Hot Drinks, San Francisco: Hot and Spicy Extra Dark Hot Chocolate at CocoaBella


[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

Among the obvious reasons for wanting to live in the 19th century, such as fabulous wigs and romantic lighting, the predominance of hot chocolate tops my list. I wish it was still normal to order dainty cups of steaming, potent hot chocolate instead of the typical extra large, over-sweetened whipped cream creations.

Luckily for those who agree with me, there's Cocoabella on Union Street in San Francisco. Beyond their expansive collection of chocolates, this pristine little shop sells hot chocolate for adults. Made to order with deliciously chocolaty cocoa powder, you can choose between white, milk, dark, and extra dark. Those in the know go for Extra Dark Hot and Spicy. This hot chocolate is full bodied and creamy, especially when made with whole milk. The spice seems mellow at first, but after a few sips it gains a throat-tingling warmth. There is a hint of bitterness that balances out notes of vanilla.

Though a little pricey at $4, each small cup is extra satisfying, no marshmallows needed.


2102 Union Street, San Francisco, CA (map) (415) 931-6213