Karachi seems to outgrow its food trends a lot. Remember fro-yo? Exactly. Or maybe molten lava cakes? Well… thank God for growth. But if there is one thing that has withstood the fickleness of Karachi’s tastebuds, it's hot chocolate.
A mug full of warmth, melted chocolate cooked in milk and spices — for a city that doesn’t even get that cold, people here sure do love a cup of this hot beverage.
I took it upon myself to try hot chocolate from almost every single eatery that had it on their menu and below is a guide for everyone craving some chocolatey goodness.
Hot chocolate of the season
Name: Mexican Hot Chocolate
A little cinnamon, a little heat — my ‘hot chocolate of the season’ had to go to a place that pushed the boundaries without compromising on the main product. The Mexican Hot Chocolate at Basic has a drinkable consistency but is rich enough to keep it from tasting too milky. The spices make it exciting and at a price point of Rs350, it may just as well be the cheapest hot chocolate you can find at this quality.
Rich, hot and tempting
Name: Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Fluff
Bingsu has been a hot chocolate favourite year after year. They have got the richness of a hot chocolate spot on. And when you top it with marshmallow fluff — it leaves all other topping options in its dust.. Whipped cream seems positively boring next to it. If you want an intense hot chocolate fix, Bingsu is your place.
The most on offer
Options available: Salted Caramel, Lotus, Peppermint etc.
Price: Starting from Rs500
FLOC, one could say, started the wave of hot chocolate in the city — after Butler’s Chocolate Cafe. Over the years they have experimented with a number of flavours and right now offer the most variety. A popular flavour of hot chocolate is their Salted Caramel and for people who prefer their hot chocolate more intensely chocolate, there is the Devil’s Dark Hot Chocolate. They are also a popular option if you want your hot chocolate delivered since quite a few eateries don’t have hot chocolate on their delivery menu just yet.
A homely vibe
Location: Test Kitchen By Okra
Name: Hot Chocolate
Price: Rs410 + tax
Test Kitchen By Okra has emerged as a food place in Karachi that can do no wrong and their hot chocolate is no exception. While not the richest in consistency, it definitely delivers on the warmth and satiety of a good homemade hot chocolate. It's simple, no-fuss and, coupled with all the food on offer, it's still a win.
A little drama
Name: Hot Chocolate with Crackers and Marshmallow
How can there be hot chocolate and no drama? It is one of the more Instagrammable beverages for sure and it makes sense that eateries would play with different toppings and presentations to get word of their creation around. Coco9 really took it to another level with its overflowing marshmallow fluff and crackers on top. The consistency is unexpectedly balanced and not too thick. It is a drinkable hot chocolate, once you get past the toppings.
A twist in flavours
Name: Orange Marmalade, Lotus Biscoff
Price: Rs600 + tax
UpTop is a new “rooftop cafe” located in Phase 8 and has gradually started to become known for its hot chocolate menu. If you are looking to try a flavour that you have probably never had before, they have one with orange marmalade. How is that for experimentation?
Keeping it light
Location: Caffe Praha
Name: Praha’s Special Hot Chocolate
The hot chocolate at Caffe Praha fits the bill if you are someone who likes their hot chocolate on the lighter side, consistency wise. It will not remind you of melted chocolate but is not too milky either. The serving size though is substantial. They also do a caramel hot chocolate and one in cinnamon and vanilla.
Location: Butler’s Chocolate Cafe
Name: Dark Signature Hot Chocolate
Price: Rs590+ tax
Butler’s Chocolate Cafe, while no longer a popular place for hot chocolate amidst so many other options that the city has to offer, was probably the first one to get hot chocolate right. If you were craving hot chocolate that didn’t remind you of Milo, you would get it from Butler’s. They might no longer be consistent but this list wouldn't be complete without a mention of the place that used to be the only good hot chocolate place back in the day.
What is your favourite place to have hot chocolate from in your city?