As the weather cools, there are few things more comforting than wrapping your hands around a steaming mug of hot cocoa. Whether you seek a chocolate and coconut creation or a concoction so thick you can stand a spoon up in it, you’ll find it in Sydney. Follow our guide to the sweetest sips in town...
The Grounds of Alexandria
The deconstructed version at The Grounds of Alexandria may be the best-looking hot chocolate in Sydney. With melted chocolate, frothed milk and chocolate flakes for sprinkling – and all elements presented individually on a board – connoisseurs can create their own hot cocoa perfection.
7a/2 Huntley Street, Alexandria; (02) 9699 2225
The Nutella obsession shows no sign of abating and why would it? Chocolate and hazelnut is a winning combination, which is why Reuben Hills uses it as the base for its hot chocolate. Without being too sweet, the Nutella drink hits all the right notes and is served with a wafer on the side.
61 Albion Street, Surry Hills; (02) 9211 5556
Koi Dessert Bar
The desserts are amazing – yes – but don’t neglect the drinks at Koi Dessert Bar. Containing 55 per cent Belgian dark chocolate, Cointreau and flake-like frozen “chocolate rock” that melts into the steaming liquid, the Not So Hot chocolate is a sort of cocktail/hot chocolate combination. Genius.
46 Kensington Street, Chippendale; (02) 9212 1230
Most Erskineville locals come to Café Shenkin for the legendary shakshuka but to double down on the tummy-warming comfort, add the Israeli-inspired eatery’s hot chocolate to your order. Those in the know mix coconut with the Belgian chocolate flakes – the result is like a Golden Rough in a cup.
53 Erskineville Road, Erskineville; (02) 9550 5511
With its ’50s diner aesthetic and a menu to match, this charming Inner West milk bar satisfies all those nostalgic urges: think ice-cream sundaes, jaffles, killer burgers, a banana split with all the trimmings and a drinks menu that includes spiders and classic shakes. The traditional hot chocolate is rich and creamy and you can add a shot of coffee to pep you up. Alternatively, Daisy’s also does a Milo one – and they don’t go light on the Milo.
340 Stanmore Road, Petersham; (02) 8065 3466
Cremeria De Luca
In Italy, hot chocolate is served deliciously thick – a similar consistency, claims Five Dock’s Cremeria De Luca, to a warm chocolate pudding. That’s how the gelateria serves its version, with variations on the theme including rose, zabaglione, tiramisu and salted-caramel.
84 Ramsay Road, Five Dock; (02) 9712 4606
Available in milk and dark chocolate, Oh!Boo’s hot chocolate is heated to the perfect temperature – 65 degrees Celsius – and is truly decadent. It’s all thanks to chocolatier Fanny Chan’s passion for premium chocolate, which is melted and mixed with milk and spices to create a steaming cup of cocoa perfection.
Shop 1, 33 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo; (02) 9356 8876
Kakawa’s famously lengthy list of hot chocolates, each made with Belgian chocolate, includes hazelnut and brandy mixes. But it’s the chilli one that really packs a punch – after that first sweet sip, there’s a pleasing warmth from the chilli.
147 William Street, Darlinghurst; (02) 9331 8818
It takes a strong will to pass up the range of artisan gelato at this Italian gelataria but in the cooler months, you really can’t do better than a cup of the thick, dark hot chocolate. At RivaReno, it’s made with Valrhona single-origin Grand Cru Manjari chocolate, which has 64 per cent cocoa from Madagascar. This is a sip to be savoured.
280 Crown Street, Darlinghurst; (02) 9356 2669
33/4 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo; (02) 9188 1510
Flour and Stone
Locals flock to Flour and Stone for the cabinets stuffed with morsels such as chocolate, raspberry and buttermilk cake and panna cotta lamingtons. The trick to indulgence, we think, is that if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it properly. So add a cup of fudgy hot chocolate to your order: it’s made with lots of real chocolate and frothy milk.
53 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo; (02) 8068 8818
The queue at Inner West brunch spot West Juliett can’t get enough of the delicious haloumi and egg rolls, house-baked pastries and topnotch coffee. In the hot choc department, West Juliett keeps things simple. It goes a little something like this: place copious amounts of Belgian Callebaut chocolate in a cup, pour steamed milk over the top and stir. The result? A creamy and sweet (but not too sweet) chocky.
30 Llewellyn Street, Marrickville; (02) 9519 0101
Top image: Koi Dessert Bar