Melt Chocolaterie is a family-owned chocolate business that blends up some of the very best chocolaty drinks you’ll ever sip on. Their hot chocolate made with Belgian couverture chocolate, topped with marshmallows, for example, is one of the dreamiest things that will ever touch your lips. What’s more, is you can choose from an original, cinnamon, chilli and sugar-free option when you order up this heavenly beverage. Pair it with a side of their luxurious truffles and it’s safe to say you’re well on your way to chocolate heaven.
Where: Nicolway Shopping Centre, corner of William Nicol Drive & Wedgewood Link, Bryanston, Johannesburg.
Naked Coffee, located in both Sandton City as well as Morningside Shopping Centre, is best-known for their world-class brews and tasty paninis, which can make it pretty easy to miss their steaming hot chocolate on the menu – but make sure you don’t! It’s simply a cup of goodness, made with the finest quality chocolate and full-cream milk. If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, you’ll be delighted to know that you can swap out the cow’s milk for almond milk for just R5 extra… you’re welcome.
Where: Sandton City, 83 Rivonia Rd, Sandhurst, Johannesburg & inside Infinite 63, Morningside Shopping Centre, Outspan Road, Morningside, Johannesburg.
Warm & Glad
Warm & Glad is an inviting spot that’s perfect for sipping on something comforting, like their rich and decadent 35% or 55% Valrhona hot chocolate. For if you don’t know, Valrhona is a world-renowned brand that produces some of the best gourmet chocolates around. So if you’re a serious chocoholic (there’s no shame in admitting it), you’re bound to fall in love with Warm & Glad’s chocolaty concoction after just one sip! The homey restaurant is a lovely, laidback spot for a catch up or a coffee date.
Where: Albans Square, 357 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park, Johannesburg.
Croft & Co
Croft & Co is a charming little sidewalk café come restaurant that offers visitors a simple yet somewhat scrumptious menu. Their classic hot chocolate, which is topped with loads of fresh whipped cream, is a treat in its own – but in my opinion, it’s best enjoyed with one of their yummy breakfast dishes. It’s the perfect place to visit on a cold winter’s morning for a delicious breakfast or brunch, and is a spot that the whole family is sure to enjoy thanks to its comfortable ambiance.
Where: 66 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview, Johannesburg.
Walnut Grove may be best-known for their drool-worthy cakes and delicious pastries, but I can assure you that their gourmet hot chocolate brushed with chocolate praline spread is just as much of a treat. In fact, it’s best enjoyed with a fresh slice of cake on the side (just saying!). Don’t let its shopping centre location put you off – I can assure you that once you arrive at Walnut Grove, you’ll only be glad that you have. Trust me when I say that it’s well worth braving the Sandton City crowds to get to this little hot chocolate haven.
Where: Sandton City Shopping Centre, corner of Rivonia Road & 5th Street, Sandton, Johannesburg.
Contessa is a cutesy little tea and coffee shop that serves up a number of delicious cakes and light eats that I highly recommend, however my favourite thing on their menu has got to be their Double Shot Hot Chocolate. Packed with lots of softened milk chocolate and thick cream, it’s the perfect indulgence on a cold and gloomy day. This unpretentious and ever so beautifully decorated spot is a great place for a catch up with the girls, or an intimate breakfast with your family or loved one.
Where: Rivonia Blvd & 11th Ave, Rivonia, Johannesburg.
Dylan’s Restaurant is a chic, upmarket spot situated just outside of the Sandton CBD that many freelancers and businesspeople alike frequent on a daily basis due to their top-notch coffee and WiFi facilities. However, the very best reason to pay this spot a visit is because they serve up some of the most heavenly hot chocolates around. Take your pick between a Flake hot chocolate, Nutella hot chocolate, or hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, then sit back, relax and drink up!
Where: Parkmore Mews Centre, Shop 7, corner of 12th Street & Olympia Avenue, Parkmore, Johannesburg.
The Whippet Coffee
The Whippet is a wonderfully charming spot that’s in actual fact one of my Saturday morning go-tos. Their tantalising breakfasts simply never disappointment. However, after trying them out for myself, I’m now happy to report that their dreamy milk and white hot chocolates are just as impressive as anything else on the menu. With their super-sweet, buttery taste, they make the perfect accompaniment to a plate of perfectly-cooked eggs or a fresh, flaky chocolate croissant.
Where: 34 7th Street, Linden, Johannesburg.
Paoletto Cafe (formerly Cafe Brugel) in Edenvale is a quintessential European fusion restaurant. They serve everything from mild chicken curry waffles to bolognese gnocchi. But, it is their rich, thick Italian hot chocolate that takes the cake here. Creamy enough to be sipped over a couple of hours, this hot chocolate is a must-try. Create your own sweet waffle with assorted toppings to go with this heavenly drink.
Where: Corner Horwood Street & 8th Avenue, Edenvale, Johannesburg.
Cramers Coffee is located in the heart of the old Johannesburg CBD. While their specialty is coffee, the Cramers menu also includes non-coffee options. Try their hazelnut or white hot chocolate for something a little different. Their menu has a great selection of confectioneries to pair with your choice of decadent chocolate drink, too. I recommend their special pas es da nata with a sprinkle of cinnamon as an added treat.
Where: 17 Harrison St, Marshalltown, Johannesburg.