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Hot cocoa
Photo: Laura Falin

6 Great Places for Hot Cocoa

Nothing cures wintertime shivers like a warm cup of hot chocolate. Here's where to find the best hot cocoa in the Denver area.

Editor’s note, 1/13/20: This story has been updated for 2020.

Kids can enjoy a rich and creamy hot chocolate during cold winter months, while parents sip on a latte or spiked cocoa of their own. Here are six Denver-area spots that offer special twists on the classic hot treat.


Escape the cold weather with a book and a comforting beverage at BookBar. The Tennyson Street bookstore offers three choices of hot chocolate for kids and hot drinks for parents including seasonal lattes, along with books and a cozy reading space. 4280 Tennyson St., Denver.

Caribou Coffee

Yes, it’s a chain, but they make their hot chocolate with real chocolate and they offer three different ways to customize it. Choose from dark, milk, or white chocolate and get a tasty hot beverage topped with whipped cream and chocolate chips. You can also add in syrups for different flavors of hot chocolate (try the mint and they’ll top it with crushed Andes candies). A kids hot chocolate and frozen hot chocolate are also available. 22 Colorado locations.

The Chocolate Lab

Special education teacher turned chocolatier, owner Phil Simonson has been making treats inspired by chocolates since 2010. The Chocolate Lab’s chocolate elixir house hot chocolate gives kiddos a choice between dark, milk, or white chocolate. Adults have the option to add in their favorite spirit. 2504 E Colfax Ave., Denver.

The Chocolate Therapist

Head to this downtown Littleton shop where Julie Nygard and her staff make their own chocolate on-site. Check out their all-natural chocolate, made without dyes or preservatives. Then, pull up a chair for some original-recipe cocoa, made with pure chocolate and topped with house-made whipped cream. They have three different options, but try the Mexican Spice. They’ll make it mild for the kids, or add a cayenne pepper kick for the more adventurous. 2560 W. Main St., Suite 100, Littleton.

The Inventing Room

Home to creative desserts, this West Highlands sweet shop features Mexican hot chocolate, topped with exploding whipped cream. 3344 W. 29th Ave., Denver.

Quince Essential Coffee House

Grab a cup of organic Belgian hot chocolate topped with homemade whipped cream and sit down to a board game with the kids. You can relax while your kids draw on the tables for once—they’re covered in chalkboard paint. This Stapleton coffeehouse also serves up burritos and empanadas along with their cocoa and coffee drinks, so you can hang out for a bit without worrying about hungry children. 1447 Quince St., Denver.

Family Food

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