Some cafes offer unexpected flavours of hot chocolates (Image: christopher cornelius/flickr)

The best place to go for a hot chocolate in Bethnal Green

A list of the best hot chocolates in Bethnal Green’s array of cafes.

As the winter months take hold, steaming soups, electric blankets and hot water bottles all begin to become features of our lives again. It is the time of year for the humble hot chocolate to tempt us out onto the frost-bitten streets. 

Londoners are kept on their toes with experimental hot chocolates, but your hot chocolate fix is available in many a cafe in Bethnal Green, and we have compiled a list of places you can get one. 

We have looked through Bethnal Green’s cafes, masters of the newly popular chai latte, the cortado and the ubiquitous flat white. As snow may begin to fall we might feel ourselves craving something a little more festive, and this is where the velvety richness of hot chocolate comes into its own. 

Astro Cafe 

This Persian-run brunch spot is best for energising yourself amid winter blues, with its packed-out floor of weekend brunchers, and rightly so for its bargain Full English at such a central spot. 

However, it also offers an array of creatively flavoured doughnuts, such as Oreo and pistachio that you cold par with a hot chocolate to take away on a cold afternoon, on your way up to Columbia Road flower market. 

Despite the cue that congregates, their classic hot chocolate comes in at the cheaper end of Bethnal Green’s offering at £2.20 with regular milk, or oat, almond, soy and coconut for an extra 40p. 

Mandala Cafe 

Mandala cafe offers an unusual chilli hot chocolate
Mandala cafe offers an unusual chilli hot chocolate (Image: Polly Nyash, Roman Road London)

Newly opened and based next to the London Buddhist Centre, this space is laptop-free in the mornings, meaning you have no choice but to hunker down with your hot chocolate and savour the taste.

The bright yellow walls are well-matched by the atmosphere inside, which is an endlessly friendly breath of fresh air for anyone seeking warmth and a cup of something hot. 

Sazzy & Fran

Located just a couple of minutes away from Bethnal Green Underground this cafe offers a great hot chocolate with an array of syrups to add to your drink. 

As a bonus, the owner’s dog can often be caught, head between paws watching punters come in and out. 

A perfect, ‘grab and go’ as you head to the underground, this hot chocolate is on the pricier end at £3.90.

There is also a downstairs area where the digital nomads can camp out with their laptops to their heart’s content.


An Italian cafe shop front in Bethnal Green
Quarantacinque’s shop front looks onto Roman Road.

A taste of Italy in Bethnal Green, these hot chocolates will be delicious, but you are more likely to be swept away by the warming accents of Italians seeking their lunchtime fix of winter hot drinks inside. `

Alongside focaccia, cannoli, and Francesco’s take-home meal service which often features lasagna and a tiramisu you can enjoy the full Italian treatment here, cakes thrust upon you that you didn’t know you wanted and a moment to slow down as you await your hot chocolate. 

These hot chocolates come in a full range of sizes, and you can choose from almond, soy, oat or regular milk, and you also have the option of splashing in a syrup to level up your hot chocolate. 

E&R Natural Food Shop

Walking past isles of vegan specialities and a vegetable isle bursting with seasonal veg you may miss the small glass barista set up in the corner.

This health food shop is easy to miss on the corner of Globe Road, but you will undoubtedly be greeted with a smile within, and given a generously sized hot chocolate.

 As well as offering a mean chai latte, this hot chocolate is made with care, so don’t be put off by the wait, as a simple yet sumptuous hot chocolate awaits you.  

Gallery Cafe 

The Gallery cafe can get so busy on a winter weekday you'll glance to the windows to see they've steamed up
The Gallery cafe can get so busy on a winter weekday you’ll glance to the windows to see they’ve steamed up (Image: Roman Road London)

You can enjoy a hot chocolate alongside their array of vegan cakes and bakes.

As well as some premium matcha latte artwork St Margarets offers a range of pastries and has a sturdy vegan and plant-based selection of food and drinks across the board. 

On a weekday you might find the windows steaming up with cafe-hoppers powering through work on their laptops, but at the weekends the space is computer-free and is buzzing with families on a day out.

The Beehive

Located on your left as you walk towards Hackney on Cambridge Heath Road, this spot is also a friendly co-working space. 

You can also grab a light lunch and sip your hot chocolate on a chair in the green space outside the cafe. 

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