Coming from Maine, the Boston weather here hasn’t been something I can complain about, but these 60 degree bursts keep lifting my spirits only to plummet back to 30 degrees. One of the few things helping me to cope with the cold weather has been testing different hot chocolates in the Fenway area.
To give you an idea of my hot chocolate standards, I believe the best hot chocolate is homemade with whole milk, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, sugar, and vanilla. It’s hot, creamy, rich, and indulgent. Now that you have a clearer picture of what I love, here are the ratings for the 5 different hot chocolates I’ve tried.
Starbucks, Kilmarnock St. | $ | ★★☆☆☆
The Starbucks hot chocolate in Star Market served as my starting point. I decided to include it because there is something to be said for its convenience. I had never had it before, and I have to be quite frank, I don’t think I’ve been missing out on much. It was largely underwhelming. I would describe it as a cup of warm milk with just a hint of chocolate. If you’re out and about and really desperate for a quick fix, I suppose this would serve the purpose, but I’d honestly prefer a good ol’ packet of Swiss Miss.
Blackbird, Kilmarnock St. | $$ | ★☆☆☆☆
Ok, I realize one star appears harsh, but for the price and the quality, I stand by my rating. I also realize that Blackbird is known for its doughnuts, not its hot chocolate. However, so many people love their coffee I figured their other drinks were worth a try. I was wrong. It was by far the palest cup of hot chocolate I’ve ever seen, all water and sugar, no chocolate. I would stick to purchasing what they have mastered, their doughnuts.
Caffè Nero, Boylston St. | $$ | ★★★☆☆
If you read my first ever article for the Voice, you know I have a bit of a soft spot for Caffè Nero. This was my first time trying their hot chocolate and I would say it was a good solid cup of hot chocolate. It wasn’t anything outstanding, but it checked my boxes: creamy, smooth, chocolatey, and sweet. The rustic setting of Caffè Nero also makes it a cozy place to stay and enjoy your drink.
Pavement, Boylston St. | $$$ | ★★★☆☆
Pavement would have been such a cute place to sit and chill with my hot chocolate, but currently, they’re only doing take-out. Their hot chocolate was equal in quality to Caffè Nero and very tasty.
Tatte, Boylston St. | $$$ | ★★★★☆
Tatte deserves the highest rating, although it comes at a steep price. It came served in a cute mug and while I wasn’t expecting the layer of foam on top, I could taste real chocolate. It wasn’t overly sweet. It was creamy and smooth and when I got near the end I could see chocolate still melting on the bottom! Tatte has such a busy and energetic atmosphere that my faith was restored in finding a hot chocolate reminiscent of home.
Thanks to all my friends for the hot chocolate suggestions and tasting adventures!