Cravings: Look Out, Swiss Miss

Get cozy and shake off Jack Frost with our favorite hot chocolates.

The Bethesda bakery Tout de Sweet boasts a classic cocoa with vanilla whipped cream (left). A fluffy rum-maple marshmallow crowns the ultra-rich hot chocolate at the Sweet Lobby (right). Photographs by Scott Suchman.

Artfully Chocolate. Sixteen diva-inspired drinks vie for your attention. Our favorite is the Rita Hayworth, infused with clove and orange, then crowned with whipped cream zigzagged in caramel.

Ceiba. This silky sipper showcases south-of-the-border spices such as canela cinnamon and fiery cayenne pepper and comes crested with a house-made marshmallow.

Co Co. Sala. This dessert destination offers seven varieties of hot cocoa, but the PB & Co.—made with dark and milk chocolate, creamy peanut butter, frothy whole milk, and sea salt—is the best. If one isn’t enough, pick up a make-at-home version at the shop next door.

Northside Social. The Clarendon coffeehouse’s just-sweet-enough hot chocolate is made with Trickling Springs Creamery milk and is light and frothy to the last drop.

The Sweet Lobby. The hot chocolate at this DC pastry shop is so rich that you need order only a small size—especially if you cap it off with a house-made rum-maple marshmallow.

Tout de Sweet. Luxuriously dense vanilla-bean-speckled whipped cream tops off this patisserie’s smooth operator, made with a blend of three cocoa powders. It’s even better paired with a couple of cinnamon-gianduja macarons.

This article appears in the February 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.

Parenting writer

Nevin Martell is a parenting, food, and travel writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Saveur, Men’s Journal, Fortune, Travel + Leisure, Runner’s World, and many other publications. He is author of eight books, including It’s So Good: 100 Real Food Recipes for Kids, Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: Gold-Standard Recipes from America’s Favorite Rural Bakery, and the small-press smash Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip. When he isn’t working, he loves spending time with his wife and their six-year-old son, who already runs faster than he does.