The festive season may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean that hot chocolates will ever go out of style. An exceptional chocolat chaud needs quite a bit of tender love and care (and just some good quality chocolate), so they can be quite hard to come by.
Perhaps you’re a regular milk hot chocolate lover, or maybe you prefer a thick hot chocolate that could be considered a sauce. Winter is made for finding a cosy corner in a café and bunkering down with a mug of this heavenly drink, and Dublin is full of them, so whatever hot chocolate your heart desires, warm up with our picks of the capital’s hottest hot chocolates.
Take a trip to the seaside town of Dun Laoghaire, where decadent French hot chocolate resides in Le Chocolat de Frèd. Home to a chocolate tap (yes, your childhood self will be pleased), you’ll be getting liquid gold in a cup. You’re spoiled for choice here, with dark, hazelnut, cioccolata calda (Italian style), decadent (double chocolate and extra cream), or just a shot of pure melted chocolate. They also have options for iced chocolate, milkshakes, crepes, waffles and ice cream. A true dessert lover’s heaven.
Tucked away in the lanes between Grafton Street and Dawson Street, Dolce Sicily is home to some of the most heavenly Sicilian desserts around. You’ll struggle to narrow down your choices at this Italian patisserie, but the star of the show is their authentic Italian Hot Chocolate, or Cioccolata Calda. A luxuriously thick, indulgent beverage, Italy’s take on a classic is a chocaholic’s dream.
If you’re walking the streets of Dublin like you’re in Paris, where better to top off the experience than at the gorgeous Ladurée? As a spot that exudes luxury, the French know a thing or two about making the perfect chocolat chaud. A ganache-based hot chocolate, each sip will bring you to a Parisian bliss – you’ll forget you’re on South William Street. Thick, indulgent and rich, the only way to improve upon this little cup of heaven is to dunk one of their famous macarons in for good measure.
Known for their homemade, creamy liquid nitrogen ice-cream, Three Twenty are all about innovation. If you’re not an ice-cream in the winter type of person, they have you sorted with their luscious hot chocolates. Choose from their classic, the marshmallow bomb (topped with a cloud of homemade marshmallow fluff!), caramel supreme or white chocolate and raspberry deluxe. Drury Street is blessed with these drinks – Three Twenty’s hot chocolate is a must-try.
If you’re a dessert enthusiast, then you must give The Sweetest Thing on Bachelor’s Walk a visit. With a name like that, one would expect that this café would deliver a spectacular sugar shock. Delivering on that and then some, you’re in sweet treat heaven. Their hot chocolates are the stars of the show, boasting a large range of flavours including Bailey’s, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Malteasers, and much more. Decadent, warming hot chocolate is exactly what you need in these winter months.
No one disputes that Italians know a thing or two about delicious food and drink, and this list proves that they make hot chocolate better than most. Il Fornaio is a family run bakery serving authentic Italian fare and their thick and luxurious hot chocolate will stop you in your tracks. A small cup of this will hit the spot, you’ve got to try it.
Known for their famous rolled ice cream, the Arctic Stone is kindly also keeping you warm during the winter months with their decadent hot chocolates. Their flavours are incredibly enticing, from Melted Kinder Bueno to Melted Ferrero Rocher, you can’t get better than a chocolate bar swirled into hot milk. Their spot in Blackrock Market is a must visit.
We can’t write a hot chocolate list and leave out Hotel Chocolat. Your one stop shop for all things chocolate, you can guarantee that a hot chocolate here is always a win. What makes it special is their signature chocolate whipped cream topping – grab a spoon and go to town, it’s like a pre-hot chocolate dessert! Choose from milk, white or dark, each with their own flavour options too. Why not step outside the box and get a Chilli Dark Hot Chocolate – it’s a winner in our eyes.
It seems to be a theme that anywhere serving delicious ice-cream will serve you an equally luxurious hot chocolate. Scoop has got you covered with a few of their winter warmers, like their Belgian hot chocolate. Perhaps you’re more of a nostalgia kid at heart, so the Nutella hot chocolate would be a delightful way to fill a chocolate shaped hole. Go all out and get a scoop of ice-cream in your hot chocolate with their special Gelato Float. Delish.
A unique pop of flavour at Honey Truffle, this independent cafe on Pearse Street is only open on weekdays so you might need to make this one a mid-afternoon treat. Their Ganache Hot Chocolate with Kraken Black Spiced Rum sounds like the perfect way to break up what might be a long day – go on, we won’t tell.
Not the first place you’d think of to grab a hot chocolate, but this popular D8 bar and restaurant serves a remarkable one. An alternative to a dessert cocktail, finish up a brilliant meal at 57 The Headline with their indulgent Baileys Caramel Hot Chocolate – sounds devilishly delicious.
We know them for their iconic pancakes and photogenic brunch dishes, but Póg’s Nutella hot chocolate will cure the bluest of January blues. This moreish drink can be made vegan too (why not go for coconut milk to get the Bounty feel!) and pairs perfectly with any of their fresh pastries. What a way to start off a morning!
The fact that small-batch roaster and speciality café Urbanity Coffee in Smithfield does great coffee is no surprise, but their hot chocolate shouldn’t be overlooked. Made using chocolate from Hazel Mountain Chocolate, Ireland’s first stone ground ‘bean to bar’ chocolatiers, this cosy concoction might just be worth foregoing your caffeine fix for. Choose from regular (which they top with grated orange zest – yum), or peppermint hot chocolate for a real treat.
Bryan’s is a local gem in Dun Laoghaire. Staying open till 10pm on most days, it’s the best spot to grab a hot drink before a walk on the pier. Bryan’s hot chocolate is the perfect nod to nostalgia, with flavour options from Crunchie bar, Oreo, Cadbury and more. The same man (can we assume it’s Bryan himself?) serves everyday, so if you like to enjoy a regular walk on the Dun Laoghaire pier, you’ll certainly recognise him. You’ll find Bryan’s Coffee right at the top of the Dun Laoghaire Pier, right beside the Say Fish Truck, but not on social media!
I’m a Palestinian who grew up in Cyprus and moved to Dublin in 2013, so I’ve had a mishmash of different cultures and cuisines surrounding me my whole life. I’m an avid foodie, and after realising that life as a lawyer was not for me, I studied media and became a radio host for Dublin City FM. I’m now writing for TheTaste full time, but I also have my own food blog where you can find a mixture of restaurant reviews and the occasional recipe. I talk a lot about being Palestinian; to be honest, I talk a lot in general. That’s why I did radio!