While it could be argued, the fact still remains: a cup of hot chocolate can do no wrong. It can easily provide soothing warmth minus the jolting caffeine kick whenever the weather calls for it. Especially now, the season has welcomed the nippier time of the year and we are all in search of ways to take full advantage.
Interestingly so, hot cocoa can kickstart your day, work as a midday slump pick-me-up, and of course, punctuate any sumptuous meal. While it may share uncanny similarities to a cup of joe, there’s just a versatility in hot chocolate that can be simply overlooked. Because, in more ways than one, it’s the elegant simplicity in drinking hot chocolate that gets you and reels you in. But, just as appreciating the unassuming beauty in things, finding the perfect cup might not be as difficult as you may think. Drop by these places around the city and make a match or two!
1. La Creperie
Image: La Creperie
While La Creperie does offer scrumptious crepes, nothing may tickle your taste buds quite like their Angelina chocolat chaud (P210). Paris-style rich hot chocolate served with dark chocolate couverture plus a side of whipped cream seems to be a triumvirate of things that can instantly equate to one word: delight. For some palates, the mixture of all these components may be a little too heavy-handed, but
you must realize that’s really where the magic of satisfying richness of their hot choco comes into play. You won’t really need a crepe or any other separate dessert to quiet your cravings after your done with the Angelina. Served in a small teapot, the beverage is meant to be shared. But, enjoying solo isn’t a bad idea altogether either.
Image: Cafe Mary Grace
You know them for their fine pastries (it isn’t hard to deny that their ensaymadas and cheese rolls have become a staple in many a family gathering), or maybe even for their delectable homemade-style dishes from fresh salads, hearty soups, to filling pastas and pizzas, just to name a few. But, this restaurant chain has a number of tricks up their sleeves when it comes to pushing the hot chocolate envelope starting with their Tsoknut Chocolate (P124).
With every sip of this variant of hot choco, you are brought back to your childhood—a time when that familiar tsoknut flavor took your snack time to euphoric levels. If you aren’t really fond of tsoknut and all of its culinary derivatives, you can’t go wrong sticking to their own spin on the classic with the Mary Grace Hot Chocolate (P157). Their cup of signature premium Belgian choco, when paired with either an ensaymada or a cheese roll or anything else you might fancy, can be a clean one-two punch combo that yields gastronomic pleasure to all your senses.
Image: Wildflour Cafe + Bakery
The Hazelnut Hot Chocolate (P165) delivers not just only an easily recognizable and amusing smack of Nutella to your palate. So, if you’re a little bit of a sweet tooth, you’re going to have some fun with this beverage. For some, the levels of sweetness may be a little bit too much, but this cup of hot chocolate still goes down smoothly. If you want to make your pastries more interesting, dipping them into some
hazelnut goodness is a simple tweak that can reap great rewards.
Image: La Lola Churreria
Of course, the pairing of freshly baked churros and hot choco is the go-to tandem and arguably the very reason you head to their outlets. But, their Tsokolate (P130 regular; P160 large) could supply you another motive why to make the run. While it has an iced version, for us, the edge goes to its hot counterpart. It’s thick, delicious, and can also work as a dipping sauce for you’re the free churro that comes with it. The marshmallows in the drink are a nice touch and give a lovely, sweet kick to the
already charming hot chocolate.
When it comes to reliable, counting on Dulcinea’s Spanish Chocolate (P80) is as good as it gets. Firstly, this cup is as straightforward as any—affordable, yummy, and one cup is all you really need. Secondly, the Spanish restaurant takes pride in their creation—as they should—because it strikes that balance of thickness, texture, flavor and serving size. Thirdly, by dunking churros into the mixture, you elevate the taste to new realms of joy. Lastly, with every sip, it hits the spot in all the right place. What more could you ask for?
Xocolat placed their tasty trademark on the cup of hot chocolate through Taza De Xocolat (P175). Of the bat, the richness hits you, but as with anything that comes as a pleasant surprise, it’s a good and welcomed awakening to the senses. This critically acclaimed cup is known among the culinary circles and it may be an easy favorite among your parents’ amigos and amigas. There’s definitely nothing wrong
with that because what makes this cup special is that it can also appeal to your penchant for hot choco. If you want something with a little more kick, the Aztec Xocolat (P175), which is their take on spiced dark brew, might just do the trick. They send out a fair advice that the drink may indeed “overwhelm your sense”, but the only way to truly find out is from that first through that last sip.
You can count on certain French cuisine to capture your imagination unlike you’ve ever expected. As far as PAUL’s chocolate viennois (P185), it does just that through texture and mouthfeel that can simply excite the palate. While the whipped cream does give the drink an overall heavier feel, it isn’t hard to deny how the cup strikes almost all the right notes. One cup and you’re all set, however, upping your choco game by pairing other chocolatey pastries can be the lightbulb moment that can immediately send you to dessert heaven.
8. Epic Café
Image: Epic Cafe
This spot has a pretty impressive list of drinks from affogatos to ice-blended concoctions, it’s almost as if you can rely on them for whatever beverage preference. The same could be applied to their cup of Hot Choco (P110): it’s light, consistent, and sweet enough to give your mood a nice nudge to your senses
and mood. This could certainly be the ending you might just want and need after a full meal.
Where do you usually get your cup of hot chocolate?