Quest for cocoa

The search for outstanding, tasty hot chocolate

Sarah Shelton, Staff Writer

As winter begins to slowly creep around the corner, everyone is in need of something warm in their hand and sweet in their cup. With this in mind, I set out ho-ho-hoping to find the best hot chocolate in Omaha. 

For me, the best cup of hot chocolate has to have five components that will put it at the top of the competition: it cannot be too expensive, it should have whipped cream or marshmallows, it shouldn’t burn my tongue when I take the first sip, it shouldn’t be too sweet, and  it absolutely cannot taste like it is made with water, even if it is. 

I began my long search downtown at the famous Sozos Coffeehouse. The coffee house was very exciting as you were allowed to to play pool, foosball, and even buy jewelry and clothing. And with COVID still around, they have taken the proper precautions for people to enjoy their drinks.

Sozos Coffeehouse also has many art pieces hanging in the room that give the coffeehouse a more alternative and young adult feel. I asked for a small hot chocolate that cost a total of $2.94. My excitement when I saw that they had added whipped cream was out of this world, and the service was incredible. 

The hot chocolate got a solid five stars as it checked off every point on the test. It was not only the perfect temperature but it  had the correct amount of sweetness to it, which just made the cup of cocoa wonderful. 

Later that week, I drove myself down to West Omaha and stopped at Stories Coffeehouse. Walking in, I noticed that Stories was very busy, with almost every table filled and a small baby shower being hosted in the back of  the shop. 

The feel was very modern and elegant and they had live music playing, which was very exciting.  I once again ordered a small hot chocolate, and the total was $3.24. 

The first sip was hot to the touch, and the cocoa needed some time to cool down. When I finally tried it again, it was delicious, specifically because  it didn’t even have a hint of water, unlike Sozo Coffeehouse and Hardy Coffeehouse’s  hot chocolate. Although the service was very friendly, it did not change my mind on my rating of the hot chocolate. I ended up giving the hot chocolate three and a half stars because of the lack of toppings and how piping hot it was at first. 

I ended my quest by heading to Bennington to try out Hardy Coffee Company’s hot chocolate. This modern style coffeehouse was perfectly decorated as it had a light blue wall with splotches of white bricks and windows all over. They had many places to sit and a more peaceful feel. 

I asked for a small hot chocolate, and the price was $3.50. The workers were very polite as they helped show me the variety of food on the menu. 

Unfortunately, they did not adorn the hot cocoa with  any toppings. And although it was the perfect temperature when I first tried it, it was way too sweet for me.  I would give the hot chocolate 3 stars. But with that being said, I would definitely return to try a hot vanilla latte or one of their scones on the menu. 

Overall, there are many different places to try for the best cup of hot chocolate in Omaha for the holiday season. From the places I went to, I realize that each place had a different vibe that attributed to my rating of the hot cocoa, but there were other factors as to why the other hot cocoas didn’t stand out as much as Sozo Coffeehouse’s hot cocoa.

Hardys had  a very friendly environment., and they had various choices of foods, and they did make a good cup of hot cocoa. But it just was not what I was looking for. Stories was very busy and popular even just for a quick stop in. They had mediocre hot cocoa but a wide variety of foods on the menu for everyone to enjoy.

But my favorite hot chocolate of all was Sozos Coffeehouse, as they had many different activities to do and great service. I felt at home while being there. I would definitely head back for a second cup of hot chocolate.