City Bakery knows all about making my least favorite month of the year super sweet. For 25 years they’ve thrown a Hot Chocolate Festival all 28 days of February, every single day featuring a different flavor of their famous hot cocoa. It’s quite the celebration with brown and white balloons, even props and costumes on certain festive days!
I went to the City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival on “Sunken Treasure Hot Chocolate” day.
Of course I did, I have a long history with pirates- did you know I played one at a Renaissance Faire for many summers? Worth reading the blogs about!
The baristas were dressed up with pieces of pirate flair and Jolly Roger flags swung across the cafe. So fun, it made me want to burst out into a sea shanty while I waited to learn what exactly the “Sunken Treasure” was!
Hot chocolate is a decadent drink any day, but add sunken treasure and it becomes more decadent than a pig roast to a pirate who’s eaten nothing but fish at sea.
The sunken treasure of City Bakery’s Sunken Treasure Hot Chocolate is gold caramel coins and a full chocolate truffle . It looks adorable, resting in ceramic cups waiting for the tide of hot cocoa to come in.
I’ll be honest, City Bakery hot chocolate is quite sweet and rich on it’s own. I really did not need the added candy at the bottom of my cup. With each sip I took, the cocoa got sweeter and sweeter, as the caramel and truffle melted. Buy the last third of the cup, my friend and I were grimacing at the sweetness- it was too overwhelming!
There’s no way I could’ve eaten any of the amazing looking desserts in addition to my hot chocolate! Too much!
I’ve never felt a sugar rush like the one that followed! My whole body seemed ready to sail and ship or dig for treasure! Maybe that was the whole point!
Fortunately City Bakery is brilliantly stocked with cups and a blessedly large serve yourself water cooler. So thankful for this feature, I lovingly photographed it.
You might be surprised to hear, my cup of hot chocolate could have been sweeter! City Bakery offers house made marshmallows to top each of their cocoa cups! I’m a bad blogger because I didn’t get one for the photo op…but I’m a good blogger because I’m telling you they charge $2 for the marshmallow extra (they don’t always make that clear) AND you’re not even likely to appreciate the further decadence. Unless every single tooth in your mouth is a sweet one.
But it sure looks cute in person and on their website:
So Sunken Treasure Hot Chocolate was a little too much for me. But! I’m still dying know what the other festival flavors taste like! They sound like they won’t have a handful of candy in the cup, I’m guessing they might be the perfect amount of sweetness!
Here’s what’s in store for the final weekend of City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival:
February 24: Hot Chocolate for Babe Ruth (He was born in February…I wonder if this involves the candy bar…)
February 25: Banana Peel Hot Chocolate (The cashier on the day I went said this was her fav!)
February 26: Hot Chocolate on a Peanut Butter Barge (I’m intrigued by the name. And who doesn’t love a choco/peanut combo!)
February 27: White Chocolate and Lemon Hot Chocolate (Whoa, talk about an unexpected combo!)
February 28: Festival Finale (Oh, the mystery!)
If you want to see the full festival of flavors, check out the Hot Chocolate Festival page on their website HERE.
If you miss the February Festival, no worries! City Bakery has amazing hot chocolate year round, when you don’t have to wonder if a flavor will be too adventurous or sweet for you. The cafe on 18th Street just to the west of 5th Avenue is incredibly spacious, with high ceilings and upper level seating. It’s perfect for grabbing lunch and meeting a date for coffee (even better, hot chocolate)! But don’t go for dessert- they close pretty early: 6PM every day!