Hot chocolate goes gourmet

By: Karen Dybis | December 7, 2022
Hot Chocolate

Photo Courtesy of Toast.

When the weather outside is frightful, there’s nothing more delightful than a cup of hot chocolate. Metro Detroit bars, cafes and restaurants know this is one of the signature drinks that gets locals through the cold, and many have perfected their ingredients and how they make this rich drink to ensure customer satisfaction.

The right hot chocolate has to have a good base, so look for chocolate milk among its ingredients if you really want a decadent experience. There are many kinds of cream or milk components to add, so mix it up to see what works for you. Chocolate can come from basic powder, but there are some places that use truffles to get that great velvet mouth feel, so you may want to see if there’s such a location near you. 

Here are some hot chocolate experts that will make you salivate just thinking about what you are going to order and consume. 


Royal Oak residents and visitors may know this spot mostly for its hilarious and funny event, Drag Queen Bingo. But it also is a café that serves a variety of well-made drinks. Its hot chocolate gets raves not only for its warmth but also for its many possible flavors. You can add everything from salted caramel to banana to peanut butter to the mix to come up with your new go-to hot drink during Michigan’s long winters.


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Pick any of its locations because they’re all great but the classic on Willis is one local favorite. After you’ve picked out all the loaves of bread you need and grabbed a sandwich, add a hot chocolate to your order for some richness. It is a perfect cup of cocoa because Avalon uses frothy, steamed Guernsey chocolate milk as the base, and that’s all you need to know when it comes to the café’s expertise in making the most out of ingredient choice. 


This longtime local favorite has two locations: Ferndale and Birmingham. While Toast may be best known for its breakfast menu, there are many innovative drinks to sample as well. Skip the coffee and go for the Campfire Hot Chocolate. This drink features “fire-kissed marshmallow, chocolate chips, graham cracker and whipped cream.” That kind of caffeine and chocolate will kick-start any workday or weekend brunch. 

Fourteen East

This is the height of hot chocolate goodness. Fourteen East serves a gourmet hot chocolate made with real, handmade chocolate truffle in either dark or white chocolate and peppermint that is melted into your choice of milk or milk alternative. It is then steamed to a creamy consistency that is near to perfection.  You may have to wait a few more minutes for it to be made, but the final result is well worth it. 

Gourmet Hot Chocolate at Fourteen East

Garrido’s Bistro

Head over to Grosse Pointe Woods for its well-known extreme shakes and desserts. Its over-the-top hot chocolate drink is so large that you need a small crowd at your table to complete it in one sitting. Variations occur based on what is in stock, but you’ll get cookies, whipped cream, chocolate treats and frozen desserts all piled on top of a delicious mason jar full of hot chocolate. While you’re working on it, check out the rest of the Venezuelan flavors on its well-stocked menu.