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Is there a better winter indulgence than hot chocolate? Nothing quite warms the soul like the rich drink, particularly if there’s whipped cream on top. In New York City, hot chocolate is easy to find at countless cafes and restaurants, and even a few street carts. But for the best hot chocolate in NYC, only a few rise to the top.
The City Bakery has earned its title: After over 100 years of baking, it is the bakery in the city. While there are various “Birdbath Bakery” locations — neighborhood bakeries bearing the City Bakery name — throughout Manhattan, the original one is just off Union Square. City Bakery is one of the best places to find hot chocolate year round, but in February it’s especially good: As part of its annual Hot Chocolate Festival, City Bakery offers a different hot chocolate flavor every day of the month. The chocolate is slightly bitter, and exceedingly rich, so you may want to stick to the 4-oz. “shot.” Add the famous homemade marshmallow to be truly decadent. Photo courtesy of @noleftovers.
MarieBelle offers a totally different environment for decadent hot chocolate. Think old-world decor and liquid chocolate served on doilies. It’s on the quieter side, especially given its SoHo location, and the staff lets you sample from their full range of flavors. Enjoy unique options like freshly ground hazelnut or white chocolate with banana before settling for one. MarieBelle also has a wide selection of chocolate bars, truffles, gift sets, and hot chocolate mixes to take home, so you can recreate the memories all over again. Photo courtesy of @yunnn.gao.
For a true connoisseur’s hot chocolate, none other than L.A. Burdick in the Flatiron District will do. The boutique’s single-source offerings are made Spanish style: pure, melted chocolate served in elegant white china. In fact, L.A. Burdick doesn’t call it hot chocolate at all, but simply “drinking chocolate.” Eschewing any frills, L.A. Burdick offers just three variations: white, milk, and dark. Photo courtesy of @burdickchocolate.
Another spot for uber-decadent spot, Max Brenner serves its melted Italian chocolate in a mug specially designed for drinking hot chocolate. You hold it the rounded cup with both hands, making the experience more tactile and multi-sensory, as your hands warm up too. Photo courtesy of @maxbrennerusa.
This season, the Knick is also offering some of the best hot chocolate in New York. At our rooftop lounge, decorated for the winter like an alpine ski lodge, guests can enjoy our decadent Chartreuse Hot Chocolate. Crafted by head mixologist Steven Rhea, this hot chocolate packs a boozier punch than other hot chocolates in New York. It’s got green Chartreuse, Génépy, Centerbe, Valrhona chocolate and juniper-whipped cream. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind beverage right here at The Knick.