There’s nothing like a steaming mug of hot chocolate during Chicago’s long stretch of cold weather to give you some warm fuzzies. Whether you’ve been building snowmen all day or shopping in the city for holiday gifts, there are a few places that are offering up a good serving of hot cocoa to keep you deliciously warm.
4729 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
Monday 11am – 3pm (serving lunch)
Tuesday – Thursday 8am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday 8am – 10pm
Sunday 9am – 8pm (serving brunch) Dinner service begins at 3:30 – 8pm.
Located in the heart of Lincoln Square, Café Selmarie opened in 1983 as a small bakery. They now offer breakfast, lunch and dinner along with all of their bakery goods. But, it’s their hot chocolate that you really must taste while you are here. They serve you a big mug of frothy, chocolaty steamed milk with a thick layer of fresh whipped cream made in house. You first spoon the whipped cream out and eat it, then on to the frothy second layer before you make it to the third layer of smooth hot chocolate. It’s heaven in a mug.
53 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Monday-Thursday: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Better than Starbucks hot chocolate? Yes. (Although the Starbucks holiday peppermint hot chocolate is pretty good.) They used steamed milk with a taste of pure cocoa on your first sip. Frothy and goes down smooth. It’s also not so hot that it burns your tongue on the first taste. I was slightly disappointed though that in the Loop I had to spend $3.75 for only 8 oz of hot chocolate. Nevertheless, it was a good pick me up.
517-19 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60622
Monday – Thursday: 7 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Located in the River West neighborhood, Iguana Café has been open in Chicago since June 2001. They serve their famous crepes and paninis in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. This year they were voted the Best of Chicago award in the category of Cafes and Creperies. Come here to sit back and relax and enjoy their hot cocoa for only $2.50. Don’t forget to go total European and order a crepe to go with it.
Kopi Travelers Café
5317 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Up in Andersonville, Kopi Travelers Café is serving Mexican hot chocolate. Unlike the American way of a watered down version, Mexican hot chocolate is incredibly thick. If you’re looking to try a different style of hot chocolate then this is the place to check out. Their mug of hot chocolate resembles more chocolate than liquid.
Sometimes it’s so cold Downtown and the wind is so fierce that you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced way to stay warm and it still tastes good, I suggest making your way into any of the Dunkin Donuts downtown for a good cup of delicious warmth. Might as well pick up a doughnut too while you’re at it. A little more fat will keep you warm too.
11 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60602
If you’ve been ice skating all afternoon, you’re bound to need to take a hot chocolate break. The hot chocolate isn’t out of this world amazing, but the views and the ambiance of being in the city on a winter’s day is sure worth the trip. And taking a break to watch the other skaters is guaranteed good entertainment.
I grew up making snowmen outside, tobogganing at Bemis Woods at night and snow forts. I’d come in sit by the fire and either drink Swiss Miss hot chocolate or the good ole standby of Hershey’s chocolate syrup and milk. The benefit of making it at home is that you can add as much chocolate, marshmallows, sprinkles and whipped cream as you want. Sometimes, it’s too cold to make the trip outside to the café, so having a box mix at home is just as good. Plus the memories with your kids are even better.