Spring Break Staycation
During the cold winter months, there’s a surefire (and delicious!) way to warm up: hot chocolate. This favorite hot drink brings back memories of childhood days sledding and building snowmen before heading home for a mug of delicious hot cocoa (preferably topped with marshmallows or a generous amount of whipped cream). Get back some of that feeling of loving the season instead of dreading how much time you’ll have to spend shoveling with a visit to these restaurants and coffee shops that are serving up some seriously tasty (and sometimes boozy) hot chocolate.
Next of Kin Cafe
625 Davis St., Evanston
Anyone looking to treat themselves should stop by this Evanston cafe. With goodies like the Banana Chocolate Pecan Muffin, Cherry-Rosemary Scone, and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, and eclairs in flavors like Lemon Meringue and Birthday Cake, Next of Kin is a must-visit for any celebration (even if you're simply celebrating the end of the workday). But, of course, no visit would be complete without their Hot Cocoa, made with callebaut dark chocolate, creme fraiche chantilly, cocoa nibs, and cinnamon. You can even order yours with Bourbon Creme Liqueur.
Sweety Pies Bakery
8042 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
Next of Kin Cafe, Evanston
In need of a quick, delicious breakfast or treat on your way to the office? This bakery is the perfect place to stop. Start the day with a Chocolate Raspberry Scone, Spinach & Ricotta Croissant, Cavewoman Granola with Coconut Milk Yogurt and Fruit, or Grandma's Famous Cinnamon Rolls before stopping by again later to treat yourself to a Red Velvet Cupcake, Chocolate Cashmere Pie, Peanut Blossom Cookie, and much, much more, all paired with a hot chocolate, of course. And if you're paleo or gluten-free, there's plenty for you to choose from as well, including Decadent Chocolate Paleo Brownies and gluten-free cupcakes and French macarons.
716 Church St., Evanston
Sweety Pies Bakery, Skokie
Warm up with a classic Hot Chocolate as you catch up with friends or crack open that book you've been meaning to read at this cool, renovated historic space in Evanston. Pair the drink with an all-day breakfast item like the Bacon Biscuit, Baked Oatmeal, or Potato Bacon Burrito for a delicious meal. And come back again to try the Colectivo Keg Co. beers on tap.
1150 Willow Road, Northbrook
Colectivo Coffee, Evanston
If sipping from a steaming mug of hot chocolate makes you feel like a kid again, you'll love spending an afternoon at this go-to destination for bowling and bocce. Whether you visit for brunch, lunch, or dinner before or after you challenge your friends to a game, be sure to order a Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (and maybe a Housemade S'more while you're at it, too).
Jolane’s Cafe & Wine Bar
1100 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview
You might be thinking that this cafe is a go-to for delicious lunch and dinner items paired with a perfect glass of wine, and you’d be right, but it’s also a go-to if you’re looking to warm up with cup of cocoa. Once you’ve finished your meal of Orange Glazed Salmon, Braised Austrian Beef Brisket, Tequila Lime Shrimp, or Vegetable Risotto, order a Hot Chocolate made with Meinl European cocoa, or try the Mint Hot Chocolate for a festive twist. You can also enjoy a delicious cup of Hot Cocoa here during brunch, which features entrees like the Brie and Ham Crepe, Blue Corn Chicken Chilaquiles, and Short Rib & Hash.
Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant
583 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling
Jolane's Cafe and Wine Bar, Glenview
This restaurant might be all about delicious wine, but don't miss out on their Hot Chocolate. Whether you're capping off a meal of Soy Ginger Atlantic Salmon, Gnocchi Carbonara, or Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas, or are living the sweet life with desserts like Cooper's Hawk Chocolate Cake, Caramel Banana Bread Sundae, or S'more Budino, a mug of hot chocolate is the perfect addition to any visit to this winery and restaurant.
Hometown Coffee & Juice
700 Vernon Ave., Glencoe
Stop by this neighborhood spot for a warming cup of hot cocoa and stay for a delicous smoothie bowl made with fresh fruit, almond milk, lavendar oil, granola and more. Or, if you're more in the mood something warm and savery, get one of the bagel melts, including options like The Club, Rubin's Reuben, and Park Avenue Melt.
1837 Glenview Road, Glenview
Hometown Coffee & Juice, Glencoe
If this independent and family-owned coffee shop is your first stop in the morning, make sure to also visit whenever you need a warming afternoon pick-me-up. The Glen Cocoa (get it?) pairs nicely with a cookie, scone, or any fresh bakery item available, and it even comes in a size perfect for your kiddos (the Lil Glen Cocoa) so you can make your afternoon break a family affair. And if you’re in a hurry, take advantage of the drive-thru.
Glenview Grind, Glenview
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