Hecho en Dumbo
354 Bowery, Astor Place
Chef Danny Mena is celebrating Christmas all December with a menu of traditional Mexican holiday favorites. His version of Mexican hot chocolate is thickened with masa into a smooth concoction called champurrado, with vanilla and chocolate from Zacatecas state, which is said to produce the best chocolate in the Western Hemisphere. Bonus: Get it spiked with Mount Gay rum, or order the dessert empanadas and get a complimentary cup.
The Chocolate Room
269 Court St., Cobble Hill
Hot chocolate is just the beginning of an ultimate dessert at the Chocolate Room. The velvety abyss that is their dark chocolate can be enhanced with a shot from the bar, or a scoop of ice cream (Belgian chocolate, perhaps?) for some decadent chocolate-ception. Get one to share in their cozy lounge to amp up the aphrodisiac effect.
The Cannibal Beer & Butcher
Gotham West Market, 600 11th Ave.
Once this winter actually decides to arrive, you’ll want Bill Brooks’ bracing hot chocolate concoction to warm your hands — and more. The Whipple-Scrumpet’s hot chocolate base is fortified with boozy Christmas cheer by way of bourbon and stout, then topped off with whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts.
75 Ninth Ave., Chelsea
If you consider marshmallows an essential part of the hot chocolate experience, then Amy’s is where you want to be. Their hot chocolate is made with ganache, not powder, and there’s a Titanic-sinking housemade marshmallow iceberg floating in every cup. Grab one to go and savor while you browse the elaborately decked halls of Chelsea Market.
3 W. 18th St., Flatiron
Their signature hot chocolate is worth the wait — because there are still lines to get into this old-school-style NYC favorite. Skip the sugar shock of ordering one of their (also excellent) chocolate chip cookies to go with your hot chocolate, which is more like a melted chocolate bar than an actual beverage, and go for their own pastry hybrid, the sesame-studded pretzel croissant.
221 W. 79th St., Upper West Side
More a wing of Charlie’s Chocolate Factory than a patisserie, Voila doesn’t shy away from experimenting with flavors. Even their house blend of hot chocolate is called “daredevil” for its spicy kick of ginger, anise and chili in the 72 percent Guittard chocolate. Since hot chocolate is their year-round speciality, it also comes in seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and peppermint.
841 Broadway, Union Square
Hot cocoa isn’t a seasonal treat at Max Brenner, the Italian chocolate emporium that serves it every way from pizzas to truffles and, of course, a whole menu of sippable treats. Go for the thick, no-milk-here Italian-style hot chocolate, served in its own specially designed Hug Mug for ultimate coziness. Until Jan. 3, find Max Brenner at their pop-up in Bryant Park’s Winter Village.