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Grandma can talk to you until you’re deaf about the wonders chicken soup does for the soul, and maybe it works if you have a cold. But I think what the wintery work-from-home soul really needs is something a little more decadent and rich – and it looks like science agrees.
According to researchers at the University of Birmingham in England (sorry, Alabama), drinking hot chocolate increases one’s ability in performing cognitive tasks, paving the way to make you think clearer temporarily. What’s the reason for this magical intelligence-boosting property? Hello flavanol – present in large measures in hot chocolate – which increases the oxygen levels in your blood and positively affects the brain, especially in a challenging situation. It’s also said that, when heated, chocolate has larger amounts of antioxidants, making hot chocolate hands down the best drink around.
So will hot chocolate make us smarter? Probably not. Are we going to pretend that’s the case, so we can feel better about wanting one every day? Definitely.
If you’re working from home and struggling with a complicated spreadsheet or in a bit of a pickle with email wording, hot chocolate is definitely the answer. Read on for our list of go tos in the neighborhood – and some even have an adult twist!
UT47 — 358 W 47th Street (Between 8th & 9th)
Inside this lovely little coffee shop, you’ll find something for just about anyone: Vegans, Gluten Frees, and those who want it all. That also applies to hot chocolates, of which there are two varieties. For a traditional dairy version, the owner Mi-Yung uses Nutella to create a decadent consistency. For vegans, on top of having five non-dairy milks at your disposal, they use an elegant French chocolate syrup named Maison 1883 for a flavor unlike any other.
Sullivan Street Bakery — 533 W47th Street (Between 10th & 11th)
For a classically creamy and sweet (but not too sweet) hot chocolate, head on over to Sullivan Street on 47th for a drink that feels like it’s lusciously melting in your mouth. You’ll want to go back for seconds.
Empanada Mama — 765 9th Ave (Between 51st & 52nd)
For a drink with flair, try Empanada Mama’s Colombian hot chocolate (made with Colombian chocolate, of course) for a rich but easy drinking experience. And get it with whipped cream!
Hold Fast — 364 W 46th Street (Between 8th & 9th)
If you’re looking for the full shebang, Hold Fast is the place to go. Tasty chocolate flavor? Check. Marshmallows? Check. Booze? Double check. Complete with Powers Whiskey and Brady’s Irish cream Liquor (chosen over Bailey’s as an homage to the maiden name of owner Shane’s Mother) this is the perfect winter cocktail that actually makes outdoor dining bearable. It’s called Mom’s Irish cocoa, so go make his mother happy.
Rise Bar — 859 9th Ave (between 55th & 56th)
Maybe you love the flavor of hot chocolate but want an extra bit of flavor oomph, potentially in the form of vanilla vodka? Look no further! Spiked and served with whipped cream, this frothy treat will give you all the vanilla and chocolate deliciousness you demand.
Amy’s Bread — 672 9th Ave ( Between 46th & 47th)
Friends enthuse about Amy’s delicious hot chocolate, and I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to taste it for myself. Using a chocolate ganache that they make in their kitchen as a base, it tastes as deep and luscious as that expensive bar of Belgian dark chocolate at the supermarket.
PRINT Provisions — 653 11th Ave (Between 47th & 48th)
Beside the Ink 48 hotel and the PRINT restaurant, you’ll find a small, gourmet, chef-inspired market called PRINT Provisions. If you’re looking for a great holiday present or just a little something special to bring home to make your evening complete, their hot chocolate and marshmallows kit is the ticket. Complete with a quart of Whole Milk, a delicious hot chocolate mix and four vanilla bean marshmallows, this will definitely rock your holiday socks off. Their secret tip? Add whiskey!
Who did we miss? Add your Hell’s Kitchen hot chocolate favorites in the comments below.