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Jan 27, 2000 12:37 PM

hot chocolate

  • c

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


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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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.

            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.

              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.

    2. 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. 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. 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

            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!