Let's face it—although we've had our warm-ish days, there's a whole lotta winter left in New Jersey. But a cup of molten chocolaty goodness is the best way to thaw out—in fact, it's one of the best things about winter. Below is a list of our favorite kid-friendly places that offer a variety of unique hot chocolates (habanero? hazelnut?) for the whole family. Enjoy—and stay warm-ish!
Sweet Avenue Bake Shop (Rutherford)
The hot chocolate is Vegan & Dairy Free made with soymilk. They also make a hot chocolate cupcakes. Mmmm.
Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery (Bloomfield)
This is the place for whipped cream lovers! The delicious, not-too-sweet whipped cream they serve with their hot chocolate is what sets it apart.
Le Petit Parisien (Montclair)
Le Petit searched far and wide for the best hot chocolate until they found it—
by master chocolatier Jaques Torres. The hot chocolate here is made from real chocolate (not watery powdery stuff—ick.)
An adorable café and a staple in Montclair, Raymond’s hot chocolate is made with a special Belgium chocolate. They also serve a Mexican hot chocolate with cayenne pepper. Spicy! (If your kid’s into that…or you are!)
Barbaric Bean (Ocean Grove)
Their hot chocolate mix is a homemade blend made with cocoa and love of course. The minimal sugar for optimum taste is added to the mix. Hot chocolate can be made traditional, peppermint, mocha, or probably anything else you can dream up. Oh, we’re dreaming!
The Bent Spoon (Princeton Township)
The hot chocolate here is super thick and rich! They use a 61% chocolate and it's served with fresh whipped vanilla bean cream and hand-cut marshies (spoon-made marshmallow). Rotating flavors include classic, soy, habenero (with special heirloom pepper powder they make!), lavender (with local organic lavender) & hazelnut. Hmmm…is mouth-watering a flavor?
RIM Café (Philadelphia)
RIM was once voted the best hot chocolate in Philly and all their drinks look too beautiful to sip! But we suggest you do…Who doesn’t love heart-shaped foam?
Small World Coffee (Princeton)
Small World’s chocolate syrup is made in both cafes every day, throughout the day. It's a combination of dutch cocoa powder, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract and whole milk. “We actually changed our recipe about a year ago (after using the same recipe for 18 years!),” says owner Jessica Durrie. “My 14 year old daughter told me one day that she thought our hot chocolate could be richer. So, we played around with the recipe and did several taste test until we decided upon our most recent version—which can be traditional or topped with whipped cream.” They make a vegan version, if desired. “Soon we will be offering our own homemade marshmallows with it,” says Derrie. Well, we can’t wait!
photo credit: pjf@cpan via photopin cc