When the weather turns cold, there’s always a treat that will warm from the inside: hot chocolate. It’s perfect for after a hike while watching a football game, or as a cozy treat around the evening fire. The first chocolate drinks originated more than 2,500 years ago in the ancient Mayan civilization. By 1400 AD, the drink was essential to Aztec culture and spread throughout the world for hundreds of years. Hot chocolate was even believed to cure stomach ailments. Today there are all different chocolate drinks, from spicy to caffeinated, powder-based, or liquid. We’re fortunate to have a variety of chocolate drinks here in Montclair. Read on to learn about the best of the best hot chocolate spots in Montclair.
Eagle Rock Cafe | 202 Bellevue Avenue, #1B
(Photo credit: @eaglerockcafemc)
This Bellevue Avenue Cafe and co-working space is a great place to stay warm and drink chocolate. Eagle Rock has the ambiance of Friends‘ famous Central Perk, and the hot chocolate is simply delicious. Served in a cozy mug while sitting in a comfy chair, patrons can enjoy drinks and also get some work done.
Jayce Baudry French Pastry | 17 Church Street
(Photo credit: @jaycebaudryfrenchpastry)
This French pâtisserie new to town serves up delectable desserts that are sure to be the favorite part of anyone’s day. It also serves up a delicious homemade Valrhona hot chocolate, topped with cocoa powder and mini marshmallows. We love how the high-quality ingredients transform a simple drink into a decadent treat.
Java Love | 244 Bellevue Avenue + 49 Church Street
(Photo credit: @doyoujavalove)
Good, consistent drinks are what Montclair locals love about Java Love. The hot chocolate is perfect for kids and families because it is sweet and mild, stirred into the milk of the patron’s choice. Coming in a wide variety of sizes, hot or cold, and with or without whipped cream, even Goldilocks would be able to perfect her order here.
La Fontaine Cafe | 12 North Willow Street
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This women-owned cafe in downtown Montclair is known for its delicious treats and also serves up sandwiches, crepes, coffee, and non-coffee drinks — including hot chocolate. Customers can choose from a 12-ounce or 16-ounce hot chocolate here. If you like iced drinks all year round, there is also the option to get a 16-ounce iced hot chocolate.
Legacy Coffee | 1 Walnut Crescent
(Photo credit: @legacycoffeenj)
This coffee shop on wheels is usually parked to serve the hard-working doctors at Mountainside Hospital. Stop by after an appointment and keep warm with the delicately steamed hot chocolate. While Legacy is known for the pumpkin spice drinks, one cannot go wrong with snagging a snack and taking a trip to hot chocolate heaven.
Local Coffee | 107 Watchung Avenue
(Photo credit: @localcoffeemontclair)
This Watchung Plaza staple has one of the best hot chocolates in town. Thick and creamy with the patron’s choice of milk and whipped cream, it feels like a warm hug. The best thing about the hot cocoa here is that it’s not overly sweet but still a delicious classic.
Paper Plane Coffee Co. | 194 Claremont Avenue
(Photo credit: @paperplanecoffeeco)
While the team at Paper Plane comes up with wild and wonderful coffee drinks, the hot chocolates are also creative twists on a classic. The shop offers three types: traditional hot chocolate, Mayan hot chocolate, and Milo hot chocolate. The first is a delicious treat for kids. Mayan hot chocolate has a hit of cinnamon, cayenne, and brown sugar, and patrons can drink it with espresso. The Milo is a famous malted chocolate from South America and adds a unique twist to a classic seasonal drink. We suggest the Milo hot chocolate sans extra sweetener.
Raymond’s | 28 Church Street
(Photo credit: @raymondsnj)
Imagine sipping a warm chocolate drink in a European city. That is just what it’s like to order Raymond’s Belgian Hot Chocolate. Decadent, filling, and ideal, this hot chocolate is rich with flavor and will certainly satisfy. On cold days swap out dessert for this cocoa drink, add a vanilla marshmallow, and enjoy.
Red Eye Cafe | 94 Walnut Street
(Photo credit: @redeyecafe)
This little gem on Walnut has an extensive variety of food and drink. On Saturdays, stop by after the Montclair Farmers’ Market and take a seat outside to enjoy a warm drink on a cold day. The hot chocolate is classically comforting and reminds one of post-sledding treats at home. Whipped cream on top? But of course!
The Corner | 115 Grover Street
(Photo credit: @thecornermontclair)
Is there anything The Corner can’t do? Probably not, and the hot chocolate is just as wonderful as you’d expect. With an option for homemade marshmallows and the occasional seasonal flavor addition, diners love the stomach-warming delight of the hot chocolate drink. Last we checked, The Corner offered its own version of the Belgian hot chocolate, meaning a richer, more tasty brew.
Vesta Chocolate | 598 Valley Road
(Photo credit: @vestachocolate)
Vesta was recently named one of “America’s Top 10 Best Hot Chocolate” spots in the country by USA Today. Everything sold at this shop originates from small-batch, organic chocolate, which is roasted and made in-house. Pop in for a petit cup of the classic, bean-to-bar hot chocolate, which is so rich and decadent patrons swear they’ve never tasted anything so good. Vesta also offers hot chocolate as a powder that can be purchased in-store or online to make at home. Fans say, “the first sip is like slipping into a warm bath.”
So whenever you’re looking for a hot drink of warm chocolate this season, know that Montclair has you covered!