Recently we asked on Instagram what the best places in Dublin for hot chocolate were, and we were not expecting to be deluged with so many enthusiastic responses. It seems this is a topic that generates many, many opinions, and we look forward to making our way through this list over the next few chilly months...
Butler's easily won on number of responses, and hands up - we had no idea how many flavours they do. Dark hot chocolate, praline, mint, black forest gateaux, cranberry and ginger... It's going to take a while to work our way through these but we're committed.
Coffee chain Insomnia also got a lot of love, with plenty of you citing the fact that they use real melted chocolate, as opposed to powder. Their signature hot chocolate is made with a Belgian chocolate sauce and steamed milk, and topped with chocolate flakes, marshmallows or whipped cream, and they've just launched two Christmas specials - 'S’mores' with s'mores syrup, whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate flakes and gold dust, and 'Red Velvet', with red velvet syrup (no clue) and whipped cream, topped with a mini chocolate Christmas tree.
Three Twenty Ice-Cream Lab
Three Twenty Ice-Cream Lab do a mean hot chocolate topped with torched marshmallow fluff, and surprisingly this one's vegan - don't knock it till you've tried it. Their almond milk and Valrhona vegan chocolate ganache version also makes for a great hand warmer if you've forgotten your gloves.
Le Chocolat de Fred
Who knew Dun Laoghaire had its own chocolate café? Turns out even half of Dun Laoghaire didn't know about Le Chocolat de Frèd and their crêpes, waffles and hot chocolate. Made with 72% dark chocolate, a lot of you feel very strongly that this is the best hot chocolate in town.
Cocoa Atelier hold cult status in Dublin for their hot chocolate, and although their Drury Street shop closed in 2018 you can still pick one up in Dollard & Co. on Wellington Quay. We also strongly recommend buying their bags of chocolate drops and marshmallows and making it at home. You need a few more layers in winter anyway.
Clement & Pekoe
Clement & Pekoe on South William Street give you a stick of Aine's handmade chocolate to stir into textured, organic milk from Carlow, and it's the same deal with their mocha, which comes with a double shot of Brazilian coffee.
Vice on Abbey Street have a legion of fans for their Malteaser hot chocolate - which is literally steamed milk and malteasers. Simple, yet effective.
Ladurée was most cited as the death by chocolate option, with the suggestion that one between five would be sufficient. Valrhona chocolate is mixed with cream, milk, sugar and water (we're guessing mostly chocolate and cream) and for complete overkill have some chocolate macarons on the side.
Urbanity is where to head for serious hot chocolate in Smithfield. Their current version takes Hazel Mountain Chocolate and blends it with Village Dairy organic milk, before dehydrated citrus is added in and it's topped with freshly zested orange.
Rolled ice-cream experts Arctic Stone have branched out into "deluxe hot chocolates", and their first trio consists of a Kinder Bueno, a Nutella, and a Milky Way version. The base is Belgian milk chocolate and you can find them at their stand in Blackrock market.
57 The Headline
57 The Headline on Clanbrassil Street are bringing the booze to the party, topping their salted caramel hot chocolate with Bailey's cream and marshmallows. We can think of few better ways of getting in the festive mood.
L Mulligan Grocer
Also upping the ante with alcohol are L. Mulligan Grocer, whose hot chocolate is made with Powers Whiskey, Valrhona chocolate, Village Dairy Milk, Highbank Orchard syrup and a brûlée meringue topping.
Brother Hubbard is a firm favourite for hot chocolate in the city, with their jug of hot chocolate milk on the side of a cup of chocolate ganache, letting you mix to your perfect consistency.
Il Fornaio pride themselves on a rich Italian hot chocolate so thick it would almost stand up without the cup. Serious stuff.
Last but definitely worth waiting for, Dolce Sicily do two types of hot chocolate, a "regular", and their Italian "Cioccolata Calda", which they describe as "luxuriantly thick, swooningly dark and impossibly rich ... the closest thing to having pure chocolate directly injected into your veins." Take our money and give us those calories.
Do you have a favourite hot chocolate in Dublin? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org