Hot, chocolatey chocolate...

For kids, adults, and the broke college kids in-between, it's the drink of choice for those who need to warm up or who simply want to embrace the spirit of the season. There are a ton of different places to get hot chocolate in Oxford, and we decided to find and (unofficially) declare the very best

Izzy Tice

On our quest for the ultimate version of this steamy drink, my fellow Miami University Spoon exec, Adam, and I tested five different coffee houses and cafes, and ranked them according to taste, price, presentation, as well as the time it took to place and receive our order. Among our contenders were Kofenya, Cafe Lux (pictured above), Starbucks, Oxford Coffee Company, and Patterson's Cafe.

Disclaimer: This is the third time Adam and I will be embarking on a milk-centric quest, and also the third time we are acknowledging our own lactose-intolerance. These results are still objective and we promise not to include our own bad decisions in the rankings.

Starbucks Coffee Company, 100 Talawanda Road, Oxford, OH 45056

"Steamed milk with vanilla- and mocha-flavored syrups. Topped with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate-flavored drizzle."

Izzy Tice

Short: $2.85, Tall: $2.95, Grande: $3.45, Venti: $3.65

Time: 15+ minutes

Izzy: Overall, this hot chocolate fell kind of flat for me, and instead of "rich" feeling, it just felt very artificial and sugary. There was also a chemically aftertaste, which was disappointing for how expensive it was and how long it took to get. Although the whipped cream is "handmade", the taste of the vanilla syrup in it was too powerful, and didn't go well with the chocolate flavor. I pass by this Starbucks every day, but I only ever go in to order if I know I have extra time to spare, since the wait is always so long. Basically, I'd only get this again if I had a lot of time before class but wasn't willing to walk Uptown or to Cafe Lux. Since this is the only chain on the list, I definitely would not say it's the best hot chocolate in Oxford, just because I could get this in pretty much any city in America.

Adam: I got a Peppermint Hot Chocolate and honestly, it disappointed. It wasn't quite sweet enough and had small hints of cinnamon, which wasn't necessarily bad, but from Starbucks I expected more. I wouldn't go out of my way to get this drink from them, and there are definitely better options for hot chocolate in Oxford.

Notes: Can usually expect a long line (5-15 minute service), declining-dollar accessible, convenient if you live on North Quad near Withrow, Central Quad near Shriver, or 

Rating: 2/5 stars

Cafe Lux, Armstrong Student Center, 550 E Spring St, Oxford, OH 45056

Izzy Tice

Small: $2.75 Regular: $3.25 Large $3.45

Time: ~10 minutes

Izzy: Cafe Lux is always my go-to when I'm running to class or studying at Armstrong late at night. It was probably unfair of us to try this directly after Starbucks, but we both had an extreme sugar rush and felt sick after drinking this hot chocolate. Presentation-wise, the whipped cream was canned, so it melted pretty quickly, making the whole drink taste like very sweet, chocolatey milk, with more emphasis on the milk than the cocoa flavor. Overall, the flavor wasn't really there, but if you're averse to coffee and just need a drink to warm up with, this is a fine option.

Adam: For quick access and very sweet hot cocoa, this was the move. Cafe Lux gives quick service, and offers a hot chocolate that was unexpectedly really good. Although, I would have to admit it that was very sweet (almost overwhelmingly), so make sure to have something savory to snack on with this hot chocolate. 

Notes: Best on-campus option, declining-dollar accessible, best for when you're rushing to class, expect a sugar rush

Rating: 3/5 stars

Kofenya Coffee House38 W High St, Oxford, OH 45056

Made with Ghirardelli Chocolate and steamed milk

Izzy Tice

Small: $3.15, Medium: $3.60, Large: $4.00

Time: ~5 minutes

Izzy: Kofenya is probably the most popular study spot Uptown, and for good reason: the ambience is that perfect "coffee house" vibe, and the menu is very extensive. One issue I have, however, is the pricing, which is relatively expensive, and is surprisingly about as high as the pricing of Starbucks. For more than $3, this hot chocolate wasn't amazing, but it wasn't necessarily bad at all. Adam and I both detected a taste that was completely different from Cafe Lux and Starbucks, and upon asking them how it was made, we found they simply used Ghirardelli syrup instead of chocolate powder. I wasn't super impressed, but it was definitely a fun experience, and I'd recommend it if you find yourself Uptown. When my parents are in town, this is always my go-to spot, and might be the most comfortable place to get hot chocolate in Oxford.

Adam: The environment of Kofenya is always fantastic, although their hot chocolate is honestly quite simple. I would say it's better than the previous two entries because of the quality of ingredients, but upon first sip we could tell something was different compared to the other two, that being syrup. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but was an interesting take on the hot cocoa-sipping experience. 

Notes: Pricey, best option on High Street, nice ambience, rich flavor

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Oxford Coffee Company21 Lynn St, Oxford, OH 45056

"Rich hot chocolate made with steamed milk topped with whipped cream"

Izzy Tice

Small: $2.05, Medium: $2.45, Large: $2.90

Time: <5 minutes

Izzy: For its price, this was an incredible deal and had great chocolate flavor. Unlike the ones we tried before, this hot chocolate did not have any artificial taste, and it also had the perfect balance of sweetness and chocolate. Compared to Cafe Lux, the whipped cream didn't melt, and had actual flavor to it. I wish this cafe were a little closer to campus, but it has a nice and quiet atmosphere since it's tucked away in Oxford, and their prices are much more reasonable than others' on this list (especially for college kids). 

Adam: Several hot chocolates later and we came upon this gem, something with a rich chocolate flavor that wasn't too sweet, and felt very creamy. As soon as I took my first sip I was blown away because it was different. In regards to the location, Oxford Coffee Company was a very cute, local shop. While it is out of the way for most students, I would say it's worth it to stop by and try their hot chocolate. The pricing is totally reasonable, and the hot chocolate was fantastic. 

Notes: Best for price, very friendly service, hard to find on a map

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Patterson's Cafe 103 W Spring St, Oxford, OH 45056)

"Made from scratch, with your choice of skim of 2% milk blended with Dutch cocoa powder & topped with whipped cream"

Izzy Tice

$4.25 per mug

Time: ~5 minutes

Izzy: This was the only dine-in restaurant we went to, and honestly, this may have been the best hot chocolate I've ever had. You can definitely tell the difference that real whipped cream makes, and altogether, this drink was so perfectly rich without being overly sweet or heavy. Since this is a sit-down restaurant, the price isn't necessarily high, but what you do pay in price you more than receive in quality. By combining real whipped cream and Dutch cocoa powder, this hot chocolate sets itself apart from all of the rest, and the lesson is learned again: real ingredients make a huge difference! Long story short…definitely the best hot chocolate in Oxford.

(Note: we felt a bit awkward just ordering a hot chocolate and nothing else, so we threw in some home fries as well, just one option from Patterson's extensive and all-around amazing menu)

Adam: Have you ever taken a sip of a bite of something and it just made you scream. No? Well this did that to my tastebuds. While it was pricey I was absolutely blown away by the rich chocolate flavor, the fresh cream, and the balanced sweetness of the drink. Patterson's menu does not play around when they say "made-from-scratch" because drinking this hot chocolate was an elevating experience. One of the most notable things was the fact that the whipped cream did not melt, so you could tell they didn't just use something from the can. It was like kissing an angel on a winter's day, except you're drinking chocolate milk from scratch on a cold day inside a local cafe. 

Notes: Amazing flavor, spectacular whipped cream, great service, perfectly-balanced taste, great brunch option

Rating: 5/5 stars (WINNER!)

In conclusion, the award for the best hot chocolate overall in Oxford goes to Patterson's Cafe, though if you're in a rush or only have a few bucks to spare, there are many other options throughout the town and campus, especially Oxford Coffee Company and Kofenya. Try them all and let us know which one you like the best!!!! Stay warm!