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Eat and Drink

Hot chocolate in NYC to try, from Dominique Ansel Bakery, Van Leeuwen, more

Step away from the Swiss Miss mix.

Don’t be basic and order the plain stuff to celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day on Jan. 31. Especially not when we've rounded up some of the more unique varieties — from cups bedecked with "blossoming" marshmallows to vegan alternatives with coconut sugar — city bakeries and ice cream shops are selling.

With temperatures regularly dipping below freezing in recent weeks, we know you'll be seeking these before and beyond the one-day holiday:

Jack's Stir Brew Coffee's Mayan Mocha

The organic coffee shop and vegan bakery has
Photo Credit: Jack's Stir Brew Coffee

The organic coffee shop and vegan bakery has a spicy, chocolate-infused take on your typical latte. Baristas add a dash of nutmeg and cayenne powder and several teaspoons of cocoa powder to the steamed milk. $5.95, multiple locations, jacksstirbrew.com

Sunday In Brooklyn’s Giant Marshmallow

This little cup from the popular Brooklyn brunch
Photo Credit: Sunday in Brooklyn

This little cup from the popular Brooklyn brunch spot is filled with Valrhona cocoa powder, the suddenly ubiquitous oat milk Oatly (making it dairy-free) and cinnamon. But the centerpiece is a giant, torched, housemade marshmallow. Get it in the restaurant or from the to-go window. $6, 348 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, sundayinbrooklyn.com

The Hygge's Boozy Hot Chocolate

Head to the rooftop bar at the Dream
Photo Credit: Dream Midtown

Head to the rooftop bar at the Dream hotel in midtown to experience the Danish concept of "hygge" (pronounced "hoo-ga"), brought to you IRL with cozy decorations like cable-knit blankets and pillows, comfort foods like a warm s'mores dip served with graham crackers, and boozy hot chocolate topped off with vanilla ice cream. The limited-edition winter drink is $7, half off its usual price, Wednesday night, in honor of National Hot Chocolate Day. Bailey's Irish Cream gives the chocolaty milkshake its alcoholic edge. $14, 210 W. 55th St., Manhattan, phdterrace.com

Dominique Ansel Bakery's Blossoming Hot Chocolate

Prime your camera's video setting for this sweet
Photo Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery

Prime your camera's video setting for this sweet creation. Dominique Ansel's blossoming hot chocolate -- which originally debuted at its Japan location -- features a marshmallow flower held together by a thin chocolate ring. It's placed atop a cup of the bakery's Chef's Hot Chocolate. When the chocolate ring melts, the flower "blooms" and reveals a chocolate bonbon hidden inside. $7; 189 Spring St., 212-219-2773, dominiqueansel.com

DŌ's Cookie Dough Hot Cocoa

What better than hot chocolate with marshmallows? Hot
Photo Credit: Dina Coloma

What better than hot chocolate with marshmallows? Hot chocolate with marshmallows and edible cookie dough, of course. Choose any flavor -- from the classic chocolate chip to a seasonal offering like strawberry cheesecake -- to add to your hand-warming cup. $5, 550 LaGuardia Pl., Manhattan, cookiedonyc.com

Rubyzaar Baked's Liquid S'more-gasburg

Warm up at the foodie market or the
Photo Credit: Rubyzaar Baked

Warm up at the foodie market or the Union Square holiday market with this one-of-kind beverage in your hand. Brooklyn-based cookie purveyor Rubyzaar Baked makes a hot chocolate almost as thick as pudding, canopied with a layer of torched marshmallows and garnished with two pieces of graham crackers. $3 for a four-ounce shot size of hot chocolate, $5 with the s'mores topping; $5 for an eight-ounce cup of hot chocolate, and $7 with the s'mores topping; 241 37th St., Brooklyn, and Union Square, Manhattan, rubyzaarbaked.com

Van Leeuwen's Super Hot Chocolate

The artisanal ice cream truck turned frozen-treat empire
Photo Credit: Van Leeuwen via Instagram

The artisanal ice cream truck turned frozen-treat empire is selling a vegan hot chocolate made with the dark stuff (Michel Cluizel 99 percent infini noir chocolate) and organic coconut sugar -- light years beyond any diluted package of Swiss Miss or Nestle powder. Get it topped with vegan coconut whip or classic whipped cream. $4.50, multiple locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, vanleeuwenicecream.com

Rose and Basil's Peppermint Hot Chocolate

The hot chocolate on tap at this fairy-tale
Photo Credit: Rose and Basil

The hot chocolate on tap at this fairy-tale of a café in the East Village borders on magical. The drink itself is prepared with Belgian chocolate. It's topped with house-made whipped cream and marshmallows and sprinkled with a Tinkerbell's touch of edible gold dust. The final ornament is a peppermint stick hanging off the side of your teacup. $5.50 for a 12-ounce cup, $6.50 for a 16-ounce one, 104 E. Seventh St., Manhattan, roseandbasil.com

Snowdays' Classic and Peanut Butter Hot Chocolates

If you're done with frozen treats for the
Photo Credit: Snowdays

If you're done with frozen treats for the rest of this season, this Taiwanese shaved ice cream parlor will warm you right up with four kinds of hot chocolate. There's the classic variety (pictured), capped with a floating bed of marshmallows and drizzled with chocolate. There's one made with matcha, another with a house-made peanut butter sauce and a third vegan option prepared with almond milk. $4.50, locations in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, snowdaysnyc.com

Du's Donuts' Hot Chocolate Mix

Try a warm cup of cocoa prepared with
Photo Credit: Eric Medsker

Try a warm cup of cocoa prepared with Wylie Dufresne's new hot chocolate mix at the original Williamsburg location of his fancy doughnut and coffee spot, or buy a bag as a holiday gift. The chef's caramel malted hot chocolate blend is a cross between Whoppers and Milk Duds, one you can drink. $16 a bag, 107 N. 12th St., Brooklyn, dusdonuts.com

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