What screams comfort and indulgence more than hot chocolate? To get you through chilly spring days and get you through those lockdown blues, here’s a guide to some of Dublin’s hot chocolate hot spots. From the iconic Butler’s to the more adventurous alternative at Three-Twenty, the city has a lot to offer.
We have taken the past few weeks to taste some of the most highly recommended hot chocolates in town and have loved this alternative way of exploring Dublin. As newcomers to the city, we were often bombarded with recommendations of a visit to Butler’s. We quickly realised they are not hard to come across, seemingly situated on every corner. In fact, within a 1km radius of college, we found there to be 9 cafes! Leading up to Christmas, without fail, each shop was buzzing as people queued up to treat themselves to a warming cup. Despite the long menu and interesting flavour choices, our favourite part of the experience was choosing from the wide selection of free gourmet chocolates to accompany the drink, rather than the drink itself. This was to be expected though, as the family-owned Irish business is known for its mastery of chocolate praline techniques.
The next hot chocolate that we indulged in was Three-Twenty’s signature creation, topped off with a torched scoop of their homemade marshmallow fluff. Three-Twenty is known for its traditional ice-cream, sourced from local farmers and suppliers, but they decided to venture into the world of hot chocolate for the winter months. If a strong sugar rush is what you are craving, then this is the place for you. Crucially, this one’s also vegan friendly, using almond milk and vegan chocolate ganache. While the small cups actually hold the perfect volume of hot chocolate, a certain attentiveness is required when drinking. We learnt this the hard way after losing half a cup to the floor and our backpacks. The floating marshmallow makes the drinking process a little difficult, but with some caution, we urge you to try one of these opulent drinks.
Although Three-Twenty’s marshmallow fluff is difficult to beat, in our opinion, Dollard and Co has an edge. The offering of unlimited homemade marshmallows definitely boosted their rating. They fully exceeded our marshmallow expectations with their gooey soft interior and crystallised sugary coating. If you are after a creamy, thick and slightly over the top hot chocolate, this might not be the place for you. However, in our view, this was the most well-rounded, drinkable and wholesome experience.
“This experience was the closest we’ve felt to going on holiday this year. When we stepped into this authentic café, it felt as though we had just touched down in Italy.”
For us, Dolce Sicily takes the number one spot if rich and creamy is what you’re after. The word “hot chocolate” could not have been taken more literally as we were met with a cup of hot, rich chocolate sauce. The cup itself was quite large and would have been enough for two, but if you are feeling brave then one of these might just hit the spot. This experience was the closest we’ve felt to going on holiday this year. When we stepped into this authentic café, it felt as though we had just touched down in Italy. As the staff chatted away in Italian, we admired the interiors and delved into our soup-like extravaganzas.
There are so many more choices when it comes to hot chocolate in Dublin and we’re looking forward to many more excuses to get out of the house and discover more. Some upcoming spots on our list include Clement & Pekoe, Ladurée, Honey Truffle and Metro Café. The race is on to fit these in before we hit the warmer weather and move on to explore more summery delights. Nevertheless, we’re sure Dublin will always have its cold days where a hot chocolate will not go amiss.