The Ten Best Hot Chocolates in Wellington

Cosiness in a cup.
Steph Trengrove
July 09, 2015

The Ten Best Hot Chocolates in Wellington

Cosiness in a cup.

It's the ultimate in comfort. The delicious drop that makes everything from a bad day at work to the woes of a Wellington winter melt away with each sip. The hot chocolate. Whether you're into the classic chocolate-y brew or like to play with flavours, Wellington has several go-to destinations when in pursuit of this sweet, gooey drop. Read on for our ten best picks.

  • 10

    Arguably the world’s most relaxed café, Enigma is somewhat juxtaposed with its Courtenay Place location; surrounded by bars with herds of drunken louts storming past its front window every Saturday night, it would be easy to miss this oasis of calm. Unobtrusive staff, great gelato, mad good burgers, and fantastic cabinet food all contribute to the café’s appeal, but one of their strengths also lies in their hot chocolate game. Less fancy than some of the other hot chocolates on this list, Enigma is a must when one just needs a standard, endlessly comforting, powdered hot choc to warm the insides. Generously sized and perfectly chocolate-y, the Enigma hot chocolate ($4.50 for a medium) is a sure-fire way to ensure a little bit of comfort on a bleak winter’s day.

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  • 9

    Another Cuba street icon, Espressoholic, has been keeping Wellingtonians well fed with one of the city’s most extensive menus and range of cabinet food for years. Its grunge-chic interior and prison-yard smokers area are the perfect place for hordes of hungry city-dwellers to shelter and revive, and those dark, poster covered walls have seen many a famished Wellingtonian come back to life. Food is not their only strength though. Espressoholic also knows how to make one hell of a hot chocolate. Their mint hot chocolate is thick, rich, sweet, and warm. The mint flavour is not only delicious but adds a point of difference that takes this drop above standard hot chocolate offerings and into a whole new ball game. An absolute must-try.

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  • 8

    A lauded Friday night destination hidden away above the raucous debauchery that is Courtenay Place. Library Bar, with its book-lined walls, intimate booths and dim lighting is the perfect place for an evening rendezvous for some hot chocolate.

    Not satisfied with just the standard chocolate drop, Library bar has been innovative in its hot choc flavourings. Options include the white chocolate chai latte and the rum hot chocolate, but my preference lay with the gingerbread hot chocolate. Accompanied by a gingery biscuit, this warm bevvy produces thoughts of roaring fires, hand-knitted rugs and general blissful comfort. Quite simply, cosiness in a cup.

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  • 7
    Schoc Chocolates

    Schoc Chocolates think that chocolate is therapeutic (we couldn’t agree more), and combining the joy and health benefits of consuming quality chocolate with a deeper understanding of one’s inner self is their business’ raison d’etre. All of Schoc’s chocolate flavours are natural, locally sourced where possible, and hand crafted. This same level of care and expertise goes into Schoc’s hot chocolates, and it can be tasted in the final product. The pink peppercorn hot chocolate ($6) is a completely new take on the classic hot choc with is peppery, heated after-taste. The innovative flavour takes a moment to get one’s head around, but a few sips in it was hugely enjoyable; the peppercorn flavouring cuts through the chocolate just enough to add some spice and interest, making for an excellent drink. The best-tasting therapy in Wellington.

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  • 6
    Butlers Chocolate Cafe

    Butlers Chocolates call themselves ‘purveyors of happiness’, and it’s not hard to see why. Founded in Ireland in 1932 by Ms Bailey-Butler, Butlers has since become a fixture of chocolate appreciation. They also happen to make a ridiculous hot chocolate. There are several different flavours to choose from when selecting your chocolate-y drop; my choice (after an embarrassingly extended period of deliberation) was the cookie hot chocolate.. This bad boy was rich. Absolutely delectable with thick, sweet, gooey liquid, punctuated by crushed pieces of cookie, I couldn’t make it all the way through that sugar explosion as I think my heart was about to give out. What I did manage to consume though was ridiculously good, and will definitely be re-tried, with a fierce determination to swallow every last drop.

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  • 5

    Duke Carvell’s pays its eccentric homage to a swashbuckling adventurer, its interior reminiscent of times gone by, but its food and beverages well and truly in the present. Their brunch menu and cocktails alone place Duke Carvell’s among Wellingtonian culinary royalty, but they also happen to make some of the best hot chocolates in town ($6). These hot chocolates are gluttony personified. Thick, flavoursome, topped with cream; these beverages are going to make you happily commit everyone’s favourite sin time and time again.

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  • 4
    Bohemein Fresh Chocolates

    Hidden in a yo-pro jungle is a small chocolaterie concocting delicious chocolate potions to make even the stiffest suit melt. Stepping foot into their Featherstone street store is like stepping into a Parisian chocolate café. Fixtures shine soft gold and a warm chocolate scent makes you realise that you have indeed just died and gone to chocolate heaven. There is an extensive range of flavours of hot chocolate available; the hazelnut milk chocolate concoction is everything anyone has ever wanted from a liquid chocolate treat. Sweet, thick, warm, with an added interesting hint of hazelnut to make it that little bit more delicious; a perfect winter treat.

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  • 3

    At the end of an unsuspecting alleyway lies the El Dorado of Wellington’s chocolate scene. The Wellington Chocolate Factory is New Zealand’s first beans-to-bar chocolate factory, providing a full chocolate experience for all of Wellington’s cocoa aficionados (or for anyone who likes to bask in the smells, sights and sounds of chocolate in every stage of its manufacture – ie. everyone). The Wellington Chocolate Factory is equipped to satiate chocolate hungers with more than just solids alone; their hot chocolates are some of the finest in the city. This chocolate nectar is made from single origin, 70 per cent chocolate. It is made solely from ground up chocolate – no extra nasties here. The different flavours on offer (malt and marmalade, apricot, and berry to name a few) come from the natural flavours of the chocolate itself. The result is a rich, smooth, gloopy, warm mouthful of delight. A slurp of chocolate heaven.

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  • 2

    A popular favourite among Wellington’s hippest honchos, Fidels’ has become known for its chilled-out vibe, hearty meals and for being a bloody godsend the morning after a big one on the town. With its excellent range of cabinet food, vegetarian fare and smoothies (give the snickers one a whirl – too good), Fidels establishes very clearly why it is a long beloved icon. What is perhaps less widely known is that Fidels also offers a rockin’ hot chocolate. The caramel hot chocolate is an actual delight. Made with dark Belgian chocolate and sea salt caramel sauce it is warm, thick, smooth, and hella sweet. Possibly too sweet for some but sugar is my purpose for living so I was in a sweet, chocolate-y state of bliss as I sipped on that bad boy. Fidels’ best kept secret.

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  • 1

    Scopa has become so popular among Wellington’s culinary crew that it is not unusual to see a line up outside the door on a Friday night. Punters wax lyrical about its fare; its pizzas are some of the finest in the city, and its pasta is a close second in terms of deliciousness. Also lauded by those in the know are Scopa’s hot chocolates. These bad boys are more like a dessert than a drink; the secret to their tasty chocolate goodness lying in an Italian chocolate powder sourced by a cousin of the Bresolin brothers (owners of Scopa).

    Served in little more than a shot glass, that is all the volume needed to ascend to a warm, gooey heaven. A layer of cream and a sprinkling of chocolate on top ensures that the chocoholic beverage is rich but not too sweet. Scopa’s Gusto Cioccolato is quite simply, some of the best in the hot chocolate business.

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