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Overhead view of a liege-style waffle on a white paper bag and a white mug of hot chocolate, both on a wooden table
A waffle and hot chocolate at Curio Coffee in East Cambridge.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Where to Warm Up With Boston’s Most Comforting Mugs of Hot Chocolate

Steel yourself against the cold with rich chocolate drinks — including some spiked with booze — at excellent local cafes, chocolate shops, and bars

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A waffle and hot chocolate at Curio Coffee in East Cambridge.
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

When it’s cold or snowing, there's almost nothing better to warm you up than hot chocolate (except soup, maybe). Whether you’re looking for a simple, straightforward, and nostalgic cup of cocoa or a dense and soul-warming treat — or perhaps some hot chocolate spiked with booze — the Boston area has plenty of great options.

Here are over 20 sure-fire places to find excellent hot chocolate in and around the city as the Northeast gets swept into colder months. Some are sweet, some have a kick of spice, some are topped with delightful whipped cream, and some include alcohol.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. Note that as of January 15, 2022, restaurants in Boston will be required to check for proof of vaccination for customers dining indoors. Non-Boston venues with their own vaccination proof requirements are noted as such on this map.

Note: This map was originally published on February 9, 2017; it is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears above.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Short Path Distillery

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At Short Path Distillery, taste a boozy chocolate orange with the Snow Day cocktail — hot chocolate mixed with the distillery’s own triple sec and gin (its Old Tom variety, aged in whiskey barrels and slightly sweetened).

A boozy hot chocolate in a clear glass mug sits on a bar and is garnished with ample marshmallows
The Snow Day at Short Path Distillery.
Katie Stryjewski/Eater

River Bar

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With Mystic River views and a patio with fire pits, this Assembly Row bar offers several hot cocktails over the winter, including hot chocolate spiked with peppermint Baileys.

Proof of vaccination required for indoor dining.

La Saison Bakery

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While picking up a loaf of the best sourdough bread in town or an out-of-this-world chocolate cake, you might as well grab a cup of La Saison Bakery’s hot chocolate, too, with or without espresso. And a cookie, and a brownie, and a scone...

EHChocolatier

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This outstanding local chocolatier debuted its Cambridge storefront in 2019 after years tucked away inside a Somerville factory. While browsing the beautiful bonbons, grab a cup of hot chocolate or buy sipping chocolate mix to bring home, available in French, Mexican, blondie, and masala chai varieties.

Gâté Comme Des Filles

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Located at Bow Market, Somerville’s inimitable chocolate shop Gâté Comme Des Filles offers an incredibly rich Parisian-style hot chocolate topped with creme chantilly; watch for seasonal flavor specials. (Note that the shop is on a short winter break, expected to reopen on January 22, 2022.)

1369 Coffee House

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This Cambridge coffee house has two locations, one in Inman Square and one in Central, and both serve a couple different kinds of hot chocolate: a standard version, made with Dutch-process cocoa, and Mexican hot chocolate spiced with coriander and cinnamon.

Curio Coffee

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This quaint spot in East Cambridge serves hot chocolate made with Taza chocolate, and it pairs nicely with one of Curio’s Liege waffles, making for a warm and sweet treat for cold days.

A Liege-style waffle sits next to a frothy hot chocolate in a white cup and saucer.
Waffle and hot chocolate at Curio.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Zinneken's

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Nothing pairs better than waffles and hot chocolate, as mentioned above, and Zinneken’s also has both on hand in Cambridge. The shop’s tagline is “Belgian waffles made by real Belgians,” so of course the hot chocolate (whipped cream is available as an optional topping) is made with Belgian chocolate. Want to go all in on chocolate? Also order a Nutella-topped waffle.

Pepita Coffee

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Spicy hot chocolate (available iced, too, if that’s more your thing) is the move at Pepita, located inside Lamplighter Brewing, which features cozy spots to read or play board games. Want something a little more caffeinated? Try the double chocolate mocha when it’s available, also spicy or not and hot or iced. (The hot chocolate can also be made “double,” using chocolate milk when available.)

Proof of vaccination required for entry into the taproom.

Earnest Drinks at Gracie's Ice Cream

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Earnest Drinks, the Kendall Square sibling to Somerille’s Gracie’s Ice Cream, will happily spike its hot chocolate — a blend of hot fudge and milk — with whiskey, rye, rum, brandy, or amaro. (Might as well grab some ice cream while you’re there, too.)

This West End restaurant is a more upscale alternative to the neighborhood’s typical sports bar vibes; sit down for a nice meal and a boozy hot chocolate before catching a game at the Garden. La Marseillaise pairs a house-made spiced cocoa and oat milk with Ricard Pastis de Marseille for a boozy hit of anise. (It’s also available without the alcohol, and you can purchase the hot chocolate mix to bring home, too.)

Caffe Vittoria

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If you're in the North End craving some hot chocolate with a little something extra, Caffe Vittoria — which is nearly a century old — has all the answers. There are two kinds of cocoa cocktails on the menu: the sleigh ride, with Godiva chocolate and Baileys, and the Italia, which is rounded out with hazelnut liqueur, Kahlua, and brandy. There's also a standard cioccolatto caldo with whipped cream, available hot or iced, made with whole, skim, soy, or almond milk.

Darwin's Ltd.

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There are four Darwin’s locations around Cambridge and four opportunities to satisfy a hot chocolate craving — and support the employees’ unionization, one of several such efforts in the Massachusetts cafe scene. Almond and oat milk are available.

Thinking Cup

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Thinking Cup’s French hot chocolate is described as a drinking chocolate (read: ultra-rich), made with 64% Tainori Valrhona. If you sit in the window at the Tremont Street location, you can watch snow fall on the Common while you stay nice and warm inside with a steamy cup of chocolate. There are also locations in Back Bay and the North End.

L.A. Burdick

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L.A. Burdick has locations in Cambridge and Boston (and a few others around the country) where visitors can indulge in hot chocolate made with either dark, milk, or white chocolate; retail bags of hot chocolate are also available, including a spicy variety. It's less liquid than your average hot chocolate and more akin to a straight-up melted chocolate bar. Proceed slowly, and perhaps buy a box of the shop’s famous chocolate mice, too.

A frothy hot chocolate in a to-go cup sits on a stone surface
L.A. Burdick hot chocolate.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Athan's Bakery

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With locations in Brighton and Brookline, this European-style cafe is a lovely place to sit and relax over a mug of hot chocolate and some baklava or gelato.

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

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With the standard hot chocolate and white hot chocolate options on the menu, Trident also offers a "chocolatino," which is espresso with steamed chocolate milk that's topped with whipped cream, cocoa, and chocolate syrup. In early January 2022, keep an eye out for the Betty White special, too, a boozy hot chocolate with O’Reilly’s White Chocolate Irish Cream, topped with whipped cream and a white chocolate drizzle.

Flour Bakery + Cafe

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Sure, go to Flour for the sticky buns, but stay for the fiery hot chocolate. The rich beverage brings the fire with some chile powder and cayenne pepper accents. Also keep an eye out for specials, like a white hot chocolate. There are nine locations around Boston and Cambridge.

Overhead view of a white mug of hot chocolate on a wooden table There’s whipped cream and cocoa powder on the hot chocolate. A bouquet of flours peek in from the top right corner of the photo.
Fiery hot chocolate with whipped cream at Flour.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Paris Creperie

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Nutella is the name of the game at Paris Creperie in Coolidge Corner. The restaurant's hot chocolate embraces the hazelnut spread, but there’s also a more standard hot chocolate made with Taza chocolate. Mint, vanilla, hazelnut, raspberry, and lavender are available as add-ons, along with whipped cream and espresso shots.

Render Coffee

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With one South End location and another downtown, there's twice the opportunity to get hot chocolate from Render Coffee. (And watch for a Seaport District location debuting in early 2022.)

A hot chocolate in a large white mug on a saucer with heart-shaped foam art
Hot chocolate at Render.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Lulu Green

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South Boston’s cheery vegan cafe Lulu Green adds reishi to its hot chocolate, which can be made with either almond or oat milk. Add a double espresso shot, if you choose.

With locations in Jamaica Plain and Newton Highlands, this chocolate and nut shop also functions as a cafe, and fans flock there for the hot chocolate in particular. Watch for seasonal specials like the peppermint hot chocolate — and get a side of peppermint bark, of course. Retail hot chocolate mix is also available in standard, dark, and spicy.

Reign Drink Lab

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Creative Dorchester cafe Reign Drink Lab pairs dark chocolate with Vietnamese coffee for its seasonal Vietnamese hot chocolate, topped with sea salt whip.

Short Path Distillery

A boozy hot chocolate in a clear glass mug sits on a bar and is garnished with ample marshmallows
The Snow Day at Short Path Distillery.
Katie Stryjewski/Eater

At Short Path Distillery, taste a boozy chocolate orange with the Snow Day cocktail — hot chocolate mixed with the distillery’s own triple sec and gin (its Old Tom variety, aged in whiskey barrels and slightly sweetened).

A boozy hot chocolate in a clear glass mug sits on a bar and is garnished with ample marshmallows
The Snow Day at Short Path Distillery.
Katie Stryjewski/Eater

River Bar

With Mystic River views and a patio with fire pits, this Assembly Row bar offers several hot cocktails over the winter, including hot chocolate spiked with peppermint Baileys.

Proof of vaccination required for indoor dining.

La Saison Bakery

While picking up a loaf of the best sourdough bread in town or an out-of-this-world chocolate cake, you might as well grab a cup of La Saison Bakery’s hot chocolate, too, with or without espresso. And a cookie, and a brownie, and a scone...

EHChocolatier

This outstanding local chocolatier debuted its Cambridge storefront in 2019 after years tucked away inside a Somerville factory. While browsing the beautiful bonbons, grab a cup of hot chocolate or buy sipping chocolate mix to bring home, available in French, Mexican, blondie, and masala chai varieties.

Gâté Comme Des Filles

Located at Bow Market, Somerville’s inimitable chocolate shop Gâté Comme Des Filles offers an incredibly rich Parisian-style hot chocolate topped with creme chantilly; watch for seasonal flavor specials. (Note that the shop is on a short winter break, expected to reopen on January 22, 2022.)

1369 Coffee House

This Cambridge coffee house has two locations, one in Inman Square and one in Central, and both serve a couple different kinds of hot chocolate: a standard version, made with Dutch-process cocoa, and Mexican hot chocolate spiced with coriander and cinnamon.

Curio Coffee

A Liege-style waffle sits next to a frothy hot chocolate in a white cup and saucer.
Waffle and hot chocolate at Curio.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

This quaint spot in East Cambridge serves hot chocolate made with Taza chocolate, and it pairs nicely with one of Curio’s Liege waffles, making for a warm and sweet treat for cold days.

A Liege-style waffle sits next to a frothy hot chocolate in a white cup and saucer.
Waffle and hot chocolate at Curio.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Zinneken's

Nothing pairs better than waffles and hot chocolate, as mentioned above, and Zinneken’s also has both on hand in Cambridge. The shop’s tagline is “Belgian waffles made by real Belgians,” so of course the hot chocolate (whipped cream is available as an optional topping) is made with Belgian chocolate. Want to go all in on chocolate? Also order a Nutella-topped waffle.

Pepita Coffee

Spicy hot chocolate (available iced, too, if that’s more your thing) is the move at Pepita, located inside Lamplighter Brewing, which features cozy spots to read or play board games. Want something a little more caffeinated? Try the double chocolate mocha when it’s available, also spicy or not and hot or iced. (The hot chocolate can also be made “double,” using chocolate milk when available.)

Proof of vaccination required for entry into the taproom.

Earnest Drinks at Gracie's Ice Cream

Earnest Drinks, the Kendall Square sibling to Somerille’s Gracie’s Ice Cream, will happily spike its hot chocolate — a blend of hot fudge and milk — with whiskey, rye, rum, brandy, or amaro. (Might as well grab some ice cream while you’re there, too.)

Alcove

This West End restaurant is a more upscale alternative to the neighborhood’s typical sports bar vibes; sit down for a nice meal and a boozy hot chocolate before catching a game at the Garden. La Marseillaise pairs a house-made spiced cocoa and oat milk with Ricard Pastis de Marseille for a boozy hit of anise. (It’s also available without the alcohol, and you can purchase the hot chocolate mix to bring home, too.)

Caffe Vittoria

If you're in the North End craving some hot chocolate with a little something extra, Caffe Vittoria — which is nearly a century old — has all the answers. There are two kinds of cocoa cocktails on the menu: the sleigh ride, with Godiva chocolate and Baileys, and the Italia, which is rounded out with hazelnut liqueur, Kahlua, and brandy. There's also a standard cioccolatto caldo with whipped cream, available hot or iced, made with whole, skim, soy, or almond milk.

Darwin's Ltd.

There are four Darwin’s locations around Cambridge and four opportunities to satisfy a hot chocolate craving — and support the employees’ unionization, one of several such efforts in the Massachusetts cafe scene. Almond and oat milk are available.

Thinking Cup

Thinking Cup’s French hot chocolate is described as a drinking chocolate (read: ultra-rich), made with 64% Tainori Valrhona. If you sit in the window at the Tremont Street location, you can watch snow fall on the Common while you stay nice and warm inside with a steamy cup of chocolate. There are also locations in Back Bay and the North End.

L.A. Burdick

A frothy hot chocolate in a to-go cup sits on a stone surface
L.A. Burdick hot chocolate.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

L.A. Burdick has locations in Cambridge and Boston (and a few others around the country) where visitors can indulge in hot chocolate made with either dark, milk, or white chocolate; retail bags of hot chocolate are also available, including a spicy variety. It's less liquid than your average hot chocolate and more akin to a straight-up melted chocolate bar. Proceed slowly, and perhaps buy a box of the shop’s famous chocolate mice, too.

A frothy hot chocolate in a to-go cup sits on a stone surface
L.A. Burdick hot chocolate.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Related Maps

Athan's Bakery

With locations in Brighton and Brookline, this European-style cafe is a lovely place to sit and relax over a mug of hot chocolate and some baklava or gelato.

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

With the standard hot chocolate and white hot chocolate options on the menu, Trident also offers a "chocolatino," which is espresso with steamed chocolate milk that's topped with whipped cream, cocoa, and chocolate syrup. In early January 2022, keep an eye out for the Betty White special, too, a boozy hot chocolate with O’Reilly’s White Chocolate Irish Cream, topped with whipped cream and a white chocolate drizzle.

Flour Bakery + Cafe

Overhead view of a white mug of hot chocolate on a wooden table There’s whipped cream and cocoa powder on the hot chocolate. A bouquet of flours peek in from the top right corner of the photo.
Fiery hot chocolate with whipped cream at Flour.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Sure, go to Flour for the sticky buns, but stay for the fiery hot chocolate. The rich beverage brings the fire with some chile powder and cayenne pepper accents. Also keep an eye out for specials, like a white hot chocolate. There are nine locations around Boston and Cambridge.

Overhead view of a white mug of hot chocolate on a wooden table There’s whipped cream and cocoa powder on the hot chocolate. A bouquet of flours peek in from the top right corner of the photo.
Fiery hot chocolate with whipped cream at Flour.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Paris Creperie

Nutella is the name of the game at Paris Creperie in Coolidge Corner. The restaurant's hot chocolate embraces the hazelnut spread, but there’s also a more standard hot chocolate made with Taza chocolate. Mint, vanilla, hazelnut, raspberry, and lavender are available as add-ons, along with whipped cream and espresso shots.

Render Coffee

A hot chocolate in a large white mug on a saucer with heart-shaped foam art
Hot chocolate at Render.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

With one South End location and another downtown, there's twice the opportunity to get hot chocolate from Render Coffee. (And watch for a Seaport District location debuting in early 2022.)

A hot chocolate in a large white mug on a saucer with heart-shaped foam art
Hot chocolate at Render.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Lulu Green

South Boston’s cheery vegan cafe Lulu Green adds reishi to its hot chocolate, which can be made with either almond or oat milk. Add a double espresso shot, if you choose.

Cacao

With locations in Jamaica Plain and Newton Highlands, this chocolate and nut shop also functions as a cafe, and fans flock there for the hot chocolate in particular. Watch for seasonal specials like the peppermint hot chocolate — and get a side of peppermint bark, of course. Retail hot chocolate mix is also available in standard, dark, and spicy.

Reign Drink Lab

Creative Dorchester cafe Reign Drink Lab pairs dark chocolate with Vietnamese coffee for its seasonal Vietnamese hot chocolate, topped with sea salt whip.

Related Maps