Some Like It Hot: 6 Places to Get Hot Chocolate


With the unpredictable Maryland weather finally deciding to be cold, we’re scrambling for our seasonal drink fix.

We’ve had the peppermint mochas and the pumpkin spice lattes, but sometimes we’re not in the mood for decadent coffee drinks.

hot chocolate
This is what we want. (Photo: Getty)

Sometimes, we just want to enjoy a piping cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, whipped cream — all the works — and we’ve found just the places for these hot cups of goodness.

The classic

Located in the Belvedere Square Market, as well as in Catonsville, Canton, Towson and on the Johns Hopkins medical campus, Atwater’s is perfect for a quick break. The café offers free samples upon entry and has a very vintage and homey feel. If you have never been, be prepared for a locally sourced menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a bakery.

Their hot chocolate is a classic one, made with rich milk chocolate and whipped cream served at just the right temperature that doesn’t burn the roof of your mouth. In other words, it’s the perfect stop in a fun afternoon with the kids.

This cocoa is exactly like the kind that everyone’s grandma used to make, which means it’s both nostalgic and satisfying.

Charming chocolate

Any ice cream connoisseur knows The Charmery in Hampden with its specialty and Maryland-themed flavors, such as Old Bay Caramel and Otterbein’s Sugar Cookie. This sweet spot is just as much of a staple to Baltimore as the holiday lights in Hampden, only two blocks away.

But what The Charmery may not be as well known for is its seasonal hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows.

The Charmery makes a thicker drink that is similar to drinking creamy chocolate, complete with a 1-ounce scoop of any flavor of ice cream, and marshmallows made in-house.

“Hampden is the best place, probably in the world,” Charmery owner David Alima says, “And in the winter, it is the epicenter of Christmas.”

Alima opened the Charmery six years ago with something extraordinary in mind. They sell ice cream year-round, and for the smart people who don’t want to eat it in the winter, they made their specialty cocoa. Whether you’re visiting the Christmas lights on 34th Street, or you just want to treat yourself on a blistery winter day, this place will definitely hit the spot.

For the holiday health nut

Z Vault in Bel Air has one goal in mind: make healthy, refreshing drinks.

They serve up delicious smoothie bowls and pressed juices, but they also have a huge selection of creative coffees, teas, and — you guessed it — hot cocoas.

Living by their clean-eating motto, Z-Vault’s hot chocolate is available sugar-free, with flavor options of caramel, peppermint, hazelnut and vanilla, or if you’re feeling adventurous, coconut, lavender or rose.

Feliz Navidad

Nestled in Northern Baltimore County right on York Road, The Filling Station is an auto shop and gas station-turned-retro café, decorated with antique gas cans and local art.

Many locals are familiar with this hidden gem and consider themselves regulars, making the community feel of this place even stronger.

The Filling Station serves your standard coffee and tea, but also dish up delicious Mexican fare.

One of the most popular items on their expansive menu is the Mexican Hot Chocolate, made with nutmeg, cinnamon and a blend of other spices to make this hot drink even hotter. With a flavor similar to a churro, this cocoa will surely spice up your winter.

Got a sweet tooth?

We’ve got you covered. The Red Bean in Annapolis is a coffee and ice cream shop providing locals with creative concoctions for the holiday season.

Although it might be a little too cold to try green tea or peppermint dark chocolate ice creams, the staff at Red Bean serves up equally indulgent hot chocolate flavors, such as peanut butter or “Candy Land,” which comes with candy canes, whipped cream and marshmallows that will make any day merry and bright.

Santa’s Barbershop

You heard us right. Jaxon Edwin in Ellicott City does it all. This spot on Main Street is fully equipped with a barbershop, bourbon bar, café, arcade and an accessory shop.

In addition to hot hairstyles and locally sourced edible cookie dough, this jack-of-all-trades storefront offers the classic hot chocolate with a twist, or should we say, a shot. Jaxon Edwin’s menu includes adult coffees, including a hot cocoa with coconut cream rum that will warm you up in more ways than one. This isn’t your Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix.

Get out and enjoy the winter months with your cocoa close and your friends and family closer.   

Need more things to do this month? Check out our holiday happenings.

Already over winter? Read this instead.


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