Winter blues setting in? Time to rely on the only thing to get you through your slushy trek to class: hot chocolate. After sampling the best and worst specimens, I'm left with a burnt tongue, an empty wallet and a newfound appreciation for this winter treat.

7. Gia Kitchen

The betchiest salad place on campus does not deliver, hot chocolate wise. In contrast to its flowery description ("rich and creamy aroma and flavor"), Gia hot chocolate is essentially hot milk. It was weirdly soothing, though. Translation: don't purchase this disappointment unless you're in the mood to feel like a toddler again.

$$$: $2.75 for a "small" that looks more like a sample cup; $3.70 for a large.

Drink if: You still suck your thumb sometimes.

6. Mark's Cafe

Mark's hot chocolate is just how you would imagine it: artificial, slightly watery, and with the burnt–coffee aftertaste that finds its way into every drink you order from there. This hot chocolate tastes like Hershey's chocolate syrup in hot milk. And unfortunately, It won't make a bad night in VP any better.

$: $2.60 for a small

Drink if: It's 3 a.m. and the only two words you've written of your 12–page research paper due tomorrow are your first and last name.

5. Starbucks

I used to think Starbucks hot chocolate was a watery waste of my time, too. But now, this hot chocolate has undergone a creamy new makeover. It's a few steps above Swiss Miss but still cloyingly sweet. It's like that girl you always see out but can't recall the name of: Eh. 

$: $2.30 for a Tall, $2.55 for a Grande, $2.80 for a Venti. As always, negative points for the pretentious size names. 

Drink if: You're basic and want to carry a Starbucks cup, but have the caffeine tolerance of a small child. This hot chocolate is tolerable and will make you look like an espresso–pounding adult.

4. Cosi

A large white hot chocolate from Cosi—presumably made with white instead of milk chocolate—clocks in at over 600 calories. It tastes like a sickly–sweet combination of melted Lucky Charms marshmallows and whipped cream. It's so nauseatingly sugary that it's insanely delicious. You'll probably end up with a few cavities after the first one, though.

$$: $3.29, excluding dental fees.

Drink if: Your sweet tooth rivals Buddy the Elf's. If dark chocolate in moderation is more your speed, steer clear of this at all costs.

3. Hubbub

Did you walk all the way to VP only to realize your laptop is dead, and you left your charger at home? Did your professor see you on your walk of shame back to the Quad this morning? Like a loyal friend, Hubbub's hot chocolate will be there for you in your hour of need. Creamy, chocolatey and not overly sweet, after just a few sips you'll forget all about how your crush saw you buying a box of super tampons in CVS.

$$: $3.15 for a small, $3.60 for a medium, $3.85 for a large (Ed. note: Go large or go home. The extra 70 cents adds more than double your small portion.)

Drink if: You're homesick and need a hug from your mom.

2. Metropolitan Bakery

Try the Aztec Hot Chocolate at Metropolitan Bakery: it's a cinnamon–y blend of different spices that adds an extra kick to an already top notch cup of cocoa. It's like normal hot chocolate's sexy older cousin.

$$$: $3.50 for a "one size" cup which is actually a large.

Drink if: You need to spice up your life ;).

1. Capogiro

You know those people who argue that some food is better than sex? I finally (partly) get it. The Italian Hot Chocolate at Capogiro lives up to, and even surpasses, all the hype. It's like drinking chocolate fondue, winning the lottery, and getting a lap dance from Channing Tatum at the same time. 

$$$$: $4.60 per cup. More than a complete meal from Lyn's, yes. But this drink will change your life.

Drink if: You need to get laid. Plus, this hot chocolate will never ditch you the way last semester's booty call did.


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