Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortés, who led an expedition through the Aztec Empire, said chocolate is: “The divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits man to walk for a whole day without food.” Hernando was on to something. Whether it’s spiced with chilies or topped with cream, a cup of hot chocolate is sometimes the best pick-me-up of the day. Here are a few spots around the Sound where you can indulge:
1527 Queen Anne Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
A menu of hot chocolate? At Chocopolis’ two locations, on Queen Anne and at The Bravern in Bellevue, you can choose from seven different kinds of hot cocoa, from their signature milk chocolate, to spicy dark, to Columbian and Venezuelan varieties. Or you can choose any chocolate bar in the store, and it can be melted in front of you into your own hot cocoa creation. Add one of their homemade specialty marshmallows for extra sweetness, or try a flight of chocolate – little bites in different varieties to enjoy while you sip.
320 Occidental Avenue South
Seattle, Washington 98104
Caffe Umbria is best known as a coffee house in the heart of Pioneer Square. A third generation business, they roast their own beans and sell to places like the Bellagio in Las Vegas. But a little known treasure is their demitasse cup of hot chocolate heaven. Almost pudding-like, the thick Italian blend of sugar and spice is served with a side of heavy whipping cream. Spoon a layer of cream into your cup, sip, and spoon again. It takes a little time, but it’s definitely worth it.
4737 California Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98116
William Leaman, named one of the Top Ten Next Generation Chocolatiers has over 20 years of chocolate making experience under his belt. Also a baker, William and his wife Heather create cakes, bake crunchy loaves of French bread, and put their own chocolate ganache into the most delectable cup of hot chocolate. Thick and rich, without any hint of bitterness, adults and kids alike will savor every bit of their drinkable chocolate. With the same ganache used in their bakery creations, you can watch as the homemade chocolate is being melted into your cup.
400 Pine Street
Seattle, WA 98101
With six locations, including Kent Station and the SeaTac Airport, Dilletanté has over 100 years of history in the Northwest. The Franzen and Davenport families’ business has blossomed from making confections to opening cafés that offer coffees, teas, hot chocolates and desserts. The hot chocolate menu (yes, menu) has quite a variety. From white hot chocolate, to Mexicano to Viennese, there are lots to choose from. A personal favorite? The Dark ’63. Made with molten chocolate, it’s just the right blend of bitter chocolate and luscious creamy sweetness. Divine.