Few holiday traditions are more comforting than a mug of hot cocoa. Thankfully, San Francisco serves up more than its fair share of chocolatey goodness.
By indulgence, we mean the most classic of wintertime tastes: a smooth, creamy cup of hot chocolate. Like the city itself, there are plenty of unique offerings to be sipped and sampled. Here are five of the ultimate hot chocolate spots in San Francisco.
Where to find it: inside the Ferry Building
If the location isn’t enough to wow you (and let’s face it, it’s impossible not to be impressed with the iconic Ferry Building), the Eastern European hot chocolate at Boulette’s Larder will undoubtedly win you over. Akin to drinking a liquid brownie, you’ll want to pace yourself as you savor every last sip of its delicious decadence. Plus, it pairs exceptionally well with Boulette’s equally divine beignets.
Where to find it: 740 Valencia Street
A boutique bean-to-bar chocolatier, Dandelion’s love for all things chocolate is tastefully apparent in their distinctive hot cocoas. Aiming to satisfy every sweet tooth, they offer a classic American house hot chocolate, a spiced Mission hot chocolate, and two overseas-inspired mixes—the Hojicah (which is infused with Japanese tea) and an Italian-influenced European drinking chocolate. You can even keep it cool by opting for a frozen version of the delicious beverage.
Where to find it: two locations—746 Valencia Street and 1598 Yosemite Avenue
If you’re a fan of indulging in hot chocolate that is more craft than it is beverage, the French Valrhona hot chocolate mixed by the highly regarded Craftsman and Wolves is calling out to you. Their thick and richly flavorful “sipping chocolate” comes with homemade dark chocolate spearmint marshmallows served on a wooden plank. Craftsman, indeed.
4. Tosca Cafe
Where to find it: 242 Columbus Avenue
For the 21 and over crowd, it's hard to pass up Tosca Cafe’s spirited (and spirit-rich) "House Cappuccino." Don’t let the name fool you, though. The creative concoction starts with Dandelion chocolate ganache and organic milk, and along the way to satisfying your need for hot chocolate as a cocktail, adds in Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Marie Duffau Bas Armagnac. It's hot cocoa all grown up.
5. XOX Truffles
Where to find it: 754 Columbus Avenue
Let’s face it: few things sound better than melting a favorite bar of chocolate into a piping hot mug and sipping on the warm, creamy goodness. If you’ve yet to take that leap, the frothy, hand-whisked hot chocolate from XOX Truffles is an excellent alternative. It starts with a thick chocolate syrup that is melted directly into a cup with frothed milk whisked in for good measure. The concoction also comes with a free truffle to add another layer of luxury.