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The hot chocolate at Funchos in Riverhead is unlike any other you’ll find on the North Fork this winter. (Credit: Funchos)

When we think of winter, our minds naturally drift to snowfall, ice skating and hot chocolate. And mostly just the hot chocolate.

Staying warm is always a priority, with temperatures dropping and cold winds rising. Hot chocolate, a staple of warm winter beverages, is the tastiest way to do that.

And on the North Fork, there are plenty of places serving an elevated cup of it. Here’s three we’d recommend this winter.

Funchos, Riverhead

A few years ago, Funchos owner Alfonso Zavala began serving horchata, a white rice beverage enriched with almond and cinnamon flavors. Eventually, he got the idea to mix the popular beverage with a Mexican chocolate brand known as Abuelita. This hearty combination fostered Funchos’ delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate.

The wildly popular drink is topped off with a dulce de leche-filled churro.

Zavala is also working on modifying his restaurant’s liquor license to be able to add Ancho Reyes, a chili liqueur.

“To add a little heat on there,” he said.

1156 West Main St.,

D’Latte Cafe, Greenport

This hot chocolate is made with 70 percent Belgian chocolate and paired with your milk of choice, depending on preference.

“A lot of kids love it because we can give them marshmallows and whip cream,” said Maria
Purita, who runs the café with her sister Gabriella.

If you can’t make it out to Greenport this winter, D’Latte serves hot chocolate year-round.

218 Main Road, Greenport,

A cup of Aldo’s hot chocolate. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Aldo’s Coffee Company, Greenport

Owner Aldo Mariorana says that during the first – and rather cold – day of a North Fork event many years ago, he promised the organizers he would serve his hot chocolate until midnight to help keep people warm. And he stayed true to his word, providing cups to anyone who asked.

Not wanting to use coco powder, he melted chocolate in a bowl and proceeded to keep it warm atop an espresso machine. Aldo has continued to serve his hot chocolate ever since.

“I know it’s not Swiss Miss, but it’s hot chocolate … Everything is a matter of taste,” he said when asked what makes his version of the timeless drink so special.

Aldo’s traditional hot chocolate is served year round and can be iced upon request on warmer days.

103 Front Street, Greenport,