The Best Hot Chocolate in Portland

The best cup of hot chocolate in Portland is from…

Pambiche! (Pam-beach-ay)

It should be noted that this was a totally subjective and unrandomized trial conducted by The Chaos Team and shenanigan partners including-but-not-limited-to Ian, Anya, Miles, Erika, Skylar, Rachell, and Marissa. Read more fine print below.

About our winner, Pambiche:

The hot chocolate in Northeast Portland’s Cuban joint Pambiche comes in a large, low mug surely manufactured at The North Pole. The milky hot chocolate is sweet (the way we like it!) and cinnamony. The whipped cream is thick, flecked with chocolate, and topped with a sprig of mint that is delightful to eat somewhere in the middle of your sipping.

Second Place, Suzette:

At Suzette creperie they top the hot chocolate with house-made marshmallows that are then bruleed. That’s right! They take a mini-blow-torch to each cup of cocoa. Two minor things knocked it off the top pedestal: the hot chocolate was perhaps too sweet, and the mug was clunky: but if I were Steven Tyler on American Idol I would still make love to it.

The Trophy Wives, Pearl Bakery & Stumptown Coffee Roasters:

Pearl Bakery and Stumptown Coffee Roasters had the most gorgeous offerings. But the hot chocolates at these two were all beauty and no brains: They lacked sweetness and depth. For a killer croissant, an amazing cup of coffee, or some super-model-style whipped cream, try these two.

Definitely Worth It, Sisters Coffee Company:

Sisters Coffee Company has a perfectly sweet cup of cocoa that really hits the spot. The whipped cream is lovely as well. There aren’t any bells and whistles to take this one to the North Pole, but it’s worth a to-go cup when you are down in The Pearl.


Please write in your own votes below. We want to do more “research” on this topic!


MORE FINE PRINT: Our passion for hot chocolate is high, and no water-based hot chocolates were allowed. We were comparing cups of hot chocolate to what we imagine one might have on any given Sunday afternoon at Mr. and Mrs. Claus’s house. We wanted the hot chocolate to be rich and sweet, fairly thick, feel delightful being cradled in your hands, and be breathtakingly beautiful.
EVEN MORE FINE PRINT: Title treatment by August Empress, font from
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Emily, thanks to you I know that hot chocolate is hot milk with real chocolate pieces whisked in, and that hot cocoa is cocoa powder mixed with milk, but I’ve taken gross liberties in jargon here. Forgive me.

8 responses to “The Best Hot Chocolate in Portland

  1. Thanks. Thanks a lot. I have a dairy allergy and now all I can do with this post is wipe the drool from my keyboard keys and only dream of sipping that first cup of hot cocoa! 🙂 That said, perhaps I can live vicariously through my kids at one of this said locations in order to still be able to enjoy it! 🙂 Love you, love your show.

  2. The best hot chocolate I’ve ever had was at Ghirardelli Square in San Fransisco, but I will have to test your recommendations now that I’m a local. I hate it when restaurants make hot chocolate with water. So disappointing!

  3. I think Santa might have a temperate-climate outpost in San Francisco. Arizona would probably be too shocking from the North Pole, but foggy San Fran–a perfect spot to set up his lower latitude cocoa outpost. 🙂

  4. This is a perfect follow up to the last blog entry!! I can’t wait to check these out, thanks!

  5. You should try Alma Chocolate on NE 28th…it might knock Pambiche out of first place!

  6. Pingback: portland winter to-do guide | twelfth-avenue

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