When winter descends in Chicago, there’s nothing better than warming up with a piping cup of hot chocolate. From restaurants to bakeries, there are hot chocolate drinks aplenty in the Windy City. But these five have perfected the decadent treat, and not all of them are all that traditional. Whether you have a hankering for a hot chocolate topped with housemade marshmallows or an adult chocolate cocktail, these places have got you covered.
Katherine Anne Confections
2745 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
If Katherine Anne’s hot chocolate wasn’t swoon worthy enough already, pair it with a truffle bite or caramel, and you’ll surely be in heaven. Opened in 2012, this confiserie uses locally sourced ingredients to make treats that are mouth-wateringly good. Her hot chocolate is often made with a bittersweet chocolate and topped with a housemade marshmallow or whipped cream, your choice. Just be forewarned: the hot chocolate itself is rich, so it’s a dessert in itself. Even so, you shouldn’t have any trouble finishing it.
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate
1747 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
There’s a reason Chef Mindy Segal put “Hot Chocolate” in her dessert bar’s name. Her chocolate concoction is the drink that all other hot chocolates in Chicago aspire to be, it’s just that good. Plus, even the traditional route here is anything but traditional. Grab a pumpkin hot chocolate in the fall for $6 (it’s made with white chocolate, milk chocolate and a bit of pumpkin spice), or dark, Mexican, black and tan and medium flavors, just to name a few. All are served with house-made marshmallows. For a more “adult” hot chocolate, get an after-dinner hot chocolate served in a side car with liqueurs like Sambuca, Kahlua or Lazzaroni Amaretto for $8.
449 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654
While XOCO may be known for its stellar tortas, Rick Bayless’s “little sister” offers hot chocolate that is the perfect way to end a meal, or to begin your day. All of its drinking chocolates are made with freshly ground Mexican cacao beans, and you can tell with these rich flavor combinations. Choices range from the authentic (chocolate with water) and the classic (a chocolate shot with 2% milk) to the more adventurous (and rich), like the aztec, which is made with ground chocolate, water, chile and allspice. Dunk your churros in hot chocolate, and your tastebuds will thank you.
Related: Best Chocolate In Chicago
Angel Food Bakery
1636 W. Montrose Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
Angel Food Bakery in Ravenswood may be known for its plethora of Easy Bake oven decorations as well as its desserts and cakes, but it also serves the perfect complement to any sweet: Barthelona hot chocolate. This Spanish-style drinking chocolate is a decadent dessert all its own, and it’s topped with a puffy cloud of fresh whipped cream. But don’t try ordering this in the summer months. The $4 drink is only available from October to March.
Benny’s Chop House
444 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
For the best adult hot chocolate in town, stop by this Near North Side restaurant for an Irish-inspired cocktail/chocolate. The hot chocolate concoction, known as Ian’s Demise, clocks in at $12, but it’s worth the high price tag. After all, it’s often made with 12-year-old Chivas, cream, some house dark chocolate syrup, Benny’s Birch Bark bitters and maple whipped cream. Not only is it chocolately goodness, but it’s a drink sure to knock your socks off. Check the menu or call ahead, as the drink is only available in the winter typically through St. Patrick’s Day.
Related: Best Winter Cocktails In Chicago
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.