The Philly Hot Chocolate Guide
Warm up with some decadent hot cocoa at one of these great spots.
Whether you prefer fancy hot chocolate in a posh hotel or an après-skate treat by the fire, we’ve got you covered with Philly’s festive seasonal spots to enjoy a cup, and some year-round ones too (in case the mood strikes in July).
10 Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia
Indulge in fancy hot chocolate with all the fixings in the beautiful Ritz-Carlton lobby. Aqimero serves their specialty hot chocolate weekends throughout the holiday season, and you’ll get rich dark drinking chocolate topped with brûléed marshmallows alongside candy canes, chocolate snowball cookies, and sugar cookies. And for an extra $5, the grownups can get it spiked.
Christmas Village (and beyond)
Love Park, 16th Street and JFK Boulevard
Grab a festive hot chocolate in a commemorative mug and stroll around this annual Christmas market at Love Park. Catch a storytime, meet Santa, buy some one-of-a-kind gifts, and make a wish on the Wish Wall. Then cross the street to Dilworth Park, where you can skate on the Rothman Rink and get more hot chocolate in the Cabin!
101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia
Franklin Fountain’s outpost at Penn’s Landing serves up decadent drinking chocolates which you can sit and enjoy in the cozy Lodge or by the firepits (make sure you buy a s’mores kit from them to accompany your beverage!) after your skate on the RiverRink. Don’t forget to cozy up for a picture in the giant Visit Philly chair before you go!
200 N. Sixth St.
Ben’s Sweet Treats tent at Franklin Square’s Holiday Festival features a hot chocolate bar with five different flavors of hot chocolate and a s’more making station! It’s a great way to warm up in between Electrical Spectacle light shows at night. Come on Friday nights for special programming, or Sundays for musical events.
135 South 18th St.
For the three Saturdays leading up to Christmas, Rittenhouse’s a.kitchen will do a cocoa and crepe pop-up on the sidewalk, where you can take a break from your holiday shopping to enjoy a warm drink (there’s also mulled wine, if you prefer) and snack under a heat lamp. If you and your kids are in a hurry, you can get it to-go, too.
1528 Frankford Ave.
This beautiful Lebanese café in Fishtown has a rich Tehina Hot Chocolate unlike anything else you’ll find in Philly. Pair it with one of their freshly baked pastries (we recommend the Kouign Amann) to complete the deliciousness.
1172 S. Ninth St., Philadelphia
The “volcano” hot chocolate is not to be missed, not just for the taste, but also for the experience of coming here and watching its creation. Your kids will love seeing their elaborate beverage spin as Rene shaves different bricks of homemade chocolate into the glass and exclaims “Make it happen!” in his heavy French accent.
1500 Walnut St.
Kids love Max Brenner for its outlandish and unique approach to all things chocolate. From chocolate pizza to a chocolate syringe you can squirt right in your mouth, it’s quite the culinary experience. Unsurprisingly, a place specializing in chocolate also serves a fantastic hot chocolate in their signature Hug Mug. Choose from milk, dark, or white chocolate in a variety of fun flavors like Oreo or marshmallow.
110 Market St.
Franklin Fountain’s sister store down the street is like stepping into a turn-of-the century candy shop, complete with old-fashioned cash registers and period uniforms. Walk past the candy counters to the back, where you’ll find a café serving up drinking chocolates made to order on the stove with their house-made chocolates. You can even get a flight of three samplings if you can’t decide between all the delicious options.
1716 Chestnut St.
This multifaceted Italian restaurant makes their hot chocolate fresh each day using strong cocoa and dark chocolate from Amadei. The self-described “chocolate adventure” is rich, sweet, and a little nutty (thanks to the ground hazelnuts they add).
941 Spring Garden St.
This Northern Liberties Venezuelan café uses five different chocolates to create their Clasico beverage. They are serious about chocolate at this place. Robert Campbell, the “Chocolate Alchemist,” roasts and separates the beans himself, and uses nothing artificial or pre-made. The result is a pure chocolate drink that is unforgettable. The café features over 20 different varieties of hot chocolate (including a vegan option), so you’re sure to find something special.
Lead photograph by Laura Swartz.