The sweetest way to warm up with the kids is with hot cocoa (marshmallows and whip, please!). Here are some of our favorite NJ spots to get a hot chocolate.
Ariane Kitchen & Bar
706 Bloomfield Ave., Verona
This resto serves inspired pub food, and boasts a hot chocolate just for grown-ups. The Chartreuse hot cocoa is complete with a splash of the famously green French liqueur and whipped cream.
The Asbury Park Roastery
1300 Ocean Ave. and 803 Second Ave., Asbury Park
This java joint has been roasting its own coffee since 2007. Have your treat blended with ice in the form of frozen cocoa.
290 Grove St., Jersey City
Breakfast is a big deal at this cafe and resto. At this location (there’s another at 18 Park Ave. in JC), you can get the standard cocoa, or opt for Spiced Chile or Earl Grey flavors.
The Bent Spoon
35 Palmer Sq. W., Princeton
This is a fave summer hub for ice cream lovers. Try the rich classic hot cocoa made with 61% fair trade chocolate, or try the coconut or habanero flavors. Either way, top it off with a honey-vanilla bean marshie.
Brownstone Pancake Factory
Edgewater and Englewood Cliffs
This breakfast gem is renowned for its massive portions and over-the-top creations. Keep it classic with whole milk hot chocolate topped with whip, chocolate sauce and cocoa powder.
Crescent Moon Coffee & Tea
141 Bridgeton Pike, Rte. 77, Mullica Hill
This cafe prides itself in using Guittard dark chocolate with milk and sweet add-ins for its house cocoa. Go traditional, super dark and rich with the Truffle Hot Chocolate or try flavors like peppermint and salted caramel. Go for the frozen Chocolate Decadence for an espresso pick-me-up.
647 Haddon Ave., Collingswood
Every winter, this coffeehouse rolls out a new lineup of flavors for its Chocolate Bar. New types this year include raspberry cheesecake, chestnut praline and peppermint bark, joining standards like salted caramel and s’mores. Try six to get your seventh on the house.
Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery
1063 Broad St., Bloomfield
You may recognize this iconic eatery and ice cream parlor from The Sopranos. Sip a hot cocoa while perusing homemade chocolates and sweets at the candy counter.
Jackie & Son
134-136 South Orange Ave., South Orange
Come here for pastries, smoothies, breakfast, salad and sandwiches. Standard cocoa and a spicy version will both pair perfectly with a halva tahini brownie.
121 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood
Come to this town staple for homemade ice cream, chocolates, caramel apples and fudge. Yelpers love the hot chocolate: Choose from shredded, Peruvian and drinking chocolate, or seasonal flavors like salted caramel
The Pop Shop
729 Haddon Ave., Collingswood
January is Hot Chocolate Month at this cafe and creamery famous for over the top mains and next-level milkshakes. Try Unicorn White Cocoa from 1/13-19, Hogwarts Butterbeer Hot Chocolate from 1/20-26 and Olaf’s Frozen Hot Chocolate from 1/27-2/2.
Montclair and Ridgewood
Wash down a slice of that famous blueberry pie with a Belgian hot chocolate at this breakfast fave. Go all-out and add one of Joanne’s homemade marshmallows.
Revolutionary Lounge and Cafe
1256 Indian Head Rd., Toms River
Come here for breakfast sandwiches, wraps and creative apps. The standard hot chocolate won’t disappoint, but if you’re in need of caffeine, we suggest El Libertador, made with espresso, hot chocolate, cinnamon and steamed half and half.
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon St. and 254 Nassau St., Princeton
Sip on house-roasted coffee while the kids savor hot chocolate with house-made syrup or hot vanilla milk. Spice lovers should go for the Mexican hot chocolate made with ancho peppers, cayenne and cinnamon.
Sogno Coffeehouse & Creperie
11 Madison Ave., Westwood
Located inside Caffe Anello, this spot is beloved for its savory and sweet crepes alike. Hot chocolate here comes in white, dark or milk and can be infused with specialty flavors that run the gamut from cookie butter to toasted pistachio.
24 S. Broad St., Ridgewood
This sweet shop boasts crepes, sandwiches, real-deal croissants and all the cakes. Here, cocoa is made with melted chocolate and hot milk. You can also sip on a frozen hot chocolate made with 64% chocolate and cream.
The Station House
10 E. Chestnut Ave., Merchantville
Come for lattes, smoothies, sandwiches, crepes and more. The kids will fall hard for the Nutella house-made hot chocolate, while foodies up for something new will love the turmeric hot chocolate.
Stray Cat Brew
108 West Pleasant Ave., Maywood
This local spot’s house java comes in every flavor from peanut brittle to banana nut bread. The cocoa (available both hot and frozen) does, too: Think mint, cookies and cream, chocolate covered strawberry, s’mores and peanut butter cup.
1000 Boardwalk Ave., Atlantic City
Your sweet tooth won’t know what hit it at this 1,500-square-foot confectionary. Hot chocolate comes in four flavors, plus three frozen. Warm up with the Red Velvet, made with shaved cake and a spoonful of cream cheese icing, or cool off with the White Chocolate Coconut Frosty, a blend of melted white chocolate, ice, coconut flakes and whip. If you’re there without the kids, be sure to check out the chocolate martinis.
Sweet Avenue Bake Shop
153 Park Ave., Rutherford
Calling all vegans! Yelpers love both the regular and spicy hot chocolate, both totally dairy-free.
The Turning Point
With 12 NJ shops, award-winning brunch and breakfast are always nearby. Try the traditional cocoa, or go refreshing Peppermint or indulgent Peanut Butter Cup. The kids will go gaga for the S’mores cocoa, complete with toasted marshmallow syrup, crushed graham crackers and whip.
The Union Market
120 W. Main St., Tuckerton
This waterside highlight is big on breakfast, lunch and smoothie bowls, not to mention handmade goods. The kids will love the house blend hot chocolate, made with steamed milk and topped with marshmallows.
349 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair
This spot specializes in Instaworthy, next-level desserts. Choose from the Vanillamore Signature, Spicy, Hazelnut or Hot Vanilla cocoas, all of which come with a house vanilla bean marshmallow. Can’t decide? Go for the flight and sample three of your choice.
177 York St., Jersey City
Get a taste of Paris at this downtown French patisserie, which serves up sweet and savory croissants and quiche even the kids will love. Cocoa here comes in both regular and white and topped with a frothy masterpiece made with steamed milk.
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