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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. By day, she is an online content producer for and the Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Things to do This week

Posted: December 10, 2013

Fight the chill with chocolate: Where to get the hot stuff in Portland

Written by: Susan Axelrod - staff writer -

The hot chocolate from Gorgeous Gelato. Press Herald file photo

Baby it’s cold outside. And gray and dreary and wintry. Yep, it’s February.  Whether or not you believe that darn ground hog, here in Maine we’ve got at least six more weeks of this stuff.

To warm you up and lift your mood, we suggest a time-honored remedy. No, not a shot of bourbon (although you could add one, after work) … but rich, creamy, hot chocolate. The real stuff, mind you, not out of a packet. The kind that if you were lucky, your Mom used to make when you came in from sledding.

Bundle up and hit one of these Portland places for hot chocolate. And go ahead, say “yes” to the whipped cream.

Want more details and tasting notes?  See Meredith Goad’s story in the Portland Press Herald.

Hot chocolate from The Gelato Fiasco topped with a bruleed marshmallow. Press Herald file photo

Market House Coffee

Public Market House, Monument Square, Portland
Offerings, which change regularly, include milk, white, dark and Aztec hot chocolate

Gorgeous Gelato

434 Fore St., Portland
As is the Italian way, they serve a rich drink made with two kinds of Belgian chocolate and whole milk

Coffee By Design

43 Washington Ave., Portland
620 Congress St., Portland
67 India St., Portland
95 Main St., Freeport (inside LL Bean)
Different flavors, such as white hot chocolate and Mexican (which contains hot sauce) vary by location.

Arabica Coffee

2 Free St., Portland


9 Commercial St., Portland
Owned by the same company, both locations offer a simple, classic hot chocolate made with liquid chocolate and steamed milk.

The Gelato Fiasco

425 Fore St., Portland
Their drinking chocolate is made with chocolate gelato before it’s frozen. ‘Nuf said.

Eventide Oyster Co.

86 Middle St., Portland
After an icy plate of oysters, warm your insides by sipping dark chocolate melted with just enough milk, topped with homemade marshmallows and a sprinkle of sea salt.


9 Monument Square, Portland
They serve hot cocoa, made with cocoa powder, milk and sugar. It’s also available flavored with peppermint and other syrups.

Omi’s Coffee Shop

28 Brackett St., Portland
Omi’s makes their own chocolate sauce, which they mix into warmed milk for a rich hot chocolate.

Bard Coffee

185 Middle St., Portland
The Bard baristas use Monin dark chocolate sauce and whole milk to make their drinking chocolate. Each cup is lovingly topped with lovely latte art.

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