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Where to Find the Best Hot Chocolate in Washington, DC
Ridiculously delicious hot chocolate and melty goodness awaits you at these DC hot spots.
Brace yourselves, winter is here and along with it, the bitter cold. How will you weather the storm? We’ve got your survival guide right here, and it involves hot, melted chocolate beverages that are sweet, sinfully delicious and sometimes very adult.
If there's a shoe-in for the most innovative, delicious hot chocolate in the city, it's Ice Cream Jubilee. First off, the creamy Nutella hot chocolate is composed of melted dark chocolate, potent cocoa and the hazelnut- and cocoa-infused ingredient for which it is named. The yin to that hot chocolate's yang: the malted white hot chocolate. It's literally white hot, and features homemade earl grey-lavender syrup, malted milk and melted hunks of white chocolate.
As is the M.O. for Baked by Yael, DC's first cakepoppery®, which doles out sweet delights on a stick, the hot chocolate here also gets similar treatment. Forget cocoa powder – stir a block of delicious gourmet Belgian chocolate on the end of a wooden spoon into the hot beverage of your choice: milk, water, or coffee. The interactive element to this hot chocolate makes it taste that much sweeter. While you're at Baked by Yael, be sure to check out their nut-free and kosher baked goods, made from scratch in their bakery across from the National Zoo.
Started in Old Town Alexandria as a small and quaint coffee shop, Killer E.S.P. also has a location in Chinatown in the District as well. Known for their mouthwatering pie and delicious espresso drinks, this unique little coffee shop has put a powerful twist on the traditional hot chocolate. Ask for a Killer Mocha to delight in Hot Cocoa with a kick (a shot of espresso). Traditional hot chocolate is also available for the purists out there.
With six locations throughout the capital region, including three in the District, you’re never too far from an authentic Italian gelato fix. But this Baltimore-based chain offers more than just the frozen treat. Pitango takes hot chocolate to a whole new level with its traditional sipping chocolate, an elixir straight from Torino, Italy. This thick, intense, bittersweet concoction has the consistency of pudding or melted chocolate. Packed full of low-fat, additive-free, pure cocoa, Pitango’s sipping chocolate makes for a smooth treat. Some enjoy it with steamed milk, whipped cream or even straight up.
Once you’ve explored the National Gallery of Art’s East Wing, travel through the concourse via Multiverse, the light sculpture by Leo Villareal, to the museum’s Espresso & Gelato Bar. There, indulge in a delicious cup of hot chocolate paired with any one of the cafe’s baked goods. Looking for an outdoor experience at the gallery? Head to the sculpture garden to skate amid magnificent works of art and towering sculptures in a lush garden. Warm up with a mug of hot cocoa from the Pavilion Café, where spiked hot chocolate is available for those over 21.
According to Oyamel Chef Omar Rodriguez, “The thing that makes our hot chocolate unique is that we use Oaxacan chocolate. This chocolate is closer to a pure form of chocolate so its cacao content is high. It also has Canela (Mexican Cinnamon) ground into it.” You had us at “pure form of chocolate."
The handmade churros from the vibrant 14th Street eatery were made for dipping into a cup of Cuban hot cocoa. The sweet cinnamon sugar swirls perfectly with the Spanish-style chocolate, making for the perfect combination sure to please your taste buds.
Mintwood Place is a charming little neighborhood brasserie located in the heart of Adams Morgan. This season, the restaurant is offering a holiday cookie plate and a mug of hot chocolate with fluffy vanilla marshmallows. Cookie flavors will rotate and include options like chocolate gingerbread, orange cranberry oatmeal and chai snickerdoodle. As for the hot chocolate – a boozy options are available with a shot of Baileys, Gran Marnier or whiskey.
Located in the heart of Cleveland Park, Sababa serves up modern Israeli cuisine. Their take on a hot chocolate is a non-traditional turmeric white hot chocolate. Cozy up with a mug full and then dive headfirst into a huge bowl of hummus.