10 of the best hot chocolates across the United States


Hot chocolate with cinnamon and marshmallowsPhoto courtesy of iStock / Mariha-kitchen

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Hot chocolate has been getting a lot of attention lately, what with hot cocoa bombs and hot chocolate charcuterie boards taking over Instagram and TikTok. But it’s a drink that has been enjoyed for millennia by civilizations in Mesoamerica. Once chocolate was brought to Europe by Spanish colonists, chocolate took the world by storm.

Today it's still one of the world’s most desired desserts, and when it comes to hot chocolate, chefs have gotten really creative. Here are some of the best hot chocolates across the country.

Embark on a flavorful journey through time and around the globePhoto courtesy of Kakawa Chocolate House

Kakawa Chocolate House | Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sipping spiced hot drinking chocolate is a tradition that stretches back to the Aztec, Mayan and Olmec people, all of whom believed that chocolate was a food of the Gods. In fact, "kakawa" is the Olmec word for chocolate or cacao.

Kakawa in Santa Fe has a line of hot drinking chocolates – called elixirs – in a variety of flavors that are inspired by pre-Columbian recipes, as well as recipes from around the globe during an era when chocolate was first introduced. In addition to elixirs with flowers and chilis, there’s Italian Citrus, French Lavender, and a Jeffersonian drinking chocolate crafted from a recipe by Thomas Jefferson.

There's a hot chocolate for every occasionPhoto courtesy of Kristina Valdiviezo for French Broad Chocolate

French Broad Chocolate | Asheville, North Carolina

In the hip mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, French Broad Chocolate is all about fair trade and organic chocolates. You can enjoy a silky dark sipping chocolate or creamy milk chocolate. And for anyone looking to spice up their hot chocolate, French Broad offers an aromatic chai masala milk chocolate blend.



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Let freedom (and hot chocolate) ring!Photo courtesy of Shane Confectionery

Shane Confectionery | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Shane Confectionery in Old City Philadelphia is an old-timey candy shop making some of history’s finest confections. In addition to classics like clear toy candies, licorice and old-fashioned cookies, they’ve recently released hot chocolate bombs in the shape of one of Philadelphia’s most iconic symbols: The Liberty Bell.

Like all of their candies, the Incredi-Bell Chocolate Bomb is made with high-quality ingredients, tempered to perfection, and is filled with housemade vanilla marshmallows. They're very popular, and because they're made with care, the Incredi-Bell Chocolate Bombs go fast.

But not to worry – their Shane Signature Hot Chocolate and Shane House Drinking Chocolate, both made with dark cacao sourced from Tanzania, are always a delight!

This spiced hot chocolate is inspired by Mexican drinking chocolate, and is a fan favorite!Photo courtesy of Katherine Anne Confections

Katherine Anne Confections | Chicago, Illinois

Hot chocolate isn’t just a sweet treat at Katherine Anne Confections, it’s an art form. There are not only a wide variety of hot chocolate flavors to enjoy, but a nice selection of marshmallow flavors as well. How about a salted caramel hot chocolate with cinnamon sugar marshmallows, or a hazelnut hot chocolate paired with vanilla bean marshmallows?

There are a dizzying array of flavorful combinations to try!

Is there anything cozier than cuddling up next to the fire with a hot chocolate?Photo courtesy of C2 Photography/The Little Nell

The Little Nell | Aspen, Colorado

After a day of skiing in Aspen, nothing can be cozier than sipping on a rich hot chocolate. The Little Nell is a luxury hotel with stunning views of the Aspen Mountains, and though their year-round accommodations are certainly the main draw, their craft hot chocolate is a sweet addition.

The drink comes with housemade marshmallows and, if you’d like, you can even add a shot of liqueur for an extra dose of warmth in your hot cocoa.

Every ingredient that goes into La Châtelaine Chocolat Co.'s hot cocoa was carefully and intently selectedPhoto courtesy of Ethan Spratt and Shannon Grochowski

La Chatelaine Chocolat Co. | Bozeman, Montana

Who knew you could find a little bit of France in the heart of Bozeman, Montana? La Chatelaine Chocolat Co. celebrates the art of the French café, and their take on hot chocolate is no exception. Aromatic spices blend with the rich earthiness of cacao evoking complex profiles of fruity notes and peppery spices. Every cup of hot cocoa is elegant yet comforting.



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Moonstruck hot cocoa is a decadent treat you can take home and enjoy anytimePhoto courtesy of Moonstruck Chocolate Co.

Moonstruck Chocolate Co. | Portland, Oregon

If you’re looking for a delicious hot chocolate you can make at home or give as a gift to a loved one, you can’t go wrong with Moonstruck’s line of decadent hot chocolates. In addition to classic dark and milk chocolate cocoas, there’s horchata with hints of cinnamon sugar; golden hot chocolate with notes of ginger and turmeric; and mint with the refreshing flavor of mint mixed with milk chocolate.

Christopher Elbow is a hot chocolate destinationPhoto courtesy of Teresa Floyd

Christopher Elbow | Kansas City, Missouri

All of the chocolates at Christopher Elbow are luscious, and the same goes for their hot chocolates. They offer a variety of hot chocolates you can make at home and ship around the country, but the hot chocolates they make at their in-store locations are so unique and satisfying.

Their in-store exclusive flavors include a fruit raspberry hot chocolate blend, white cinnamon, and a rich and aromatic coconut curry.

Sucré's Parisian hot chocolate pairs perfectly with their French-inspired pastriesPhoto courtesy of Emily Ferretti

Sucré | New Orleans, Louisiana

Everywhere you go in New Orleans, you’ll find hints of French cultural influences, especially Sucré. The French-inspired patisserie shop evokes classic French dessert and coffee culture with a touch of modern sophistication. Their le chocolat chaud, a Parisian hot chocolate, seems simple at first glance, but complex at first sip.

The hot drinking chocolate is thick and silky. It’s incredibly chocolatey but has subtle notes of vanilla.

Yes, it's fun to have hot chocolate on a stick, but Popbar's hot cocoa is creamy and deliciousPhoto courtesy of Popbar

Popbar | Multiple locations

Popbar’s concept is simple – every treat you could ever desire on a stick. It’s a clever idea that has made its way across North America and into Portugal. Similar to hot chocolate bombs, all you have to do is add hot milk to bring your hot chocolate beverage to life.

Part of the fun is in the theatrics, but what makes people love Popbar’s hot chocolate on a stick so much is that it's simply delicious.

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