No cool day is complete without our buddy hot chocolate. A comforting cuppa will warm you from the inside out on the coldest of days—and leave you with a smile on your dial (and possibly a milk moustache). Whether it’s an indulgent thick Italian blend or a light silky smooth brew, sippin’ on a hot choccie is the perfect way to warm up the cold days.
Here's where to indulge in the best hot chocolate in Auckland.
Commerical Bay, Matakana
A boutique that specialises in handcrafted chocolates is surely a good place to pick up a hot choccy, right? Honest Chocolat, which began life in Matakana and now has a store in Commercial Bay, serves up a seriously good version of the treat made from your choice of plain or spicy chocolate and homemade marshmallows, which you can even sip from an edible biscuit cup. As an aside, you can also get your hands on some pretty epic choc-tails (that's a chocolate mocktail, to the uninitiated), as well as cacao tea—say what? See their showstopping The Volcano and The Macaduka coming together right here.
House Of Chocolate Dessert Café
Takapuna, Beach Haven
With a name like House of Chocolate, it’s only fitting that these guys do an awesome hot choc. Made from 53% liquid dark couverture chocolate this is the real deal and just the way we like ‘em—with real chocolate. To mix things up, add a shot of flavour. Think peppermint, orange, hazelnut or gingerbread. If you like your hot chocolate in dessert form, they have a hot chocolate pudding a.k.a. a gooey-centred chocolate fondant drizzled in ganache. Get in our bellies.
Tucked away in the streets of Kingsland is this little gem called Elisabeth. The cosy dessert parlour may look small but don’t let that fool you as they serve a whole bunch of epic treats and their hot chocolates never fail to impress. They have an entire section of the menu dedicated to this glorious drink. Choose from dark chocolate, salted caramel, fairy floss (above) or Aztec spice. Their speciality is the s’mores hot chocolate—velvety, decadent, smooth and rich chocolate garnished with a generous pile of chocolate shavings and a roasted marshmallow to put the cherry on top.
Bohemein Fresh Chocolates
Things get next-level over at Bohemein, where you'll find a rather lengthy list of hot chocolates. Fancy something fruity? They've got orange and raspberry. Something nutty? They've got amaretto and hazelnut praline. Something spicy? They've got chilli, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. However, the drink that gets us most excited is the brandy-spiked hot chocolate, which is wonderfully festive and the perfect tonic for a bitter winter's day, or any day come to think of it.
Britomart, Fort St and Morningside
If you want to experience hot chocolate in an entirely new way, you need to visit Miann. These guys take the beloved bevvy to incredible new levels, whether it be with novelty flavours like their dulce de leche (basically Caramilk in a cup), or Wonka-esque experiences like their deconstructed smoked hot chocolate (a sort of edible science experiment)—all made from their very own choccy. Plus, if you visit their Morningside branch, you can enjoy your drink inside one of their beautiful Wintergarden Glass Houses. If there's such a thing as hot chocolate goals, this is it.
The Cazador Delicatessen
Cazador might not be the first place you'd think of to go for a hot chocolate, but truth be told, they do some of the best in Auckland. Stop by their delicatessen in Mt Eden for a rich, fruity brew made with real dark chocolate (not cocoa powder), sourced from Foundry Chocolate in Matakana. You can even buy a pack of the sweet stuff to make your very own Cazador-style drink at home.
Chocolate Boutique Café
If you like your hot chocolate thick, look no further than Chocolate Boutique Café’s Italian denso. ‘Denso’ translates to ‘dense’ or ‘thick’ and there are no better words to describe this bad boy—it’s so thick you could probably stand your spoon it in. It comes topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls. For a spicy kick, order the chilli denso—it’s a fave of ours. Otherwise, browse their catalogue-thick selection of hot chocolate in every flavour combination known to man such as the Crème De Menthe, Chocolate Vienna Crème and Death by Chocolate pictured above—it'll blow you away.
Situated in the historic Lopdell House (this venue is beautiful), Deco Eatery knows a thing or two about hot drinks. Firstly, they blend their own espresso on site to brew divine coffee. Secondly, their hot chocolates come with a stick of Whittaker’s. You can choose whether you want white, milk or dark chocolate and then it’s up to you to stir through your hot drink. Being a Turkish eatery, your drink also comes served with a square of Turkish delight—tu meke.
CrunchTower Desserts & Drinks
Previously known as Casa Del Gelato, CrunchTower’s name may have changed but their desserts and drinks remain lit, in fact, they’ve gotten even better. Served in a glass that is wrapped in cotton candy, not only do you get a 'gram-worthy beverage but a drink that takes sweetness to all new heights.
Little Bird Kitchen
Just because you’re a dairy-free kiddo shouldn’t mean you miss out on hot chocolate goodness. Fear not, Little Bird has your back. Their spicy hot chocolate stars organic spices, raw cacao and almond milk. It’s oh-so-spicy so, rest assured, it will warm you up on the coldest of days. They also have a raw cacao mug that features warmed almond milk and a stick of raw chocolate. Watch in delight as the chocolate melts into a chocolate wonderland. If you're after an out-of-body experience, their magic mushroom mug is not to be missed.
Constructed hot chocolates are fun and stuff but have you tried a deconstructed hot choccie? Nope? Well, you best get your booty to Rosie to try either their classic Valrhona or salted caramel hot chocolate offerings. You’ll be served a glass of milk alongside a jug of thick hot chocolate to pour through your drink. It comes with brownie pieces that you can either munch on as is or add to your bevvy (we suggest doing the latter).
Wanna drink your hot chocolate out of an edible cookie cup covered in toffee and chocolate, that's about the same size as a pie? Who are we kidding, of course you do. Well now you can, thanks to the PieFee—a jaw-dropping creation available from the K' Rd bakery of the same name. Choose from a number of epic flavour options including Oreo, sprinkles, chocolate batons, gingerbread and coconut, then fill with your fave hot bevvy. We suggest working your way through the entire menu until you figure out which of these bad boys is best...
Winona Forever don’t just offer one hot chocolate on their menu but four. Depending on what mood you’re in, our friends at Winona can hook you up. If you’re feeling like a rich hot choc that doesn’t fool around, the dark chocolate is the way to go. Feeling like something a little sweeter? Then the white chocolate coconut is the one for you. But if you want the real deal at Winona, go for the peanut butter chocolate and challenge yourself to a new level of liquid indulgence.
Takapuna Beach Café
There's deconstructed hot chocolates to be had at Takapuna Beach Café. There are two DIY hot choccie options: chocolate or salted caramel with chocolate. Expect to be served a cup of rich 60% chocolate ganache with a carafe of steamed milk and a side of chocolate pieces. They also have iced chocolate options that feature the café’s award-winning gelato.
Not only does The Shelf on High Street have adorable décor, but their hot chocolates also deserve some special recognition. Make sure you order the “Special Hot Chocolate”, (emphasis on the special) as this beauty comes out with frothy steamed milk, a shot of melted chocolate on the side that you have control over and a bar of Whittaker’s that you use as a stirrer, pair that with one of their treats from the cabinet for a combination of sugary perfection. For something a bit different, one of their white hot chocolates (pictured above) is not to be missed.
Drop everything, because unicorn hot chocolate exists—and you'll find it at Dear Jervois in Herne Bay. They'll bring a bit of magic to your next drink with their epic unicorn white hot chocolate, designed to get you frothing with its whimsical combo of brightly coloured sprinkles, marshmallows, and even an edible 'unicorn horn' (also made from marshmallow). Plus, like everything at Dear Jervois, it tastes damn delicious. So, are you ready to chase some rainbows?
Looking for something a little more substantial? Check out Auckland's best late-night desserts.
Image credit: Giancarlo Duarte, Honest Chocolat, Elisabeth, Miann, Chocolate Boutique by @nzfoodlover, CrunchTower Desserts & Drinks, Rosie, Winona Forever, The Shelf.