Hot Chocolate

Sofra Bakery & Cafe

Nothing takes the edge off New England winter quite like a cup of hot cocoa. From ultra-traditional drinking chocolate to spiced iterations—and even a dairy-free alternative—the hot chocolates these local purveyors prepare are worth every sip.

Gâté Comme des Filles

Bow Market’s resident chocolatier Gâté Comme des Filles is helmed by a Cambridge native who spent time at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and worked as a pastry cook under Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. Translation: You can expect the Parisian-style Hot Chocolate from Gâté Comme des Filles to be on-point, including its thick dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Ana Sortun’s Sofra Bakery & Cafe utilizes Middle Eastern spices to delicious effect, hot chocolate included. At this Cambridge spot, a blend of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and whole milk is seasoned with sesame caramel to add extra depth of flavor to the Sesame Caramel Hot Chocolate. We always order that one, but those not sold on the extras can request a sans-sesame version of the seasonal treat.

L.A. Burdick Chocolates, a chocolate-centric café with locations in Back Bay and Harvard Square, specializes in rich and viscous European-style Drinking Chocolate that feels as if a whole bar just melted in your mug. Choose between milk, dark, or white drinking chocolate—or sample one of their single-source varieties touting the terroir of cacao grown in Ecuador or Madagascar.

Nothing about chef Joanne Chang’s local chain Flour Bakery + Cafe is basic, hot chocolate included. All of the eight locations dispense a Fiery Hot Chocolate, with cayenne pepper and chili powder added to a blend of steamed milk and chocolate ganache for a hot beverage that warms in more ways than one.

Curio Coffee

Cambridge’s Curio Coffee is located less than a mile from the Taza Chocolate factory in Somerville—a fact of geography the small cafe takes full advantage of by melting Taza’s stone-ground, Mexican-style chocolate to produce a rich and dark cup of cocoa. It’s best paired with a chewy Liege waffle that can pull dipping duty if needed.

The Mexican Chocolate prepared at all Boston-area outposts of Life Alive Organic Cafe helps the dairy-averse find their hot cocoa fix, but we’d recommend this lactose-free treat to all comers. It swaps out milk for a homemade coconut crème, gets spiced up with cayenne and cinnamon, and even includes activated charcoal for a toxin-cleansing health boost. You can order yours steamy hot or opt for it shaken and chilled over ice.

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