Hot chocolate is a classic American beverage; warm and chocolatey it’s perfect for warming up during chilly winter days. Originally invented in South America, the first hot chocolates were made using ground cacao beans and chili peppers and heated with water to make a spicy and bitter concoction. Today drastic changes from the original Mayan drink have developed the American classic. Now hot chocolate has many variations in both name, also known as hot cocoa or drinking chocolate, and ingredients. The main ingredients that make up the hot chocolate we know today are cocoa, sugar, and either milk or water. In the United State hot chocolate is usually much thinner and often made using powdered mix while in Europe it is often much thicker and uses actual melted chocolate. In Boston, one of the coldest cities in the Northeast, this drink is a staple in the winter months and enjoyed by people of all ages. And many inventive variations on this winter staple are visible throughout Boston alone. If you’re interested in trying out an American winter classic, or already have an acquired taste for the sweet and decadent drink here is a guide to the best hot chocolates in the Boston area, all MBTA accessible.
L.A. Burdick Chocolate Shop & Café: Harvard Square
Real ground chocolate mixed with cocoa powder and milk is the key to this thick, rich, gourmet hot chocolate that comes in either white, milk, or dark chocolate flavors and can be enjoyed with a variety of pastries and other beverages.
The Thinking Cup: Downtown Boston
This hot chocolate is the French classic, also known as sipping chocolate. Valrhona chocolate is melted down and mixed with cream to make this dense, decadent “drink”.
Flour Bakery & Café: Cambridge
In this bakery the spicy hot chocolate brings this American classic back to its origins by mixing its homemade ganache-based hot chocolate with spicy cayenne, chili powder, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon, sure to warm you inside and out.
Café Fleuri: Langham Hotel
For the chocolate lovers, every Saturday afternoon this café holds their “Chocolate Bar”: a buffet of over 100 chocolate desserts including a signature chocolate bread-pudding, made with melted chocolate and fresh croissants.
Paris Creperie: Coolidge Corner
For any Nutella fans, this creperie is known for its Nutella hot chocolate, made with the Italian hazelnut spread and milk. Other flavors available also include peppermint and raspberry. And our exclusive insider says the crepes are both delicious and affordable too!
Met Back Bay: Back Bay
Here they offer a hot chocolate sampler for the more adventurous, including four small samples of Taza hot chocolate including the flavors Classic Hot Chocolate, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Salted Almond Hot Chocolate, and Peppermint Hot Chocolate.
Max Brenner’s: Boylston St.
Here, too, a variety of inventive hot chocolate creations are available ranging from crunchy hot chocolate that contains crunchy magic waffle marbles, or do-it-yourself hot chocolate with hard lava chocolate chunks or volcano milk. Options of white, milk, or dark chocolate are also available.
Canto 6 Bakery & Cafe: Jamaica Plain
For those looking for a more traditional experience this bakery makes a sinfully good hot chocolate, starting with homemade chocolate ganache and adding steamed milk. A variety of cookies and other pastries are also available to pair with the drink.
Caffe Vittoria: The North End
For the traditional Italian approach to hot chocolate or “cioccolato caldo” this decadently thick hot chocolate uses melted chocolate and tops each cup with a hearty helping of whipped cream.
1369 Coffee House: Cambridge
Here they offer an unusual hot chocolate, the Almond Joy hot chocolate. This hot chocolate has the added flavors of coconut and almond, just like the candy bar. And for those looking for the more traditional hot chocolate that is also available made with Dutch-process cocoa.
Diesel Café: Davis Square
Made with homemade chocolate sauce, steamed milk, and whipped cream this hot chocolate pairs perfectly with the inviting atmosphere of the quirky café and can be made with its signature additions of caramel and hazelnut syrup.
With this guide to the best of the best hot chocolates in Boston, including American and European classics as well as inventive new takes on the hot chocolate of today, you will be sure to keep warm during the cold winter months ahead.