Editor's note: Every weekday until Christmas, we'll have a daily hot chocolate report for you. 'Tis the season. Today, City Bakery near Union Square.
Price: $4.50 for a regular (8 ounces), $5 with a homemade marshmallow, $2 for a shot (2 ounces)
The Deal: City Bakery's hot chocolate has been my favorite since I first tasted it in 2004. I had a brief City Bakery hot chocolate ban in 2005 when I drank two regular-sized cups in one afternoon and felt my organs fail from chocolate poisoning, but aside from that, it's always been my true hot chocolate love.
How come? It's thick, but not stomach-coatingly so (the mildly frothy texture helps with that); it's not bitter (which is good if you're like me and don't like bitter anything); and has just the right amount of milkiness and sweetness to balance out the strong chocolate flavor. It goes down smoothly, perhaps a little too smoothly, hence my one time incident of drinking too much of it and leaning the true meaning of "chocolate coma." The diminutive shot is the perfect size to whet your hot chocolate craving without making you feel nauseous.