|Kopplin's Hot Chocolate|
Long gone are the days when hot cocoa was simply a way to pacify a sugar-deprived child on a frigid winter day. The hot refreshment has graduated to adulthood, and it's now easy to find hot chocolate in so many varieties that practically any taste can be satisfied.
With another cold front on the way this week, we scoured the Twin Cities to find the best local hot chocolates. If you're looking for something to replace the usual coffee pick-me-up, here are five delicious options.
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|Hot cocoa on a cold day|
If you're a fan of dark chocolate, look no further. Along with free wi-fi and plush, cozy seats, Kopplin's serves up some of the yummiest dark hot chocolate we've ever tasted. It's simple, with no whip (unless specified) and a smaller serving size, but for good reason. This rich cocoa isn't the sweetest cocoa in town (some may call bitter), and it probably wouldn't be the first pick of anyone under age eight, but that's what makes it so unique. It's not your average cocoa: The dark chocolate version packs quite the punch, balanced by the mild but similarly rich milk.
Who doesn't love Cafe Latte for their desserts? And as hard as it may be to turn down a piece of their three-layer chocolate cake or classic vanilla cheesecake, we dare you to try. Swap out your favorite dessert and opt for a hot chocolate instead. Not only could it save you some calories, it will likely leave you craving another. It's rich and light at the same time, and topped with just the right amount of whipped cream, it might entice you to rethink dessert altogether.
The roomy dining area at Rustica is pretty attractive place to catch up on the local paper or catch up with an old friend. Ample seating paired with a made-to-perfection hot cocoa is enough to bring anyone back-- once, twice or even weekly. We watched our barista make our drink, and while it took an extra minute or two, it was nice to see her not rush through our order. The combination of employees' expertise and the mouthwatering ingredients made it well worth the wait, and something we'll be going back for.
Smooth, velvety, calm. Need we say more? The cocoa at Segue Cafe (609 S. 10th St.,
Minneapolis; 612.353.5422) isn't pushy. It's not trying to make a statement. It's just plain and perfectly good the way it is. And we bet you'll agree that the combination of chocolate, sugar, sweetness, and bitterness all circle together to create something worth seeking out.
In the heart of Northeast is one of the best (and the cheapest) hot chocolates we found. Taraccino's small hot cocoa is less than $2.50, but it boasts enough flavor, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce to hold its own. Although it's located at a busy intersection, Taraccino is a quiet, welcoming place. Definitely a spot we'd recommend for a quiet cup of cocoa joined by the newspaper or a book.
While we've found these to be the best hot chocolates on their own, our baristas recommended ways to make your daily hot cocoa your own creation. They suggest adding a flavor shot. Vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, or marshmallow can spice up any cocoa. Also, see if your coffee shop offers a mint addition. Or for an extra caffeine boost, throw in a shot or two of espresso; it's the caffeine fix you might need but without the usual bitter coffee taste.
850 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN
3220 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN
224 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN