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Sweet spots: the best places for hot chocolate in Manchester

3 months ago

Along with mulled wine and spiced cider, hot chocolate tastes best once the temperature drops. It’s the contrast of silky liquid warmth and dry frosty air that makes it feel like a real winter drink. That and the childlike joy of spooning up gooey marshmallow and melting whipped cream while your frozen fingers thaw around the mug.

Manchester has fully embraced the cult of hot chocolate in recent years, with cafes dressing up their versions with all kinds of toppings and treats – and some with whole menus devoted to the stuff.

Here we’ve chosen some of the best places for hot chocolate in Manchester and Greater Manchester. From park cafes to city centre chocolaterias, here’s where to warm your bones with cocoa.

  • Hot chocolate at Alex's Bakery, a cafe in Manchester city centre.
    Manchester City Centre

    Alex’s Bakery | Great Northern


    After beginning their cake-making journey at Manchester’s Artisan Markets in 2014, Alex’s Bakery ditched the stall for a store front and are now located in the Great Northern on Deansgate.

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  • Black Milk - a recommended place for ice cream in Manchester
    Northern Quarter

    Black Milk


    Black Milk is a hip, Insta-friendly dessert cafe in the Northern Quarter known for its towering ice creams, gelato, sweet bakes, pancakes and Goliath-sized milkshakes and sundaes.

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  • Hot chocolate at Cocoa Cabana in Ancoats, Manchester

    Cocoa Cabana Ancoats

    Restaurant - Global

    This chic chocolatiers-cum-cocktail parlour follows in the footsteps of award-winning entrepreneur Sarah Gallacher’s West Didsbury ventures, encouraging more sitting and supping in the form of brunch, lunch and the “famous” chocolate afternoon teas.

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  • Cake at Cocoa Cabana in Didsbury, Manchester

    Cocoa Cabana West Didsbury

    Restaurant - British

    Having made a name – and a following – for itself, Burton Road’s chic chocolatiers has expanded into larger premises up the street (as well as gaining a branch in town), incorporating a sit-down-and-sup tearoom alongside the takeaway coffee and cake counter.

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  • Hot chocolate and waffle at Creams Cafe.
    Manchester City Centre

    Creams Cafe Manchester Arndale

    Restaurant - American

    Creams Cafe is a dessert parlour that was founded in 2008 by Adam Mani and Balal Aqil. With humble beginnings in Southall, West London, Creams Cafe has become the largest dessert brand in the UK with around 100 stores – including Manchester’s Arndale Shopping Centre.

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  • Hot chocolate by Slattery at Grandpa Greene's near Oldham.

    Grandpa Greene’s Luxury Ice Cream


    Perched by the canal in the picturesque village of Diggle, near Oldham, Grandpa Greene’s is best known for its award-winning homemade ice cream. It’s also a warm and inviting licensed cafe with glass fronted terraces and indoor dining. 

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  • Hot chocolate at The Hollies Farm Shop in Cheshire.

    The Hollies Farm Shop Lower Stretton

    Farm Shop

    With vegetables so fresh they could have been dug up from the field that morning, homemade pies and sausage rolls, and all manner of deli bits and bobs, The Hollies Farm Shop Lower Stretton is the perfect place for a special weekend food shop.

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  • Hot chocolate from Kenyon Hall Farm, a farm shop and cafe near Warrington

    Kenyon Hall Farm


    Kenyon Hall Farm is the perfect countryside day out all year round. From picking up a premium Fraser Fir Christmas tree and warming up with a hot chocolate, to tucking into a hearty farmhouse breakfast before going on an Easter egg hunt, it’s always a breath of fresh air.

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  • Hot chocolate with marshmallow at Knoops, Manchester.
    Manchester City Centre

    Knoops Manchester


    Knoops Manchester is a chocoholic’s dream. Rather than just ordering a hot chocolate, choose the percentage, the origin and the milk for your perfect blend.

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  • Hot chocolate at Luisco Chocolate in Haigh Woodland Park, Wigan.

    Luisco Chocolate


    Luisco Chocolate is a quirky little chocolatier in the courtyard at Haigh Woodland Park. It’s the perfect opportunity for a country walk followed by a luxurious hot chocolate. You’ve earned it so enjoy. And you will – they’re the best hot chocolates in the area.

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  • Hot chocolate and the Chocolate Challenge at Slattery in Manchester.



    Much like Betty’s in Harrogate, a trip to Slattery in Whitefield can be a day out in its own right. This bakery and cake shop has been in business in North Manchester for over fifty years – and now houses a cafe, cookery school, and wedding cake showroom – as well as the shop itself.

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  • Hot chocolate at Trove - a bakery and cafe in Ancoats, Levenshulme and Manchester city centre.
    Book Now Ancoats

    Trove Ancoats


    Trove Ancoats is the younger sister of the original Trove in Levenshulme which made its name through fantastic bread and an ‘everything made from scratch’ philosophy.

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