I don’t know about you, but for me one of the best things about winter is cozying up next to the fireplace and sipping a nice hot beverage. Throw in a good book to read and I’m in heaven!
I also love taking the kids out for a nice hot cup of cocoa. They enjoy getting out of the house for a “date” and I get my caffeine fix, because you know that I definitely ordered the most caffeinated drink on the menu. Caffeine = Life, amiright or amiright, you know what I’m saying? Sweet, sweet caffeine, without you I could not function…*drools*…
*Ahem* Anyway, back to cocoa for the littles…that’s what we’re here for any way. Now you’re probably wondering, where can you go besides Starbucks to get a nice cup of cocoa? Don’t get me wrong, Starbucks is great and all, but we’re in the business of promoting local so we’ve compiled a list of local businesses that serve excellent hot cocoa! And we should know…we may or may not have gone on a Tour de Hot Cocoa…for um…research, and the kids decided to rate each shop so you can know what their favorite hot cocoa was!
1. Meg’s Daily Grind
3885 N. Perryville Road | Hours: Mon – Thurs 5:30am – 8:00pm • Fri 5:30am – 7:00pm • Sat 7:00am – 5:00pm • Sun 7:30am – 3:00pm
1141 North Alpine Road | Hours: Mon – Fri 6:00am- 9:00pm • Sat 7:00am – 6:00pm • Sun 7:30am – 5:00pm
We visited Meg’s on Perryville on a cold Saturday and ordered a small hot cocoa. The shop had ample seating, highchairs, games, books, and a cute little fireplace. They were able to adjust the temperature of the cocoa so it wasn’t too hot for the kids. The cocoa was topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
The kids decided that Meg’s gets a 3 out of 5 sock monkeys, claiming that the texture was great. lol.
2. Katie’s Cup
502 7th St | Hours: Mon – Fri 7:00am – 4:00pm • Sat 9:00am – 2:00pm • Sun CLOSED
Katie’s Cup was the next stop on our Tour de Cocoa. Katie’s is located in a gorgeous building in downtown Rockford, they have several rooms you can rent as well as a great selection of books to read while keeping warm in front of the fireplace.
As far as the cocoa goes, the kids thought it was great and gave it a 3.5 out of 5 sock monkeys. The staff was able to adjust the temperature of the cocoa so we didn’t burn any little tongues and they even overfilled the whipped cream a little, to the delight of the kids.
3. Local Dough Café
The kids gave it a 3 out of 5 sock monkeys.
4. Rockford Roasting Company
206 N. Main Street | Hours: Mon – Sat: 7:00am-6:00pm • Sun: 8:00am-2:00pm
Rockford Roasting Company is one of my favorite places to go for great coffee. I hadn’t tried their cocoa until now! We just ordered a small one and sat in the window seating. They were great about adjusting the temperature for the kids. However, they didn’t have any highchairs, which could make a visit with toddlers a little hectic. Luckily my brother tagged along for this one and was able to chase the baby around while the big kids shared the cocoa.
They gave it a 3.5 out of 5 sock monkeys, the half monkey was because of the pretty design from the cream.
5. Wired Café
414 East State St | Hours: Mon- Fri 6:30am- 3:00pm • Sat 8:00am – 2:00pm • Sun CLOSED
Wired Cafe is a downtown coffee shop with a full espresso bar, they also serve homemade bakery items made in-house with real ingredients.
This cocoa was absolutely delicious, it tied with Kate’s Pie Shop for the BEST cocoa according to the kids and I have to agree! The temperature was perfect for the kids and they even served it in a mug, which was a big hit!
After finally getting them to stop drinking the cocoa the kids gave it 5 out of 5 sock monkeys, they would’ve given it 100 million if I would’ve let them!
6. Restoration Café
625 West State Street | Hours: Mon – Fri 7:30am – 2:00pm • Sat – Sun CLOSED
Restoration Cafe is in downtown Rockford and exists to provide vocational training for residents of the Mission’s Life Recovery Program, increase awareness of the Rockford Rescue Mission, help revitalize Rockford’s downtown, and help fund the Mission through proceeds. The kids enjoyed playing with the piano and thought the cocoa was yummy!
They gave it 3 out of 5 sock monkeys!
7. Kate’s Pie Shop Cafe and Records
6685 East State Street | Hours: Tues – Sat 10:00am-6:00pm • Sun – Mon CLOSED
Kate’s Pie Shop Cafe & Records was definitely the kids favorite location! And it tied with Wired Cafe as the BEST cocoa. I’ve had plenty of pie from Kate’s from their booth at City Market. But this was our first time visiting the cafe! It is located in the same building as Rockford Public Library’s East Branch on E. State St. They made the cocoa to perfection and even checked the temperature to make sure it wasn’t too hot before serving it to the kids. After we enjoyed our cocoa we stopped into the library to read some books and play in the kids area.
The kids gave Kate’s a 5 out of 5 sock monkeys, although they would’ve given it 100 million if they could, just like Wired.
Did we miss one of your favorite hot cocoa stops?
What’s your favorite cocoa from the list above? Where will you visit first?
Let us know in the comments below!