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8 hot cocoas in the Capital Region


8 hot cocoas in the Capital Region

Hot chocolate isn’t just for the kids anymore
8 hot cocoas in the Capital Region

Hot chocolate isn’t just for the kids anymore. With new sophistication and complex ingredients within this cold weather classic, hot cocoa and hot chocolate are as acceptable for adults and red eyes, macchiatos and triple-shot lattes. Cafes, restaurants and bake shops throughout the region have embraced that feel-good quality of hot chocolate and hot cocoa (different if only by the form of chocolate used: hot chocolate relies on melted chocolate for deep-dark flavor and hot cocoa combines cocoa powder with sugar and flavorings dissolved in hot milk) and now we have lavender-spiked, frozen, and Mexican versions to please those young or young at heart. Here are eight in the Capital Region we suggest for your next cup.

Vischer Ferry General Store
1425, 357 Riverview Road
Rexford, NY 12148

Frothy milk is paired with housemade Dutch chocolate sauce for a thick, rich hot chocolate that can be topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Occasional specialty flavors, like peppermint, is a refreshing twist on this liquified version of a milk chocolate bar.

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Oaxaquena Triqui
77 North Lake Avenue
Albany, NY 12206

The Capital Region is finally home to authentic Mexican cuisine, and the traditions of Oaxaca, a region of Mexico, at Oaxaquena Triqui translate into sweet and spicy Mexican hot chocolate, which comes in an oversized mug and is laced with chiles and cinnamon.

The Cocobar
433 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305

Hot cocoa at The Cocobar is an immersive experience: everything smells of freshly roasted cacao beans, everything is tinged in a color that can only be described as, “cocoa-dusted,” and the hot cocoa is the sippable version of it all. Grab a cup to go before holiday shopping on Jay Street or the Greenmarket.

Emack and Bolio’s
366 Delaware Avenue
Albany, NY 12209

What else you would expect from an ice cream shop than for hot chocolate made with hot fudge swirled into steamy milk? Because chilled specialties are the focus here, try a frozen chocolate chino, made with Emack and Bolio’s beloved ice cream.

Mrs. London’s
464 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

If you think the pastries, breads and sandwiches at Mrs. London’s, a staple of Saratoga, are treasures, try the hot chocolate. All the care and attention given to the macarons, madeleines and napoleons is present in the hot chocolate, which is worth standing in line for.

Ambition Cafe
154 Jay Street
Schenectady, NY 12305

End the weekend on a high note with brunch at Ambition Cafe, where brunch offerings include a warm mug of Godiva hot cocoa with a snow cap of whipped cream atop. Add a cherry and it’s a slurpable sundae.

Cheesecake Machismo
293 Hamilton Street
Albany, NY 12210

Most people don’t go to Cheesecake Machismo to dine in, but you should try to claim one of the three tables in the small Albany bakeshop, because that $6 slice of cheesecake you will enjoy comes with a free hot chocolate. That’s one of the best bargains in the Capital Region food scene we can think of.

Plum Dandy
419 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Why settle for simple hot chocolate when you can choose from an entire hot chocolate menu. From mochas to white chocolate to chocolate lavender and yes, even frozen hot chocolate, this fro-yo stop is hot cocoa central when the weather dips.

Deanna Fox is a freelance food and agriculture journalist. Find her online at www.foxonfood.com or on twitter at @DeannaNFox.

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