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Your Guide to The Best Hot Chocolate in Toronto

If it’s winter in Toronto and your craving a hot chocolate, boy do we have an article for you. It was a tough task, but UO contributor Liisa Ladouceur has done a thorough exploration of the city’s hot chocolate scene, and she’s here to share all the findings.

Best hot chocolate in Toronto
If you don’t like hot chocolate, can you even really say you like life? Photo Credit: Unsplash

Hot chocolate is more than a beverage. It’s a winter tradition in Canada, complete with nostalgia and comfort. Which is why this list of the Best Hot Chocolate in Toronto is more than about where to get a yummy drink. It’s how to enjoy a whole hot chocolate experience!

Like all food and drink in Toronto, hot chocolate here comes from a variety of countries and cultures. When I think about the best hot chocolate drinks I’ve had in Toronto, I think about holiday shopping and ice skating and meeting up with friends on a cold day inside a warm café. I also think about the cocoa bean farmers, and the great options we have for fair-trade chocolate in Toronto.

Who makes the best hot chocolate in Toronto depends on what you’re looking for: traditional hot cocoa, indulgent extra sweet, the spicy Mexican version, Instagram-worthy marshmallow toppings…

With so many small businesses including world-class chocolate companies serving up amazing hot chocolate in Toronto, it was easy to put together a diverse list of some extra special spots.

 The Ultimate List of the Best Hot Chocolate in Toronto

Traditional Hot Cocoa at Eataly’s Caffè Vergnano

My pick for the best traditional hot cocoa in Toronto is served at Eataly, a massive Italian food market right in the middle of the city at Bay and Bloor. The drink is not too sweet, with a distinct cocoa flavour—but still very smooth. They say the secret is that it’s made from Venchi Italian chocolate —which dates back to 1878 and uses the rare and revered criollo cocoa bean.

Caffè Vergnano is one of nine (!) take-away counters at Eataly—take the escalator upstairs and try your best not to be distracted by all the wine, cheese and pasta until you come to the coffee bar. Grab a seat and enjoy the bustling environment. In a hurry? You can get the same hot chocolate to take away at Il Gran Caffè at the main floor entrance. They are also open later than many cafés so good for a date night!

*Caffè Vergnano is open Monday to Thursday 10am to 10pm, Friday to Saturday 9am to 10:3pm and Sunday 9am to 9pm.

An Intense Chocolate Shot at Soma’s Cacao Bean Lab

Chocolate shot at Soma in Toronto
How is this shot not going to make your day better, honestly? Photo Credit: Soma

Have you ever wanted to drink a milk chocolate bar? You can at Soma.

These Toronto chocolate makers offer an “intense shot” of their hot chocolate drinks. Think of a small espresso cup filled with warm melted chocolate. The two flavour options are the classic cozy milk chocolate or the Maya hot chocolate, a spicy drink with chili pepper, orange and ginger. Soma hot chocolate is also available in a standard mug with either hot water or hot milk (vegan milk options available).

The Parkdale location at 77 Brock Avenue is the actual Soma chocolate factory. It smells great and you can see through the glass walls how they make their chocolates, from bean to finished product. And they offer monthly chocolate tastings. The same drink menu can also be had downtown at their King Street West or Distillery District cafés.

*Cacao Bean Lab is open Wednesday-Thursday from 11am to 6pm and Friday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm. 

Parisian Hot Chocolate at Le Gourmand

I mean you could fly to Paris for some fancy hot chocolate. Or you could head to Spadina and Queen and choose from a variety of Toronto’s best hot chocolate and pair it with Toronto’s undisputed best chocolate chip cookie!

At Le Gourmand they have classic hot chocolate, cocoa hot chocolate, super dark hot chocolate, caramel hot chocolate, white hot chocolate, and Nutella hot chocolate. And they are all delicious! Something for everyone in your party for sure.

*Le Gourmand at 152 Spadina Avenue is open Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm and Saturday-Sunday 8am to 6pm.

Vegan Hot Chocolate at ChocoSol

This Toronto-based business calls their products “chocolate to feel good about.”

Made in Toronto using only whole-food ingredients, their chocolate is nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free. Try their Jaguar blend, which includes their signature Mexican white cocoa. Not to be confused with white chocolate, these Mexican beans have a golden colour and a nutty flavour, which makes the Chocosol Jaguar drink a truly unique (and sugar-free) hot chocolate in Toronto.

You can grab a cup at the Chocosol take-out counter at St. Lawrence Market or visit their boutique on St. Clair Avenue West. 

*Chocosol at 1131 St. Clair Avenue West is open Monday to Friday noon to 7pm, Saturday 10:30am to 8pm and Sunday 10:30am to 6pm.

Gourmet Hot Chocolate at Le Beau

Is this the most sophisticated hot chocolate in Toronto?

Let’s just say chocolate connoisseurs may recognize the name Cacao Barry—a gourmet French chocolatier in operation for more than 100 years.

This French pastry shop and café in Toronto’s East side makes its hot chocolate from Cacao Barry’s “Tanzania Origin dark couverture chocolate,” which is more than 40% cocoa butter and boasts a fruity taste. It’s smooth and complex and doesn’t need any accompaniment but if you can go to Le Beau and not get one of their croissants, you’re a stronger human than I!

*Le Beau at 665 Dundas Street East is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm.

Peppermint Hot Cocoa at Cocoalatte

If you think peppermint is not just for Christmas, you can get peppermint hot chocolate at this cozy family-run café all year round.

It’s supplied by Toronto’s Soul Chocolate, one of the city’s best local chocolate companies. 

*Cocoalatte at 671 St. Clair Ave West is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 4pm. Closed on Sundays.

Hot Chocolate and Waffles at the Belgian Sweet Corner

You know Belgians make fine chocolates so it’s no surprise that a Belgian restaurant would have fine hot chocolate. Available in Dark, Milk and Mocha, the hot chocolate in this Kensington Market goes very well with their Belgian waffles.

Belgian Sweets hot chocolate in Toronto
Yum. Photo Credit: Belgian Sweet Corner

*Belgian Sweet Corner at 237 Augusta Avenue is open Monday-Thursday 11am to 7pm and Friday-Sunday 11am to 8pm. 

Colombian Hot Chocolate with Homemade Marshmallows at Pomarosa

This popular Latin food café on the Danforth proudly serves Colombian hot chocolate drinks—less sweet than the typical North American version. But they are most famous for the presentation, which includes their homemade marshmallows lightly torched for a roasted flavour and photo-friendly look.

If you’re lucky they’ll have the Dulce de Leche marshmallows too.

*Pomarosa at 1504 Danforth Avenue is open Monday to Thursday 8am to 6pm, Friday and Saturday 8am to 9pm and Sunday 9am to 6pm.

Spiked Hot Chocolate at BoxCar Social

Hot chocolate isn’t just for kids. If you’re looking for a more grown-up version, this coffee roasters/winebar in a converted Victorian home in Summerhill will add a shot of whiskey to your mug of smooth hot chocolate.

And if you want to take it upstairs to the quiet café to enjoy while you work, that’s perfectly okay with us!

*BoxCar Social at 1208 Yonge Street is open Monday 8am to 4pm, Tuesday-Wednesday 8am to 10pm, Thursday and Friday 8am to midnight, Saturday 9am to midnight, and Sunday 9am to 5pm.

Afterhours Nutella Hot Chocolate at HolyChoco

Chocoholics flock to this place near the University of Toronto at night and after-hours for decadent fondu, brownies, crepes and more. It’s no surprise they also make one of the best hot chocolates in Toronto.

You can pick Belgian-style dark or white chocolate, Nutella-flavoured, or a traditional hot chocolate that comes with mini marshmallows.

*HolyChoco at 35 St. Joseph Street is open 4pm to 2am Sunday to Thursday and 4pm to 4am on Friday and Saturday.

Hot Chocolate for Geeks at the Grand Order of Divine Sweets

My own local chocolatier, Grand Order of Divine Sweets is famed for its fandom-themed cakes and its deluxe hot chocolate bombs in flavours like caramel sea salt and mocha.

They have a small café serving hot chocolate made from their own divine goods which is great place to warm up and get into a heated discussion about your favourite Star Trek episode (or maybe that’s just me!)

*The Divine Sweets café is open Tuesday-Thursday 10am to 5pm and Friday-Saturday 10am to 7pm. 

Toronto’s Hot Chocolate Game is as Good as it Gets

Toronto hot chocolate
There’s a little something for everyone in Toronto’s hot chocolate scene. Photo Credit: Unsplash

As you can see, Torontonians love their hot chocolate, and there are more than enough providers to try to quench that thirst. More than just the drink itself, getting a hot chocolate in winter here in Toronto is an excuse to battle the cold amongst friends, with the warmest of drinks.