5 Hot Chocolate Drinks You Need to Try Now in Honolulu

As Hawaiʻi approaches colder months, we bring you some sweet ways to stay warm.
The sipping chocolate from Choco le‘a in Mānoa is rich and decadent—and served with potato chips.
Photos: Lennie Omalza


Some people might call me an addict, but I don't think loving hot chocolate is a problem. Yes, I have it every day—sometimes twice a day—but just because I like to drink it doesn’t mean I need to drink it. At least, I don’t think I'd go through withdrawals or anything.


It started when I was about four or five years old. My mom would make me a mug of Swiss Miss with marshmallows, and I'd enjoy every last drop with a side of buttered soda crackers. This homemade mix-with-water concoction delighted me for years, until I got older and realized there's a whole world of hot chocolate out there.


By the time I started working and going to college, Starbucks was everywhere, providing me with quick and easy access to my beverage of choice. That’s when I began having it daily, and I basically never stopped. Today, my kitchen is fully equipped with everything I need for my D.I.Y. versions: a mini whisk, a milk frother, regular mugs for heating, a Hydroflask mug for the road and numerous mixes. My favorite blend is soy milk with Williams-Sonoma Classic Hot Chocolate.


Though I now have my at-home routine down pat, I still love to order hot chocolate when I'm out and about. Here, I bring you five options, from the lightest drink to the heaviest treat. 



The hot chocolate at Longhi’s has a very subtle chocolate flavor, with hints of cinnamon. It’s served at the perfect temperature for drinking out of a straw.

$4, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., 947-9899, longhis.com


Panya Bistro

Panya Bistro serves its hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. The chocolate flavor, though, lacks.


Though it arrived a little too cold for our taste, the hot chocolate at Panya Bistro is another great option for those who aren’t keen on strong cocoa flavors. The light milk chocolate concoction goes down easy. (You can order it hot or iced.)

$5, 1288 Ala Moana Blvd., 946-6388, panyabakery.com


Godiva Chocolatier

Chocolate lovers unite—this drink is a bit thicker than the first two on our list, and has a rich, delicious chocolate taste. That’s because Godiva uses 72-percent dark chocolate for its in-store hot cocoa.

$4, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., 951-4824, godiva.com


Padovani’s Chocolates

The hot chocolate at Padovani’s is a customer favorite.


The chocolates at Padovani’s are rich and decadent, and its hot chocolate is no different. Get ready to experience what it’s like to drink a chocolate bar. This rendition is extra thick and slightly bitter. Test out a small cup before you commit to anything bigger.

$4.10, Dole Cannery Shops, 650 ‘Iwilei Road, 536-4567, padovanichocolates.com


Choco le‘a

Called sipping chocolate for a reason, this is not something you want to gulp down. Served with potato chips, this thick, decadent drink is best used as a dipping sauce. (Available only on Saturdays, except in December, when it’s served during all business hours.)

$3.49, 2909 Lowrey Ave., 371-2234, chocolea.com