A soothing hot chocolate seems made to go with winter and the holidays.
Though the Mississippi Coast’s subtropical temperatures rarely plunge below freezing, this warm and tasty comfort beverage has a siren call this time of year.
You may have grown up with hot chocolate made with water or milk, either chocolate powder or chocolate syrup, and miniature marshmallows placed on top.
Today’s hot chocolate probably isn’t your Mama’s hot chocolate. Trends have raised the bar for this nostalgic, decadent drink, which often has added ingredients, whether it’s made by a coffeehouse barista, a restaurant or doughnut shop.
Here’s a sampling of businesses, in alphabetical order, where you can find hot chocolate on the Coast and what makes their recipes different.
Where to find hot chocolate
Boozer’s Brew & A Cafe Too, 1720 Pass Road., Gulfport: Made with white chocolate and a little bit of vanilla and topped with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle. Courtyard seating available.
Barnes & Nobles, 15246 Crossroads Parkway, Gulfport: Hot steamed milk with chocolate and homemade whipped cream on top. Can add flavors such as caramel, peppermint, hazelnut and mint. Served hot or cold.
Bop’s Frozen Custard, 3179 Mallet Rd., #25, D’Iberville (Lakeview Village): Uses a frozen custard to make its chocolate beverage so it’s rich and smooth and topped with cream.
Bright Eyed Brew Co., 623 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs: House-made dark mocha sauce, steamed milk topped with toasted marshmallows and dusted with cocoa powder. Add any house-made syrup: flambé bourbon, rum flambé, brown sugar simple syrup, lavender.
By The Slice Coffee House & Catering, 28 Pass Road, Gulfport: Made with a secret ingredient, Hershey’s chocolate syrup and steamed milk. Topped with a gingerbread man and sprinkles. Frappes are made with Dutch chocolate and white mocha served hot, iced or “frapped”— shaken, blended or beaten for a tasty, foamy drink.
Coast Roast Coffee & Tea, 2510 16th St., Gulfport: Uses Torani dark chocolate sauce. One of 15 flavors are available to add, such as toasted marshmallow and cupcake.
Dunkin’ Donuts, 11181, U.S. 90, Gulfport; & 2655 Pass Road., Biloxi: Serves the original flavor of hot chocolate with added flavors of mint, salted caramel or Oreo. Its Dunkacinno is made with hot chocolate, coffee and whipped cream.
Dolce Bake Shop, 112 West 3rd St., Long Beach: Uses an old-fashioned recipe by cooking milk, sugar and Hershey’s cocoa power. Can be topped with blooming marshmallows: homemade marshmallows folded and “glued” together with hot chocolate; when the chocolate melts, the flower blooms. Other homemade marshmallows available, including mint.
Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival, Jones Park, U.S. 49, Gulfport: Candy Land under Santa’s Village serves up Santa’s secret recipe for hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, and there are fire pits for roasting marshmallows and making S’Mores. Tony Pizzeria is selling its homemade hot chocolate under the amphitheater by the festival rides.
Jacked Up Coffee Barr, 999 Howard Ave., Biloxi: Made from scratch with a secret family recipe and topped with whipped cream. You can add peppermint barks or “jack it up” with alcoholic beverages such as Bailey’s Irish Creme or Kahlua.
Java Jo’z Coffee, 2018 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs: Serves a frozen hot chocolate.
Krispy Kreme, 9349 U.S. 49, Gulfport; & 1419 U.S. 90, Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs: Uses Ghirardelli Chocolate Company cocoa blended with steamed milk and topped with whipped creme and a chocolate drizzle. The S’mores hot chocolate has a toasted marshmallow creme.
Mockingbird Cafe, 110 S 2nd St., Bay St. Louis: Steamed with fresh milk and homemade chocolate. Toppers include fresh, homemade whipped cream and homemade marshmallows in choices of peppermint, vanilla, chocolate or lavender.
PJ’s Coffee, 2501 14th St., Gulfport: Milk-based and prepared with a hot steam wand plus whipped cream on request. Coconut milk hot chocolate is an option for lactose-intolerant customers. The frozen hot chocolate is made with regular milk.
Southern Grounds Coffee Shop, 913 Carl Leggett Road., Gulfport: Hot chocolate bar offers toppings such as whipped cream, marshmallows, crushed peppermint, chocolate chips and cinnamon sticks.
Starbucks, with eight Coast locations, has a new hot cocoa made with steamed almond milk, mocha sauce and toffee nut syrup topped with whipped cream and a crunchy caramel brulee topping. They also offer hot cocoa with peppermint, Snickerdoodle and salted caramel flavors. The locations: In Gulfport at 15299 Crossroads Parkway; in Biloxi at 2404 Pass Rd., 141 Beach Blvd. (Golden Nugget), 280 Beach Blvd. (Harrah’s Gulf Coast), and 777 Beach Blvd. (Hard Rock); in Ocean Springs at 3100 Bienville Blvd.; in Pascagoula at 3158 Bienville Blvd.; and in D’Iberville at 3868 Promenade Parkway.
The Coffee Box, 578 Klondyke Road, Long Beach: Offers frozen and hot chocolate, using milk and double dark chocolate. Toppings include S’mores and spiced cayenne.
The Grind Coffee & Nosh, 934 Cedar Lake Road., Biloxi: Made with Ghirardelli chocolate and steamed milk, skim milk, almond milk or soy silk. Choose toppings of whipped cream, chocolate or caramel sauce or cinnamon. Fireside seating available.
Did we miss a place? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.