NewsdayTV's Macy Egeland stopped by a diner, a coffee shop and an ice cream store to try some of Long Island's best hot chocolate. Credit: Anthony Florio

Long Island's best hot chocolate can get you through a brisk winter day. The standouts feature high-quality chocolate, perhaps topped with freshly whipped cream or loaded with marshmallows. Here are Newsday food critics' top picks: 

Alkemy Ice Cream

260 Main St., Huntington

Local dairy, high-quality chocolate, homemade marshmallows, these ice cream adjacencies are Alkemy’s stock in trade. Folks line up for ice cream custom made a la minute with liquid nitrogen. There should be equally long lines in winter for the hot chocolate. Traditional hot cocoa comes in classic or Aztec (with cinnamon and chili), but the real attraction here is sipping chocolate, made with 60% Callebaut chocolate melted into milk so that splits the difference between a beverage and a pudding. Available in classic or peppermint-white chocolate. Any of these can be crowned with a ring of homemade, brulée-ed marshmallow. More info: 855-255-3690,

The hot sipping chocolate at Alkemy Ice Cream in Huntington...

The hot sipping chocolate at Alkemy Ice Cream in Huntington is made with Callebaut chocolate and topped with homemade marshmallow. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

The Gourmet Whaler

111 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor

A charming cafe in a charming town, The Gourmet Whaler serves a wide-ranging menu of beverages, savories and, especially, sweets that owner Denise Chin makes from scratch. To warm up cold-weather customers, she makes hot cocoa served with whipped cream or homemade marshmallow fluff that is dramatically torched. Flavors include peppermint bark, Samoa (with coconut) and the towering s’mores, which is topped with fluff, chocolate drizzle and both graham crackers and cracker crumbs. More info: 631-659-2977,

The French Workshop

191 7th St., Garden City; 417 S. Oyster Bay Rd., Plainview and 1187 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh

This French-style bakery brings three types of hot cocoa to the table: classic hot, white chocolate and Nutella. The shop uses authentic chocolate — Monin for the white and Valrhona for the classic — for a tasty, rich cup of cocoa. Nutella is combined with steamed milk and ice for the third offering. Top your drink off with a sprinkle of cinnamon or classic whipped cream. More info: 516-248-6800,

Edoardo’s Trattoria

300 New York Ave., Huntington

Coffee plus pastry is already a favorite at this day-through-night cafe-market-restaurant. Now chef-owner Edoardo Erazo has introduced hot chocolate which is made like cappuccino: A shot of dark chocolate syrup is steamed and then topped with hot, frothy milk. And there’s no reason you couldn’t use it to wash down a croissant, bombolone (Italian doughnut) or a slice of Torta Caprese (rich-but-light chocolate-almond cake). More info: 631-683-4964,

Hot chocolate at Edoardo's Trattoria in Huntington.

Hot chocolate at Edoardo's Trattoria in Huntington. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Druthers Coffee

1113 North Country Rd., Stony Brook

Melted-down Callebaut white chocolate and oat milk are infused with camomile, lavender, spearmint, lemon myrtle and butterfly pea flower to create Druthers’ aptly named blue cocoa. This season, customers will also find a spicy cocoa with dark chocolate, cayenne and Aleppo peppers. If you want to stick to the basics, there’s also a classic hot chocolate made with oat milk. Served hot or cold. More info:

For Five Coffee Roasters

Garden City, Manhasset, Port Washington and Roslyn

The sleek For Five cafe may be known for its coffee, but don't overlook the hot chocolate (made with chocolate ganache and steamed milk). Come winter, you'll notice a peppermint version of the Gotham hot chocolate, too. Before it's served, a barista will finish it with an Instagram-worthy design. More info:

Gotham hot chocolate at For Five Coffee Roasters in Manhasset.

Gotham hot chocolate at For Five Coffee Roasters in Manhasset. Credit: Newsday/Joann Vaglica

Grindstone Coffee & Donuts

7A Main St., Sag Harbor

On top of its creative doughy creations, this hipster doughnut shop offers an impressive drinks list. Try a traditional hot chocolate or kick it up a notch with a spicy creation, the Mexican Mocha, made with Monin dark chocolate syrup, steamed whole milk, Saigon cinnamon and cayenne pepper, topped with a dusting of cocoa powder. More info: 631-808-3370,

Coffee Booths

226 Middle Country Rd., Selden

Specialty lattes are just the tip of the iceberg at this hidden gem. The family-owned and operated spot has a housemade hot chocolate on the menu (melted Belgian chocolate, sugar and a hint of Ghiradelli Classic White vanilla chips mixed with milk and steamed; topped with whipped cream and drizzling of chocolate), but any of its 15 specialty lattes can instead be made with a hot chocolate base. Options may include such rich flavors as s’mores, spicy dark chocolate, chocolate-dunked pretzel, Rice Krispies Treat and black-and-white cookie. Cash only. More info: 631-846-1966,

Whiskey Down Diner

252 Main St., Farmingdale

Sister-and-brother duo Alyson and John Kanaras are slinging more than just pancakes and eggs at their diner. Ahead of the holidays each year, the duo extends its drink menu to include Scott Calvin’s Boozy Hot Chocolate Bar (an homage to Tim Allen's character in “The Santa Clause”). It consists of five spiked hot chocolates — peppermint, s’mores, peanut butter, salted caramel and rainbow cookie; $13 each — and is available through the winter. The drinks are made with a Nestlé rich cocoa base, then jazzed up with liquor and toppings unique to each flavor. A flight of three 5-ounce versions for dine-in only is $17. More info: 516-927-8264,

A boozy hot chocolate flight at Whiskey Down Diner in...

A boozy hot chocolate flight at Whiskey Down Diner in Farmingdale. Credit: Brittainy Newman

Toast Coffeehouse

Bay Shore, Long Beach, Patchogue, Port Jefferson Station

This carnival-themed breakfast and lunch spot offers a standard hot chocolate, also available with specialty options like s'mores and salted caramel. Hot chocolate here is served in a unique mug and can be spiked with coconut rum. More info:

Witches Brew Coffee House

311 Hempstead Tpke., West Hempstead

This Gothic Victorian cafe offers hot chocolate in 30 flavors — cocoa powder is infused with hot water and steamed milk, then mixed with syrup, allowing customers to choose from flavors like peanut butter, chocolate cupcake, raspberry and caramel. For a caffeine boost, try the half cocoa-half coffee (café au lait with cocoa powder and steamed milk). All drinks can be topped with marshmallows, shredded toasted coconut, sprinkles, housemade whipped cream and more. More info: 516-489-9482

Soul Brew

556 Route 25A, St. James; 2718 Grand Ave., Bellmore and 387 New York Ave., Huntington

Since its inception in 2016, this coffee shop has been creating whimsical cups of joe. The same rings true for its hot chocolates, sometimes topped with Oreos, whipped cream, cinnamon, sprinkles or cereals. Standards on the menu include s’mores, peanut butter cup and banana, but turn to its extensive latte menu for more adventurous flavors like Cinnabon, apple pie, Crunch Berries, rainbow cookie or peanut butter. (For a hot chocolate, the base of the drink is swapped from espresso to Ghirardelli chocolate sauce.) Available hot or chilled. More info: 631-250-9238,

A cinnamon gingerbread hot chocolate at Soul Brew.

A cinnamon gingerbread hot chocolate at Soul Brew. Credit: Kristin Lambros

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