Christmas is nearly here, and to me at least, Christmas is nothing without a bit of hot chocolate to keep those fingers warm and get into the festivities. As Cork’s resident hot chocolate connoisseur, allow me to take you on a journey through my top picks of places to get creamy chocolatey goodness this holiday season.
- O’Conails, French Church Street
As if this was even a question. O’Conail’s specialise in hot chocolate – you can rest assured that they know their stuff. It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s glorious – and it comes with a batch of chocolate drops for your eating pleasure. My only complaint is that there’s never enough of it. Their chocolate flakes for homemade hot chocolate is also great, and a top hit amongst my housemates. I recommend Milk Chocolate for beginners.
- Gloria Jeans, Castle Street, the Savoy
Gloria Jeans is really underrated for their hot chocolate. It’s absolutely delicious. It’s properly warm, it comes in 3 flavours (white, milk and dark) and though it’s dearer than O’Conail’s, they actually do a decent large cup size. And they add marshmallows for free! Definitely recommend if you’re looking for something new.
- Café Eco, Winthrop Street
If you can get over the excessive amount of ‘Alt’ kids that seem to live inside there nowadays, Café Eco / Web Workhouse is a good shout. Their Hot Chocolate On A Stick is cool and unusual; my only complaint about them these days is that the milk is never quite warm enough for my tastes. I want my hot chocolate HOT, dammit!
- Perry St Market Café
If you really want to treat yourself I heavily recommend here – hot chocolate is costly, but it tastes good, and usually comes with cookies or a brownie for your dollars. I like going here when I’m feeling pretentious and hipster and feel like drinking things out of clear glass mugs. It’s also very nice for a mildly sophisticated friend-date.
I mean, if you like your hot chocolate how you like your coffee – generic, slightly sickening and in a red mug that always causes controversy, I guess you could get Starbucks hot chocolate? I’ve never particularly liked it; in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a mug of it. So take from that what you will.