I love hot chocolate. Heck, I love chocolate; But hot chocolate brings with it so many wonderful feelings and memories of sledding on a snow day and getting out from the cold at my parents' cabin in Maine. As a kid, we always had pretty crappy hot chocolate made from a powdery sugary mix from Swiss Miss. In the last year, however, I have discovered hot chocolate made in a way that has renewed my love affair with it.
It came last winter when I was watching Martha Stewart make hot chocolate with real chocolate (recipe). I tried it out on our trip to Aspen last January and it was divine. I haven't made it yet this year, but I rediscovered The City Bakery's hot chocolate (above) that, at $5 (with an extra marshmallow), is the best I've ever had from a store. And I just discovered that in February of last year, The City Bakery had a hot chocolate festival, with a different flavor every day (pray it returns this year!).
A side note: Avoid Starbucks' hot chocolate. While their coffee is strong in flavor, their hot chocolate is little more than a chocolate syrup warmed up with hot milk.
New York magazine did a review of the city's best hot chocolate, which you can find here.