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The Schoggi Twist from Swiss restaurant Stable.
Courtesy of Stable

Warm Up With Creative Hot Chocolate in D.C.

Cold weather is no match for these winter treats.

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The Schoggi Twist from Swiss restaurant Stable.
| Photo by Courtesy of Stable

Whether hot chocolate comes from a pack of instant mix or gets made with rich cream and real cocoa, it’s the go-to drink for snow days, cold nights, and lazy afternoons by the fire. It’s easy to find the ultimate winter beverage around the District, but some coffee shops, bakeries, bars, and restaurants pull out all the stops to create special versions.

In addition to classic takes, you can find boozy twists and cups of hot cocoa made with flavors from Switzerland to Cuba. The garnish game around town is just as strong, with toppings ranging from crushed candy canes and house-made marshmallows to tres leches espuma and coconut sugar.

Hunker down with a creative cocoa at one of these spots.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Conche

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1605 Village Market Boulevard Southeast
Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 779-1800
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Venture away from the city to Leesburg’s chocolate-themed boutique restaurant for a wide array of hot chocolates. Choose from dark, milk, white chocolate, gingerbread, or salted caramel (starting at $7). Add a shot to any of the options.

2. Tryst

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2459 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 232-5500
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The popular and eclectic coffeehouse in Adams Morgan serves a hot cocoa with house-made lavender syrup along with a classic version. Both are $4.

3. Colada Shop

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1405 T St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-8800
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Colada Shop gives hot cocoa a Cuban flair its Chocolate de la Abuela (starting at $3.95). The drink involves dark chocolate, whole and evaporated milks, a Colada spice blend, and sweet Cuban crema, which is whipped espresso and cane sugar.

4. Miracle on Seventh Street

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1843 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
Washington, DC 20002 (202) 316-9396

The Christmas pop-up bar has a new cocoa this year. Santa’s S#!t List is a Nutella hot chocolate with blended Scotch and a waffle marshmallow ($9).

Ana Valentin/Courtesy of Drink Company

5. Peregrine Espresso (Multiple locations)

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1718 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 525-5127
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Taking a page from third wave coffee culture, the hot chocolate at Peregrine is made from Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company beans grown in Ghana ($4).

6. Le Diplomate

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1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-3333
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The chocolat chaud at this French standby is a blend of Valrhona chocolate and cream spiked with Chartreuse and topped with house-made marshmallows ($14). It’s also available without alcohol ($8).  

Courtesy of Le Diplomate

7. Radiator

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1430 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 742-3150
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Bring a few friends to Radiator’s heated patio and enjoy the après ski hot chocolate, which comes in a pot that serves two to four people ($12). Spike an individual mug for $5 per shot.

8. Buttercream Bakeshop

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1250 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 735-0102
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One of the most Instagrammed bakeries in D.C., Buttercream serves mint hot chocolate with milk and dark chocolates ($4.25). Add a shot of espresso to make it a minty mocha. 

9. Poca Madre

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777 I St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 838-5300
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This classy Mexican restaurant serves Oaxacan drinking chocolate — a blend of Oaxaca chocolate, cream, milk, and canela ($9). It’s finished with tres leches espuma and can be spiked with mezcal ($8).

Courtesy of Poca Madre

10. Fare Well

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406 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 367-9600
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For hot chocolate without the dairy, head to vegan diner Fare Well ($12) and order a Santa’s Little Helper. Choose from oat, soy, or coconut milk as the base of your drink. It also has house made Kahlua, peppermint, crushed candy canes, and marshmallows. 

Courtesy of Fare Well

11. Stable DC

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1324 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 733-4604
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The city’s resident Swiss restaurant makes a Schoggi Twist with (Swiss brand) Caotina hot chocolate, Godiva chocolate liqueur, and mint whipped cream. 

Courtesy of Stable

12. Cafe Chocolat

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1423 H St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 827-3057
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At a shop entirely dedicated to chocolate, a strong hot cocoa is a must. Café Chocolat offers three choices: dark, milk, or white chocolate (starting at $4.95).

Courtesy of Cafe Chocolat

13. Fruitive

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1094 Palmer Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 836-7749
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Fruitive’s hot chocolate is organic and completely plant-based, with coconut milk, raw cacao from Pacari, orange zest, cold-pressed ginger, and coconut sugar ($4.50).

Courtesy of Fruitive

14. Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

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401 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 628-1005
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Staying true to its Mexican roots, Oyamel’s “Chocolate Caliente” is a Oaxacan hot chocolate with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, cloves and steamed milk. Order it for $4 a glass.

15. Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

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1515 N Courthouse Rd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 243-2410
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This New Orleans bakery offers the classic Bayou Cocoa, made with 64 percent Valrhona chocolate, Trickling Springs milk, Madagascar vanilla, and sea salt, all topped with a dollop of whipped cream ($4).

Courtesy of Bayou Bakery

16. Nicecream

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2831 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 908-0225
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Nicecream now has four local locations, and they offer four hot chocolate choices: spicy Mexican, caramel, lavender, or nutella (starting at $4.49).

17. The Pretzel Bakery

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257 15th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 450-6067
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While obviously known for its pretzels, this bakery also draws eaters with “hotella,” a rich Nutella hot chocolate ($3).

18. Pitango Gelato

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660 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 701-6222
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Pitango draws its inspiration from towns of the Italian Alps. The sipping chocolate is thick and intense —like the cocoa version of espresso — thanks to single-origin Vidama chocolate from the Ivory Coast (starting at $2.75). If the sipping variety is too strong, baristas can add steamed milk or espresso. 

19. District Winery, Ana at District Winery

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385 Water St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 484-9210
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District Winery’s restaurant adds zip to its hot chocolate ($14) with Grenache red wine lees, a byproduct of the fermentation process. The drink also comes with brandy, whipped cream, and a dusting of cocoa powder.

1. The Conche

1605 Village Market Boulevard Southeast, Leesburg, VA 20175

Venture away from the city to Leesburg’s chocolate-themed boutique restaurant for a wide array of hot chocolates. Choose from dark, milk, white chocolate, gingerbread, or salted caramel (starting at $7). Add a shot to any of the options.

1605 Village Market Boulevard Southeast
Leesburg, VA 20175

2. Tryst

2459 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

The popular and eclectic coffeehouse in Adams Morgan serves a hot cocoa with house-made lavender syrup along with a classic version. Both are $4.

2459 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

3. Colada Shop

1405 T St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Colada Shop gives hot cocoa a Cuban flair its Chocolate de la Abuela (starting at $3.95). The drink involves dark chocolate, whole and evaporated milks, a Colada spice blend, and sweet Cuban crema, which is whipped espresso and cane sugar.

1405 T St NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Miracle on Seventh Street

1843 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Ana Valentin/Courtesy of Drink Company

The Christmas pop-up bar has a new cocoa this year. Santa’s S#!t List is a Nutella hot chocolate with blended Scotch and a waffle marshmallow ($9).

1843 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

5. Peregrine Espresso (Multiple locations)

1718 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Taking a page from third wave coffee culture, the hot chocolate at Peregrine is made from Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company beans grown in Ghana ($4).

1718 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

6. Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Courtesy of Le Diplomate

The chocolat chaud at this French standby is a blend of Valrhona chocolate and cream spiked with Chartreuse and topped with house-made marshmallows ($14). It’s also available without alcohol ($8).  

1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

7. Radiator

1430 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

Bring a few friends to Radiator’s heated patio and enjoy the après ski hot chocolate, which comes in a pot that serves two to four people ($12). Spike an individual mug for $5 per shot.

1430 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

8. Buttercream Bakeshop

1250 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

One of the most Instagrammed bakeries in D.C., Buttercream serves mint hot chocolate with milk and dark chocolates ($4.25). Add a shot of espresso to make it a minty mocha. 

1250 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

9. Poca Madre

777 I St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Courtesy of Poca Madre

This classy Mexican restaurant serves Oaxacan drinking chocolate — a blend of Oaxaca chocolate, cream, milk, and canela ($9). It’s finished with tres leches espuma and can be spiked with mezcal ($8).

777 I St NW
Washington, DC 20001

10. Fare Well

406 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Courtesy of Fare Well

For hot chocolate without the dairy, head to vegan diner Fare Well ($12) and order a Santa’s Little Helper. Choose from oat, soy, or coconut milk as the base of your drink. It also has house made Kahlua, peppermint, crushed candy canes, and marshmallows. 

406 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

11. Stable DC

1324 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Courtesy of Stable

The city’s resident Swiss restaurant makes a Schoggi Twist with (Swiss brand) Caotina hot chocolate, Godiva chocolate liqueur, and mint whipped cream. 

1324 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

12. Cafe Chocolat

1423 H St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Courtesy of Cafe Chocolat

At a shop entirely dedicated to chocolate, a strong hot cocoa is a must. Café Chocolat offers three choices: dark, milk, or white chocolate (starting at $4.95).

1423 H St NW
Washington, DC 20005

13. Fruitive

1094 Palmer Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001
Courtesy of Fruitive

Fruitive’s hot chocolate is organic and completely plant-based, with coconut milk, raw cacao from Pacari, orange zest, cold-pressed ginger, and coconut sugar ($4.50).

1094 Palmer Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001

14. Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

401 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

Staying true to its Mexican roots, Oyamel’s “Chocolate Caliente” is a Oaxacan hot chocolate with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, cloves and steamed milk. Order it for $4 a glass.

401 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

15. Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

1515 N Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA 22201
Courtesy of Bayou Bakery

This New Orleans bakery offers the classic Bayou Cocoa, made with 64 percent Valrhona chocolate, Trickling Springs milk, Madagascar vanilla, and sea salt, all topped with a dollop of whipped cream ($4).

1515 N Courthouse Rd
Arlington, VA 22201

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16. Nicecream

2831 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Nicecream now has four local locations, and they offer four hot chocolate choices: spicy Mexican, caramel, lavender, or nutella (starting at $4.49).

2831 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

17. The Pretzel Bakery

257 15th St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

While obviously known for its pretzels, this bakery also draws eaters with “hotella,” a rich Nutella hot chocolate ($3).

257 15th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

18. Pitango Gelato

660 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

Pitango draws its inspiration from towns of the Italian Alps. The sipping chocolate is thick and intense —like the cocoa version of espresso — thanks to single-origin Vidama chocolate from the Ivory Coast (starting at $2.75). If the sipping variety is too strong, baristas can add steamed milk or espresso. 

660 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

19. District Winery, Ana at District Winery

385 Water St SE, Washington, DC 20003

District Winery’s restaurant adds zip to its hot chocolate ($14) with Grenache red wine lees, a byproduct of the fermentation process. The drink also comes with brandy, whipped cream, and a dusting of cocoa powder.

385 Water St SE
Washington, DC 20003

Related Maps