'Tis the season for fires, blankets, fall leaves, sweaters, and hot chocolate! Hot chocolate warms the soul. There's nothing like curling up on the couch to a good movie and sipping some rich and delicious hot chocolate. I've had my fair share of hot chocolate and here is my (personal) list of the best places to get hot chocolate here in the Valley.

1. Hot Lava at Sodalicious

Sodalicious Hot Chocolate

This rich, thick, creamy drink won't disappoint. My taste buds were in instant heaven when this delicious drink hit my mouth. And if that isn't enough, get one of their million drink combos! You can't go wrong with a Your Mom Extra Dirty ;)

2. Duchess Hot Chocolate, Vending Tricycle Company

Duchess Hot Chocolate

Duchess Hot Chocolate is delectable and delightful! You have to follow their Facebook and Instagram to know when they start doing business for the cold season and where they will be. They are a traveling hot chocolate tricycle company. It's almost like an Easter egg trying to find where they will go next which keeps it fun! Once you go Duchess, you don't go back. 

3. The Chocolate, Orem

The Chocolate - Hot Chocolate

If you haven't been here get yourself there stat! This place is too adorable for words. The cozy house-feel makes everything taste even better. Their gourmet hot chocolate is to die for! Choose from regular, mint, hazelnut, and spice.

4. 7-11

7-11 hot cocoa

Call me crazy for adding this one, but 7-11 honestly has some of THE BEST hot chocolate I have ever had. The hot chocolate is rich and creamy and not watered down and you get to mix your own flavors! They have an almond joy flavor which I highly recommend! You can't beat the price either, it's only $1 for the small size which is usually plenty. And that my friends is a deal!

5. JCW's The Burger Boys

hot chocolate

JCW's is famous for their burgers, fries and shakes... but they make a mean hot cocoa too. If you ask, they will add other flavors to it too sometimes. I love JCW's hot cocoa, it's cheap, always comes with cream and chases the chill away from a cold day. 

6. Beans and Brews, American Fork

Beans and Brews is where it's at! Great hot cocoa, relaxing atmosphere and overall great place to chill and relax or get work done on a chilly day. 

For all of you Starbucks hot chocolate lovers, (I know you're out there) I didn't forget about you. Here is a copy-cat recipe so that you can get your Starbucks fix right at home!

Ingredients:
1/4 C. water
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 C. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Garnish: whipped cream

Instructions:
1. Combine the water, cocoa, and sugar in a 16-oz microwave safe pitcher, like a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Zap the mixture on high for 30 seconds, or until hot. Stir well to create the chocolate syrup.
2. Add the milk to the chocolate syrup and microwave the mixture for 1-1 1/2 minutes, or until hot.
3. Add the vanilla and pour the drink into a 16-oz mug, then top with a dollop of whipped cream!

Makes one 16-oz (grande size) serving

Now you're all set for a cozy fall and winter in Utah Valley! Don't be afraid to go out ice skating, skiiing, or snow-mobiling--hot chocolate has your back!