Review: Best local places for hot chocolate


Pictured above is a cup of hot chocolate from new coffee shop 1418, which ended up being one of the best hot chocolates ranked in this review. In their article, sophomore Sofia Ayala and junior Kaya Miller reviewed hot chocolate from seven different local businesses. National Hot Chocolate Day is Jan. 31.

As the annual cold front is expected to return like every February, the search for the best local hot chocolate continues. The holiday and winter staple beverage is simple, yet complex opinions are held by different enjoyers of the drink. To test which cafes have the best hot chocolate, the following shops were visited and reviewed.

Summer Moon

Kaya: 9/10 – This hot chocolate was definitely my favorite one of the ones we tasted. It tasted the most chocolate-y and had the right amount of sweetness. Unlike the other ones, the chocolate wasn’t dull. The coffee shop is known for its “Moon Milk,” which is a secret recipe of a combination of different milk types. The “Moon Milk” in the hot chocolate definitely made a good base and brought out sweetness. This was probably the only hot chocolate that did not taste like it came from powder hot chocolate mix.

Sofia: 10/10 – This was the first time I’ve gotten anything from Summer Moon. The hot chocolate was absolutely amazing. I didn’t expect it to taste like that. The flavoring had a signature touch that made it stand out. I would definitely come back. The hot chocolate was very unique compared to the other ones – with rich flavoring and the right amount of sweetness.

1418 Coffee

Kaya: 8/10 – This hot chocolate from a new Prosper downtown staple was one of the best. The hot chocolate had enough of both chocolate flavor and sweetness level. The drink did not have whip cream and it really was not necessary. Definitely worth supporting local and getting an almost perfect hot chocolate.

Sofia: 9/10 – I really enjoyed this hot chocolate. This one was definitely at the top of my list. There was enough chocolate flavoring – but the sweetness wasn’t overbearing. I would definitely come back, although the hot chocolate didn’t have many customization options.


Kaya: 7/10 – This hot chocolate set the bar for the rest of the hot chocolates tasted afterward. It was sweet enough but not overbearing. The drink did not have a super chocolate-y taste though, and the water base took away from the richness. The temperature was perfectly warm so it was more enjoyable. The added whipped cream also gave it bonus points.

Sofia: 6/10 – Since this was the first hot chocolate we had, our expectations started up high. The hot chocolate was good, it was sweet, but the water base took away a lot of the flavor. It did not taste as chocolate-y as the rest of the other ones we tried. The service was great, so I would definitely visit again.


Kaya: 6/10 – I was surprisingly disappointed. I usually get the peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks and I think that extra flavoring carries it usually but I figured to make an accurate comparison, I had to order just the simple hot chocolate. The hot chocolate had a water base as well, so the chocolate flavoring was not very strong. The drink was not sweet enough and had an overall plain taste. We were not offered whipped cream this time but I think if we asked for it, the drink would have received a higher score. If we had ordered the peppermint hot chocolate, it would have had one of the highest scores.

Sofia: 6/10 – This hot chocolate was not what I thought it was going to be for Starbucks. The taste was a lot different from the rest. The flavoring was very mild, and it didn’t taste too much like anything. Maybe if we would’ve added peppermint flavoring it would’ve changed the drink, but overall it was just alright.

Panera Bread

Kaya: 4/10 – This was my least favorite hot chocolate. I was rooting for this hot chocolate, as it was the cheapest one and came in the biggest cup. The hot chocolate tasted worse than grocery store hot chocolate. It had a water base, was flavorless and there was limited sweetness.

Sofia: 3/10 – I honestly didn’t expect the hot chocolate to taste like this. Panera Bread has great things you can get off the menu, so it was disappointing to see that it was my least favorite out of all of them. The flavoring was very mild, and it was not very sweet.


Kaya: 5/10 – I would not drive the extra few miles for this hot chocolate again. Sweetwaters has great drinks and food overall but I would skip out on the hot chocolate for your next visit. The drink did not have as much flavor as the chocolate and sweetness were not pronounced. The whipped cream and chocolate syrup on the top added points but the drink itself was not special.

Sofia: 6/10 – When we first got the drink, it was dressed up so nicely with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. The drink itself didn’t have much flavor as well, but it was a pretty basic hot chocolate. It was still good, but I wouldn’t drive all the way there to order it again.


Kaya: 8/10 – Unfortunately, the coffee shop is the furthest one, but if you are in the downtown Frisco area, it is worth it. The hot chocolate had a milk base and a strong chocolate taste. There was also an option of milk choice; we just chose whole milk. The sweetness level was just right, and if whipped cream was added it most likely would not have been too overbearing in sweetness.

Sofia: 8/10 – Personally, I liked this hot chocolate. The recipe had good flavoring and a good amount of a chocolate-y taste. The sweetness level was also right. The only thing that would keep me from coming back is that it’s about a 20-minute drive if you take the tollway.

The overall ranking prizes the Summer Moon hot chocolate at the top with Panera Bread at the bottom. Hot chocolate is definitely a good way to circumvent the cold with a treat, and these locations provide a great way to support local businesses, excluding Starbucks.