Cozy Up with a Cup

Places to get Delectable Hot Chocolate This Holiday Season in Woodland Hills

‘Tis the season for hot cocoa…at least it is for many Southern Californians looking to punctuate the holiday routine with a steamy cup of childhood memories. While we tend to think of “chocolate” today in its solid form, for nine-tenths of its storied history, chocolate was actually a drink (the first example of the chocolate bar as we know it today was not invented until 1839). Interestingly, in the thousands of years before that time, chocolate was viewed as a sacred, invaluable, even magical beverage – a symbol of power, a privilege enjoyed by warriors and the elite and a satisfying tonic that was consumed daily while offering the sustenance required to tackle virile challenges.

Indeed, what other drink, all these centuries later, tastes great, is filling in its nature and stimulates both the mind and body? It’s no surprise that this beverage – far removed from being a mere “kid’s drink” – has been a favorite amongst rulers, warriors and explorers…and if hot chocolate was good enough for them, we have no problem recommending the following spots for delectable holiday-time hot chocolate in Woodland Hills!

Barista Society has been serving the finest specialty coffees in the country since its inception, in addition to breakfast, pastries and gourmet donuts throughout the day. When it comes to hot chocolate specialties, Barista Society uses premium dark chocolate for a one-of-a-kind taste that has to be sampled to be believed. Established in 2015, Barista Society of Woodland Hills resides at the popular Village at Westfield, with a location previously opened at Union Station’s East Portal in downtown L.A.; if it’s the best-tasting coffees and hot cocoas you’re after, come and try Barista Society’s expansive offerings. In Woodland Hills, Barista Society is located at 6220 Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

Tifa Chocolate & Gelato was established in 2007 and remains dedicated to the “pure enjoyment of chocolate.” The family-run business proudly serves gourmet chocolate, exquisite gelato, coffee and espresso drinks and hot and iced tea, with return customers constantly singling-out Tifa’s hot cocoa as “the best they ever had.” Have a sweet tooth that’s been hounding you relentlessly? This charming little dessert café in the heart of Woodland Hills serves up much more than classic hot chocolate drinks – from artisan chocolates and bon bons to beautifully-presented truffles, cookies and scones. An outdoor seating area invites all pooch lovers to bring their four-legged companions, while excellent customer service brings a welcomed warmth to the dessert/coffee shop experience. If you’ve grown a bit tired of the Starbucks/Coffee Bean scene, give Tifa a try. The shop is located at 28888 Roadside Drive in Agoura Hills.

Leo & Lily is a name you may have seen in other Woodland Hills Magazine articles, but there’s no surprise there; this casual cuisine café, established in 2011, provides a “hearty, filling, healthy and affordable” dining experience that’s become renowned across the Los Angeles region. Leo & Lily’s staff makes use of European and Mediterranean flavors to create healthy, unique and delicious dishes in addition to pastries and beverages – like delectable hot chocolate – and works closely with local farmers to bring all customers quality ingredients. Leo & Lily is located at 22420 Ventura Boulevard.

Blue Ice Café was established in 2012 by two brothers who happened to share the love of providing the perfect atmosphere for quality coffee, crepes and boba. Conveniently situated right next to Winnetka Theaters, this charming little gem has become renowned for its hot chocolate and white hot chocolate, both served in small, medium and large sizes, in addition to other wintertime beverage indulgences like White Chocolate Mocha Espresso, Raspberry Truffle Espresso, Chocolate Mint Mocha Espresso and blended coffees. Blue Ice prides itself on being the first “café” to push and support art, music, education and work. Blue Ice Café is located at 9201 Winnetka Avenue in Chatsworth.

Grom Malibu, established in 2003, has become famous for its authentic Italian gelato, using only the best raw materials from around the world and only seasonal ingredients such as strawberries in summer and mandarins in winter. Filtering down to even its delectable hot chocolate beverage, Grom Malibu uses no flavor/color enhancers, preservatives or emulsifiers – they never have, and never will. Grom Malibu is located at 3886 Cross Creek Road in Malibu.

Satisfy your hot chocolate cravings this holiday season by heading down to any of the shops in Woodland Hills mentioned above.