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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: January 8, 2015

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

Written by: Susan Axelrod

The hot chocolate from Gorgeous Gelato. Press Herald file photo

Baby it’s cold outside. Really, really cold, not the welcome kind of winter weather we love to go out and play in. But go out we must, to work, school, walk the dog, visit the liquor store, whatever — trips that require pre-heating the car, multiple layers and fleece neck-warmers. Not much fun.

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.

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

Market House Coffee

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

Gorgeous Gelato

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

Coffee By Design

1 Diamond St.
43 Washington Ave.
620 Congress St.
67 India St.
Different flavors, such as white hot chocolate and Mexican (which contains hot sauce) vary by location.

Arabica Coffee

2 Free St.


9 Commercial St.
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.
Their drinking chocolate is made with chocolate gelato before it’s frozen. ‘Nuf said.

Eventide Oyster Co.

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

Bard Coffee

185 Middle St.
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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