We firmly believe that the quickest (and tastiest) way to warm up in winter is via our taste buds and belly. So with that in mind, we have done the hard yards and scoured Sydney for the best hot chocolates in town. It’s a tough job, but we were happy to oblige and share the results of our research with you lovely people.
Bourke Street Bakery
Goldilocks would be seriously smitten with the sweet cups coming out of Bourke Street. Yep, these hot chocs are juuuuust right and will warm your belly in the way only a good pair of trackies could. And in case you're wondering, it’s totally justifiable to spend all your hard earned dosh on these rich babies every day, every week #treatyoself.
Look, pop a bit of fairy floss on just about anything and we’ll take it. The vegan hot chocs at T Totaler (aka the mecca of all things drinkable and tasty) are killer. Think a French earl grey infused hot chocolate with rose Persian fairy floss. We know.
They’re rich. They’re creamy. They’re dangerously addictive. We’re not going to lie, the chocolatey beverages here pretty much taste like melted brownie mix. Actual melted brownie mix. Melted. Brownie. Mix. We can’t even.
Anna’s Shop Around The Corner
Renowned for her hot chocolates, Anna’s confectionary cups of heaven are the kind you’ll gladly ditch those abs for. This quaint bookstore/cafe churns out the smoothest hot chocolates around in porcelain cups so darn pretty you can tick-off kidulting off your list.
So we’re low-key having a very major (but totally appropriate) love affair with the hot chocolates here (yeahhhh there’s more than one) and trust us we have enough love to go around. Behold: the Callebaut hot chocolate. Choose between the orange blossom version, the rosewater version and whether you’d like it served up in a cup or a bowl, because you know, choice.
The Copper Mill
Disclaimer: it’s not our fault if you casually become addicted to the chocolate beverages at The Copper Mill. Seriously. Do not blame us. The coconut hot chocs already speak for themselves (always a solid choice)—mixed with coconut milk, vanilla and cow’s milk for added frothy goodness. You’ll be thanking the holy mother of choc, because these are that damn good.
Barefoot Coffee Traders
Barefoot Coffee Traders do a mean hot n’ silky cup of coco (did someone say made with real chocolate?). The Manly folks already know they’re blessed with a gem because sippin’ on one of these is a rite of passage when you’re born around these parts. No lie.
The Bathers Pavilion
Rumours are true and tastebuds don’t lie, the hot chocolate here is the real deal. Sure, we’ve all had a Belgian hot chocolate but you haven’t reaaaaaally had one until you’ve indulged in a sip or two at The Bathers Pavilion. You’re right, who sips a hot chocolate? You’ll be chuggin’ this beauty.
Just when you thought you were a coffee fiend, Cafe Shenkin whips out the big cocos. If drinking hot chocolate is on your daily bucket-list, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s just say if Willy Wonka brunched in Sydney, this is where he would go. And he would certainly order up two hot chocs.
Cafe Con Leche
We’re kind of freaking out about how good the chocolate stuff here is. And it may or may not be due to its Colombian influence. Heads up—they like a lil’ bit of cheese in their choc and we can confirm, it’s what our hot chocolates have been missing until now.
These dreamy hot choccies are not for the fainthearted. However if you’re a diagnosed chocoholic, this place is definitely your jam. That’s right, Kakawa is serving up melted hot chocolate and we kid you not, this is the kind of richness we need in our lives. You’ll find flavours like brandy, chilli, milk, hazelnut and dark. Look, we’re not saying go overboard. We’re just saying you’ll need to try them all.
Meet the masters of chocolate making; the kings of hand-made sweet perfection, and let’s be honest, they definitely have this whole hot chocolate thing covered. In other words, expect to find a huge array of heated deliciousness including white chocolate and lemongrass, and a pepper hot chocolate you’ll want to get into ya.
Pana Chocolate is known for their raw, organic, hand made, vegan chocolates that are free from dairy, soy, gluten and refined sugar. Plus, they make a seriously good (and surprisingly creamy) hot chocolate. In case you’re confused about what is actually in a hot chocolate that is free of all of the naughty but oh-so-tasty things above, listen up. Their organic hot chocolate is made with warm Brazil nut milk, vanilla beans and cinnamon and served with raw chocolate shards.
Lixie Chocolaterie is specialises in organic handmade chocolate and they also happen to be home to one of Sydney’s favourite hot chocolates. Made from their very own hand-flaked chocolate, there are six flavours available and choosing between the orange, peppermint, rose, chilli, dark or classic is like choosing your favourite child.
In true Doughnut Time fashion, their hot chocolates go above and beyond to deliver an out of control cup of goodness. We know how much you guys love over the top desserts so we will give you the low down. Specifically, they’ve decided to top a rich and creamy hot chocolate with Hershey’s cream and Kisses, Milo rocks, white chocolate M&M bark and a dusting of cocoa. It is available on every street corner, or at least the ones with a Doughnut Time on it and looks as ridiculous as it sounds.
Darlinghurst + Barangaroo
If a big cup of molten chocolate sounds like a good idea to you (it should), then RivaReno Gelato is worth a visit, if not only for the Cioccolata Calda hot chocolate, then for the hot chocolate affogato. Their affogato is a choose your own adventure situation, where you can choose your favourite gelato flavour to douse in hot chocolate. Made with 64% single origin cocoa from Madagascar, the thick, rich and creamy hot chocolate is exactly what you need on this cold winter’s day.
Orchard Street Elixir Bar
Bondi + Paddington
Be your own alchemist and design your own personal hot chocolate blend at either of the Orchard Street Elixir bars in Sydney. The rules are simple: choose your remedy (radiance is always a good idea), then your flavour (such as cacao) and then your favourite milk. We recommend the cashew milk because it is super creamy and makes the perfect hot chocolate when paired with good quality cacao. This is perfect for a treat without any of the guilts.
Venus Whole Foods
The almond milk hot chocolate at Venus Wholefoods is slightly thicker than your average hot chocolate and feels decadent enough as a post-lunch treat. But little do your taste buds know that it’s entirely vegan and refined sugar free. That’s good enough for us to claim that it is totally good for you, even though it tastes like a seriously naughty every-once-in-a-while indulgence. This one is also good with soy milk, just sayin’.
Want the perfect winter binge sesh to feast your eyes on while you sip on these chocolatey drinks? Have a look through these Netflix must-sees for winter.
Image credit: Pana Chocolate