'Tis the season for hot chocolate. But not all cocoas are created equally. To follow, here are our superlatives for hot (plus one iced!) chocolate in New York City.

MOST DECADENT: The City Bakery’s original hot chocolate

No list of must-try hot chocolate would be
No list of must-try hot chocolate would be complete without a mention of the exquisitely rich "original" version at the City Bakery. Crafted from an assortment of dark chocolate bars and dairy from farms located mostly in New York state, and topped with an epic homemade marshmallow ($2 extra), this cup is many cocoa lovers' favorite. Bonus: make sure to check out the Hot Chocolate Festival in February, when a different flavor is featured every day. $3-$5; 3 W. 18th St., 212-366-1414, thecitybakery.com (Credit: The City Bakery)

MOST INVENTIVE: Maman’s lavender hot chocolate

Looking for something totally different from the traditional
Looking for something totally different from the traditional cup of cocoa? The lavender hot chocolate at Maman bakery is the way to go. The milk is infused with dried lavender, steamed and combined with melted dark chocolate for a distinctly delicious drink. $4.25; 239 Centre St., 212-226-0700 and 211 West Broadway, 646-882-8682, mamannyc.com (Credit: Maman)

MOST FLAVORFUL: Nutella Espresso at Eataly

The Nutella bar at Eataly features a variety
The Nutella bar at Eataly features a variety of coffee and Nutella beverages. While not exactly hot chocolate, per se, we think the chocolatey flavor of Nutella, when it meets expertly roasted and pulled espresso, more than makes up for tiny details. $4.25, 200 Fifth Ave., 212-229-2560, eataly.com (Credit: Eataly )

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

BEST DAIRY-FREE: The Commons Chelsea’s signature hot cocoa

Made with organic almond milk, 100% vegan cane
Made with organic almond milk, 100% vegan cane sugar and organic, single origin, fair trade cocoa from Portland's Holy Kakow, the rich and savory dairy-free hot cocoa at Commons Chelsea is the perfect alternative to milk-based varieties. We could hardly taste the difference! $4-$5; 128 Seventh Ave., 212-929-9333, thecommonschelsea.com (Credit: The Commons Chelsea)

MOST KID-FRIENDLY: Eloise Shop at Plaza Hotel’s Eloise Pink Hot Chocolate

This pink-hued cocoa is great for Eloise fans
This pink-hued cocoa is great for Eloise fans of all ages. But kids especially will love playing dress up, having a tea party and watching Eloise movies in The Eloise Shop. $10/case; 1 W. 58th St., 212-546-5460, theplazany.com/shops/eloise-at-the-plaza (Credit: Eloise Shop at Plaza Hotel)

BEST COLD VERSION: Bluestone Lane’s iced chocolate

If you're one of those people who enjoy
If you're one of those people who enjoy sipping chilly beverages all year long, the iced chocolate from Bluestone Lane is for you. This off-menu cold drink is made with Hudson Valley milk (almond and soy milks also available) mixed with a Koko deluxe chocolate from Australia, served over ice and topped with Omanhene cocoa powder. Yum. $4.50; 55 Greenwich Ave., 646-368-1988, bluestonelaneny.com (Credit: Casey Brennan)

BEST PRESENTATION: Brazilia Cafe’s hot chocolate in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone

Ever dreamed of devouring a hot chocolate served
Ever dreamed of devouring a hot chocolate served in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone? Well, now you can, thanks to SoHo's Brazilia Cafe and Malcolm Stogo, the "godfather of ice cream," who's credited with creating the dipped cone (and cookies and cream flavor!). Warning: this treat is unbelievably addictive. $7.95; 684 Broadway, 646-852-6348, braziliacafe.com (Credit: Brazilia Cafe)

BEST ADULTS-ONLY: Gotham Bar & Grill's Independent Hot Chocolate

At Gotham Bar & Grill, a 28-square-foot corner
At Gotham Bar & Grill, a 28-square-foot corner of the kitchen has been transformed into a chocolate factory. Executive Pastry Chef Ron Paprocki is making chocolate bars with a blend of foraged Bolivian and Ecuadorian cacao beans. Each 60-gram bar is melted with local Battenkill Valley milk and topped with house-made Michter's Bourbon marshmallows to create The Independent Hot Chocolate. We suggest going for the adult version, which is spiked with Michter's Bourbon, Cardamaro (an Italian digestif) and Cointreau. $8/ $18 for adult version. 12 E. 12th St., 212-620-4020, gothambarandgrill.com --Georgia Kral (Credit: Noah Fecks)

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE