According to science, drinking hot chocolate can temporarily make you smarter. We’re not sure about that, but drinking it during these winter months is definitely a smart move. From a sophisticated mug of rich, chocolatey heaven to a goblet of milky goodness overflowing with gooey marshmallows and cream, nothing can beat a hot chocolate on a cold day. We’ve found the best places to grab a hug in a mug – yes, it can only be hot chocolate – that can fight off the winter blues and make us almost glad it’s Christmas. Here’s your guide to the dreamiest hot chocolates in Bristol.
1. Mrs Potts Chocolate House
No list of Bristol’s hot choc spots could be complete without Mrs Potts. You’ll find the most delicious diversity of chocolate percentages and flavours at Mrs Potts Chocolate House. Try a roasted white hot chocolate with 28% cocoa, to create a deep, complex flavour with toasted nutty and caramel notes.
There is also the Deluxe Hot Chocolate Float, where you pick your favourite hot chocolate to pour over their house-made dark chocolate disc and a scoop of Marshfield’s vanilla ice cream, served with a dark chocolate button. Watch the heat melt the disc and let the magic happen. Mrs Potts also has some vegan options alongside an array of other chocolatey drinks and desserts.
Mrs Potts Chocolate House, 20 Park Street, BS1 5JA
2. Bar Chocolat
The hot chocolate at Bar Chocolat is divine. Described as “the ‘ultimate’ hot chocolate”, this small cup of thick melted chocolate is then topped with marshmallows, whipped cream and chocolate flakes. You can also add some steamed milk to the chocolate for a smoother drink, but we think it’s heavenly as it is. Go on… you deserve it.
Bar Chocolat, 19 The Mall, Clifton Village, BS8 4JG
3. The Beehive
Despite describing themselves as “the home of the freak shake”, The Beehive, based in Downend, sure know how to make a hot chocolate too. If you have seen their freak shakes, you’ll know that The Beehive doesn’t do drinks in half measures. We are talking tantalising toppings, from Maltesers and marshmallows to doughnuts and dunkable chocolate bars.
This winter, they’ve come out swinging with a Terry’s Chocolate Orange hot chocolate, topped with mini marshmallows, cream, pretzel, wafer and chocolate orange segment; and a s’mores hot chocolate, topped with mini marshmallows, cream, a toasted marshmallow and chocolate sauce!
The Beehive, 14 Badminton Road, BS16 6BQ
4. Ahh Toots
If it wasn’t festive enough on Christmas Steps then enjoying a gorgeously indulgent hot chocolate at Ahh Toots will really put you in the mood. Ahh Toots not only has an array of baked goods on offer but also some cosy autumn drinks to enjoy. The café has an autumn menu featuring salted caramel and cardamom hot chocolate with spiced pumpkin marshmallow as well as a praline flavour. Better get up those steps two at a time before they run out!
Ahh Toots, 17 Christmas Steps, BS1 5BT
5. Cuppa Coffee Shop
Who thought shopping for plants could be so rewarding? At Middlecombe Nursery you can walk away with plenty of plants plus a dreamy cup of chocolatey goodness from Cuppa Coffee Shop. Sip on an intense hot chocolate with charred gooey marshmallow fluff with Biscoff chunks stuffed inside for extra indulgence. The cinnamon flavour makes for a proper warming hot chocolate as you wander around the outdoor plant nursery, especially on those chillier days.
6. Ruby Jeans
You’d think a place offering up coffees, chocolates and luxury food products would know a thing or two about a good hot chocolate, right? Well, you’d be right. This drink by Ruby Jeans comes to you thick and rich – and it’s even available to take away so you can make it for yourself at home. Choose from dark chocolate made with 71% cocoa from Ecuador, white chocolate made with 31% cocoa from the Dominican Republic and milk chocolate made with 43% cocoa from Venezuela.
Ruby Jeans, Pembroke Road, Shirehampton, BS11 9SA
7. The Cloakroom Cafe
Located near the University of Bristol campus, The Cloakroom Cafe, in fact, used to be a public restroom and was built in 1904. Apart from maintaining some elements from the building’s former glory such as the bathroom tiles, the cafe has given it a new lease of life and appears very welcoming. As is their hot chocolate. The drink at The Cloakroom Cafe is a welcoming warm hug and for an added twist their hot chocolate is infused with beetroot.
The Cloakroom Cafe, Woodland Road, BS8 1US
8. East Village
If you’re after the crème de la crème of hot chocolates (minus the crème), East Village has got just the one for you. This independent vegan café in the heart of Clifton Village serves up a dreamy, dairy-free hot chocolate so good that you might reconsider ordering a dairy version in future. East Village uses real chocolate curls which are swirled in your choice of plant milk (oat, coconut, soy or almond) to create a velvety smooth hot chocolate.
Plus, you can take it up a notch by adding either toasted marshmallow, hazelnut or Biscoff syrup, then have it topped with a huge homemade marshmallow and chocolate curls. Throw in a vegan bake such as a cinnamon bun, cookie sandwich or slice of cake and you’ve got yourself a sweet and heavenly combination.
East Village Café, Arch House, Boyces Avenue, Clifton Village, BS8 4AA
9. Lisa’s Chocolate
Most baristas can make a decent hot chocolate, but for a truly magical mug, you have to ask a chocolatier. One of the best chocolate shops in Bristol, Lisa’s Chocolate also serves one of the finest drinks in town. While simple, this 70.5% dark hot chocolate has proven to be one of the most popular items in store.
Lisa’s Chocolate 192 Cheltenham Rd, Cotham, Bristol BS6 5RB
10. Clifton Observatory
Another Clifton cafe serving a good ole hot chocolate is the 360 Café at Clifton Observatory. The café has a bit of a reputation for its indulgent hot chocolates. With gorgeous toppings like whipped cream, caramel and chocolate sauce, sprinkles, chocolate flakes, s’mores, and cookies.
Enjoy views of Clifton Suspension Bridge whilst sipping on a warming cup of chocolatey goodness. Pick from an array of flavours including Biscoff, Black Forest, cookies and cream, chocolate orange or s’mores. Plus, for some extra warmth, make it a bit boozy by adding a cheeky shot of either Baileys, Cointreau, Kahlua, spiced rum, whiskey, Tia Maria or vodka.
Clifton Observatory, Litfield Place, BS8 3LT