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January 26, 2010

Top 10 Places to Get Great Hot Chocolate

Screen%20shot%202010-01-25%20at%204.48.03%20PM.pngWhen I asked for a guest Top 10 list to post while I was on vacation, I got not one, but two: Bucky's, which I used last week, and this mouth-watering list of places to get hot chocolate from Catherinette Singleton. I've linked to her blog, because it was kind of her to make up this list for us, but I need to add that the language on her blog is adults only. Here's Catherinette. EL

Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last month you’ve probably noticed that the temperatures outside have been well below what they should be.  Christmas and New Year's have come and gone; but, baby, it’s still cold outside. ...

There’s only so much coffee and/or tea one can drink to keep warm.  What’s left?  The standard, always classic, always comforting, usually underrated hot chocolate. 

You would think finding good hot chocolate would be easy, and you would be wrong.  Many places claiming to have a decent version are simply using syrup or cheap powder.  Frankly, I can make that kind of nonsense at home.

Finding really good quality hot chocolate isn't easy, so here's my list of the top 10 places inside the beltway with delicious hot chocolate:

1) Zachi Cafe in Mount Vernon tops the list with a not-too-sweet, beautifully hand-crafted hot chocolate made from real chocolate.  Hoda Kader, the owner, has her hot chocolate down to an art form. 

2) Stone Mill Bakery in Lutherville has a fantastic hot chocolate made with Valrohna chocolate from France.  Trust me when I tell you that you want to get the homemade marshmallow on top. 

3) Woodberry Kitchen in Clipper Mill offers another delicious option, using local ingredients.  This pairs really nicely with any dessert being offered.

4) Red Emma’s in Mount Vernon has a spicy hot chocolate with just the right amount of kick.  Not too sweet, not too spicy, this is for grownups.

5) Puffs & Pastries, the Hampden bakery,  has an artisanal hot chocolate that can be made to order.  

6) Teavolve in Harbor East is known for its teas; however, missing the hot chocolate would be a mistake.  With or without the whipped cream, its version of hot chocolate stands up to any tea drink offered.

7) Sofi’s Crepes in Station North makes a divine drink that partners very nicely with fresh cream.  Order it with the Nutella crepe.

8) Starbucks (various locations) has a pretty tasty Signature Hot Chocolate.  It’s rich and creamy, better than you might think you would get from a chain.

9) Meli Patisserie & Bakery in Fells Point is another good choice.  Its hot chocolate was the sweetest of the bunch.  If you have a real sweet tooth, this is the one for you.

10) Daily Grind in Fells Point also makes its hot chocolate from real chocolate.  You can get it with soy milk for a nuttier flavor.

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:14 AM | | Comments (35)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


Caribou Coffee also has good hot chocolate, made with Guittard. You can get it in your choice of milk, dark, or white, too. Beats Starbucks by a mile.

Java Mamas also has a good hot chocolate. I believe you can get it with any kind of milk you wish (skim, soy, etc).

It's the most chocolately hot chocolate I've ever had.

Oh, how can you leave off Pitango Gelato in Fells Point?

I had a cup of deep, rich, not-too-sweet hot chocolate at the coffee bar in the Towson Public Library.

Let's not forget Chocolatea and Mr. Yogato.

I was just thinking about how nice it would be to have a great cup of Hot Chocolate. Thanks for the tips!

Bonjour Bakery Cafe serves excellent hot chocolate.

I'm not sure how I feel about my Hot Chocolate being made with "local ingredients." I mean, seriously? First of all, the cocoa beans clearly aren't going to be grown in Baltimore. And second of all, when you are indulging isn't it still okay to have a word like French, Belgian, Dutch, Mayan, Ivory Coast or something else exotic to contemplate as you close your eyes and take that sip? Or is that no longer allowed?

I'm guessing that means milk from a local farm and chocolate from a local chocolatier, not the raw ingredients. EL

I second the comment on Pitango. Their hot chocolate is the best I've ever had. It's like eating a melted chocolate bar. And they'll even put gelato in it if you want!

I believe Pitango's hot chocolate is sipping chocolate. They have the same thing at Tapas Adela. It is incredible, amazingly rich, and at Tapas Adela you can get it mixed with a shot -- I tried Gran Marnier, and it was amazing. That was more than enough dessert for me!

Obviously you have not been to Chocolatea - which is walkin distance to Hopkins; behind the Colonnade. It is, hands down... the best place to get hot chocolate in bmore!

The address is:
3811 Canterbury Road
Baltimore, MD 21210

This cafe has the most decadent Nutella Irishman everrrr. For lunch, I also recommend the Sichuan Chicken and the Macalacalacalaca (extra bean sprouts) - ask for "Oscar" - he'll fix it just the way you like :)

A best hot chocolate list is not accurate without listing Water for Chocolate. Wonderful dark chocolate with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Really, it makes you want to have a cigarette after one sip.....

Stone Mill is not inside the beltway.

And not to get in a neighborhood argument, but I wouldn't consider it Lutherville. Perhaps Greespring Station or Brooklandville would be more appropriate.

Who cares where greenspring station is or whether or not the damn hot chocolate was made with kalamazoo or whatever exotic chocolate you can think of was while you close your eyes and sip. the point is just like everything else this is the author's opinion. I'm just excited to see Zachi Cafe at number one, it's this cafe on West Read Street next to the light rail, and the owner is incredible and the hot chocolate superb. It's about time she was recognized.

top 10 places inside the beltway with delicious hot chocolate: Stone Mill Bakery

This is not her opinion, this is fact, but actually is fiction.

Nitpicking? Absolutley. But it is not opinion. If your gonna say inside the beltway, because you are a pretentious city dweller, then keep it that way.

On a happier note, I just read some of Catherinette's blogs and they are hilarious! Keep up the good work!

Stone Mill is by the Brooklandville PO but the mailing address for Greenspring Station is Lutherville. It's always been a problem there, like Rt 100 in Columbia's mailing address is Ellicott City. BTW, a banner over the apparently former Daily Grind said "Fells Grind" yesterday.

It's called THE FELLS GRIND now. Not Daily Grind.

Greenspring Station is in fact Lutherville. They have an address of Lutherville, MD 21093.

Geez guys, it's outside the beltway by less than a mile (.7 mi if GMaps is to be believed.) I wouldn't have even known it was without mapping it...
If you're going to freak out over that, then you need the chocolate more than the rest of us.

Since these were not alphabetical, I guess Zachi Cafe can now lay claim to being the #1 hot chocolate inside the Baltimore Beltway (give or take a 1/2 mile.)
If this isn't funny, I guess you had to be here;)

Hi Elizabeth!

Thank you so much for the Teavolve mention.

We changed our hot chocolate supplier a few months ago and I'm happy to hear that it's been well received. We also have a killer Ghirardelli sipping chocolate.

I too am a huge fan of Catherinette's blog. :-)

Just so everyone understands, this was Catherinette's list, not mine, so I can't take credit. EL

I haven't had their hot chocolate, but the drinking chocolate at Tealove is very good.

Actually, there is a lot to like about Tealove. So much about Harbor East is frentic, but Tealove has a very relaxing vibe to it. The area needs a place like that.

I find it funny that "Anonymous" (if that's your REAL name) felt the need to call Catherinette out for being a "pretentious city dweller" when she doesn't even live in the city.

As her friend, and blogging buddy, I feel compelled to tell you that she also sacrificed the better part of a weekend and her New Year's dieting resolution, driving around to different locations to taste test hot cocoa for this list.

Keep in mind that while your particular favorite may not be on HER list, that doesn't mean your hot chocolate of choice is any less you.

Much like most things in life, a good hot chocolate depends on what you like and what you're looking for. These are just some options you might want to check out.

Catherinette makes me laugh.

I had a free sample of the hot chocolate at Glarus in Harbor East recently, it was wonderful.

I love Catherinette's blog. Thanks for the link, EL. I just now had a bit of time to look at it.

For those wishing to make hot chocolate at home, check out Fred Thompson's book, "Hot Chocolate" (The Harvard Common Press, 2006). Enjoy! entire book on just hot chocolate.

The diner under Jones Falls on Saratoga and Guilford has excellent hot chocolate that is a great bargain. Freshly made whipped cream and no extra charge for soy milk!

IMHO, there is nothing better than a cup of Mayan Hot Chocolate from Chocolatea. They have about 11 varieties ranging from Ginger to Strawberry Nutella. The staff is gracious. This is the one item that always made me stray from an otherwise good weight watchers day :)

You have GOT to check out chocolatea if you haven't before! they have an entire menu dedicated to thier amazing hot chocolates and can even make them out of their truffles! I have never had hot chocolates quite like theirs. They can even customize your order and are not stingy with whipped cream.:):):):):)

Chocolatea on w. 39th & Canterbury should definitely be on this list! They have an entire hot chocolate menu that is just mouthwatering. I especially like the strawberry nutella hot chocolate made with real strawberries!

How could you have missed Carma's?!!! Bar none, their Mayan Hot Chocolate is the best hot chocolate I have EVER tasted - EVER. Literally, I welcome the winter season with a walk to Carma's for a cup of their Mayan Hot Chocolate on the very first cold day and I say farewell to the season when the weather starts to warm up. I don't even try to count the in between visits for it. Honestly, it is to die for!!!!!

carma's is at the corner of St. Paul and 32nd Street.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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