A Weekend in Hot Chocolate…

by professorchocolate on Jun.15, 2011, under Hot Cocoa

The professors have been busy. In the last week alone, we have visited over a dozen NYC shops- just for hot chocolate. So as not to bore you, we have chosen four places, all of which offer something different than the next. The world of hot chocolate is more complex and varied than we imagined, but then again, we do live in the best city in the world.

Our “hot” four are in no particular order.  We did not include L.A. Burdick (one of our favorites) only because we wanted to remove as much bias as possible.  You are in our upcoming book though Larry!

Shake Shack. Believe it or not, Shake Shack has some of the creamiest and comforting hot chocolate that we sampled. Salted Peanut Butter or Classic are your choices, both at a reasonable $3.75. Shake Shack has a couple of locations, all of which are very busy during the weekend, so look for the “C-Line.” The “B-Line” is usually inundated with burger-mongers, hungry for their fix. Stick to line-C if you’ve come only for hot chocolate and other tasty desserts. For best results: eat the burger and wash it down with the Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate. (691 8th Ave or Madison Square Park or 154 East 86th Street)

Billy’s Bakery. Billy’s Bakery is slowly cropping up in various NYC locations, much like their arch-rival competitors, Magnolia. All competing aside, Billy’s offers a hot chocolate version that most closely resembles the swiss miss from your childhood. Easy to drink and digest, this hot chocolate is certainly meant to be enjoyed with one of Billy’s Banana Cupcakes or Red Velvet Whoppie Pies. Lines do form on the weekends, but the hot chocolate/cupcake combo proves to be irresistible to many. (184 9th Avenue or 75 Franklin Street)

Michel Cluizel. If you’ve found yourself amongst the tourist throngs along 5th Avenue, Michel Cluizel offers a bit of a respite. Cluizel is really a chocolate shop, where the bon bons and truffles are shipped in from France. Oui! Oui! Hot Chocolate is anything but an afterthought, many folks stroll in here just for their hot chocolate blends of dark, milk, or white. There is also the option of one of two types: Drinking Chocolate and Classic Hot Chocolate (The Drinking Chocolate has a much more thick consistency). The dark, milk, and white beans are taken from a canister where they have been soaked in vanilla bourbon. We opted for the Classic version, half dark, half milk- simply luscious. No need for a companion snack, this hot chocolate can stand alone. (888 Broadway).

Vosges. Ah Vosges. Vosges has many a product to choose from- website and store, everything from toffee to chocolate and bacon pancakes- a personal favorite of ours. The purple-hued SoHo shop is brimming with a chic sense of style, almost like you’re entering a clothing boutique. Most exciting about Vosges is that your hot chocolate is served in a tall, yet elegant shot glass. For something different, we slowly sipped the zippy Aztec Hot Chocolate- with ancho and chipotle chillies and cardamon. Can’t handle the heat? The Parisienne is much more delicate hot chocolate, good for soul. (132 Spring Street or 816 Broadway # A).

For even more info on chocolate and where to buy it, go to amazon.com and purchase our book, Professor Chocolate’s Guide to Finding Chocolate in NYC

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