On days where the mercury dips into zones that require layers and layers of clothing, plus an extra helping of thermal undergarments that you got from your Aunt Gertrude last year, nothing can make getting out into the wintery weather all worthwhile than a scrumptious sipping of genuinely delicious hot cocoa.
While there are plenty of places in Manhattan that talk about their hot chocolate as being the best, here are my own picks on the beverage. Feel free to leave your own recommendation or add a comment if you wish.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
This is classic hot chocolate. They didn't add any extra spices to the recipe and it comes with chocolate froth. Yes, it is frothy on the top. I feel much better that a ton of whipped cream wasn't irresponsibly slathered onto the concoction. This is classic and very tasty -plus, it goes very well with either an almond croissant or a DKA ("Dominique's Kouign Amann") - which is a like a croissant with a caramelized, crunchy crust.
Multiple locations throughout NYC
If you do want a little kick to your drink, give the Wicked Hot Chocolate a spin at Jacques' place. It is dense, but that extra heat in the drink will make any frosty customer smile with warmness.
Flat Iron District
In all honesty, I find their hot chocolate, personally, way too dense. However, I know that people line up around the block for the stuff... And I've had it plenty of times to feel guilty about the extra time I'll need to spend at the gym working off this calorie bomb. I can't blame the bakery - but I really do fault the amazing deliciousness of their homemade marshmallows as a guilty contributor to my expanding waistline. If you like a thick hot chocolate, this is the place for you.
Upper East Side + Soho
If you want flavors and exotic explosions in your mouth, go to Vosges. On their website, they say that they offer hot chocolate "with a twist." There is an option that touts Australian lemon myrtle, lavender, white chocolate and vanilla powder that should not be missed. What is even better: all of their hot cocoas are available as iced versions, too. It's year 'round fun!
While there are only four places listed here, I know there are many, many more... and the season has just begun. So PLEASE! Let me know your recommendations - I'll try them all and report back!
Happy New Year, everyone!
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