1. Cafe Brazil. Three bucks goes a long way — it can buy you a made-your-way hot chocolate at Cafe Brazil. The standard hot chocolate made with house blend cocoa powder, chocolate syrup and milk is the standby but can be created with dairy-free soy milk or half and half with a pump of vanilla, hazelnut, Rocky Road or Snickers syrup. $2.99.
Multiple locations; cafebrazil.com
2. Chocolate Secrets. The locally-crafted mixes and served-to-order drinks at Chocolate Secrets satisfy every hot chocolate connoisseur’s frothy cravings. Choose from popular Mexican Spice, English Toffee, Peppermint or Dark Chocolate. $3.90 per cup or $14 per pound.
3. Steel City Pops. The Steel City hot chocolate pop is no ordinary pop. This popsicle of hot chocolate ingredients melts into a cup of steamed half and half and marshmallow cream. Just let the stick sit in your cup for sixty seconds then stir until the chocolate melts. What makes this pop even more clever is all that stirring cools it down to a sippable, kid-friendly temperature. The interactive fun comes in original, chocolate mint and amaretto. $4.50 per pop.
Multiple locations; steelcitypops.com
4. Shake Shack. You’ve never had anything like Shake Shack’s Brownie Batter Hot Chocolate. The Shack’s blend of bittersweet chocolate and fudge sauce sweeps you away to spoon-licking brownie batter heaven where everything is topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. $3.89 per cup.
2500 N. Pearl St., Dallas, 214/983-1022; shakeshack.com
5. Dude, Sweet. A generous serving of melted 72 percent Valrhona chocolate, cane sugar and milk make Dude, Sweet’s version darker and thicker than typical hot cocoa. And they keep the cocoa pure with a dash of melt-in-your-mouth cocoa puff marshmallows in place of froth or whipped cream. $4.30 per cup or $16 for a 22-oz. jar of take-and-make drinking chocolate.
408 W. 8th St., Suite 102, Dallas, 214-943-5943; dudesweetchocolate.com