We spend our summers on beautiful walks and finding sweet little ice cream stops along the way. But Edinburgh gets pretty cold pretty quickly come the winter and so we usually switch up our Ice cream for Hot chocolate.
I am pretty fussy when it comes to a hot chocolate. Cant be too frothy, HAS to be made with milk not granules and hot water. I make a pretty epic one at home with Nutella and toasted marshmallows, we fill the flask and take it with us on walks, including cream and sprinkles, so any we get on our travels have a lot of competition.
I wanted to share our favourites with you from around the city, pretty good excuse to go around and try them all first, you know, for work. Theres some of our all time favourites and a few new ones too. So here you are, the best hot chocolates in Edinburgh:
Love Crumbs: Love Crumbs has two gorgeous spaces in Edinburgh. One just off the Grassmarket and their newest in Stockbridge, they also have a sweet little bakery at Haymarket called Nice Times. Their west port cafe is super sweet, it has thinly window lights, beautiful plants and who can resist a steamy cafe window? They have a few hot chocolate options, I had the salted caramel and it was delicious, you have to get there early if you want to grab a table, or wait a few. Next time, we’ll be sitting in, though a take away and a wander around the city is always welcomed.
Opening times: Vary for each store.
Situated on Cockburn Street, The Milkman is a charming wee spot to pop into, it was once an old sweet shop and still has some of the signage on display. The window seat is perfect for people watching and their white hot chocolate is one of the best I’ve ever had. Now, this sentence doesn’t come lightly. I’ve been around a lot of places and this one wins, hands down.
They do kids sizes too, which is alway brilliant for a stop with the kids.
I wrote a Tea Journals post here a few weeks back: The Milkman
Opening Times: 7 days a week, times vary.
The Little Green Van:
A little outside the city centre in Portobello you’ll find this bright green vintage van. They do a variety of flavours but their vanilla hot chocolate is by far the best on the menu, although their Himalayan pink salt & caramel comes a close second. The kids love stopping for a treat and getting their very own kids sized cups.
They often sell out of a lot of things before the end of the day so if you want a little bit if choice from the menu I suggest going before lunch time.
Opening Times: Varies, but usually 7 days a week, weather dependent.
Website: No website or social media, there is a twitter page here: @littlegreenvan1
Mary’s Milk Bar:
Remember when you were young and you got a coke float, you with a dollop of your favourite ice cream on the top? Well this is one of those, just instead of coke… hot chocolate!
It’s a favourite ice cream stop of ours and can be heaving in the summer (we avoid it during August & the festival). But its a treat when you pass and manage to get a wee seat by the window and enjoy a hot chocolate with a view of Edinburgh Castle too.
Opening times: Wed-Sun, and close for winter (until Feb 5th).
Penicuik House: Now, I know, technically not in Edinburgh, it’s just on the outskirts, Penicuik House is just 10 miles from the city centre and worth a visit. Their hot chocolate is the kids favourites, they do a ‘fluffy’ for the little ones, with warm milk, a giant toasted marshmallow and sprinkles. It’s so lovely to have somewhere to stop and warm up after a wee winter walk through the grounds.
Opening times: 7 days 10pm-4pm.
Gordon St Coffee: Is a fairly new cafe, underneath the Market Street Hotel, it sits right behind the Waverley station and a good little stop on the way home for the train. Made by Iain Burnett, an award winning chocolatier, has been voted best hot chocolate in Europe, the hot chocolate ganache churns away on the counter top and smells amazing. It’s no wonder it made the list.
Opening times: 7 days a week times vary.
Soderberg: A lovely Swedish bakery/cafe in the middle of town. There are 3 different locations you can visit, Stockbridge, The Meadows and there’s a sneaky little bakery tucked at the back of the Meadows venue too, where you can buy fresh rereads and cakes. They hot chocolate was fluffy and importantly, hot! Along with a raspberry and vanilla cinnamon bun, I could have sat for hours watching the world go by. More adult than child friendly with lots of laptops and chatting. But really lovely.
Opening Hours: open 7 days, some locations until 10pm.
We love exploring the city and are always looking to expand our list of favourite places. If you’ve come across a wee gem let me know, would love to try out some new places!