We didn't set out to find the best hot chocolate in Ireland. In fact, the first couple days it entirely slipped my notice that my youngest daughter, Caelan, was ordering hot chocolate every time we sat down to a meal – be it breakfast, tea, or dinner, her request was always the same, “Do you have hot chocolate?”
By the third day of our travels, we had begun joking that we were on “Caelan's Hot Chocolate Tour of Ireland.” All told, the girls and I spent 4 weeks in Ireland this year and Caelan sampled hot chocolate from across the country. These are the six cups of cocoa deemed ‘the best'.
The Best Hot Chocolate in Ireland
You would expect Ireland's finest artisan chocolate shop to serve a delicious cup of hot chocolate. Made with hot milk and a ‘swirly stick' of rich chocolate, I think this stop on our first day in Ireland is what set Caelan on her quest. (please forgive the photo – I didn't realize at the time that hot chocolate would become such an important part of our trip!)
Of course everyone knows that Irish Coffee was first served here in Foynes, created by Chef Joe Sheridan in 1943. For for those of us who aren't coffee drinkers, the restaurant at the museum serves a mighty fine hot chocolate, whipped to foam on the top and covered in marshmallows.
Located above Adare's Olde Creamery, Miss Crumpet's Tea Rooms are your imagined picture of afternoon tea. Tables set with beautiful cloths, lovely cups and saucers, and delectable baked treats. Hot chocolate, steaming and topped with marshmallows, is the perfect accompaniment to a rich chocolate torte.
This is the perfect place to sit and watch seemingly everyone in Dublin walk by. If you can, grab a table on the upper level overlooking Grafton street. Though known for their tea, Bewley's serves a frothy cup of “cocoa with a heart on top” – which made my girl love it even more.
Kylemore Abbey, in the far western reaches of County Galway, is a place filled with drama, romance, and one of the most beautiful walled gardens in Ireland. Just outside the walled garden is the Tea House, which is perfect for a quick snack after walking the acres of flowers, herbs, and greenhouses. Frothy hot chocolate is served cappuccino-style with a dusting of cocoa.
The only hotel to make our list, the staff at the Coachouse Bar were so attentive and went every extra step to make our short visit to Birr memorable. Served with chocolate shavings and marshmallows on the side, both my girls enjoyed this warm treat.
I have no doubt that future Ireland trips will yield more hot chocolate discoveries. Any recommendations?