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slides: GETTING OUT: Central MA’s Best Hot Cocoa

Thursday, December 06, 2012


There is nothing better during the coldest months of the year than warming your insides with some nice hot chocolate. Tasty, sweet, and warm, hot cocoa is a favorite drink of many, and add-ons like whipped cream, marshmallows and mint-flavored candy canes only improve this delightful treat. Here are a few places in Central Mass that you simply must check out to get the finest versions of this winter favorite.

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Sweet Bakery

305 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester

Sweet Bakery serves the sweetest and freshest food around, whether you're looking for cupcakes, big custom cakes, s'mores, cheesecake or anything else you can think of. Their hot chocolate is made using a chocolate ganache with a combination of Belgian dark and milk chocolates, and fresh milk from Cooper's Hilltop Farm. It can be topped with fresh whipped cream from Coopers Farm or a homemade marshmallow. To really take it over the top you can add a shot of your favorite liquor.

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Wooberry Frozen Yogurt

141 Highland Street, Worcester

Wooberry, though famous for its frozen yogurt, is very proud of its hot chocolate. They sell hot chocolate in two sizes (small and large), and included is their house made whipped cream and any topping you would like. Some of the more popular toppings that people get are crushed candy canes, dark chocolate curls, sliced almonds, crushed walnuts, rainbow sprinkles, warm dark caramel or warm dark chocolate.  The hot cocoa is only 4 ingredients: cocoa, raw brown cane sugar, vanilla, and milk.  It's a very luxurious chocolate, with a clean taste.

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The Great Escape Playcafe

21 Sack Boulevard, Leominster

This unique family coffeehouse and playground is designed for both kids and their parents. The Great Escape serves a "grown up" version hot cocoa with tons of whipped cream, made with steamed milk and an extra squirt of chocolate sauce for true "chocaholics". Kids hot cocoa is a smaller version, with whole milk, at the right temperature for little patron's mouths, topped with delicious marshmallows and chocolate drizzle. The cocoa mix is 100% organic from Costa Rica.

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NU Cafe

335 Chandler Street, Worcester; 486 Chestnut Street, Gardner

In their hot chocolate, NU Cafe uses Torani chocolate sauce, and melts it into steamed milk and mixes it with their special, secret ingredient: a splash of vanilla. Sip your hot cocoa in a community-friendly environment and check out some of the fresh offerings from their extensive food, coffee,  and tea menu. Visit Fridays for "Open Mic" night or for Scrabble Night; and look out for some of the other fun events they have planned.

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Sol of Mexico

538 Pleasant Street, Worcester

Visit this cozy, authentic Mexican establishment to try some unique Mexican-style hot chocolate,  made with Mexican Sweet Chocolate with chocolate exclusively from Mexico and with a hint of cinnamon. It is available for a limited time during fall and winter. While you're there, check out the extensive menu of all the food you'd expect like delicious tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tostada, quesadillas, and so much more. Besides the hot chocolate, also try another sweet offering called a churro, a pastry strip deep-fried and rolled in sugar and cinnamon.

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Bagel Time

194 B Park Avenue, Worcester

Bagel Time has some of the best gourmet bagels around and their coffee and hot chocolate aren't too shabby either. This is the perfect place to stop in after waking up in the morning to sip on some nice hot cocoa and try a bite of one of their multitudes of bagel flavors. If you wish to have some coffee or tea, it is all locally roasted. Also, try some bagel sandwiches and fresh dessert snacks and smoothies.

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InHouse Coffee

225 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester

InHouse has a terrific selection of regular and flavored hot chocolate in addition to their impressive repertoire of coffee, espresso and teas. The coffeehouse is truly a hub for hot drinks, and is the ideal spot to drop in and relax on a cold day. Anytime Breakfast is available to go with your tasty hot cocoa and also try some unique hot strawberry shortcake. No matter what, you'll be sure to find something to enjoy at InHouse.

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Acoustic Java

932 A Main Street, Worcester

Acoustic Java is unique in its especially caring, hands-on approach to producing its great selection of hot beverages including coffee, hot chocolate, and tea. In addition to delectable hot chocolate, try some Cafe Au Chocolat to fulfill your chocolate needs. Visit during one of the cozy coffee shop's many music, trivia, chess or poetry nights. Also try some made-to-order sandwiches. While visiting, check out the artwork of local painters and photographers.

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13 Cushing Street, Fitchburg

Chaibo is a chocolate lover's dream. Try their irresistible hot chocolate creation served in a latte bowl with a sugar-coated rim with whipped cream with some sprinkles on top. But that's not all. Fill your stomach at the fully-equipped fondue bar where you can find chocolate-covered  strawberries, pretzels, Oreos, marshmallows and Rice-Krispy treats. Also check out other great desserts, plus smoothies, gelatos and sorbettos with a great selection of fresh coffee, tea and lattes.


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