The Most-Over-the-Top Hot Chocolate in the Country
These restaurants take the winter warmer to new heights with unique flavors, extra-special marshmallows and crazy toppings.
Photo By: Lindsey Simon / DineAmic Group
Photo By: Dominique Taylor
Photo By: Morgan S
Mexican Hot Chocolate at La Bodega, Chicago
You won't find your typical Mexican hot chocolate at this walk-up window — although a bit of Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate mix with spices is added in. This version takes it to a whole new level by adding a chocolate pumpkin churro, cookie crisp cereal and a dusting of gold stardust glitter and finishing it with a giant gold marshmallow.
Haute Chocolate at the Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons, Vail, Colorado
After a long day of skiing, there's nothing more deliciously indulgent than cozying up to the Remedy Bar with this luxe hot chocolate made with heavy cream and whole milk mixed with Valrhona dark and milk chocolate. The presentation is equally decadent: A homemade marshmallow is placed on a chocolate lattice that slowly melts when the hot chocolate is poured into the cup, releasing the marshmallow before your first sip.
Blossoming Hot Chocolate at Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York City
Leave it to Dominique Ansel to give hot chocolate a truly theatrical presentation. Before you sip, watch a flower-shaped marshmallow blossom when it's placed in the cup. The surprises don't end there — when the flower fully blossoms, it reveals a chocolate bonbon inside.
Like Butter at The Ritz-Carlton, Greensboro, Georgia
The Ritz-Carlton's boozy hot chocolate is indeed so smooth that it's almost like butter. The combination of melted Valrhona Chocolate Guanaja, a splash of cream, Benjamin Prichard's Sweet Lucy Bourbon Cream Liqueur and peanut butter-infused Knob Creek Bourbon is melded together for 24 hours before being topped with chocolate shavings, whipped cream and a full s'more and served to the masses.
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, Utah
Who says gingerbread is reserved for cookies? Although a gingerbread man is paired with the spice-forward hot chocolate at this Deer Valley ski hotel, it's really the gingerbread hot chocolate that takes center stage. White chocolate is combined with whole milk and half-and-half along with ginger, nutmeg, molasses, vanilla, star anise, cloves and allspice for a drinkable version of a favorite holiday treat.
S'mores Hot Cocktail at Buddy V's, Las Vegas
Owner Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss, is used to whipping up deliciously creative treats, so it's no surprise to find an out-of-the-ordinary hot chocolate at his Vegas restaurant. This one is cocktail meets hot chocolate: Served in a mug rimmed with crushed graham cracker crumbs, hot chocolate is blended with chocolate liqueur, vodka and Drambuie. A shot of espresso is added, and the whole thing is topped with torched mini marshmallows and chocolate sauce.
Party Monster Hotter Chocolate at Bombobar, Chicago
Just about everything at Fabio Viviani's Chicago restaurant is Instagrammable, and the hot chocolate is no exception. The Party Monster starts with a simple milk-chocolate hot chocolate, but the toppings really put it over the top. Star cookies, Lucky Charms, cotton candy, a white-chocolate mini doughnut and swirled marshmallow make this a dessert in a cup.
Orange Blossom and Vanilla Honey Hot Chocolate at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida
It's usually chocolate that's the flavor focus in hot cocoa, but in this creation it's both chocolate and vanilla. The Ritz-Carlton's pastry chef takes dark chocolate and mixes it with bourbon vanilla bean, whole milk, heavy cream and an orange blossom honey. The steamy drink is topped with giant homemade marshmallow squares.
Make Your Own Hot Chocolate at Gurney's Newport Marina & Resort, Rhode Island
Cozy up to one of 11 fire pits at this East Coast resort and pick your perfect hot chocolate to have in hand. Choose from classic, peppermint or boozy, and make your way to the hot chocolate bar to finish your masterpiece with toppings like candy, nuts, cookies, marshmallow creme and even fresh toasted marshmallows.
Spiked Hot Cocoa at Treadwell Park, New York City
This spot may be in the middle of New York City, but it's channeling an apres-ski vibe — especially when it comes to warming drinks. A shot of rum and Luxardo Maraschino are added to the hot cocoa before marshmallows are placed on top and torched. The festive drink is finished with a Pirouette cookie.
Mexican Hot Chocolate at Nomad Taqueria & Beer Garden, Golden, Colorado
Warning: This hot chocolate has a kick. It's made with a touch of cayenne pepper as well as tequila and Amaro Nonino, so you'll definitely feel the heat while sipping this one at Nomad in the beautiful landscape of Red Rocks.
Caramel Corn Hot Chocolate at Murdock's Cafe, Park City, Utah
Ski off the slopes and into this Park City cafe complete with a full roster of creative cocoas. A favorite is the Caramel Corn, a hot chocolate swirled with caramel ribbons and sea salt and topped with whipped cream, caramel corn and more caramel.