Hot stuff coming through: Toronto hot chocolate with a twist

Hot chocolate has long been considered one of the greatest comforts of winter, and Toronto is more than ready to keep us re-discovering this treat thanks to a host of creative flavours. If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy your favourite hot treat, get ready to experience it again and again at any of the locations below.

Cacao 70

28 Gristmill Lane, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4

This Montreal chain arrived in the Distillery District in the fall of 2015, bringing with it enough hot chocolate varieties to keep customers coming back for more. Prepare to be wowed by their Milk Frozen Hot Chocolate, featuring their classic milk hot chocolate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top – the hot-and-cold combination is unforgettably delicious. Hot chocolate takes up an entire page of the menu, which also features waffles, crepes, chocolate pizzas and other chocolate-based dishes, all of which are made before your eyes in an open-concept kitchen.


3040 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P 1Z3

Two words: peanut butter. Pair that with real chocolate, not powder, and we expect we’ll find you sipping from a seat inside Delight, the Junction-dwelling chocolate studio with a knack for the beloved beverage. Husband-and-wife duo Jeff Brown and Jennifer Rashleigh craft the quality hot cho, lovingly rendered with organic and fair trade ingredients, in house. Although they host rotating specials, you can always expect their menu to feature regular hot chocolate, spiced hot chocolate and, of course, the absolutely dreamy peanut butter hot chocolate.

Café Con Leche

1571 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M6P 3S5

If the giant barrel of Nutella located outside the café doesn’t draw you in, then perhaps the whiff of Nutella hot chocolate will. Partners in business and in life, Carlos and Sandra prepare this decadent drink by wetting a spoon with hot water to help dissolve Nutella into your choice of steamed milk (regular, almond or soy). They also offer raw hot chocolate, again with your choice of regular or dairy-free milk, so that everyone can enjoy – and we mean everyone, as Café Con Leche is known for being much loved in the Junction.

Le Gourmand Cafe And Catering

438 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3S6

This Richmond and Spadina café is popular for a reason: delicious snacks, hot drinks, friendly service – what more could we ask for? Hot chocolate lovers will delight with multiple choices at this café: white hot chocolate, 32 per cent caramel, 64 per cent bittersweet, 85 per cent dark and – the most popular choice – Nutella hot chocolate. All varieties are made with milk and real chocolate (not powder). Order from the massive chalkboard-style menu if you’re looking to pair your drink with a soup, sandwich, salad, dinner entrée or dessert.

Soma Chocolate King St

443 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4

SOMA is determined to keep you warm this winter, whether you’re stepping into their King West café or the more open-concept Distillery District spot. The truly adventurous will find themselves eyeing the Mayan hot chocolate made with Madagascar vanilla, orange peel, ginger, spices and chilli, or the Gianduja hot chocolate, a careful blend of roasted hazelnuts and cacao mixed with espresso. SOMA uses only the finest organic and fair trade cacao beans, sourced from around the world and analyzed in their Toronto-based cacao lab. It’s no wonder their dark chocolate bars won gold at the 2014 International Chocolate Awards.

MoRoCo Chocolat

215 Madison Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 2S6

Specializing in all things chocolate, MoRoCo is undoubtedly a go-to for delightfully innovative cacao creations. They offer French-inspired sipping chocolate in three flavours – 66 per cent dark chocolate, milk chocolate with chai, and a featured flavour (they also offer two sizes, depending on whether or not you’re in the mood to share). Feel like fusing your happy hour with dessert? The pumpkin hot white chocolate offers a kick; it features pumpkin puree and spice, white chocolate, milk, Kahlua and bourbon.

Dineen Coffee

140, Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5C 1X6

Got peppermint or vanilla on your mind? Dineen Coffee Co. serves up 80 per cent dark ganache, steamed with regular, almond or soy milk and flavoured with peppermint or vanilla syrup, both made in house. It’s worth staying to enjoy the atmosphere – the historic Dineen building is filled with the sounds of live jazz music from the Milestones Trio between 1 and 3:30 pm on the first Friday of every month. Be prepared to sidle up alongside the financial district’s business professionals, lawyers and doctors when you dine in – after all, hot chocolate is for everyone.

Have you got hot sauce fever? Symptoms include craving cayenne, choosing spicy over sweet, and pouring hot sauce on just about anything (spicy mac ’n’ cheese, anyone?). If variety is the spice of life, turn up the heat with these Toronto hot sauce selections and you’ll be in for a flavourful ride. [Photo courtesy of Café Con Leche]
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