The Hot Chocolate Awards

As we are forced to endure these cold winter months with red cheeks, runny noses, and plenty of falling hazards on sidewalks, many people are searching for a warm refuge. If you live in the Cincinnati area, you are in luck. There are probably over 20 coffee shops in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area (not including corporate coffee shops). My roommate’s obsession with latte art has become my obsession with finding the best hot chocolate around. We frequent plenty of awesome coffee shops that are within 20 minutes of NKU. Even though I don’t like coffee or anything with caffeine in it for that matter, I love seeing the wide variety of family owned coffee shops that fill up the streets of Cincinnati.

I picked five of my favorite coffee stops around the area and ranked them not only on their hot chocolate, but also the environment and artistic display of their drinks. So without further adieu, drumroll please for the best hot chocolate in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area….

*Note: Don’t make my opinion of the coffee shops below, your opinion. Try them out yourself and make your own opinion!*

5. Starbucks: This is the only corporate coffee shop on the list. I had to put it on the list because it is the most convenient. A Starbucks is a Starbucks wherever you go. The environment is good for studying, but it obviously lacks the family feel.The peppermint hot chocolate is a winter classic that never fails to warm me up.

4. Cavu Coffee: Cavu is actually located in West Chester which is a great option for Mason people. The environment here was not your typical cozy coffee shop ambiance, but more of a modern-chic coffee shop. It is a pretty cool coffee shop located in a suburb. I actually ordered a shot of espresso and a cup of hot chocolate when I went to Cavu. So I believe the hot chocolate tasted a lot better than usual because it was contrasted with the harsh, bitter taste of pure espresso.

3. Coffee Emporium: I really love this place. It’s huge, providing a lot of seating options for bigger study groups. The menu is also huge, with plenty of drink options as well as breakfast and lunch options. The people working at Coffee Emporium are awesome and helpful, I really enjoy them. The hot chocolate was pretty good, nothing super special. Coffee Emporium would however take home the award for best chicken salad sandwich, hands down. 

2. Roh’s Street Cafe: I have only been here once but I hope to return soon and more frequently. This is a great coffee shop for college students because of its location in Cincinnati. It also offers a large amount of seating and has a very warm, coffee shop feeling. The hot chocolate was actually fabulous. For the most part, hot chocolate tastes pretty similar, but Roh’s Street’s hot chocolate was pretty darn good, not to mention they used the foam on top to make latte art (a major plus in my book).

1. Carabello: I may be a little biased putting Carabello at number one, but they deserve this most coveted award. This is hands down the best atmosphere I have experienced at a coffee shop. The people are awesome and the money goes to great places. My only complaint is the size, but no worries….they are expanding, and I could not be more excited. The hot chocolate was delicious, the art was on point, and they added their delicious caramel on the side. I mean look at this beauty:


I love Carabello and everything they are about. They are located in Covington so I suggest you go check them out and try their hot chocolate (I’ve heard their lattes are pretty bomb too).

And that wraps up the first hot chocolate awards. I am by no means any expert but I have had a lot of hot chocolate in my day. I truly appreciate all of the coffee shops on the list. I strongly recommend that you try each and every one. Please feel free to look into each coffee shop a little more. You can find every one of these shops on Facebook!

Jesus loves coffee shops and as always, he loves you too!

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