When it’s time to come in from the cold, there’s no better way to warm up than sipping a piping-hot cup of velvety hot chocolate. Luckily, there are plenty of Front Range shops and restaurants that serve up this decadent delight. Here, a roundup of six local spots with hot cocoa sure to make your day merry and bright.
Piece, Love & Chocolate
805 Pearl St., Boulder
In addition to a boutique selection of mouthwatering truffles and pastries, Piece, Love & Chocolate has a cafe that serves its signature hot sipping chocolate. Also look for an intense, dark hot chocolate shot and a white chocolate chai, a mouthwatering combo of rich, white chocolate and gingery Bhakti Chai.
201 University Blvd.; 6770 West 52nd Ave., Arvada
Best known for its almond toffee, specialty popcorn, and gourmet chocolates, this confectioner also has a bar where professionals whip up some amazing hot cocoa by melting smooth milk chocolate in milk and topping off the rich result with a large swirl of whipped cream. Add some peppermint or raspberry flavoring for a sip of heaven.
Crave Dessert Bar and Lounge
891 14th St.
If you’re seeking hot chocolate that’s a dessert in its own right, head to Crave, an innovative restaurant-coffee-dessert bar located in the Spire Building near the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Here, the chefs heat up thick chocolate ganache in skim milk and serve it with your choice of house-made marshmallows or frothy whipped cream. For stronger cravings, try one of the adult versions, such as the Mexican Hot Chocolate—cocoa made with tequila, chocolate liqueur, cinnamon syrup, and spiced marshmallows—or Chartreuse Mint Cocoa, a self-indulgent blend of house ganache, Chartreuse, and chocolate liqueurs, and whipped cream decorated with chocolate shavings and fresh mint.
Leela European Cafe
820 15th St.
Along with a tempting selection of breakfasts, sandwiches, and burgers, this 24-hour, European-style cafe offers gourmet Bellagio sipping chocolate, which is billed as “hot chocolate for the real chocolate lover,” covered—of course—with plenty of whipped cream.
With seven Front Range locations, you’re almost always near one of these retro breakfast and lunch joints. Warm up with a Snooze hot chocolate draped with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, or kick-start your day with a Cosmonaut—an out-of-this-world mix of steamed milk, chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla syrups, and Cruzan light-aged rum.
320 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs
Choices, choices. Poor Richard’s in downtown Colorado Springs offers Belgian hot chocolate—made with white, spicy Aztec, or organic milk chocolate—as well as sumptuous Belgian sipping chocolate. Top off your creation with homemade maple syrup-sweetened whipped cream, or if you’re really ready to celebrate, try the Irish Hot Chocolate: cocoa mixed with Irish Cream and mint chocolate liqueurs.