The cold weather is setting in (well for those in the northern hemisphere). There's no better way to keep toasty this season than to cozy up with some dessert fresh from the oven. Check out the best places across the USA to grab a hot chocolate or warm dessert.
Winter is here, and with the cold and waning daylight hours, sometimes all you need is a warm hug. If you're not a people person, or simply prefer your hug in a mug, Max Brenner’s hot chocolate served in their signature Hug Mug is your ultimate holiday season comfort dessert. The mug is shaped to be hugged in both hands to create the ultimate drinking experience of coziness, warmth and fragrance.
Locations: New York, Philadelphia
Unwrap your scarf, stomp the snow off your boots and step into Hot Cakes for molten cakes so warm and soothing they will instantly melt the cold away. The famous Dark Decadence Molten Cake is a fan favorite with enough to share or have all to yourself (no judgement here). Their Instagram alone will make you drool.
Address: 5427 Ballard Ave NW and 1650 E Olive Way, Seattle Washington
Rise is an intimate salon de soufflé and wine bar designed with French influence. Bask in the warm atmosphere and transport yourself to France for a while. Begin your trip with the Marshmallow Soup, a roasted carrot & tomato bisque with miniature goat cheese soufflés on top (marshmallows) drizzled with pesto and served with a twisted breadstick. Keep the warmth going by ending your meal with a Violet Soufflé, a masterpiece of French cuisine.
Locations: Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, Texas
House of Pies
Chances are, if you're visiting Los Angeles you've made a quick famous burger stop. Keep that diner spirit alive and have a slice of the best pies in LA. House of Pies warm southern pecan and seasonal pumpkin pies are sure to give you all the warm fuzzies. For an extra sugar rush, be sure to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make your tastebuds dance like the sugar plum fairies.
Wrap yourself in the aroma of warm gooey rolls baked from scratch by Nebraska natives at Sweet Magnolias Bakeshop. The bakeshop is a family business of sorts, brought to life by Katina Talley Foster and her husband Josh. Between the soft cinnamon rolls and caramel pecan rolls fresh from the oven, these goodies will keep you warm head to toe.
Address: 813 North 40th Street, Omaha Nebraska
If you've seen the movie Serendipity, you've certainly heard of this place. The home of decadent desserts in the city that never sleeps, Serendipity 3 serves "Big Apple” Pie slices as big as your face, and it feels akin to fate, eating here amid the wall to wall decorations and mismatched chandeliers. Fresh out of the oven, the combination of the cinnamon crumble and warm apples will beat any frostbite.
Address: 225 E 60th St, NYC
Cafe du Monde
Any trip to New Orleans requires a stop at the French bakery, Cafe du Monde. This iconic restaurant has been serving the beignets and coffee in the bayou since 1862; wear light colors and prepare to get messy: the cafe is generous with their powdered sugar, and a beignet isn't a beignet unless you're wearing bits of it when you're done. The fresh-made sugar powdered doughnuts will surely warm your soul and can be washed down with their signature chicory coffee.
Address: 800 Decatur St, New Orleans
Make spirits bright this winter at Tesse, a restaurant with Modern European flair serving fancy souffllés and creme brulees. The decadent Duck Egg Creme Brulee is rich in taste with a smooth and creamy texture from the duck egg yolk. It's a dessert you can't get just anywhere, and worth the trip alone. But why choose just one? Bring a buddy or a large appetite and order The Floral Madagascar vanilla bean to the side; it bursts with flavor and is polished off with the crisp from the bruleed muscovado sugar. Told you it was fancy!
Address: 8500 Sunset Blvd Suite B, Los Angeles
Chocolate Lab Denver
Here, your motto for surviving the winter is, "Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!" and you can get all three at the Chocolate Lab in Denver. The perfect remedy to any cold is the chocolate turtle chocolate elixir. The elixirs are made from scratch hot chocolate with a variety of selections including dark, milk, white chocolate as well as vegan options.
Spice up the formula by adding your favorite spirit to any elixir for extra warmth. Even better, Chocolate Lab offers entrees and cheese plates as well, so you can have one stop for dinner and dessert. If you're in the mood for sweet and savory, try the Impossible Burger — (also with a vegan option) served with a chocolate spice rub, spicy chocolate ketchup, pickles, lettuce, onions and tomato on a chocolate swirl bun.
Address: 2504 E Colfax Ave
Have some winter fun while keeping your hands warm with the famous Funfetti Hotter Chocolate and Chocoholic Hotter Chocolate masterpieces created by Top Chef alum, Fabio Viviani. The ever so colorful Funfetti Hotter Chocolate is served with rainbow sprinkles, topped with a bright combination of a white chocolate dipped rice krispy treat, a berry-flavored Pop-Tart, a rainbow sour belt and blue and pink drizzle.
In contrast, the Chocoholic Hotter Chocolate is sleeker, dressed in chocolate sprinkles, towering with a brownie and chocolate whoopie pie topped with chocolate and caramel drizzle, salted caramel crispy sprinkles, and is topped with a cherry Haribo gummy. Did you say "yum" too?
Address: 832 W Randolph and 1529 N Wells St, Chicago
This trendy Dessert and Martini Bar is known for chocolate desserts, but they don't stop there. Have their culinary geniuses whip up an amazing bananas foster, consisting of caramelized bananas with a hint of rum piled high over a homemade crepe; it's served warm alongside a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and topped off with whipped cream. Forget dessert — have it for breakfast or dinner — we won't tell.
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This article was originally published in November 2019 and updated in December 2020.