Winter is going to be here for a while and that means we need a short list of hot spots (pun intended) around the city to go for super-duper-amazing hot chocolate and respite from the chilly city streets. Sarah Moriarty shares her top picks that fit the bill.
With so many months of winter still ahead, there is but one thing to do—besides burning volumes of tax code in the mysteriously functioning fireplace of the central branch of the NYC public library: drink hot chocolate. The magic of this drink is that it is permanently linked in our minds with some brisk outdoor activity. Sure, you could brave the cold, wrap up your cherubs like Joey wearing all of Chandler’s clothes, or you can just get in an Uber and hit the spot closest to your local movie theater. The beauty of this mental link between weather and chocolate is that it works both ways. Drinking it will make you feel like you struggled with the Arctic and won. Maybe Shackleton just didn’t have enough hot chocolate.
It’s true; nothing wards off frostbite and boredom like this magical drink, and, in case you forgot the Swiss Miss, here are your best Brooklyn options, with or without marshmallows!
Jacques Torres Chocolate
This qualifies as starting at the top. It’s a classic, and a pricey one for a reason. Man up and get the Wicked variety for you while the kids sample all the other flavors. 66 Water Street (DUMBO)/Monday thru Saturday: 9am–8pm; Sunday: 10am–6pm
The Chocolate Room
Thank god for the mocha, we can’t all make it to bedtime on good will alone. And they have a classic hot milk chocolate so the kids won’t keep complaining that it’s “too spicy.” 51 Fifth Avenue (Park Slope) & 269 Court Street (Cobble Hill)/Sunday–Thursday: Noon-11pm; Friday-Saturday: Noon-12am
This is highly entertaining since you can watch them making chocolates. Drinks and a show. 529 Atlantic Avenue (Boerum Hill)/Monday-Friday: 7am-9pm; Saturday & Sunday: 9am-9pm
Because when your toddler spills the first cup all over the floor, they will take it in stride. Plus, they have dark, mint, white, cinnamon, spicy and Funky Monkey flavors. And wine. Let’s not forget the wine. 228 Seventh Avenue (Park Slope)/Monday-Thursday: 7am-10.30pm; Friday & Saturday: 7am – 12.30am; Sunday: 7am-10.30pm
Blue Sky Bakery
Really, the muffins are the main attraction here, but the place is too cute and has the requisite hot beverage. 53 Fifth Avenue (Park Slope)/Every Day: 7:00am-2:00pm
Mast Brothers Chocolate
You know, ‘cause we’re cool and in Brooklyn. And because some day we will have enough of their wrappers to wall paper our bathroom. Dare to dream. 111 N. 3rd Street (Williamsburg)/Every Day: 9am-8pm
Ample Hills Creamery
Yes, I know, it’s an ice cream parlor. But they have hot chocolate, plenty of seats and maybe a scoop of vanilla in said hot beverage is not such a bad idea. Also, isn’t the name a boob reference? If so, then I love this place even more. Or as a former nursing mother, am I just reading too much into it? 623 Vanderbilt Avenue (Prospect Heights) & 305 Nevins Street (Gowanus)/Sunday-Thursday: Noon to 10pm; Friday & Saturday: Noon to 11pm
Donuts and hot chocolate? Yes, please. 448 Lafayette Avenue (Bed Stuy)/Every Day: 6am-9pm
Is everything in Red Hook delicious? 359 Van Brunt Street (Red Hook)/Monday-Friday: 7am-7pm; Saturday-Sunday: 8am-7pm
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
Sit in the back to avoid the chill from the opening door, and to take advantage of the board games they have on hand. And with a full, yummy menu, you might as well stay for dinner. 513 Henry Street (Carroll Gardens)/Monday-Thursday: 8:30am-10pm; Friday: 8:30am-11pm/Sunday: 10am-10pm
One Girl Cookies
What resolution? What diet? This is not the diet you’re looking for. Go about your business (eating handmade cookies and mainlining liquid chocolate); move along. 68 Dean Street (Cobble Hill)/Monday-Thurs: 8am-7pm; Friday: 8am-8pm; Saturday: 9am-8pm; Sunday: 10am-7pm
Sarah Moriarty is a writer, editor and adjunct professor. Sarah’s writing has appeared in such hallowed places as her blog, her mother’s email inbox, the backs of Value Pack envelopes and a waist-high stack of mole skin journals. In addition, Sarah has contributed to F’Dinparkslope.com, WhattoExpect.com and edited fiction for Lost Magazine. An excerpt from Sarah’s novel, The Rusticators, is forthcoming in The Brooklyn Writers Space 2013/2014 anthology, The Reader. A resident of Brooklyn for more than a decade, Sarah lives with her husband, daughter and a dwindling population of cats. Check out more of Sarah’s work at sarahmoriarty.com.