Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc.
300 39th St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
This Civil-War-era cider cellar features musket cider taps, civil war caps and old iron antiques. The worst civilian casualty of the Civil War happened just across the street at the Lawrenceville Arsenal: It is said that windows up and down 39th street shook from the explosion. The choices here rotate with the seasons with names including Fighting Elleck, Negley’s Nectar, Symington’s Sour Cherry Union and Picket Bone Dry Apple. If you’ve never tried hot, hard cider, it’s time. Enjoy a pumpkin-flavored cider in October and November, and in December you won’t want to miss Santa’s cinnamon. Bring it home for the holidays but do not boil it because you will burn off the alcohol. Just warm it on the stove gently and curl up by the fire to chase away the winter chill.
Mon Aimee Chocolat!
2101 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
There is, in fact, a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. Mon Aimee Chocolate! owner Amy Rosenfield takes pride in the fact that she uses only the purest ingredients in her rich, creamy, thick European-style hot chocolate. Speaking of chocolate, nothing but the best will do. Rosenfield said she prefers Guittard because all of the ingredients are natural, from the pure cane sugar to the real vanilla beans. Guittard dates back to the Gold Rush days in San Francisco. Most people come to Mon Aimee Chocolat! to fill their pantries with incredible chocolate and gourmet sweets, but while you are there, be sure to try the dark and spicy hot chocolate with cinnamon and a combo of other spices. If you prefer, try the dark milk hot chocolate — it’s great for sipping on a frosty day.
5430 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
You probably know the Quiet Storm for its vegetarian food and its gluten-free offerings, but it also boasts one of the best hot beverage menus in the ‘Burgh. Choose any of the coffees, teas and hot chocolates on the menu and it’ll warm you up, but the Moroccan coffee can’t be beat. It is a luscious latte with sweet rose syrup and cardamom whipped cream.
Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle
2329 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh PA 15222
Try Mullaney’s Harp and Fiddle in the Strip District for the best Irish coffee and hot toddies in Pittsburgh. Enjoy live Irish music to warm your soul as these toasty beverages warm up the rest of you. Owner David Regan mixes up double-strength hazelnut decaf, Jameson Irish Whiskey, freshly whipped cream, sugar and a touch of creme de menthe for Irish coffees like nothing you’ve ever had.
Related: Best Spots To Warm Up During Winter
1839 Murray Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Located at the 61C bus stop at the corner of Murray and Bartlett, the 61C Cafe is practically a Squirrel Hill Landmark. It offers wireless Internet, and lots of folks bring their laptops and settle in for several hours just sipping away at the drink on the extensive menu here. Enjoy eight types of espresso on the menu and countless teas to warm up, or snag a smoothie if you’re all caffeined out. P.S. the baked goods here rock.
4601 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Tessaro’s is known for its humongous hamburgers, but it also creates the most brilliant, fantastic Jamaican coffee in the city. Try this intoxicating brew with dark rum, Kahlua, Tia Maria, coffee, whipped cream and a cherry. For the kids, try Tessaro’s hot chocolate to warm up the whole family in one delectable, delicious location.
Related: Guide to Western PA Wineries