Delicious, steaming hot cocoa topped with pillowy marshmallows is a kids staple during the winter months, warming little hands from the very first sip. You can make it at home, of course, but foodie Brooklyn offers a multitude of independent chocolatiers, coffee shops, and cafes serving up rich, creamy and inventive hot chocolates.
We recently covered the best spots to get hot chocolate in Manhattan, as well as Queens, but Brooklyn, home to the city's artisanal food scene, has plenty to offer, too. Read on for 10 of our favorite spots to pick up a cup of hot chocolate with the kids in this family-oriented borough.
Breukelen Coffee House — Crown Heights
764A Franklin Avenue
Enjoy a steaming mug of classic hot chocolate made with Nutella at this Crown Heights coffee house and cafe. Of course, you had us at Nutella. Hit up this spot on your way to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, sledding in Prospect Park or the weekly, free afternoon hours at the Brooklyn Children's Museum.
Baked — Red Hook
359 Van Brunt Street
Come for the hot chocolate, stay for the giant marshmallows. This beloved Red Hook dessert hub finishes off its decadent cup of cocoa with housemade marshmallow goodness.
Chocolate Room — Cobble Hill, Park Slope
269 Court Street
51 Fifth Avenue
One look at the "Drinking Chocolate" section of the menu offers a glimpse into how serious the Chocolate Room is about its concoctions. This neighborhood favorite lets you choose from classic hot chocolate infused with Madagascar vanilla, dark hot chocolate made with bittersweet Belgian chocolate, spiced dark hot chocolate, frozen hot chocolate, and even hot chocolate mixed with coffee or espresso. Pull up a table and enjoy its breads and other baked goods on a lazy winter afternoon.
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Daly Pie in Prospect Heights offers a selection of pies, including chocolate s’more, that pairs perfectly with your kid’s hot chocolate. Photo by Sara F./Mommy Poppins.
Daly Pie — Prospect Heights
665 Vanderbilt Avenue
If you’re craving a slice of pie with your hot chocolate rather than the usual cookies or cakes, look no further than this sweet spot with a vintage touch. The rich hot chocolate has a mild cinnamon flavor, and the menu offers treats such as chocolate s’more pie, salty lime pie, or traditional apple.
Dough Doughnuts — Bedford-Stuyvesant
448 Lafayette Avenue
Pair a melt-in-your mouth doughnut hot from the oven with a mug of hot chocolate for a truly indulgent treat. Dough Doughnuts makes its hot chocolate as sweet as its inventive doughnuts, with different blends of chocolate, and whipped cream optional.
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The small-batch Fine & Raw Chocolate Factory produces organic, raw hot cocoa in Williamsburg.
Fine & Raw Chocolate Factory — Williamsburg
288 Seigel Street
Started by a Williamsburg artist, Fine & Raw makes organic, raw chocolate in small batches on site. Its hot chocolate is made with 70 percent handmade, organic chocolate. It's creamy and rich with just the right amount of sweetness.
Jacques Torres Chocolate — Dumbo
66 Water Street
Not only does pastry chef Jacques Torres make the best chocolate chip cookies, he makes one of the creamiest, richest cups of hot chocolate around. The Wicked Spicy Hot Chocolate, made with ground ancho and chipotle chili peppers, is a signature must-try for grownups. Romp at the nearby Main Street Playground in Brooklyn Bridge Park or head indoors to two of our favorite Dumbo play spaces, Recess Dumbo or the new Spark from the Brooklyn Children's Museum.
Le Pain Quotidien — Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope
121 Montague Street
239 Fifth Avenue
Kids love making their own hot chocolate, and this chain bakery delivers on that idea with a solid Belgian hot chocolate. Upon ordering, you're presented with a steaming mug of frothy milk and a separate pitcher of rich, dark chocolate syrup to swirl into your milk. Kids no doubt will dip their fingers into the syrup at least once. The PQ, as it's known, offers a full lunch menu, making this cafe a no-brainer during weekend shopping or weekday sightseeing.
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Nunu also serves up frozen versions of all its hot chocolates.
Nunu Chocolates — Boerum Hill, Park Slope
529 Atlantic Avenue
179 Fifth Avenue
This Brooklyn-based chocolatier serves spicy hot chocolate, peanut butter hot chocolate, and frozen versions of each as well as a classic version. Take a seat and inhale the sweet smells of homemade chocolate all around. Enjoy the backyard at the Fifth Avenue location in warmer weather. Nunu also sells chocolate shavings used to make the hot chocolate in small bags for customers to buy and make at home.
Top photo: The hot chocolate at Brooklyn favorite Nunu is as pretty as it is tasty. Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the venues.
A version of this article first published in 2015, but it has since been updated.