7 French Places to Get Hot Chocolate in New York

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photo via Maman Instagram account, by @aritettamanzi

As the cold has settled back into the city (and it’s only getting colder this week), you’ve found yourself craving something warm and comforting: hot chocolate. It’s an essential part of winter, and there’s no better place to drink it than a French café, especially one with a reputation for making good hot chocolate.

1. Café Gitane

Café Gitane, located in NoHo, is an old Parisian café-restaurant that combines French and Moroccan traditions. With simple but elegant decoration, the café will serve you a very smooth but not too sweet hot chocolate with a cocoa powder paw print on the top. Perfect for warming up. Cost: $4.30. — 242 Mott St (NoHo); 70 Hudson Ave (Brooklyn)

2. Balthazar

A veritable New York institution, the French brasserie Balthazar offers a delicious hot chocolate available two ways: in a cup or in a bowl so you can be like the French in the morning, dipping your croissant and baguette in it before slurping (ahem, sipping) it down, soggy crumbs and all. Cost: $5 for a cup, $5.75 for a bowl. — 80 Spring Street (SoHo)

3. La Maison Du Chocolat

 

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La Maison Du Chocolat, a French chocolate company, is a well-known address on the Upper East Side. The hot chocolate is perfectly made and presented. Once you’re there, you may be tempted to get a few macarons to go with your drink. Price: $8.50. — 1018 Madison Ave (Upper East Side)

4. Maman

New York stresses you out and exhausts you? Relax in the French countryside-chic that is Maman. With several quiet and beautiful locations in the city, you’ll forget the noise of the city at least for a few moments. Maman serves a lavender hot chocolate and a nutty chocolate chip hot chocolate, to soothe your worries and warm you to your core. Cost: $4.50 for a small lavender hot chocolate, and $5.25 for a small nutty one.— 239 Centre Street (SoHo); 211 W Broadway (Tribeca); 205 Hudson Street (Tribeca); 22 W 25th Street (Flatiron); 837 Washington Street (Meatpacking); 80 Kent St (Greenpoint)

5. L’Express

L’Express is the place to go if you want affordable French food at 4am (they even have baked camembert!). They offer a hot chocolate made with steamed milk in a bowl. Cost: $6. — 249 Park Ave South (Gramercy)

6. Le Grainne Café

 

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With café chairs just like the ones you’d see in a Parisian café, Le Grainne Café feels authentic. They even have a terrasse, but it’s unlikely you’ll want to sit on it given that the current conditions are right for hot chocolate drinking. Their chocolat chaud is made from an unsweetened Valhrona cocoa. If you want something a little more interesting, try their chocolat à l’orange, made with Grand-Marnier. Cost: $4.50 for a small Valhrona hot chocolate, $10 for one à l’orange. — 183 9th Ave (Chelsea)

7. Maison Kayser

And how could we forget French favorite, Maison Kayser. The café-bakery serves a variety of lunch options on location and to-go, plus their award-winning breads and pastries that you’ll no doubt want to buy to eat with your hot chocolate. Cost: $4.50. — 355 Greenwich St (Tribeca); 57 Court Street (Brooklyn Heights); 841 Broadway (Union Square); 921 Broadway (Flatiron); 339 7th Ave (near Penn Station); 400 Fifth Avenue (Midtown); 1400 Broadway (Midtown); 8 West 40th Street (Bryant Park); 370 Lexington Avenue (Murray Hill); 685 3rd Avenue (Turtle Bay); 575 Lexington Avenue (Turtle Bay); 149 West 51st St. (Midtown); 1377 6th Avenue (Midtown West); 1800 Broadway (Columbus Circle); 1294 Third Ave (Upper East Side); 2161 Broadway (Upper West Side); 1535 Third Ave (Upper East Side)