23 of the best hot chocolates in London

You know what they say, a little chocolat chaud never hurt nobody

Updated on • Written By Rosie Conroy

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23 of the best hot chocolates in London

The best hot chocolate London has to offer is a hotly contested debate in the SquareMeal office, with everyone having their own favourite depending on preference. Some prefer pure iterations of this luxurious winter drink, favouring the rich flavour of melted chocolate above all else, without any fuss or faff on top to distract from the cocoa goodness, while others want all out indulgence in the form of all the bells and whistles (hand over the marshmallows and cream, and hand them over now).


Of course, the best hot chocolate in London can also depend on convenience factor, where are you at the time of taking a notion for one? Odds are, the best hot chocolate in London is the half-decent one you’re closest to at any given moment. However, there are exceptions to this rule, with some of the options below worthy of a pretty hefty journey just to sample their delights in our not so humble opinion. Why settle when you could savour, you know? If you’re a keen Instagram snapper then you might be after something picture perfect, in which case we’d love to point you in the direction of places like Chin Chin Labs in Soho, or Dark Sugars just off Brick Lane. If you’re more about the contents of the cup rather than how it looks, something pure and deeply comforting like the serve at Rococo Chocolate might be just the thing.

From different flavours to intricate toppings, our round up really does include something for everyone. So next time it’s cold outside and you need a sweet pick-me-up sharpish, refer to our list to find your hit. If you’re a true martyr you could of course work your way through all the options, just to make sure you’re able to make an informed decision on your personal favourite.

Chin Chin Labs, Camden and Soho

What: Sometimes you’ve just got to go straight to the top, and the sure-fire winner of Instagrammable hot chocolate in London has to be the team behind Chin Chin Labs. Would you just look at those layers? The base of this decedent serve is made from Valrhona chocolate melted down into a smooth, silky drink which is then topped with handmade marshmallow fluff before being torched to perfection, for that campfire flavour. When you’ve got to serve a cup of your hot chocolate in a bowl to catch the overflow you know you’re doing it right.
Where: 54 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 3DS; 49-50 Camden Lock Place, Camden, NW1 8AF
Find out more: Chin Chin Labs

Dark Sugars, Shoreditch and Greenwich

What: Hard to miss, this Brick Lane chocolate institution is like something out of Willy Wonka’s factory, packed to the brim with all kinds of delights. One of the shop’s most infamous draws is its drinks. Steaming hot chocolate is filled to the brim of your cup before shavings of dark, milk or white chocolate are piled on top for that added hit of indulgence. You could challenge yourself to leave without buying any of Dark Sugar’s truffles, or you could just accept defeat and know resistance is futile.
Where: 141 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6SB; 9 Nelson Road, Greenwich, SE10 9JB
Find out more: Dark Sugars

Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream, Soho and Camden

What: If you’ve exhausted all the usual options, you might be looking to take your hot chocolate to new and exotic levels. Enter: Ube. This creation by Filipino cafe Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream takes purple yams and mixes them with white chocolate for a pastel iteration of this classic drink. The whole thing is topped off with pale purple whipped cream too, for that final dose of picture-perfect indulgence.
Where: 32 Newport Court, Soho, WC2H 7PQ; 91 Kentish Town Road, Camden, NW1 8NY
Find out more: Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream

William Curley, Soho

What: Master patissier and chocolate wizard William Curley worked at some of the best restaurants in the land for decades, before starting up his own little chocolate empire. The Soho store is our pick - you’ll find it tucked away in a very pleasant courtyard near Piccadilly Circus, where you can sit with a silky smooth hot choc and watch the world go by.
Where: 33 Smith's Court, Soho, W1D 7LR
Find out more: William Curley

Lucocoa, Bermondsey

What: Lucocoa claims to be London’s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, but equal effort goes into its outstanding hot chocolates too, which are available in a variety of seasonal flavours throughout the year. Lucocoa handmakes all its chocolate bars too, and uses coconut sugar rather than refined white sugar, which supposedly helps you dodge sugar crashes.
Where: Arch 3 Spa Business Park, Bermondsey, SE16 4EJ
Find out more: Lucocoa

Knoops, Various locations

What: Specialists in chocolate drinks, Knoops (apparently pronounced ‘kuh-noops’) whips up iced chocolate shakes in the summer to cool off sweaty Londoners, before switching up into hot chocolate territory when winter hits. A variety of single origin drinks are available, as well as flavoured chocs.
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Knoops

Hotel Chocolat, Various locations

What: Thick, rich and sweet, Hotel Chocolat’s signature winter drink is an ode to decadence (and we’re not complaining). There are a few flavours to choose from – with versions like salted caramel and gingerbread all featuring throughout the year – and each hot chocolate comes with the option to top it off with a peak of whipped cream in various flavous. Obviously the only proper response to that question is yes (unless you can't have dairy, and then you're excused). Available in the brand’s cafes, this warming winter drink also comes with the added benefit of being served in a 100% compostable cup, for an ease of the conscience in terms of sustainability, if not calories.
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Hotel Chocolat

The Wolseley, Green Park

What: For an all-out London experience you can’t get much better than The Wolseley, so for hot chocolate in a grand setting, with incomparable service, we think this one is yet to be beaten. Made with grated flakes of pure chocolate and hot steamed milk, the serve here is then topped with perfectly whipped cream in generous amounts for an indulgent, rich finish. Perfect for warming you up on a cold day.
Where: 160 Piccadilly, Green Park, W1J 9EB
Find out more: The Wolseley

Konditor, Various locations

What: Those who are familiar with legendary bakery Konditor will know them for their incredible layer cakes and baked goods. Not so well known is their hot chocolate, which is made in stores with full fat milk for ultimate creaminess. Stop by one of their three sites for proof. 
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Konditor

Rococo Chocolates, Various locations

What: We think the best hot chocolate is the kind you could nearly eat with a spoon, full on melted chocolate vibes that can be gulped down in greedy mouthfuls in a few short seconds. This Rococo version of hot chocolate has that very kind of depth to it, being made with real chocolate, and for bonus points you might like to know it is a dairy free cup of cocoa. If after trying this hot beverage you feel sad at the thought of not being able to have one every day it’s good news, the shops in London sell the drinking chocolate by the packet and you can even buy one of the branded mugs for a fully authentic DIY experience.
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Rococo Chocolates

Carpo Piccadilly, Piccadilly

What: This shop sells three things: chocolate, coffee and nuts. This holy trinity of afternoon (or morning) deliciousness is crowned by the brand’s hot chocolate offering, an incredibly thick version that is served steaming hot to warm hands and hearts on cold winter days. There are a few stools to sit on inside to let you shelter from the weather, and while you’re there you can pick up some treats to take home too.
Where: 16 Piccadilly, Piccadilly, W1J 0DE
Find out more: Carpo Piccadily

Paul A Young, Islington

What: If an image of someone pouring molton chocolate into a cup with a ladle doesn’t get your blood pumping, you’re in the wrong place. Paul A Young is first and foremost known for his incredible chocolate creations, which are intricately decorated and filled with the finest ingredients. Back to his iteration of hot chocolate and it tastes as if it might just in fact be pure melted chocolate; this is one for hardcore fans of the sweet stuff.
Where: 33 Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA
Find out more: Paul A Young

Venchi, Various locations

What: Chocolatiers Venchi have a couple of different hot chocolate options, but it’s the brand’s fusion drinks where they really come into their own. Our favourite has to be the combination pictured above, which is a sinfully good mixture of coffee, chocolate and caramalised hazelnuts. And yes, it tastes as good as it looks. Thankfully you’re able to buy many of the elements that make up this drink, to take home with you, like the spreadable chocolate cream which can be transformed into hot chocolate by stirring a few spoonfuls into warm milk – heaven.
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Venchi

DeRosier Chocolates, Wimbledon and Earlsfield

What: Award-winning chocolatier DeRosier is a hot chocolate hotspot in South West London, with two cafes located in Wimbledon Park and Earlsfield. Alongside locally-sourced coffee, award-winning brownies and handmade chocolate truffles is the brand's signature hot chocolate, of which there are six options. They whisk - specifically - 40-50g chocolate with a mugful of hot milk before topping with marshmallows and whipped cream. There's also the option to add orange oil, peppermint oil and chilli oil if you like - although obviously not all at once!
Where: 380 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, SW18 4HP; 81 Revelstoke Road, Wimbledon, SW18 5NL
Find out more: DeRosier Chocolates

Ruby Violet, King's Cross

What: As with many of the best hot chocolate sellers on our list, Ruby Violet is actually an ice cream seller first and foremost, but presumably after looking to fill a gap in its market through the winter months began selling hot chocolate – and we’re glad it did. More sophisticated than most, Ruby Violet’s offering is dished up short in a coffee cup, with warm frothed milk on the side for you to add yourself, allowing you to mix your own personally perfect serve. There’s almond milk on offer too, in case you don’t do dairy.
Where: 3 Wharf Road, King's Cross, N1C 4BZ
Find out more: Ruby Violet

Godiva, Various locations

What: If anywhere is going to do a good hot choc, it’s going to be a chocolate shop. As with everything it does, Godiva’s hot chocolate is truly decadent in every sense of the word (and not least in terms of price, the drinks don’t come cheap). Once you’ve had one of these they may spoil your homemade creations forever, but the few moments of heaven will make it all worthwhile. We’re talking that sweet and silky flavour with an rich texture that signals the right ratios of chocolate to milk were used. 
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Godiva

Aubaine, Various locations

What: French restaurant Aubaine not only dishes up classic dishes for lunch and dinner, it also serves a mean hot chocolate for those in-between-meals moments of the day. Not content with just one option, Aubaine has a mini menu which you can choose from. Pick between blonde toffee, milk chocolate or dark chocolate and enjoy a perfectly steamed, frothy hot drink made with only the finest Valrhona chocolate for a rich, creamy taste.
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Aubaine

Comptoir Gourmand, Various locations

What: Stepping away from the big-name chains, we’re here to tell you that a small family-run bakery does some of the best hot chocolate London has to offer. With outposts across the city, you should never be too far from your nearest Comptoir Gourmand and its drinking chocolate. This iteration has real depth to it and is perfectly frothed for a light and airy finish.
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Comptoir Gourmand

Fortnum & Mason, Green Park

What: If you’re planning on sitting in and taking your time over a hot chocolate, you could do worse than indulge in a mug or two in Fortnum & Mason’s parlour. The luxurious surroundings are matched by the richly flavoured drink, which is perfectly whizzed up for that frothy finish, and is topped with whipped cream and a light dusting of chocolate (just in case you won’t get enough from the hot chocolate itself). This is one classic serve done right. 
Where: 181 Piccadilly, Green Park, W1A 1ER
Find out more: Fortnum & Mason

Laduree, Various locations

What: A little chocolat chaud never hurt nobody, especially when it was served up Parisian-style in the sweetest little cafes across London. Cafes from this French export are decked out in perfect pastel colours and serve a whole selection of cakes and pastries (not least of course, the famous macarons) alongside hot chocolate, which is a no-frills affair - the mark of a confident serve, we think.
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Laduree

EL&N Café

What: If it’s pure, unadulterated Instagram fodder you’re after then EL&N Café has your back. The various sites from this brand are decked out in millennial pink and on the menu you’ll find all sorts of like-inducing concoctions, including a Lucky Charms latte and a classic hot chocolate. Despite being one of the cafe's simpler serves, this scrumptious glass of something hot and sweet is just the right mix of chocolate and milk for an indulgent, comforting hot cup of cocoa that is perfect for cool days.
Where: Various locations
Find out more: EL&N Café

Gelupo, Soho

What: First and foremost a gelateria (and a very good one at that), Gelupo does a mean hot chocolate to enjoy alongside its frozen treats. Made with gianduja chocolate, which is made with around 30% hazelnut paste, this hot chocolate is like hot Nutella in a glass. At first you might think it looks like a small serve, but after a few sips of this rich drink and you’ll understand the need for petite sizing.
Where: 7 Archer Street, Soho, W1D 7AU
Find out more: Gelupo

Melt Chocolates, Various locations

What: Melt claims to be London’s most luxurious chocolate company, and while we can’t deny or confirm that strapline, we can tell you that it does make a mean hot chocolate. Covered with all the extra jazzy bits your heart could want, this is the perfect place to take kids to get some serious cool points. Cream? Check. Extra chocolate bits? Check. Enough melted chocolate to give you a sugar high? Double check.
Where: Various locations
Find out more: Melt Chocolates

A fan of the sweet life? Check out our round up of the best ice cream in London, for when you need a bit of cooling down after your hot chocolate. 

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