A nice warm cup of hot chocolate tends to be popular during the winter. While this beverage may be available through a prepackaged mix at many locations, Pittsburgh has some places that offer original hot chocolate beverages that are worth the visit. Some of the toppings available are syrups, chocolate shavings, marshmallows and whipped cream that make this beverage extra tasty. While everyone can enjoy hot chocolate at any Starbucks located throughout Pittsburgh, there are a few Pittsburgh-based businesses that have taken this wintertime staple to new heights.

Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange
2005 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(866) 569-5865

Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange is located in the historic Strip District and it is a Pittsburgh coffee company. Original hot chocolate and hot mocha is available to suit your sweet tooth needs with a variety of whipped cream flavors to chose from. The coffee shop has a wide variety of unique blends of gourmet coffee and a selection of tea. The staff is very courteous and will help any customer enjoy the drink they crave.

Crazy Mocha
1001 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 281-1065

Crazy Mocha is a Pittsburgh-owned retail chain by entrepreneur Ken Zeff. Corporate headquarters are on Baum Boulevard in Pittsburgh. Crazy Mocha is a coffee business, but hot chocolate is available with a variety of syrups and toppings available upon request. Order your customized hot chocolate so it is just right. Crazy Mocha has been an original Pittsburgh company since 2000 and has over 26 locations throughout Pittsburgh.

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Hanlon’s Café
961 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 394-3500

Hanlon’s Café and Catering is a Pittsburgh diner located conveniently near the convention center while a new location has recently opened in the Crafton Ingram Shopping Center. This diner serves hot chocolate the way it was meant to be served. Enjoy it on a cold winter day for an instant warm-up. Full-service catering or meal preparation for large events is also available through Hanlon’s. While catering is a large part of this business, the cafe located on Liberty Avenue is open during breakfast and lunch seven days a week. The cafe has delicious homemade desserts that can be easily paired with the hot chocolate for an extra treat.

Bluebird Kitchen
221 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 642-4414

Bluebird Kitchen is located in Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh. It offers a European-style hot drinking chocolate to customers during breakfast and lunch hours Monday through Friday. This Pittsburgh business has specialty hot chocolate from the Jacques Torres blend. The executive chef, Steven Thompson, and the head pastry chef, Aubrey Gustovich, studied at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. Founder Liz Moore is a Pittsburgh native who opened the store upon returning from New York. Bluebird Kitchen is available for catering as well.

Mon Aimee Chocolat
2101 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 395-0022

Mon Aimee is located at the corner of Penn Avenue and 21st Street in the historic Strip District. Mon Aimee Chocolat keeps its hot chocolate simple as it offers no additional toppings. The focus here is on quality chocolate. The store sells a variety of sweets and gourmet chocolate so a delicious aroma fills the air upon entering through the door. Try to get here before the afternoon as the hot chocolate sells out quickly.

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Diane Straka is a freelance writer whose work can be found on http://www.examiner.com/finance-in-pittsburgh/diane-straka