The report contained herein is the most comprehensive unbiased consumer investigation on the topic of hot chocolate in downtown St John’s ever assembled. The author, David Barclay, has personally tested and certified each establishment and submits the following reviews:
Fixed Coffee & Baking
Each artisanal handmade hot chocolate of the Fixed Coffee and Baking chefs is prepared with love, care and an attention to detail that only a proud parent could have. In fact, each barista gives their signature touch to this classic drink, warm and round, or nutty and bold, or softly sweet. I’ll let you figure out who is which. True to the mission statement, found by this reporter on their website, only the finest ingredients are used: imported cocoa, your choice of milk or a milk substitute, salty Newfoundland sea air (for the steaming part). You will not be disappointed. They also have free Wi-Fi, which you can get outside without even buying anything.
If you love value, then you’ll love Chatter’s. Chatter’s knows that they work hard for their money and deserve to stretch every last dollar. Chatter’s knows that you can save a lot of money by buying muffins in bulk from Costco. Chatter’s knows that an extremely cost effective way to make a cup of hot chocolate is to simply pour hot-ish water into a cup containing a single package of Swiss Miss pre-mixed hot chocolate powder. Chatter’s knows baseball. If you appreciate thrifty penny-pinching and great internet & computer themed atmosphere, then Chatter’s is your spot.
I have only been to Coffee Matters once; to enjoy the free cake offered by the reportedly mean-spirited owners as an apology after posting a hateful and grammar-poor message on the subject of students using the café as a study space. The cake was awful, despite its freeness, but the hot chocolate was okay.
I have never actually been inside Hava Java, but apparently it used to be THE spot. They totally play cool indy [sic] music and have hot chocolate on the menu. To the detriment of this comprehensive guide, I forgot to try it. Write your own review:
Tim Horton’s (Duckworth and Prescott)
If you scored a goal, or made a great save, or were just a great team player, then you deserve a hot chocolate from Tim’s. Even though their doughnuts are now made in a factory in Don Mills, ON, the quality of their hot chocolate remains a coast-to-coast classic, from the pee-wees to the big leagues. That’s right, Wayne Gretsky drinks Tim’s hot chocolate.
Newfoundland Chocolate Company
I was told that this place sometimes serves hot chocolate, but despite my many attempts, I was never successful in the endeavour to satisfy my gourmet hot chocolate crush.
Coffee & Company
To be concise, Coffee & Company has the best HC (hot chocolate) in St John’s. The ratio of whipped cream to drink temperature is perfect every time, allowing the patron to sip the hot chocolate through the cream, thus melting and mixing the two flavours the instant before they arrive at your taste buds. Also, they sometimes have weird and uncomfortable open mic nights here.
On the extreme plus side, you can get a decent croissant (or pastry crescent, as they are sometimes known) suitable for dipping in a high quality not-from-powder hot chocolate. The baristas are also extremely open to strange requests. On the extreme negative side, shelf upon shelf of fake canned vegetables.
Café Mocha is a great place to charge your laptop after submitting your application for passport renewal. Or better yet, if you’ve just picked up your new passport, drop in and celebrate that massive sense of accomplishment that can only be brought forth by completing mundane bureaucratic tasks famous for long wait times? Order a hot chocolate and prepare to be delighted by the colourful language of the staff. This reviewer found the hot chocolate to be excessively hot, which resulted in a mild tongue burn, however the endorphins released from finally getting my new passport totally blocked any pain or discomfort. Also, note the adjoining passport photo studio conveniently located in the same building.
Post Espresso Bar (R.I.P.)
After consuming a delicious espresso from any of the fine coffee bars of St John’s, I often found myself buzzed-up and walking the downtown streets, wondering what to do next? The aptly named Post Espresso offered the perfect solution: a delicate and rich cup of hot chocolate. As you might expect from any establishment with such careful décor, Post supplied a high quality hot chocolate for a reasonable price. They used that chocolate syrup in a clear plastic bottle and some hot water with a little milk frothed up right before your eyes. I think they even sprinkled some chocolate dust on top of the foamed milk. On the weekend, head down early, grab one of those thick art mags and a spot in the window and prepare for your social life to blossom like a delicate rose at sunrise. [RIP Post Espresso. I think of you after every espresso I drink.]
This guest post has been brought to you by David Barclay. You can check out his latest musical endeavour by clicking here.