(credit: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
Now that the weather has a certain chill more often than not, hot beverages offer a brief respite and a way to warm up. There is nothing quite like a piping hot chocolate on a cold winter day. This comfort beverage offers just the right amount of sweet and heat that can help get you through the rest of your winter day. For an exceptional cup of cocoa, try one of these cafes, and step in from the cold.
The Market at Larimer Square (credit: CBS)
The Market at Larimer Square
1445 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80202
This bakery, café and specialty grocery store is a great place to relax and unwind on a winter day. With the drink bar in the front of the shop, you can step in, order what you want and take your party into the dining area without holding up the line for patrons who want something from the bakery. The hot chocolate is made with genuine cocoa powder and whole milk with real whipped cream for those who want it. The Market also has cider, coffee, tea, egg cream and pretty much anything else you can think of, including free WiFi.
Dietrich’s Chocolate and Espresso
1734 E. Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80210
This café on the Denver University campus was founded by a Master Chocolatier from Germany. Offering genuine truffles that are crafted by hand, the staff at Dietrich’s knows a thing or two about chocolate. Like the truffles found in the store, the hot chocolate is also rich and decadent – the perfect pick-me-up on a cold day. The café also offers breakfast and lunch, so stop in and enjoy a relaxing day.
Crave Dessert Bar and Lounge
891 14th St.
Denver, CO 80202
This chic urban dessert bar is located in the Spire building by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Offering much more than just dessert, including amazing hot chocolate, Crave is the perfect place for brunch, lunch or a night with friends. With fun flavors of hot chocolate, such as s’mores, this dessert bar will satisfy your hot chocolate craving in a unique and unexpected way. Stop in and try out some of the decadent treats on the menu as well as a hot cup of cocoa.
Leela European Café
820 15th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Leela is located near the Convention Center. Open 24 hours, it is a popular hangout with the late-night crowd but it’s just as good during the day. If you’ve been out shopping or simply want a fun, relaxed place to hang out and sip your cocoa, give this café a whirl. Leela serves Bellagio Sipping Chocolate – an all-natural cocoa powder that has bold flavor and no preservatives. The shop offers a laid-back atmosphere in which to kick back and hang out with friends. It even hosts Drink and Draw nights for those who want to get their creativity on while sipping cocoa (or other beverages).
1475 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80218
Owned by Keegan Gerhard (who has appeared on “Food Network Challenge”) and Lisa Bailey, D Bar Desserts opened in 2008 and serves as a “destination dessert bar.” With desserts ranging from simple milk and cookies to more elaborate creations, this is a great spot for afternoon tea, dinner, brunch or just because. With different flavors of hot chocolate like peppermint and pumpkin spice, along with pure and simple hot chocolate, this is the perfect place to stop in for a cup. Bring your friends along and try some of the food and desserts as well.
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.