Friday, January 11, 2008

Prague's best hot chocolate

It's dark and freezing outside, and everyone you know is miserable. Welcome to winter in Prague. Wouldn't you feel better if you were nursing a cup of delicious hot chocolate? It's not going to make the sun come out, but it'll sure as hell fatten you up for the long months ahead. Here are the Spoon's picks for the best in town.

Café Louvre
Národní 22, Prague 1
42 CZK (regular) / 26 CZK (small)

For those of you who like your hot chocolate to have the consistency and sweetness of melted Cadbury bars, Louvre's the place to go. This bustling upstairs café has been a Prague institution since the turn of the last century and is well-loved by students, businesspeople, and grandmothers alike. The billiard tables in the back are an added bonus.

Café Savoy
Vítězná 5, Prague 1
55 CZK (regular) / 75 CZK (double)

The "Chocolate Savoy" is one of the most popular hot chocolates in Prague, and no wonder: it arrives on a silver platter, you get to pour it into your cup from a small pitcher, and it's undeniably delicious. The regular Savoy hot chocolate is fairly light; if you prefer a thicker, more chocolatey cup, order the "Double."

Cremeria Milano

Pařížská 20, Prague 1
80 CZK

Death by hot chocolate: it takes a true chocolate lover to be able to stomach a whole cup of hot chocolate at Cremeria Milano. The unabashedly rich cocoa here is as dark as black coffee and as thick as pudding. Drink it plain, or spoon in some sugar and whipped cream to dilute the intensity.

Terronská 25, Prague 6
30 CZK (regular) / 35 CZK (flavored)

This quirky neighborhood hideaway is best-known for its decorative use of stuffed birds and antique teaching tools -- but they make a pretty mean hot chocolate, too. Try the hazelnut flavor with real crushed hazelnuts or, if you feel like experimenting, the Mon Cheri variety. Non-smokers beware: Kabinet has a tendency to get eye-wateringly fumy.

Out Café Chocolate
Korunní 104 (Korunní Dvůr), Prague 2
75 CZK

Out Café's cups are a little on the small side, but the tiny serving should be more than enough. The chocolate is gooey and sweet, with an almost nougat-like aftertaste. Out Café is one of only a handful of establishments in Prague to import Tuscany's renowned Amedei chocolate; the snappy chili version almost makes up for Out's miserably sterile interior design.

Passion Chocolat
Italská 212/5, Prague 2
80 CZK

A milky, easy-on-the-sugar hot chocolate may be just the thing if you're planning on indulging in a rich pastry along with your cup of cocoa; you'll find both at Passion Chocolat, the authentic French patisserie just off of Náměstí Míru. The hot chocolate maybe not be to everyone's taste -- its consistency is slightly chalky -- but the daily array of homemade tarts, cakes, and bonbons are sure to satisfy even the most discerning of sweet tooths.

Did we miss your favorite cup? Let us know!



Laura Baranik said...

When I put this post together, it really WAS dark and miserable outside... now it's a brilliantly sunny and (relatively) warm day. Go figure.

loar said...

What about Aztec hot chocolate with chili and walnuts ( ;-)

Anonymous said...

Which of these are true hot chocolate and which are hot cocoa (ie. milk and cocoa powder only)?

Laura Baranik said...

It's hard to say. I tried to find out at each place, but they all seemed to make their hot chocolate from these ready-made Italian chocolate mix packets (with the exception of Passion Chocolat, which uses powdered Valrhona chocolate).

As far as I can tell, no one's melting real chocolate bars. Anyone have any insight on this?

R. said...

The Aztec is on my list. I've got to go try it!

The best chili hot chocolate I've had is the one at Out Cafe but the decor was naf. I'd rather pay a bit more and snuggle up with some of the complementary blankets and people watch on Parizska with the thick, bitter stuff at Cremeria Milano. Yum!

gw said...

What about the blissful Hot Chocolate with Chilli at Ebel cafes?And you can buy more of the chocolate mix to take home.

Laura Baranik said...

I just recently had the Aztec hot chocolate at Lehka Hlava. yum! It definitely belongs on the list. And I still have to try Ebel's...

Destination Unknown said...

Try the hot chocolate from Kaabu on Manesova as well...

Anonymous said...

Is there an equivalent to the former Cafe Milano's Hot Chocolate anywhere in Prague?