NYC's Best Hot Chocolate

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choco-embedPhoto: Courtesy of L.A. Burdick.
In NYC, you're never far from your next amazing food experience, whether it's a Bloody Mary brunch or a decadent doughnut (or, you know, world-famous bagels and pizza pies). But, it's about time we add another item to the menu: hot chocolate.

The foamy, frothy beverage is simply irresistible this time of year and New York certainly knows how to serve it up. So, in honor of National Hot Chocolate Day, we're sharing our favorite spots to enjoy a cup of the rich, chocolatey drink. Just don't be surprised if you suddenly feel inspired to plan an ice-skating date, too.

"I like Sweetleaf because it isn't super fancy or anything, but you can tell the chocolate quality is good. It's rich but not overly sweet." — Annie Tomlin, beauty director

"Jacques Torres, for when you need a no-BS, high octane, insane cup of hot chocolate." — Kelsey Miller, staff writer

"The Hungarian Pastry Stop is one of those little holes-in-the-wall that you might miss if you're not looking for it. It's conveniently located next at a cheapie Chinese restaurant I frequented while in college. The hot chocolate comes unsweetened with a healthy dollop of homemade whipped cream — a definite plus for those who hate when their drinks are overly sugared. It's the perfect nightcap to a chicken-and-broccoli-and-dumpling-and-lo-mein-stuffed dinner." — Ellen Hoffman, editorial assistant

"I've been making a lot of trips to the Upper East Side recently (bridesmaid dress shopping, visits to the Apple Genius bar...) and like to treat myself with a stop at the Plaza Hotel Food Hall for a fancy Christmas-time cup of François Payard's hot cocoa. It's a dark chocolate blend that's rich and velvety but not overly sweetened. It always makes the trek uptown something to look forward to." — Marissa Rosenblum, shopping market director

"My fave in the city is MarieBelle in Soho. It's diabolically rich, it's deliciously creamy — totally worth the five pounds you'll probably gain while indulging in their Aztec Hot Chocolate. For a real holiday treat, my friends and I like to meet up at the Cacao Bar, where we gorge ourselves in hot cocoa and freshly baked pastries." — Laurie Espino, editorial production assistant

"The Cupping Room. It's chocolatey and amazing but not too too rich. And, the cozy space is basically wintertime perfection." — Neha Gandhi, executive editor, features

"L.A. Burdick! They have drinking chocolate that you can buy and make at home, but they have a seasonal extra-rich hot chocolate that you can only get in the store. Totally worth leaving my house/office/party/etc. for." — Jada Wong, editorial contributor

"Ace Hotel. Smooth and lovely, not too rich." — Susan Kaplow, vice president, editorial operations

"I'm going to say Le Pain Quotidien — because I enjoy how they serve it. They give you a mini jar of dark chocolate and a steaming bowl of hot milk — allowing me to tap my wannabe-barista-artist skills. Also, it's not super sweet." — Lisa Dionisio, homepage and email editor

"I live in No Man's Land, also known as the U.W.S., and there are some hidden gems here that I'd rather keep private, like the best spot for spiked hot chocolate. Is there any other way to drink it? But, since I'm feeling generous, head to Café Lalo, where you'll not only get your vodka-laced cocoa with a side of Toblerone, you'll feel like you walked into a winter wonderland straight out of a movie. It's no wonder they shot You've Got Mail here. I'll have my cocoa with a side of Hanks any day." — Sharon Yi, assistant managing editor

"The Chocolat Chaud is my favorite. The W Hotel makes no mistake by adding some Grand Saint-Bernard Jaune to this one. And, at over three ounces of chocolate per cup, it's like a dream." — Vanessa Golembewski, east coast editorial assistant