The Best Hot Chocolate in Tribeca

This winter hasn’t been ideal for hot chocolate, today’s forecast notwithstanding. I used to drink a lot of it—payoff for walking the pug in cold weather—and then I hit a wall. A few weeks ago, however, I went skiing with my niece and nephew, and we drank a lot of the stuff. At the hotel, it was so good—chocolaty but not too rich, with homemade marshmallows and real whipped cream; on the mountain, it was instant, which has its own nostalgic charm (at least on a ski mountain).

It got me thinking about where the best hot chocolate in the neighborhood is. The one pictured is from Café Clementine, which I remembered having a fancy name/description to justify its $5 price. I couldn’t find the name on the menu this time, but perhaps the size is responsible for the price. It was huge.

Share your thoughts in the comments. P.S. If the best hot chocolate in Tribeca is actually in BPC or FiDi, that’s worth mentioning.

By the way, the last “Best of Tribeca” question was about the best “deli sandwich,” and the answers were mostly about sandwiches in general. Mangez Avec Moi Express got the most votes, particularly for the banh mi. Also receiving hurrahs: Kaffe 1668 (“turkey curry sandwich at Kaffe 1668 is my favorite”); New Fancy Foods (a deli on Broadway); Zucker’s (for the pastrami—which is evidently 35% off after 4 p.m.—as well as turkey on a bagel); Yorganic (“not traditional deli but good!”); Alidoro sandwiches at Puffy’s Tavern (“end of discussion”); Wichcraft (“not sure if it counts as a deli sandwich, but the seasonal BLT is pretty damn good”); Benvenuto (“the halumi sandwich is so good I may have to have it this weekend”); and Baba Ghanouge (“the sandwiches go from good to great if you upgrade to the French bread”). Thanks for those recommendations! I know I’ll be trying several….

Votes on Twitter:
• “Le Pain Quotidien and Aroma” —@Rekebki



  1. My 11 year old son is a regular at Laughing Man.

  2. Cosmopolitan Cafe … hands down ! rich and smooth but not too sweet, really perfect…

  3. Petite Abeille!

  4. Estancia offers a sophisticated/Adult version of the Hot Chocolate:
    It’s called The Weatherman and it is Tequila, Hot real chocolate and cream, cayenne pepper and cinnamon

  5. OK, it’s waaaay south Tribeca, but Manon, on Trinity Place, serves an amazing cup!

  6. okay, I’m going to Estancia!

    Le Pain Quotidian has an amazingly rich hot chocolate, where you pour as much chocolate as you want into a cup of warm milk. Very decadent

    and Kitchenette has amazing marshmallows in theirs, a sweeter more American style HC

  7. Last winter my friend and I decided to do a hot chocolate crawl of downtown. There really weren’t any that weren’t good; just different. Sadly, my favorite, Christopher Norman, has closed. If you like the kind that’s more like liquid chocolate, Jacques Torres in Soho and La Maison du Chocolate on Wall Street are tops. La Maison is $8, but you get to choose a piece of chocolate to have with it and it’s served by someone with a French accent. If you like more milk and a very large serving, Manon is good.

    I’m heading to Kitchenette before I vote per liat’s recommendation because of the marshmallows, which I think are crucial (City Bakery has delicious homemade marshmallows but it’s a bit too far–does anyone know if Birdbath’s is the same?).

    This morning I had a cup from the Koolhaus truck at the WFC, which had some kind of spicy kick to it.

  8. @Hudson River: The hot chocolate at Birdbath used to be the same as City Bakery’s, so I’d assume it still is. (And Birdbath used to sell City Bakery marshmallows.) What I loved about Birdbath—even if the HC is too rich for me—is that you used to be able to buy a tiny cup for less $$$.

  9. I also love the ‘shot’ of hot chocolate at Birdbath. And I recently had the hot chocolate at Josephine which was pretty good. Has anyone tried the malted hot chocolate at Shake Shack?

  10. I’d say Birdbath/City Bakery

  11. birdbath bakery! it’s the same hot chocolate from city bakery. don’t forget the marshmallow!

  12. Birdbath and Cosmo Cafe

  13. Laughing Man – seriously the best hot chocolate I have ever had. Not too sweet and completely blended.

  14. So I went to Estancia last night for dinner and hot chocolate (let it be shown the great influence of this blog!) and it’s HC is more alcohol than chocolate. I thought it would be hc with a bite of tequila, but it’s more tequila with a soupcon of chocolate and quite a bit of cream, lovely but not a hot chocolate (it is a hot drink)