambridge, you can enjoy a foamy cup of rich chocolate ganache made with local dairy. It’s the perfect pairing to any of Flour’s pastries, from the famously Sticky Sticky Bun to a Bittersweet Chocolate Brownie. Order Hot Chocolate in-store or via your preferred device for pickup or delivery (pro tip: Flour has a user-friendly rewards app).

Curio Coffee

Curio Coffee | Where to Find the Best Hot Chocolate in Boston

Cambridge’s Curio Coffee is located less than a mile from the Taza Chocolate factory in Somerville—a fact of geography the tiny coffee shop takes full advantage of by melting Taza’s stone-ground, Mexican-style chocolate to produce a rich and dark cup of cocoa. Sweetened with vanilla bean syrup, this Hot Chocolate is best paired with a chewy Liège Waffle that can pull dipping duty. Curio is currently open only for takeout; the team runs an efficient pickup window with ordering ahead available

La Saison Bakery Boston

Before opening La Saison Bakery in Cambridge, founder and pastry chef Soheil Fathi had a high-end chocolate shop in his native Tehran. Belgian semisweet chocolate chips are the basis of the Mocha, Espresso Hot Chocolate, and the House Hot Choco, a splurge-worthy version made without added sugar because the chocolate is luxurious enough. It’s the same chocolate, in fact, that stuffs the decadent Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, another worthy reason to visit this Cambridge gem. So why not order both?

Vinal Bakery | Where to Find the Best Hot Chocolate in Boston

Somerville’s Vinal Bakery may be best known for English muffins, but the cafe also sells stellar hot and cold drinks, including a knockout Hot Chocolate. Made with a vegan ganache of Valrhona dark chocolate and your steamed milk of choice, this cup of Hot Chocolate is creamy and frothy while staying remarkably light. Ordering online ahead of time and picking up from Vinal’s sidewalk takeout window is the move.

Petrova Chocolates

Petrova Chocolates
Credit: Betty Petrova

Instead of a storefront, fine local chocolatier Petrova Chocolates opened an online shop. Visit it to have a creative and creamy mug of hot chocolate from the comfort of your own couch: the Hot Chocolate Bomb is a tempered dark-chocolate orb filled with a house-blend hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows. All you need is a mug and a cup of steaming-hot milk of choice to transform it at home. Thanks to Petrova’s A+ packaging, it’s (almost) as satisfying to give as it is to receive. Note: Petrova is a one-woman operation, so check back often for availability.

Cacao hot chocolate Boston

The cacao farms and cashew groves dotting the landscape of their native Dominican Republic inspired a local couple to open Cacao, a chocolate and nut shop and cafe in Newton Highlands. (An outpost in Jamaica Plain closed at the end of 2022.) Cacao’s version of Hot Chocolate is a velvety blend of quality chocolate, with a dash of cinnamon for balanced flavor. Opt for whipped cream or not—your choice. The cafe also pulls shots of espresso, so mocha drinks are an option as well. You can also bring home rich hot chocolate mixes, including a spicy version with a dash of cayenne pepper. In Boston’s warmer months, Cacao also indulges us with Iced Hot Chocolate, a cool seasonal specialty.

Honeycomb Creamery Boston

One of Boston’s best ice cream shops isn’t just a warm-weather destination: Honeycomb Creamery serves up a delightful cup of Hot Chocolate during the colder months. Starting with pure melted chocolate, the drink can be made with whole milk from Mapleline Farm in Hadley (the same fresh dairy that makes small-batch scoops like Salted Caramel Crackle and Cold Brew Coffee Chip) or rich coconut cream as a dairy-free and vegan alternative. It’s delectable as-is, but if you want to spice things up, ask about adding a dash of a house spice blend like gingerbread. The winter-season special Hot Chocolate typically returns mid-November and sticks around to warm us up as long as necessary.

Updated by Jacqueline Cain

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