As the weather is turning cooler, you’ll want to find a great new cafe to indulge in that perfect winter treat: hot chocolate. Whether you like it straight up, with a shot of espresso or with a mixture of something fresh and spicy, there are so many options that you can try around town.

Cacao Atlanta
1046 N. Highland Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 892-8202 

Cacao Atlanta is consistently voted to have one of the best hot chocolates in the country, not just in Atlanta, so it had to be first on this list. The chocolatier sells a thick, rich, European-style sipping chocolate, with a hint of spice and a huge, fresh marshmallow. If you were enchanted by the Johnny Depp film “Chocolat,” this is the drink for you. True chocolate lovers swear by the rich, tasty drink, and you can also buy a package to make it at home.

Thumbs Up Diner
1140 Alpharetta St., Suite 100  
Roswell, GA 30075
(770) 642-8980

This is the hot chocolate you remember from your childhood. It’s nothing too fancy, just your basic Swiss Miss-style concoction topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate. Of course, it is served steaming hot, so you have to let anticipation build while you wait to dive in. This is a drink worthy of the diner’s name.

Java Vino
579 N. Highland Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 577-8673

If you like your hot chocolate with a little bit of espresso, then you will want to stop by Java Vino. This is the grown-up version of hot chocolate, even if it is called the Chocolate Hopper. This drink has espresso, chocolate, peppermint and whipped cream for a truly decadent treat. Alternatively, you could go for the Red Iguana, which has raspberry in addition to white chocolate, espresso and whipped cream, or a Nutty Mocha, which mixes hazelnut with a standard mocha. You can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
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SIP The Experience
528 Main St.
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 816-3001

There are plenty of places in Atlanta where you can get a standard hot chocolate, but if you’re up for something a little more exotic, consider popping into SIP The Experience. Locals rave about the unusual lavender pistachio hot chocolate, which is a different take on the classic hot chocolate flavor. Also consider a slice of SIP’s popular red velvet cake. You will be tempted to hang out all day, but be warned that the free wifi only lasts two hours.

No Mas! Cantina
180 Walker St. S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30313
(404) 574-5678

No Mas is popular any time, but it is a great place to meet up with friends before the monthly Art Stroll in Castleberry Hill. It has a great menu that includes two different specialty hot chocolate drinks. The Chocolate Mexicana is a traditional Mexican hot chocolate with a dash of cinnamon to give it an extra kick. If you want something a little spicier, try the Chocolate Azteca, which has dark chocolate, cinnamon and chili. You’ll love these exotic winter treats.
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Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on “