*This post was updated with new locations on June 19, 2014*
In a city like Québec it is not difficult to find chocolat chaud (hot chocolate). Every café and restaurant makes chocolat chaud, but that doesn’t mean that they all sell excellent chocolat chaud. On the contrary, there are only a handful that sell authentic, delicious, chocolat chaud.
What is authentic chocolat chaud? Well, for one thing it is not made with a powder. In other words, drinking chocolat chaud from Tim Horton’s is a huge NO in Québec City. Don’t do it. You’re in a city with amazing chocolat chaud made with real chocolate and either milk or cream. Indulge. Wait to have your Timmy Ho’s bastardized hot chocolate when you go home.
In the meantime drinking mind-blowing chocolat chaud for any one of the following:
Erico’s Chocomusée • 634, rue Saint-Jean, in Saint-Jean-Baptiste • Erico’s has been in business for 25 years and is one of the best chocolatiers in Québec City. Erico serves 10 different chocolat chaud (I recommend the ‘Decadent’ which is made with more than 4 different chocolates), and every single one of them are amazing. I’d say this place is the best spot in Québec for chocolat chaud to-go (he doesn’t really have seating inside as this is more a shop, than a café).
Café-Bar Artefact • 8, rue Saint-Antoine, in Place Royale (lower town) • Situated within the Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel, Café-Bar Artefact is tied for first place (in my opinion) for chocolat chaud in Québec City. In fact, I call their chocolat chaud ‘Sex in a Cup’. Created by Gilles Marchal of La Maison du Chocolat in Paris. Made from 70% dark cocoa Valrhona chocolate. If you try this chocolat chaud and hate it, we cannot be friends because you are clearly an alien with no sense of taste.
Hotches Chocolat Chaud & Café • 249, rue Saint-Jean • A chocolat chaud and café on the fringes of Faubourg (Saint-Jean-Baptiste), Hotches Chocolat Chaud & Café serves four different kinds of chocolat chaud (which includes Mexican, and white), as well as café, and a small selection of pastries. I personally recommend the Chocolate Chaud Noir Intense, wow that is good. This is definitely a top 3 choice in Québec. CLOSED
Café Temporel • 25, rue Couillard, in Vieux Québec (upper town) • I was reluctant to include Café Temporel as it is one of my escapes within the old city when I have a lot of work to do. The chocolat chaud here is not as thick as Café-Bar Artefact or Erico’s, but it is damn good and I drink it by the bowl. Really, I do!
Paillard • 1097, rue Saint-Jean, in Vieux Québec • Just a few doors up from where I live in Paillard, a café/boulangerie that serves some of the best croissants in the city, not to mention yummy chocolat chaud. The trick to Paillard is to come shortly after opening or after dinner as it is very busy during the day with both locals and tourists.
La Maison Smith • Located across from Notre-Dame-des-Victories in lower town, La Maison Smith is a café selling local pastries, specialty food items, as well as delicious chocolat chaud. The café has wifi and patio seating all year round. I love going to La Maison Smith, sitting outside, and staring at the church across the square. This is such a beautiful and quiet spot in Place Royale.
Fudgerie • A small fudge boutique in Petit-Champlain (yes, it is a boutique), the fudgerie is the home of some of the best fudge I have ever eaten, delightful chocolates, and chocolat chaud with a twist. This is one of the few places in the city where you can get spicy chocolat chaud that will remind you of hot chocolate in Oaxaca, Mexico. Yes, you read correctly!!
In researching this post I drank a lot of chocolat chaud in Québec City; all in different places (like over 30 places). The above recommendations are the cafés and shops that I constantly visit. I’m not kidding. I actually ‘nest’ in three of the places listed above – especially when I have deadlines and need to get some work done!