Everybody knows that DC runs on caffeine, but if you’re looking for a sweet way to get your caffeine fix, you’re in luck. DC is a hot chocolate mecca, and there seems to be no limit to the different ways this love of hot chocolate is expressed by local restaurants. Whether it’s hot and spicy Mexican chocolate, classic French confections, or artisan cocoas where the quality of the chocolate is the star, these are the places to go for a perfect cup.
Le Diplomate (website): Le Diplomate is a favorite for lunch, dinner, or brunch for their delicious French cuisine, but the sweets are next level. Their Delice au Chocolat is a drinkable version of a classic French dessert and it is outrageous. Protip: The weekend brunch dessert menu features a basket of madeleines as well. Order the basket and the Delice au Chocolat and dip away. Don’t worry if people stare–they’re just jealous.
The Sweet Lobby (website): Capitol Hill bakery The Sweet Lobby features European style hot chocolate to accompany its decadent shortbreads, macarons, cupcakes, and other treats. Add house-made marshmallows for sheer cocoa perfection.
Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats (website): Award-winning vegan bakery and cafe Sticky Fingers has two iterations of hot chocolate–drinking chocolate and hot cocoa. They’re the perfect accompaniment to the cafe’s healthy versions of indulgent eats. And wouldn’t it be nice to have all of that deliciousness without the guilt?
Oyamel Cocina Mexicana (website): Penn Quarter’s Oyamel is the brainchild of Jose Andres, and celebrates Mexican culture and cuisine. Their Chocolate Caliente is a perfect homage to Mexican sweet styles, featuring Oaxacan chocolate with vanilla, spices, and steamed milk. It’s the perfectly sweet way to round off a hot and spicy meal.
Co Co Sala (website): Media darling Co Co Sala calls itself a restaurant and chocolate boutique, and the emphasis is on the chocolate. Menus feature a variety of chocolate drinks in both hot and frozen varieties and include dark, white, and milk chocolates, peanut butter and co co, and salted caramel co co. Have a cup, then stop by the boutique on your way home to buy some chocolate indulgences to enjoy every day.
Tryst (website): With both an 18th Street location and a smaller location within the Vradenburg Cafe at the Phillips Collection, Tryst offers a relaxed coffeehouse vibe with some truly exceptional hot chocolate options. Try the original cocoa at the Phillips location, but if you go to the original coffeehouse, you need to opt for the Lavender Hot Chocolate. It’s an unforgettably elegant indulgence. Need a little caffeine boost? Have the barista add a shot of espresso to get you moving.
The Pretzel Bakery (website): Sean Haney’s pretzels are a local favorite and can be found in stands all over the DC area. But the bakery is almost as famous for its hot chocolate. Called Hotella, it’s a Nutella hot chocolate and it is as delicious as it sounds. Grab a breakfast slider on an Everything pretzel roll and add a cup of Hotella and you can face anything the day could possibly throw at you.
Open City at The National Cathedral (website): Whether you are attending services or classes at the Cathedral or are out and about in the area and want to stop in for a bite, you’ll love the menu and especially the hot chocolate. Whether you indulge in the regular cocoa or the lavender hot chocolate, you’ll find yourself coming here again and again.
There are so many awesome places to stop in, warm up, and sweeten up with a cup of cocoa. And because it’s DC, these places are also close to all of the beauty, excitement, and fun this great city holds. If you are looking for a house, co-op, or condo that’s walking distance to your favorite cafe or bakery, we know all of the best places and have all of the latest listings. Sign in at our website and let’s get started looking at some potential homes for you.