With winter temps hitting their lowest lows, you may be looking for ways to warm up in Cleveland while also supporting some local businesses.
And what better way to do this than with a delicious cup of hot chocolate?
My husband Elliot and I have done a pretty thorough job of researching where you can find the best cups of hot cocoa in Cleveland (yes, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it, right?), and now I’m ready to share our favorites with you!
No matter how you like your hot chocolate (sweet with marshmallows? rich with whipped cream?), the following Cleveland spots have you covered.
The best hot chocolate in Cleveland
We definitely haven’t tried every single cup of hot chocolate in Cleveland, but here’s how we’d rate the ones we have tried.
(And, as with all other lists you find on this site, this one will also be updated if/when I sample more local hot cocoa. So if you have any suggestions of other spots to try, be sure to let me know!)
Note: Some of these spots only serve hot chocolate during the winter months; if you’re visiting outside of winter, you might want to reach out to confirm whether they’re still making hot cocoa or not!
1. Sweet Moses
6800 Detroit Ave, Cleveland (Gordon Square)
You might recognize Sweet Moses from my list of the best ice cream shops in Cleveland, but this dessert spot serves up much more than just sundaes! Along with ice cream, they also serve traditional fountain sodas, homemade root beer floats, chocolates, and more.
And, during the winter months, Sweet Moses serves up the best cup of hot chocolate in Cleveland.
Sweet Moses’ hot chocolate recipe is a secret one that dates back to 1911. I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it, but it’s thick and chocolate-y just like the perfect cup of hot chocolate should be! You also MUST order this with one of their giant homemade marshmallows on top.
2. The Root Cafe
15118 Detroit Ave, Lakewood
If you’re looking for a unique cup of hot chocolate to try in Cleveland, then I’d recommend the Mexican Cocoa at The Root Cafe in Lakewood.
This hot chocolate consists of house-made chocolate milk steamed with cinnamon, cayenne, and vanilla. The resulting cup of hot cocoa is creamy with a little kick – perfect for a chilly day!
They also serve regular hot chocolate here (without the spice), or you can turn the Mexican Cocoa into a Mayan Mocha with a shot of espresso. Find these all under the Root Cafe’s “Dessert Drinks” menu.
3. Phoenix Coffee
Phoenix is high up on my list of favorite coffee shops in Cleveland, but they also make a really great hot chocolate.
The hot chocolate at Phoenix is made with a homemade chocolate syrup that is dark and rich, resulting in a cup of hot cocoa that isn’t sickeningly sweet. Both Elliot and I really enjoyed this one because of this dark syrup!
4. Six Shooter Coffee
15613 Waterloo Rd, Cleveland (Collinwood)
If a sweet cup of hot chocolate is what you’re craving, then you need to head over to Six Shooter on the East Side.
Six Shooter’s hot chocolate is made with pumps of Ghirardelli chocolate syrup and vanilla syrup, combined with steamed milk and topped with whipped cream.
This is a very sweet cup of hot cocoa, but still pretty delicious!
2366 W 11th St, Cleveland (Tremont)
While Civilization doesn’t make its own hot chocolate mix, I like this spot because they have four different cocoa mixes to choose from. You can order a regular hot chocolate, white hot chocolate, chocolate malt, or Mexican hot chocolate. Each cup is made with steamed milk and topped with whipped cream.
I tried the Mexican hot chocolate here. While it doesn’t compare to what you can get at the Root Cafe, it’s still pretty good, with just a mild level of spiciness.
6. Cafe Phix MidTown
6815 Euclid Ave, Cleveland
I visited Cafe Phix for the first time during this hot chocolate crawl, and think it’s a great little spot for coffee, sandwiches, and more.
They serve regular and “spicy” hot chocolates, with the spicy version having a dash of red pepper in it. I tried the spicy hot chocolate, but made the mistake of ordering it with almond milk; the flavors (and spice) did not come through the almond milk super well.
For the adults, Cafe Phix’s Hot & Spicy Mocha may actually be the better drink choice. This one is made with house-made mocha (which includes espresso), and is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and red pepper.
Other spots that people recommend for hot chocolate in Cleveland that I’ve tried include a couple local coffee shops that make hot chocolate by steaming Hartzler’s chocolate milk.
Hartzler Family Dairy is a local dairy in Wooster, Ohio, that produces minimally-processed milk. Their chocolate milk makes a thick and creamy hot chocolate.
Coffee shops serving up this sort of hot chocolate include:
- Rising Star Coffee Roasters (multiple locations)
- Heartwood Coffee Roasters (locations in Chagrin Falls and Hudson)
Spots I haven’t made it to yet
And, as always, there are a few places that people have recommended for hot chocolate that I haven’t been able to try yet!
Spots I hope to try in the future include:
- Playhouse Square – The theaters at Playhouse Square are obviously still closed, but multiple people have suggested the hot chocolate you can order at any of the theater concession stands is really good! Hopefully I can give it a try sometime this year.
- Lucky’s Cafe – This Tremont favorite is known for its breakfast and brunch options, but is also said to serve great hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.
- Chocolate Bar – This downtown bar/restaurant is known for its chocolate-infused cocktails. They also have a whole menu of spiked hot chocolate drinks.
So there you have it: all the best hot chocolate in Cleveland! If you’re looking for a warming cup of hot cocoa in The Land, you can’t go wrong with any of these spots!
Where’s YOUR favorite hot chocolate in Cleveland?
Pin it for later:
Amanda was born and raised in northeast Ohio, and has always been a fangirl of the state. Now, she wants to share her love of Cleveland with the world, highlighting all the best things to do, see, and eat in the CLE. She’s been running Cleveland Traveler since January 2019.