In our home, we are a little particular about our hot cocoa. We don’t use little packets after a morning of shoveling snow; rather we make a blend of cocoa, sugar, vanilla and whatever other flavor we are feeling. So when it comes to going out for it, it had also better be good.
Last year, Kari wrote about her hot chocolate obsession at Chicago Parent, which prompted us to ask our fans who they thought had the best hot chocolate in Lake County. We combined her list with their answers and a few we scouted out on our own, and we can say this is the list of all the best hot chocolate in Lake County (updated for 2015-2016)!
Best Hot Chocolate in Lake County
ArrivaDolce Gelato & Coffee Bar
1823 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park | 847-433-3103 | Facebook
The above image of the ArrivaDolce Signature hot chocolate passed by our Facebook feed, and we considered licking the screen it looked so good. The private recipe, made with Belgian chocolate, is also available to take home.
970 Harris Road, Shops at Prairie Crossing, Grayslake | 847-223-2344
“Miss Alison at Dalton’s cakes recently made the boys “the best hot chocolate ever!” She even adjusted the temp to perfection with lots of TLC!” – MJ
Cacao Sweets & Treats
122 Center St., Grayslake | 847-223-2253
To many locals, this is the best hot chocolate in the world, but that could be because of the handmade marshmallow that’s the size of the cup. It’s worth the visit just for the marshmallow.
Emily’s Pancake House
1910 E. Grand Ave., Lindenhurst | 224-372-7158
A family owned restaurant with locations in Beach Park, Waukegan, and Lindenhurst, fans tell us Emily’s has the creamiest hot chocolate around. You might want to take one of their homemade sweets or locally-made mugs with you.
Honey Hill Coffee Co.
107 S. Main St., Wauconda | 847-487-8484
1126 E. Washington St., Grayslake and 82 Center St., Downtown Grayslake | 847-543-1600
Kari describes their hot chocolate as “a cup of melted chocolate bar” and if that’s not enough, the array of sweets and pastries can satisfy your chocolate craving. Muffins the size of your head? Follow them on Facebook for specials.
725 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | 847-367-7574
Go for the hot chocolate, but stay for the ambiance! Located right next to the downtown Libertyville Metra tracks, Mischief’s Brewing has ample comfy chairs around the fireplace and plenty of table space for those that want to work.
The Chocolate Sanctuary
5101 W. Washington St, Gurnee | 224-944-0808
If you like chocolate everything, this is the place to go. See Jennifer J.’s open house review here. Pair your hot chocolate with chocolate flan or cocoa chili to warm you up further. Sit by the fireplace or drool over the gourmet handmade chocolates up front.
The Latte Cafe1185 Main Street, Antioch | 224-788-5076
This newcomer to Antioch serves up Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate. The baristas are stellar and love to get creative with additions to your drink. Do you want strawberry hot cocoa? No problem.
Whisk Bakery and Coffee Shop
216 S. Main St., Wauconda | 847-487-2253
This shop in Wauconda offers comfy seating and many creative tasty treats (check out the ooey gooey cinnamon rolls). They top their drinks with homemade whip cream!!! And if you really love yourself, you will order a gooey cinnamon roll to go with it.
Editor’s Update 12/13/2016:
605 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | 224-513-5766
Oh don’t let the name fool you–sure, Milwalky Taco is known for its excellent tacos, but they also serve the best Mexican Hot Chocolate this side of the border, at least according to Loralie. To be honest, Loralie has never really had Mexican Hot Chocolate on the other side of the border, but that is neither here nor there. One small sip of this molten gold concoction and you’ll know, you’ve never really tasted chocolate before. The added kick of cinnamon and arbol chile are just enough to keep you from slowly falling under the spell of clouds of melting marshmallow.
Did your favorite spot for hot chocolate make our list? Let us know in the comments section below if you have a favorite purveyor that we should add in future updates.