With negative forty degree weather, you need something extra special to keep you warm inside. You can wear coats that are so long you can’t help but trip or hibernate in your room, but the best way to keep you smiling in the dead of winter is to indulge in a delicious cup of hot chocolate. Here are five places around America that serve some of the best and most creative hot cocoa. You should make sure to stop by if you’re in any of these cities.

1. XOCO, Chicago

You don’t have to venture far to try the cocoa at XOCO, Rick Bayless’ Mexican takeout joint located in Chicago that happens to serve some of the best hot chocolate around. You may know Bayless as the chef behind Frontera Fresco, located in Norris, which also has some good flavors of hot chocolate that you can find here. XOCO’s five types of hot chocolate are all ground from Mexican cacao beans and foamed with a traditional wooden whisk called a molinillo. These homemade recipes vary by intensity in flavor, from a thin and milky option to one so rich that it is challenging to finish the whole cup. A major plus, XOCO also makes churros, which accompany hot chocolate perfectly and can definitely satisfy your sweet tooth on even the coldest of days.


Photo courtesy of Serious Eats


Address: 449 N Clark St, Chicago
Hours: Tues-Thurs: 8 am-9 pm, Fri-Sat: 8 am-10 pm

2. Serendipity 3, New York City

Serendipity is world-famous for its creative and outrageous desserts, in addition to its Foot Long Hot Dog that all New York natives or tourists should try at some point in their lives. Most famous of all, however, is its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, a cold hot chocolate (hence the name) served with chocolate shavings and whipped cream to top it off. Possibly more of a dessert than a hot chocolate, this drink is a mouthful of sweet and chocolatey goodness. While it may not keep you as warm as our other options and can be a little more pricey, its originality makes it worth ordering.


Photo courtesy of Guest of a Guest


Address: 225 E 60th Street, NYC
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11:30 am to 2 am, Fri-Sat: 11:30 am to 1 am

3. The Little Nell, Aspen

Need a drink after a long day on the slopes? You can add a shot of liqueur to the already delicious hot chocolate. This ultra heavy take on hot chocolate includes a strong cocoa powder, a little salt, homemade marshmallows and 58% Trudelia chocolate. This recipe, created by pastry chef Danielle Riesz, hits the spot after a long day of skiing.


Photo courtesy of Travel and Leisure


Address: 675 E Durant Avenue, Aspen
Hours: Hours vary. Check their website for more information.

4. Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Portland

What happens when you use a premium chocolate bar for a hot chocolate recipe? You get one of the best hot chocolates around. Stumptown Coffee Roasters uses Mast Brothers Chocolate, a world-renowned chocolate brand from Brooklyn, as the key ingredient to its hot chocolate recipe. This chocolate, coupled with cocoa powder, milk and sugar, makes one of the best high-intensity hot chocolates you can find.


Photo courtesy of Food and Wine


Address: Multiple locations (Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, NYC)
Hours: Hours vary. Check their website for more information.

5. Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder

Have a sweet tooth that persists no matter how low the temperatures drop? Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, co-owner of Frasca Food and Wine, created this hot chocolate recipe for his sweets-loving wife. The upscale restaurant is known for its chocolate and coconut desserts, so Lachlan incorporated these two ingredients into his creation. The rich chocolate is infused with coconut cream, resulting in an explosion of sweetness in this renowned (but not cheap) hot chocolate.


Photo courtesy of Food and Wine


Address: 1738 Pearl Street, Boulder
Hours: Mon-Sat: 5:30pm to 10:30pm

Clearly, innovative hot chocolate recipes are the new craze, and many restaurants and bakeries have taken notice. City Bakery, located in New York City, hosts an Annual Hot Chocolate Festival each February, during which they serve a new flavor each day of the month. Vancouver had its first annual Hot Chocolate Festival in January-February 2011, celebrating crazy and unique hot chocolate flavors that various restaurants in the city offer. Whether you’ve only tried Swiss Miss hot cocoa or you’re an avid hot chocolate sampler, these places have distinguished themselves as among the best of this food trend.