You don’t have to be a kid to know that hot chocolate is one of the most underrated drinks on any cafe’s menu. As we head into the fall and winter seasons, it’s a great time to compile some spots to visit next time you’re craving a steaming mug of the best hot chocolate in San Francisco. Discover everything from indulgent dark chocolate drinks to spiked adult beverages, to your classic on-the-go treat. Stay warm and enjoy!
Visit Recchiuti’s Ferry Building location for some hot chocolate on the spot from Monday-Thursday beginning Dec. 11. This sipping chocolate is a rich and creamy treat about the size of an espresso, similar to European sipping chocolate. Pick up some indulgent hot chocolate pistoles as a holiday gift while you’re at it, because their seasonal selection is to die for.
📍 Ferry Building
This popular bakery group is known for creating absolutely delicious pastries and bread, but their hot drinks menu is worth the visit all on its own. Enjoy a high-quality hot chocolate drink made with Guittard and Valhrona chocolates, topped with a homemade marshmallow.
- Jane on Fillmore: 2123 Fillmore St.
- Jane on Larkin: 925 Larkin St.
- Jane the Bakery: 1881 Geary Blvd.
- Toy Boat by Jane: 401 Clement St.
- Little Jane on Grant: 752 Grant Ave.
This top-notch chocolatier has several locations in San Francisco in addition to their massive online inventory. Flavors include the Gingerbread mix with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove; the Mission mix with a spicy blend of cinnamon and chile; and the House mix for your straight-up chocolate fix. Enjoy your drink topped with a house-made marshmallow and a cookie.
- 2600 16th Street
- 740 Valencia Street
- Ferry Building
This high-quality SF bakery is a must for any San Franciscan with a sweet tooth. Their Valrhona sipping chocolate comes topped with a delicious, seasonal homemade marshmallow.
- 746 Valencia St
- 1598 Yosemite Ave
The Ice Cream Bar in SF’s Cole Valley neighborhood is a 1930s-style soda fountain that specializes in delicious ice cream, boozy milkshakes, and other decadent treats. They also make exceptional hot chocolates and hot butterscotches which are both served with a generous dollop of marshmallow fluff. The hot chocolate is a decadent blend of bittersweet and milk chocolates which you can top with whipped cream or toasted marshmallow fluff.
📍 815 Cole Street
6. La Oaxaqueña
This beloved Mexican restaurant cranks out unbeatable tamales, tortas, pupusas, and more. But they also have an excellent Mexican hot chocolate selection! You can add guajillo chili powder and ginger to yours for an extra kick, or opt for some other hot drink options including Atole Blanco (thick masa-based drink with cinnamon and vanilla) or Champurrados (same thing, but with chocolate).
📍 2128 Mission St
7. Tosca Cafe
The most adult drink on our list comes from Tosca Cafe, which makes a mean “house cappuccino.” This formidable hot cocktail is made with bourbon, cognac, chocolate, and steamed milk for those bitterly cold nights when you need something stronger to warm you up.
📍 Location: 242 Columbus Ave
8. XOX Truffles
Here’s another SF chocolatier that doesn’t mess around when it comes to their drink menu. Hot chocolate options come with bitter, classic, milk, white, and Mexican flavors. Try their truffles while you’re at it.
📍754 Columbus Ave
When it comes to anything chocolate, you can’t get much better than SF’s own Ghirardelli. If you can manage to skip past their mouthwatering ice cream sundae menu, consider indulging in one of their hot chocolate drinks. Flavors include a classic hot cocoa with whipped cream, a sea salt caramel hot cocoa for some extra depth, and a cup of decadent drinking chocolate for the richest flavors of them all. Consider the frozen hot cocoa for a chilly, icy twist!
📍900 North Point St Suite F301
This wholesome chocolate shop has an awesome hot drink menu, with plenty of options and variations to personalize to your taste. Hot chocolate flavors include the classic Five Star hot chocolate with add-ons including coconut, vanilla, almond, and hot white chocolate. You can also get them all iced.
📍 4251-A, 18th Street
This gourmet chocolate manufacturer ships worldwide, but we’re lucky enough to find one of their locations here in San Francisco! Christopher Elbow’s popular drinking chocolates include flavors such as peppermint; extra dark; dark Cocoa Noir; Spiced Cocoa Noir with chiles, cinnamon, and spices; Ecuador Costa; and Nicaragua La Colonia.
📍 401 Hayes St
12. Kokak Chocolates
This woman-owned artisanal chocolate shop specializes in small-batch single-origin chocolate including truffles, bars, and other treats. Their photo chocolate menu includes single-province hot chocolate from Manabi, Ecuador, and their Hot Hot Chocolate which is blended with brown sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne.
📍 3901 18th Street
Written by Jamie Ferrell and Grant MacHamer