Back in November, my friend Lori and I decided to take on this Hot Chocolates to Try in Cleveland Top 10 List published by Scene Magazine.
Over the last 5 months we’ve paused our days to meet up almost every other week to take on one of the destinations featured (with the exception of Angel Falls Coffee Company in Akron, which we chose another Cleveland stop instead). Not only do I loooove drinking hot chocolate to keep warm in the winter, I’ve really enjoyed this adventure as a catalyst to slowing down, enjoying good company & conversation, as well as a great reason for me to get out and about more during these cold, exhausting months to visit some familiar places and get to know some new ones. Every stop was worth the trip!
This week-end Lori and I finally enjoyed our 10th stop, bringing this hot chocolate tasting tour to a close. Below are my reflections, rankings, and take-aways from each stop we made throughout our chocolate journey:
The Root Cafe in Lakewood was an early December stop on this adventure. I’m pretty sure I have had the Root’s hot chocolate before when meeting there for special projects and work stuff, but this time I was taking in the experience through our hot chocolate challenge taste buds. I would suggest trying the Mexican Cocoa (Lori’s choice!) with cinnamon, cayenne, and vanilla for a kick in your cup!
Mid December was our trip to Blackbird Baking Company, (also in Lakewood)! Blackbird’s hot chocolate had a dark chocolate taste to it, which I think prepared me up for future stops on our agenda!
Another Lakewood destination, Fear’s Confections kicked off our tour in November right before Thanksgiving. I loved the gourmet homemade cinnamon marshmallow that came in my hot chocolate! Yum!
In mid January, Lori and I took on a Hot Chocolate Double Header and did two tastings in one day! Sugar high! One of those stops was at Civilization in Tremont, where I enjoyed this mug of chocolate goodness….Definite bonus points on the ranking system for whipped cream!
The finale of our adventure took place at Dewey’s in Shaker Square, which was a super comfy and inviting place to enjoy our creamy hot chocolate next to their fireplace! This cocoa was cinnamon good!
In January, we also visited Bonbon Pastry & Cafe in Ohio City who served up a really good cup of milky hot chocolate with friendly service… I also left a couple of my Creative Deeds there for finding on my way out! 🙂
Towards the end of our tour, we visited Downtown Cleveland’s Chocolate Bar, which was a.maz.ing. With a hot chocolate menu of over 10 flavors, it was hard to choose just one. We went with our server’s recommendation of the “Extra Dark” for the absolute chocolate experience and it did not disappoint, topped with thick whipped cream, chocolate stick, and shavings.
And here’s my Top 3:
Sweet Moses Soda Fountain and Treat Shop in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District was our first stop after the New Year started, and the first and only tasty hot chocolate on the tour that came with whipped cream and a marshmallow square! Yes! I reeeaaallly enjoyed their vintage hot chocolate recipe and their overall drink presentation was classic!
Our stop to Phoenix Coffee in Ohio City was a super snowy day in early February, which was perfect timing for hot chocolate drinking and worth braving the snowbanked street parking— this heaping cup tasted awesome! Phoenix also receives an honorable mention for the best looking hot chocolate on this list! And…. this came with a separate cup of real whipped cream for my perfect hot chocolate drinking experience….Win, win!
We added Lilly Handmade Chocolates as a random substitute and part of our Tremont Hot Chocolate Double Header in January and boy, I am glad we did! Wow— their Signature Drinking Chocolate, an European Style blend of milk, dark, and white chocolate with cream and Aztec spices was sooooo creamy good and rich. It tasted like old fashioned chocolate pudding, hot off the stove in liquid form. Even without whipped cream I adored it and savored each drop-! Love!
This challenge was so much fun! Thanks to all the places we visited throughout this winter and to Scene Magazine for the inspiration– a great way to support and get to know more local businesses in Cleveland area neighborhoods in the spirit of hot chocolate drinking! And support some emotional resilience related to the winter around us….
Now that our hot chocolate adventure has ended, Lori and I are seeking a tasting tour for the spring/summertime that we can embark on next. I’ll keep you posted…. 🙂