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5 Spots to Sip Indulgent Hot Chocolate in Westchester

Photo courtesy of BXVL
By Michelle Gillan Larkin & Hannah Teligades

When the chocolate craving strikes, look no further than these local sweet shops for comforting cups of cocoa that make every winter day better.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a steaming cup of hot chocolate can surely chase the winter blues away.  Sweet and smooth, or rich and slightly bitter, the creamy cups of cocoa at cafes across the county come in a tempting variety guaranteed to please the palate of even the most discerning chocoholic.

So, bottom’s up while the temps are down! Here are some of the best spots to sip hot chocolate in Westchester. And, maybe have that apple on the side, just to be safe.

BXVL Coffee House

2 Station Plaza, Bronxville; 914.600.8139

Probably the furthest thing from Swiss Miss (no disrespect), this indulgent mugga requires minimal sugar because of rich European chocolate that is crumbled up and carefully hand-blended with hot water. According to owner Charu Rana, the process creates a distinct, rich aroma that the whole shop can smell! And, the drink looks pretty, too, topped with steamed milk, latte art, and whipped cream.

Photo courtesy of Cocoa Chocolate Shop

Cocoa Chocolate Shop

2107A Boston Post Rd, Larchmont; 914.834.6464

At this quaint, locally renowned confectionary, the hot chocolate is more like a thin pudding than a drink, but still goes down easy. This decadent potion flows from a hunk of superior Belgian dark chocolate that is blended simply with whole milk. Served in a four-ounce espresso cup — just the right amount, but you’ll still leave wanting more — it can be topped with a homemade marshmallow or unsweetened whipped cream. The Cocoa Chocolate Shop is only taking pre-orders for curbside pickup via email cocoachocolateshop@gmail.com.

Photo courtesy of The Kneaded Bread

The Kneaded Bread

181 N Main St, Port Chester; 914.937.9489

The hot chocolate at this always bustling, popular Port Chester bakery is born from a whopping 10-pound bar of semi-sweet American chocolate that is melted into a thick, luscious dark lava. It’s swirled with milk, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla, and left to simmer slowly in a heavy pot for several hours. It’s stirred gently and it’s stirred often.

When a customer craves a cuppa, the brew is poured and whipped into foamy bliss with the cappuccino machine’s frother, resulting in a simple, wholesome cup that begs to be sipped slowly and on the daily.

Photo courtesy of Mint Premium Foods

Mint Premium Foods

19 Main St, Tarrytown; 914.703.6511

Inside the walls of this ultra-cozy Rivertowns Mediterranean café and gourmet market, those in the know sip Parisian-style cocoa at communal tables beneath an eye-catching tin ceiling. This sophisticated indulgence, resembling molten chocolate, is comprised mainly of Belgian bars with a few French truffles tossed into the mix for good measure.

The ingredients are melted and steamed together with milk to yield what Moroccan-born owner Hassan Jarane describes as “liquid gold.” No whip or marshmallows top this dark beauty because, as he points out, “it’s good just by itself.”

Photo by Michelle Gillan Larkin

Picante Quimbaya

193 Main St, Ossining; 914.945.8909

Soul-soothing, wildly unique blends await at this long-standing Colombian coffee house, where the husband-wife team has dreamed up a staggering menu of chocolate “cocktails” (no alcohol here) made with pure, semi-sweet, or unsweetened Colombian chocolate and panela, an organic sugar cane. Some are topped with thick whip, while others, like the Mexican, are dusted with cloves and cinnamon.

No cup is overly sweet or flavored, but is instead mellow, pleasant, and in some cases, like the one with peanut butter or the “chocobanana” (served cold), hearty enough to be a meal on its own.