The City Bakery is located at 3 West 18th Street, footsteps from 5th Avenue in the Union Square/Flatiron neighborhood in Manhattan. We're a quick taxi ride straight down 5th Avenue if you're coming from Midtown, and a nice, easy walk from the surrounding neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, Chelsea and Gramercy Park. If you're coming from outside of New York, we recommend airplane, especially if you're coming from an overseas destination. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 am - 7:00pm. Saturday, 7:30am - 7:00pm and Sunday, 9:00am - 5:30pm.
The City Bakery began selling "Real Hot Chocolate" when it first opened for business December 8, 1990. At that time, what people thought of when they thought of hot chocolate was a scalding hot brown mystery liquid that came from a vending machine. Some clusters of cocoa powder floating around the top, too.
City Bakery was the first to make hot chocolate from real chocolate - not cocoa - and in the process, brought hot chocolate from yesteryear to the present day when hot chocolate actually tastes like great chocolate and is richer, thicker, and more fabulous than you ever imagined.
Fourteen years since City Bakery put hot chocolate on the map, the food world has joined the hot chocolate bandwagon. Even "fancy" restaurants these days have hot chocolate on their menus. But since 1990, no one in New York or across the country has served as much hot chocolate as City Bakery. We ladle out nearly 500 cups a day during the cold weather months at our Union Square location. We sell Original hot chocolate everyday and each February we hold our Annual City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival, which includes a rotating menu of 25 hot chocolates, including Banana Peel Hot Chocolate, Chili Pepper Hot Chocolate, Vanilla Bean Hot Chocolate and Arabian Nights Hot Chocolate "Calendar of Flavors"
At Opening Day of this year's 13th Annual Festival, we closed down 18th Street and put a portable ice skating rink in the street. The New York City Police Department estimates that nearly 15,000 people were on hand and we served about 6,000 cups of hot chocolate during the day to those who waited in a festive mood in a line that stretched from our storefront to 5th Avenue.
26 January 1994, New York Times, pg. C6:
City Bakery's annual hot chocolate festival, with flavors like banana, mocha, chocolate malt and chili pepper, will be held in two places this year: at the bakery, 22 East 17th Street, and at its new store in the Sony Building Plaza, 55th Street and Madison Avenue. City Bakery will add the hot chocolates to its menus for the month.
11 March 1998, New York Times, "Liquefied Roads to Chocolate Heaven" by Suzanne Hamlin, pg. F3:
Even this winter's mild weather has not discouraged hot chocolate converts. At City Bakery, 22 East 17th Street, which has had a hot chocolate festival for seven years, ''We've sold more hot chocolate this year than we have during blizzard winters,'' said Maury Rubin, the owner.
This may be because Mr. Rubin's $2.50 cup of hot chocolate is what many consider to be the perfect amalgam of rich, multi dimensional dark chocolate, melted into milk and cream and topped with a homemade marshmallow. His customers also know that Mr. Rubin has a flavor of the day, with 16 revolving options, including chili pepper, bourbon and caramel. He even has a ''Whispering Heaven'' hot chocolate, whose ingredients he will not divulge.
''People come in and say, 'Oh, this is just like Angelina's,' '' Mr. Rubin said, referring to the patisserie on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. Angelina's hot chocolate, a darkly rich libation of melted chocolate, milk and cream, can support a spoon upright.