The Hottest Hot Chocolates in Providence and Beyond

choc1If anyone is searching for the silver lining to the Blizzard That Never Ends, it is this: You now have an excuse to indulge in decadent hot chocolates for the entire month of February, or at least until the 12-foot snow berms disappear from your driveway (which could be April? May?) We’ve finally reached a point where coffee and tea are not enough; we need the comfort and healing properties that only hot chocolate has to offer.  I’ve done all the difficult (ahem) research of sifting through various locations and flavors, and here are my must trys.

choc2Bolt Coffee Co. Bolt is located inside the Dean Hotel, and although it might be easily missed amid the karaoke bar, the bar bar, and the Faust German restaurant, it should not be overlooked. It’s a great starting place for those who are unsure about this whole hot chocolate thing and are looking to segue from macchiato to hot chocolate. This hot chocolate is delicately made, with a little bit of cocoa powder mixed with hot water, added to steamed milk and topped with a foam heart — evidence that it’s made with love. Our barista was joyful despite the snowy weather, and he didn’t even seem phased that I was the thousandth person to comment on the fact that the Chemex coffee looks like a science experiment (it’s brewed in a beaker!). My friend and I settled into one of the couches, and two hours later I looked at my watch and realized the time. Warning: Bolt is the secret door into the rabbit hole.

choc3New Harvest Inside the Providence Arcade. Locally roasted coffee. Killer hot chocolate. I first visited New Harvest at 9am on a Tuesday morning. I’d heard about their Mexican hot chocolate, and seeing as I’m from New Mexico (NEW Mexico), I was intrigued. I thought it’d be made with a pinch of cayenne pepper and cinnamon. When I ordered it, however, I was met with rejection.

“We can’t serve liquor before noon.”

Oh.

Okay.

What?

It turns out “Mexican” meant tequila, so I opted for a regular hot chocolate, feeling slightly disappointed I’d missed out on the special, and slightly weird that I’d just ordered liquor at 9am. But their “plain” hot chocolate was so good—the perfect ratio of chocolate to milk. AND the latte artist topped my drink with the face of a dog. Clearly, the underdog wins.

choc4(PS. I did come back late on Friday night, at an appropriate time for alcohol consumption, and tried the Mexican hot chocolate. It tasted mostly like warm tequila, so I advise the underdog.)

Duck and Bunny. You all know the place on Wickenden. It’s got cuteness and it’s got cupcakes, but what you need to know is that it offers a Drunken Raspberry Chocolate that’s out of this world. This drink epitomizes “sinfully delicious” because it has a rich flavor, a smooth finish and a dangerously sweet intoxicant: ChocoVine’s Raspberry Chocolate wine.

That’s right — wine. I would have never thought a dessert wine would blend well with hot chocolate, but the creator of this drink was a genius. The only evidence of alcohol is the added sensation of warmth, and the almost immediate buzz. Even my guy friend who arrived as a skeptic walked away a believer. Anyone who likes raspberry and chocolate (i.e., anyone with a pulse) will fall instantly in love.

choc5Sweet Indulgence. If you’ve never been to Pawtuxet Village, where Cranston and Warwick meet, you must go TODAY. It’s full of treasures, and Sweet Indulgence is one of them. Imagine Willy Wonka’s heaven, add the color pink, and you’ve created Sweet Indulgence. Chocolates, cupcakes, brownies, lemon bars, homemade waffles and best of all, the most exquisite hot chocolate you ever did see. Topped with marshmallows and chocolate shavings, it tastes like chocolate bars melted and stirred. You can also try a frozen hot chocolate (including a peanut butter flavored one) that tastes better than a smoothie: It still maintains the essence of a hot chocolate despite being blended and cold. I don’t question it; I just enjoyed it. You should, too.

choc6Whether you want to be soothed or seduced this winter, there’s a hot chocolate out there to fulfill your every desire.

Bolt Coffee: 122 Fountain St, PVD

New Harvest: 130 Westminster St, PVD

Duck and Bunny: 312 Wickenden St, PVD

Sweet Indulgence: 2202 Broad St, Cranston (Pawtuxet Village)

2 responses to “The Hottest Hot Chocolates in Providence and Beyond”

  1. I have been on the same quest this winter. I have a few contenders to add. My favorite so far is White Electric Coffee. I'll also give a nod to Ellie's for their homemade marshmallows. For some alternative hot chocolates, Tealuxe on Thayer will put a tea bag of your choice in your hot chocolate… I was a skeptic at first, but peppermint tea in hot chocolate is a definite winner. Another deliciously alternative hot chocolate can be found at Cafe Choklad with their Wicked Hot Chocolate with enough cayenne pepper to make you clear your throat.

    I have not completed my journey yet– I need to go to Al Forno. I have heard that they have, indisputably, the best hot chocolate in the city. Finally, I have a hot chocolate request. Every time I go to Cook and Brown for brunch, I pine for hot chocolate, but they don't have it. Dear Cook and Brown, I wish you had painfully bitter hot chocolate–you can put booze in it too.

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