HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it

hot chocolate

chimera Jan 27, 2000 12:37 PM

I'm seeking tips on a place that serves really
good hot chocolate, for a post-ice skating,
adult-birthday-celebrating warm-up. I read on
these boards about the hot chocolate at Avenue,
but I'm looking for a place that's more cafe
and less restaurant--we're not necessarily
looking to eat (though, as long as it's optional,
good food would be a plus). Location isn't too
important, though ambience (be it Old World
elegant or soda fountain nostalgic) is a


  1. c
    chimera Jan 28, 2000 10:52 AM

    Thanks, Jen and Jessica. I didn't get your messages
    until this morning, but the Gamins were a good
    suggestion, which I'll keep in mind for the future.
    And we had considered Serendipity, though we feared
    the hokey/tourist-trap factor. In the end, skating
    was called off on account of the brutality of the
    weather, and we ended up staying downtown where we
    made a laughable attempt to get a bar-area table at
    Pastis. We'd hoped the weather would discourage the
    throngs (ha). As I clawed my way through the crowd,
    a stranger suddenly snapped my photo and I got an
    elbowful of somebody's dinner courtesy of a passing
    waiter. We left immediately thereafter and grabbed
    some exemplary hot chocolate at the COMPLETELY empty
    La Petite Abeille. Later, finding ourselves hungry,
    we stopped briefly into a nastily smoke-filled Rio
    Mar (where the clientele resembled a fraternity
    kegger) and ended up at Florent, where the scene was
    pleasant, but the service was abysmal and the
    bistroesque food, mediocre. Oh well. Good friends
    and good conversation made for a nice evening all
    the same.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chimera
      Jessica S. Jan 31, 2000 01:37 PM

      Thanks for the follow-up--I want to encourage these in general on the boards.
      So hard to judge what will keep crowds away at those joints. Sorry Florent did not pan out-- I have had some very nice times there. At least you had excellent hot cocoa--the French can be relied on for this I guess!

    2. j
      joeyg Jan 27, 2000 07:50 PM

      if in bay ridge try soup as art . I make it with milk, syrup and spiced marshmellos. 16 0z 1.75 8321 3 rd ave bklyn thanks owner

      1. c
        Chimera Jan 27, 2000 01:21 PM

        I just found the thread on Cupcake Cafe/City Bakery
        with effusions about their hot chocolates. The chile
        and ginger varieties at City Bakery were especially
        praised. Is City Bakery considered the better of the
        two for this particular beverege (particularly with
        regard to the plain old chocolate-chocolate variety)?
        And how do seating/atmosphere compare? (We'll be a
        group of four seeking a comfy place to rest our cold
        and tired bones.) Even though most everyone seemed to
        agree that savory items were only mediocre at both
        places, any specific suggestions for both savory and
        sweet options?

        1. m
          MU Jan 27, 2000 01:20 PM

          There's a big thread above on Drink City at Grand Central, but there's also Drink City's parent establishment, City Bakery, on 15th just south of Union Square.

          5 Replies
          1. re: MU
            chimera Jan 27, 2000 01:38 PM

            Thanks for the tip! I am salivating from from
            the descriptions of the Drink City hot chocolate.
            Uhhhn. But--major bummer--Drink City closes at 7:30
            and City Bakery, at 6:00. My group wouldn't even be
            getting started until 7:30.

            Any late night hot chocolate hangouts out there?
            We were thinking maybe Payard?

            1. re: chimera
              jen kalb Jan 27, 2000 03:50 PM

              Hope you find a good spot - what about coffee bars? However, this sounds more like a lets-go-home-and-kick-off-our boots-and-make-a-big-pot than a lets-run-all-around-town-for item.

              1. re: jen kalb
                Jessica S. Jan 27, 2000 04:22 PM

                How about Serendipity's around 63rd and Lex? It's got the old-world charm, lot's of different hot chocolates, REALLY good frozen hot chocolate, ice cream sundaes and the food is decent: soups, salads, pasta, chicken, foot-long hot dogs, etc. They take reservations and definitly serve dinner and it's very quaint and casual. Not as top-notch as Drink City but still a treat.

                1. re: Jessica S.
                  Jessica S. Jan 27, 2000 04:29 PM

                  OOPS--see Jim's post re: Serendipity.... he may have been there more recently than me. (It's in the Rumplemayer's thread)

                  How about Le Gamin or some such french cafe? Le Gamin has three locations (I like Chelsea best) and you can get Valrhona hot chocolate in a big bowl.

                  1. re: Jessica S.
                    Jessica S. Jan 28, 2000 09:05 AM

                    It seems Jim was not referring to Serendipity's as abysmal so I would stand behind that recommendation. It's kinda hokey but good. And if you're skating at Wollman Rink it's walking distance.

          Show Hidden Posts