Hot chocolate season is most definitely upon us, so grab your mittens, pull on your best coat and allow us to direct you towards the Diff’s most irresistible hot chocs.

Brodie’s Coffee Co in Gorsedd Gardens near the National Museum is conveniently located for a winter warmer on the go (look out for their pun-tastic A-board). Make no mistake, this miniature coffee shop is big on quality and their hot chocolate is rumoured to be the best in Cardiff. They use only West African cocoa beans and their takeaway cups are biodegradable, so your chocolate is sweet for the environment, too.

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The little Danish haven is famed for its authentic pastries, yet the drinks are as indulgent as the baked goods. The After Eight hot chocolate is guaranteed to send your spirits (and sugar levels!) soaring: mint-flavoured hot chocolate is topped with whipped cream, marshmallows, fresh mint and the obligatory After Eight. Just the thing for a dull wintery afternoon.

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Admired for their perfect patisserie, Cocorico’s high quality trademark extends much further than their cakes. Their hot chocolate is made with French Valrhona chocolate and comes with a naughty dash of Bailey’s – just the ticket to warm your cockles. The Cocorico team also make heavenly afternoon teas – perfect for sitting down to after a busy afternoon of Christmas shopping. This is a truly beautiful place to spend half a day in a pastel-coloured bubble of Parisian chic.

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Tapas bar Curado has the hot chocolate to bring chocolate fanatics to the yard. Their velvety chocolate is made to a traditional Spanish recipe and is so thick it’s like a meal on its own. Add churros and you have a bangin’ dessert – but the truth is, it's so indulgent it really doesn't need anything else!

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BLOC Coffee might be tucked away in an old toilet block, but there's no need to worry: this is one seriously chic operation. Tucked on the edge of Victoria Park, Bloc serve comfortingly indulgent hot chocolates that will warm you up from the tip of your nose right down to your toes – perfect for after a brisk stroll through the park. The cafe's interior is just 90 square metres, so it's a cosy space, but there’s also additional outdoor seating on a small patio which overlooks the park, for if the weather is behaving.

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The Viennese Kaffeehaus is a go-to for indulgence and deliciousness of all shapes and sizes, be it in the form of lavish open sandwiches or luxurious hot drinks. Winter sees the arrival of honeycomb hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream and crunchy chocolate balls. Of course this is but one of a an extensive range of hot chocolates on offer: Wally’s has enough of the stuff to see you through winter. Come back for the Tipsy Hot Chocolate infused with dark rum.

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Puritans will be delighted with a trip to Lufkin Coffee Roasters, because these guys are all about doing one thing, brilliantly simply. Using Pips Real Hot Chocolate, the team mix freshly steamed milk to make a gloriously smooth, silky hot chocolate – just what you need for a sweet fix that's also properly cosy and warming. Just delicious. While you're over in Pontcanna, you'd better stay for a bite to eat – Lufkin's topped toasts are a thing of real beauty.

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No diary? No problem! Cardiffians who follow a vegan diet need not miss out, as plant-based restaurant and bar Milgi is known to whisk up one of the city’s most scrumptious hot chocolates made with soy milk and a homemade chilli syrup. Pair with a cinnamon doughnut and you are fast-tracked to vegan heaven. Keep an eye out for Milgi's exciting new cocktail menu, coming soon!

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The Bee & Honey is not only one of the cutest cafes in the city, but these guys also do a smashing chai-spiced hot chocolate made with a chai syrup from Bath-based company Henny & Joe’s. But there is so much more to love about this ethical café, passion project of nutritionist and chef Jenny Beer. Take your pick from a selection of cute-as-a-button vegan, raw and gluten-free cakes made in-house, pick up a jar of local honey, or perhaps a packet of flower seeds - proceeds go towards the conservation of bees.

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Published -4th December 2018