Grand Junction is on a Hot Chocolate Mission

Even though Grand Junction is known for its mild winters, when it comes to hot chocolate, locals love to sip on rich cocoa no matter what the temperature. From a unique recipe made from three kinds of melted chocolate to cocoa that is 100% dairy-free, GJ has so much variety, you’ll want to try them all. In celebration of National Hot Chocolate Day on January 31, here is a lengthy list of steaming cups of liquid gold to choose from.

Novel Cup

Perfect for anyone who loves to read, the Novel Cup is a conveniently cute coffee hut parked at the Grand Junction Public Library. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to study, or in search of your next novel, stop by the Novel Cup first and pick up a hot chocolate, bring it into the library, and stay warm and cozy while you get lost in literary heaven. Their German chocolate hot cocoa is a local favorite, as well as their raspberry mocha. If chai tea is more your style, they’ll customize it to your preference, from spicy to creamy. This family-owned shop can’t wait to meet you, so mention the “Visit Grand Junction blog” and you’ll get a free drink upgrade on your order! Yahoo!

Main Street Bagels & Bakery

Venture Downtown to Main Street Bagels, an artisan bakery and café. Main Street Bagels boasts about their one-of-a-kind specialty hot chocolate. The Polar Express story inspired this creamy chocolatey treat. The owners read the book to their children every year, and they would all fantasize about "hot chocolate as thick as melted chocolate bars." Eventually, it was time to stop imagining and create it. After much trial and error, Main Street Bagels created a combination of three different kinds of melted chocolate along with a secret blend of ingredients with homemade whipped cream piled high. Their Polar Express hot chocolate has become as much a part of winter in Grand Junction as skiing at Powderhorn Mountain Resort.

Enstrom Toffee and Confectionary

Enstrom Toffee and Confectionary has been a staple in Grand Junction since 1929 when it first opened as an ice cream shop. Since then, it has become world-famous for its rich, buttery and addictive almond toffee. Every year, thousands of pounds of Enstrom's candy are shipped all over the world. Stop by the candy store at Enstrom's headquarters in Downtown Grand Junction. Their rich and creamy hot chocolate is made from the same cocoa powder they use to make their milk chocolate candies. While you wait for your beverage, watch chocolatiers work their magic in the candy factory or browse the hundreds of chocolates, toffees, and other sweets that line the shelves. Good luck leaving with just a cup of hot chocolate! It’s so good, John Mayer wrote a song about it!

Be Sweet Café

Be Sweet Café has earned a reputation for its delightful sweets, like their famous cinnamon rolls. Everything on their menu is made from scratch every day using quality ingredients, many of which are sourced locally in the Grand Junction area, including their coffee beans roasted by Colorado Legacy Coffee Company, headquartered in Grand Junction. Be Sweet lovingly makes everything to be as beautiful as it is delicious, and they focus that same care and passion when making their beverages. The hot chocolate is overflowing with flavor, but topped off with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup. For even more chocolate, this pairs perfectly with a fresh-baked chocolate croissant. Need a serious jolt? Ask for a Red Bull Kicker!

Copeka Coffee

Copeka is like stepping back in time to when the Betty Crocker cookbook sat on a shelf in every kitchen. From 60’s style plush couches to the embroidery wall, Copeka is a joyful step back in time. On any given day, you will find college students studying, friends playing board games, and a crochet club working on their latest project together. While you can grab a cup to go, their rich and creamy hot chocolate is best enjoyed at the shop. Play a quirky game while you are at it, including counting how many giraffes are in the building. Hint – it’s a lot!

Octopus Coffee

If you’re looking to stay close to a variety of restaurants and have easy access to all of Grand Junction’s legendary outdoor adventures, then you’re going to want to be on Horizon Drive. And if you're craving a cup of hot chocolate, then nearby Octopus Coffee is your go-to. Stop by and enjoy a creamy almond milk hot cocoa. Octopus is also known for their homemade chai tea spice and hearty made from scratch breakfast burritos that will fuel any adventure. And the staff at Octopus? Well, they are nothing short of amazing!

Traders Coffee and Tea

The Coffee Trader loves to add their own flair to classics. The Mexican cocoa pays homage to traditional Mexican chocolate, which is made from cocoa beans as well as a mix of spices like jalapenos, habaneros, and Cheyenne peppers. The Coffee Trader uses spiced Mexican chocolate to create a rich, thick, and creamy beverage with a hint of spice. The flavor combination might sound odd but is deliciously complimentary and something you must try for yourself! While you're there, stock up on aromatic coffee beans and specialty teas as well!

Java Junction

Java Junction is one of the oldest coffee shops in Grand Junction, located in the heart of Downtown. A smaller shop, it's perfect for grabbing a steaming cup of hot chocolate while strolling through Downtown and taking in the over 100 sculptures, all part of the award-winning Art on the Corner program. Grab a hot chocolate and have a friendly chat with Sterling, the owner, before heading into A Robin’s Nest, located right next store. A Robin’s Nest is the largest antique mall between Denver and Salt Lake City. A nice hot cup of cocoa makes strolling the isles looking for the next secret find even more enjoyable!

Board Fox Games

More than just your average coffee shop, Board Fox has become a community center for lovers of board games. In addition to a wide selection of games and puzzles, Board Fox hosts regular game nights. Everyone is welcome to join as they play different games throughout the week. As you play and make new friends, sipping on steamy hot chocolate, there's no better way to fight off the chill of a winter evening. Drop by Board Fox Games and have an excellent hot chocolate but be careful because you may just leave with an addition to family own game night.

Four Winds Coffee and Tea

Looking to grab a hot chocolate with your study group while working on your next project? How about just hanging out with a group of friends to relax and catch up? Four Winds is a nonprofit coffee shop with plenty of tables and three meeting rooms. The friendly baristas expertly whip up drinks using locally sourced ingredients. Have any books you think others would enjoy? Add them to the book share at Four Winds and pick up something new to read for yourself. Nothing compliments a new story like a cup of homemade hot chocolate!

Kiln Coffee Bar

Located on Main Street between Dream Café and Goat & Clover Tavern, the baristas at Kiln Coffee Bar know how to whip up an enticing cup of hot chocolate. While many cocoa powders and sweeteners contain dairy, Kiln uses 100% cocoa powder and white sugar. So, if you get your drink with almond or soy milk, their hot chocolate is dairy-free! Top it off with an adorable piece of beverage art, and you've got a beautiful-looking drink. The only way to make it prettier is to put it in a reusable Kiln mug featuring artwork from local artists! The vibe here is quite hip, so be sure to stop by.

Despite this long list of coffee shops, there are still many more, so we need your help! Consider joining us as an official taste-tester and grab a hot chocolate from any Grand Junction coffee shop, share your photo using #ShareGJ and #HotChocolate and mention something you love about the place! We can’t wait to hear your favorites!

Visit the rest of Grand Junction’s coffee houses: Jitterz Coffee Hut, Trailhead Coffee Bar & Café, Sweet Kiwi Bakery, Starbucks Coffee, Daylight Donuts, Artful Cup, Graff Diary, Home Style Bakery, and Mountain Grind Coffee.

 

Check out page 48 of the Grand Junction Adventure Guide for more Grand Junction restaurants.