Hot Chocolate Chicago-Style

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Warm the Cockles of your Heart

We were reviewing content we had been collecting for future posts.  One of them was an accumulated listing of great places to grab an amazing hot chocolate in Chicago.  With the weather improving rapidly for most of us, here’s some awesome places to stop in and take the chill off of a chilly Chicago day.

Angel Food Bakery

This is a hot chocolate best sipped with a spoon. The “Barthelona,” is made with solid chocolate melted with whole milk and cooked until it has the velvety consistency of chocolate pudding. Topped with a healthy dollop of house-made vanilla bean whipped cream this might remind you of drinking chocolate you sipped in Spain.

Big Star

Big Star’s house hot chocolate is spiked with cinnamon, anise, masa and panela (an unrefined whole cane sugar).

Café Spiaggia

This cafe provides the perfect perch to sip a mug of hot chocolate on the Magnificent Mile. “Ciccolato Caldo” is a Northern Italy-style blend of melted Valrhona chocolate, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla, served with homemade biscotti for dipping in the silky whipped cream that tops the drink.

Canady Le Chocolatier

Known for the superb quality of its ingredients and owner Michael Canady’s dedication to his craft, this South Loop boutique chocolate shop offers a great hot chocolate.  Proving simple doesn’t have to be boring, this rich, creamy mug is hot chocolate at its best.

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop

On the Magnificent Mile, Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop & Soda Fountain has long list of hot chocolates. Belly up to the 1950s soda bar and order up the chocolate mocha, chocolate hazelnut or white chocolate mocha, each served with a healthy heap of whipped cream.

Hot Chocolate

This Bucktown cafe is decadence done right. Chef/owner Mindy Segal serves up seven sinful drinks, ranging from light (white chocolate and cocoa nibs) to dark (72 percent French chocolate) to half & half (half espresso and half dark hot chocolate). All mugs are topped with house-made marshmallows—amazing!

Medici Bakery

The Medici Bakery’s Mexicana milkshake, which lures in chocolate lovers during summer months, gets a wintery warm-up as a piping mug of Mexicana hot chocolate. Made with stone-ground cinnamon and chocolate, it’s a sweet  indulgence topped whipped cream and a shake of cocoa powder.

NoMI Lounge 

Choose from five flavors at NoMI, nestled in the Windy City’s Park Hyatt.  The hot-cocoa menu includes the Aztec Elixir (Vosges bittersweet chocolate, ancho and chipotle peppers, Mexican vanilla and cinnamon), and Truffles à Trois–steaming hot milk poured into truffle-filled liqueur glasses.”

Pierrot Gourmet

Step off of Rush Street into this bright corner café.   This is where chocolate addicts flock for build-your-own hot chocolate. Dark flavors include Sumatra cafe, chai spice, and cinnamon blend. If you prefer white chocolate, pick from lavender, Matcha green tea, and ginger flavors.  These whipped cream-topped hot chocolate is steaming hot and deliciously light and frothy.

Vosges Haut Chocolate (Lincoln Park)

For truly couture cocoa, it’s Vosges. The Parisienne, inspired by owner Katrina Markoff’s time spent working in a Parisian hotel, combines cacao, cinnamon, vanilla and fresh orange peels for an intense, multi-layered drink; and the Bianca is a steaming, delicate mug of white chocolate infused with flavors from around the world, including lemon myrtle, lavender and Madagascar vanilla bean.


Rick Bayless’s quick-service café offers the most bean-to-cup chocolate you’ll ever drink. Fresh roasted cocoa beans are ground on site for rich concoctions like the Almendrado (a chocolate shot with almond milk), the Aztec (chocolate, water, chile and allspice), and the classic (chocolate and two-percent milk).  But prepare to be patient – Bayless’s savory creation is no secret, and some days the line can reach the door.

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