Hot chocolate is so sweet, so warm, so decadent – it’s almost like having a dessert instead of a beverage.
When it gets cold around Buffalo – which is often! – having a go-to hot chocolate option can mean the difference in a miserable trudge to work or around your neighborhood or enjoying a little moment of delight in a winter wonderland.
We’ve rounded up some of our chocolatey favorites from around Buffalo; from grab-and-go to sip-and-savor. All you need is a handful of marshmallows, and you’ll be ready to face whatever sleet, snow and sludge a New York winter can throw your way!
Jerk’s Soda Fountain
We know what you’re thinking – ice cream, in this weather? You must be crazy.
Hear us out, though. Jerk’s Soda Fountain may be one of our favorite ice cream spots in the city, but they’ve also branched out to offer a full array of warm drinks that will hit the spot on the chilliest of days.
Their drinking chocolate is rich and decadent, made with European chocolate that’s so indulgent, you may not be able to give up the new addiction you’ll create after sipping on a few of these. If you’re thinking about adding a flavor shot, do it; there are more than 30 to choose from.
Bonus – if you live conveniently nearby (The Belesario apartments, for example, are just across the street), you can feel totally virtuous by walking to grab this tasty treat and burning a few of the calories while fighting the cold.
The Chocolate Bar
What’s more warming, delicious and fun than a steaming mug of hot chocolate? How about a spiked and steaming hot chocolate?
The Chocolate Bar knows just how to keep us warm on chilly winter nights, with mouth-watering confections like the Chocolate Covered Cherry (rich dark hot chocolate plus Three Olives® cherry vodka), and the Caramel and Sea Salt (delicious dark chocolate, caramel and white chocolate liquor with a dash of sea salt to bring out the depths of flavor).
And, if you happen to be accompanied by someone who’s not quite as into chocolatey goodness as you are, there’s a full range of spiked coffees available as well (the Keoke is one of our favorites!).
If you’re spending a weekend in Buffalo and staying at 500 Pearl, you’re right around the corner from all this goodness. And, if you’re lucky enough to live in the 500 Pearl apartments, well, let’s just say we think you’ll be making this your go-to hot spot during the chilly winter months.
Don’t let the word “coffee” in the name throw you off. When it comes to getting a cup of cocoa on the go, SPoT is one of our top spots.
It checks all the boxes for being a daily go-to for your hot beverage of choice:
● Convenient location? Check. It’s got locations all over the city, but our favorites are the Elmwood and Kenmore shops – really easy to feed your cocoa addiction if you’re living at either 905 Elmwood or 722 W. Delavan).
● High-quality product with great flavor? Absolutely. We have to stop ourselves from ordering a mocha every time, and we also like the mocha for those days when we want the chocolatey flavor but also need a little boost of caffeine.
● Easy to enjoy anywhere? Yep, most definitely – pull up a chair and your laptop and sip it while you’re working from the coffee shop or take it to go and use it as a great aid to keep yourself warm while you’re on the move!
Root and Bloom
Feeling discouraged about the lack of hot chocolate in your life, vegan lifestyle followers? It can be discouraging to think you might be consigned to a dairy-free powdered mix straight from a box – somehow, it just doesn’t knock out those cocoa cravings in the same way.
Thankfully, Root and Bloom is ready to meet your chocolate consumption needs, offering a full slate of hot chocolate options that are short of animal products and long on flavor.
The peanut butter hot chocolate (whimsically named Buddy the Elf) packs in the protein and will give even dedicated carnivores a sense of decadent delight. The vegan marshmallows are a must as well – Buddy would definitely insist.
Are you getting hit by some chocolatey cravings now? Bundle up and find something sweet to sip and savor. Cocoa might taste best when you’re wearing mittens and snowshoes, but, guess what? We also won’t tell anyone if you like drinking it on a breezy summer night, either.