As the cold weather and snowy New England days are quickly approaching, there’s no better way to warm up than by sipping a cup of hot chocolate! The COMmunicator braved Boston’s weather on a hunt to find the best cup of cocoa around campus. Here’s a rundown of the cafés you should check out – and which you should take a pass on– the next time you’re in the mood for hot chocolate.
1. Pavement Coffeehouse
Right in the middle of Central Campus on Commonwealth Avenue, Pavement Coffeehouse can be easy to miss. But, the atmosphere inside is a must-see for all Terriers. The scent of homemade bagels fills the air, and framed vintage coffee sacks decorate the walls.
However, Pavement’s hot chocolate had a lot to live up to, and in some people’s eyes, it may have not done that job as well as it could have. The drink wasn’t as rich or creamy as it could have been. Its lightness could be perfect for a snack or quick on-the-go treat, but if you’re looking for a traditional, rich cup of hot chocolate, this is not the one for you. Overall, the Pavement experience for sure made up for not your average cup of cocoa.
2. Tatte Bakery & Café
A Boston staple, Tatte Bakery & Café always delivers a classic, Mediterranean-inspired and Instagrammable experience for students and Boston residents alike. Soft white subway tiles and lush foliage are the perfect backdrop for Tatte’s beautiful homemade pastries, desserts, drinks, and more. Both the Fenway and Beacon Street locations are super close to campus, but prepare yourself because grabbing a table at either location is like a competitive sport.
The handcrafted menu items at Tatte never fail to excite, and the hot chocolate did not fall short either. Made with the finest Valrhona dark chocolate, the hot chocolate’s quality ingredients really shine through. Tatte’s hot cocoa was perfectly rich and creamy, but not overwhelmingly heavy or sweet. Next time you find yourself in the mood for hot chocolate, shop local and see what this amazing bakery has to offer!
3. Café Landwer
This cute, Israeli-inspired spot is a hidden gem on South Campus. Café Landwer’s recent addition of heat lamps makes the outdoor atmosphere warm and welcoming and gives customers who feel more comfortable eating outside an opportunity to enjoy the café.
Landwer’s speciality is nutella hot chocolate. Topped with nutella milk foam, every sip of this drink was sweet, warm, and had the perfect amount of hazelnut aftertaste. And, unlike most of the other cups of hot chocolate around BU, Landwer’s was super thick and creamy. For people with a sweet-tooth, this was an incredible afternoon treat.
4. Caffé Nero
As the days are quickly getting shorter, count on Caffé Nero to be a beacon of warmth. The Fenway location is decorated with old books, vintage Edison lighting, and beautiful hardwood, making it an ideal– and mega convenient– study spot. Caffé Nero does an excellent job at capturing the fast and cozy environment of any European coffee shop.
Caffé Nero’s hot chocolate has a nice balance to it, but when ordering some of their other snacks and treats, this chocolatey drink is not the star of the show. Rather, it is more suited to be a non-distracting midday treat. Caffé Nero’s drink may as well be the turducken of hot cocoa – it wanted to be a lot of things, but it never quite had a specific wow factor.
Bonus: Target’s Wondershop Hot Chocolate Spoons
Wondershop, Target’s very own holiday line, always brings new and exciting things to the table each holiday season. After seeing hot chocolate bombs– chocolate balls filled with hot cocoa powder and other fun toppings, like marshmallows and candy cane pieces– recently take the internet by storm, The COMmunicator had to get their hands on some to try them out. Amidst Wondershop’s colorful Christmas decorations, fabulous ornaments and other fun holiday finds, however, it had seemed that both the Fenway and West Campus Target locations were sold out. So, hot chocolate spoons it was!
To make the hot cocoa, the instructions suggested heating milk or water in the microwave until hot then stirring the spoon into the mug for one minute. After the 60 seconds passed, very little of the chocolate had melted. Only after reheating the milk twice did the chocolate dissolve more. At the end of the day, this was not the expected– or desired– cup of cocoa. While Wondershop’s creativity was super fun to see, the hot chocolate was a let down.
Rating: 1.5 /5
Evan Brown, Staff Writer
Evan Brown (she/her/hers) is a current Sophomore in the College of Communication studying Media Science with minors in Medical Anthropology and Theatre Performance. Born and raised in Chicago, she has always had a passion for exploring the world around her. When she’s not playing the role of Gemma on BUTV10’s longest-running soap opera– Bay State– or creating new content for BU Dining Services’ social media platforms, she can often be found eating ice cream or playing with her dog, Lou.