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Staff Picks: 10 Havens for Hot Chocolate

photo by Louish Pixel

Whether it’s a morning indulgence, an afternoon pick-me-up or a drinkable dessert, a good mug of hot chocolate is an always-welcome treat. These 10 hot chocolate destinations take the proper use of the cocoa bean very seriously, with delicious results.

Aroma Espresso Bar
Chocolate praline, warm milk, frothed milk and cocoa are blended together to create a rich hot chocolate, served with a small piece of chocolate on the side. Add a couple of marshmallows to the brew for an even sweeter treat. 500 Bloor St. W., 416-536-7750;
plus other locations.

Bonjour Brioche
The hot chocolate at this Leslieville bakery and brunch spot is a perfect compliment to one of their flaky pastries. Pair the drink with a Brioche Royale—a doughnut-like pasty injected with lemon, raspberry or blueberry cream—for a sugary boost. 812 Queen St. E., 416-406-1250.

Bulldog Coffee
As its name suggests, this café’s hot chocolate has bite: the signature sweet brew, dubbed the Blanco Bull Dog, is made with white chocolate and can be perked up with an optional shot of espresso. A more traditionally coloured hot chocolate is also available, made with melted Ghirardelli chocolate. 89 Granby St., 416-606-2275.

Dark Horse Espresso Bar
Relax with some reading material, or socialize a bit at the communal tables in this chic indie café. The hot chocolate he is more subtle than sweet—a blend of steamed milk and cocoa powder that goes great with a fresh muffin or pastry. 215 Spadina Ave., 416-979-1200; plus two other locations.

Delight Chocolates
This chocolatier in the Junction prides itself in using fair trade and organic ingredients.
The hot chocolate is no exception, made with Harmony Organic Dairy products. It’s also available in spicy and vegan-friendly versions. 3040 Dundas St. W., 416-760-9995.

Jet Fuel
It’s not only the delicious hot chocolate that makes this coffee shop worth a try, but also the vessel in which it’s served—a pint glass. You’ll feel cool as you warm up with their not-overly-sweet beverage, and grab a baked goodie to complete your satisfying break.
519 Parliament St., 416-968-9982.

Manic Coffee
The baristas at this coffeehouse make bittersweet brews topped with a little artwork swirled into the foam. Enjoy your hot chocolate amidst a crowd of caffeine-deficient students and coffee connoisseurs, and try one of the fresh-baked croissants, scones or cookies.
426 College St., 416-966-3888.

MoRoCo Chocolat
Don’t you dare order this luxurious boutique-lounge’s sipping chocolate “to go.” The only way to truly enjoy the melted chocolate concoction is in a porcelain mug with a house-made truffle on the side. Valrhona’s aromatic “grand chocolate” goes into every indulgent cup.
99 Yorkville Ave., 416-961-2202.

Soma Chocolatemaker
For a unique and decadent treat, try this cocoa specialist’s Mayan hot chocolate. The thick drink is spiced with ginger, Madagascar vanilla, orange peel and chili for an adventure in every sip. For a less piquant beverage, try the “dark side of the mug”—a steaming blend of ground dark chocolates. Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St., 416-815-7662; 443 King St. W., 416-599-7662.

Xococava
You’ll find a trifecta of drinkable cocoa-based products at this chocolatier: a thick sipping chocolate, a traditional hot chocolate and a coffee-cocoa mix. All three drinks are dark in colour and semisweet in flavour. 1560 Yonge St., 416-979-9918.

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