We hardly get a proper winter here on the Gold Coast, but we like to think we do. We wake up, pull on our track pants, shake off the dust from our favourite coats and jackets only to shed all layers before it hits lunchtime. Some nights, we might even close our balcony doors.
The decadent winter drink of molten chocolate in a mug, also known as a hot chocolate, is the best treat on those rare days when Jack Frost comes to play. We’ve done the hard work for you and sipped our way around to find the best hot chocolates on the Gold Coast.
You’ve seen it on Instagram, now it’s time to dive into this bad boy IRL. Reinventing the classic hot chocolate with their usual Paddock Bakery flair, the famous Paddock Signature Hot Chocolate is officially back for winter and we are ready. This drool-worthy hot chocolate is made with nothing but melted Lindt milk and dark chocolate, then topped with a huge dollop of house torched marshmallow. Warning: she’s RICH and may just send your taste buds into a sugary heaven frenzy. This heaven-sent delight is best enjoyed with a freshly baked croissant in one hand while sunbaking in Paddock’s country-style courtyard. Oh Paddock, how we love thee.
As if Elk Espresso weren’t already killing the breakfast game, they’ve gone and done it again with their legendary hot chocolate menu, Say hello to the limited-edition Biscoff Hot Chocolate, a tantalising concoction of Biscoff and your usual hot chocolate goodness, or up your hot choccy game with the Lindt Mocha. It’s a true game-changer—decadent Lindt chocolate poured over freshly steamed milk. It’s so indulgent you don’t even need marshmallows (but we won’t judge if you do).
For those that like their winter warmers a little less on the sugar spike side, do not fear because Marie Anita's is here. This plant-based, organic, gluten-free cafe is ticking all the boxes and they certainly deliver with their legendary hot chocolates. Order an Organic Hot Chocolate which is made with vegan refined sugar-free cacao chocolate sauce and organic full cream milk. If you don’t do dairy, you can choose your milk so it transforms into a dairy-free or vegan version. For all our plant based and gluten-free pals, Marie Anita’s is the place to be.
Custard knows how to do chocolate well—the mountains of chocolate-covered, dipped and filled pastries we’ve consumed at this sweet cafe are proof. It comes as no surprise that the Custard Canteen’s hot chocolates would be just as addictive. Their rich hot choccies are dreamy, creamy and have just the perfect amount of chocolate goodness without being overwhelming. We don’t blame you if you pair your hot chocolate with a pastry of equal decadence because let’s be honest, everyone puts on a bit of a winter coat.
Tarte Bakery & Cafe
Tarte Bakery & Cafe is possibly the Gold Coast’s most Instagrammable cafe—the collision of Parisian and New York style creates a stunning space, and good news for us, both Paris and New York whip up incredible hot chocolates. We’ll let you do the maths. There’s more chocolate than there is milk in this indulgent delicious hot chocolate and when topped with a marshmallow and generous sprinkle of cocoa powder, they’re ticking all the boxes. Let yourself be tempted by one of the French-inspired, buttery pastries, which pairs perfectly with, well, anything.
Marshmallows are NOT optional when it comes to Cowch’s dreamy dessert menu, with their hot chocolate offering being the most extensive yet! There’s every flavour under the sun from milk, white and dark chocolate to salted caramel, Cherry Ripe and choc mint. The deluxe version is topped with cream, chocolate shavings, marshmallows, chocolate sauce drizzled everywhere and served in an adorable 'cow udder' glass mug. We’ll just leave that right there.
Sometimes you just can’t go past the OG, no-frills hot chocolate and when you’re in a hot choccy mood, Pretty Handsome is here to deliver. Whipping up one of the best bad boys we’ve had the pleasure of wrapping our mitts around, they keep it straightforward and simple: loads of sweet chocolate, steamed milk and melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows. Snag a table in this grungy cafe and sip on your chocolate goodness while falling in love with all the cute doggos that frequent this local.
Wander down Burleigh’s main strip and you’re overwhelmed with the abundance of bakeries and cafes pumping out sweet scents of goodness. Amidst all the deliciousness, there’s one place you need to stop: Burleigh Baker. This much-loved Burleigh gem is famous for its organic hot chocolates, which are simple, rich and just what you’re craving. For the full Burleigh Baker experience, grab a loaf of their naturally leavened sourdough that has gained them a cult-like following. Go on, get your tootsie down to Burleigh Baker. You know you want to.
Oh My Waffle
Oh My Waffle doesn’t play around. Winner of the Gold Coast Best Dessert Award, you know their hot choccies are going to be out of this world delicious. This winter, they’re slinging up a legendary Biscoff hot chocolate, which is a drool-worthy combo of Biscoff, cacao and frothy milk, topped with a mountain of cream, rimmed with a Biscoff crumb and topped with a Biscoff biscuit. It’s the perfect accompaniment to their insane waffle combos—we spotted a Caramilk Hokey Pokey special but it won’t last long so go get your hot chocolate on, stat.
Ever heard of a Gingerbread Hot Chocolate? Neither had we but we are here for it. Cardamom Pod’s plant-based hot chocolate is a purple extravaganza of gingerbread, cacao and steamed milk, topped with housemade cacao sauce, marshmallows, gingerbread crumb and dried rose petals. Best of all, it’s served in a cute-as-can-be handcrafted ceramic mug, which is perfect for wrapping your mitts around. Now that’s what we call a hug in a mug.
Bam Bam Bakehouse
As if Bam Bam Bakehouse doesn’t have enough sweet and tasty treats to lure us in, they go and make an indulgent Nutella Oreo Cookie Hot Chocolate. Nutella and Oreos are a match made in heaven, and in liquid form, even more so. Their gram-worthy Barbie Hot Chocolate is a pretty pink number—pink rose and white chocolate are topped with sweet rose petals to create a drink that is (almost) too gorgeous to eat.
Robina, Surfers Paradise, Southport
There’s nothing better than a warm mug of hot liquid chocolate to warm your insides. Located just off the main strip of Surfers Paradise, Max Brenner prides itself on the culture of chocolate and their Hug Mug hot chocolate is as good as a hug from someone you love. In a novelty mug made perfectly for your hands to wrap around, it truly is heaven in a mouthful or giant gulp. Whichever you prefer.
Now that you’ve satisfied your chocolate cravings, it’s only right to follow up with a hearty breakfast. It’s all about balance, right? We’ve got your brunching needs covered with our picks of the best cafes in Burleigh.
Image credit: Paddock Bakery