L.A. Burdick’s

This has been a weird winter. 

After a freak snowstorm that we had in October, we hardly saw a snowflake throughout November, December, and most of January. The weather had been in hovering around the “balmy” fifties, with occasional stretches into the sixties. Bryan even commented a couple weeks ago how our beloved Charles River hadn’t frozen over yet, a rare sight indeed.

Well, that changed pretty quickly. The past two weeks, we’ve seen frigid temperatures flirting with single digits as well as our first big snowstorm. I guess there’s not doubt that winter is really here in full force. Perhaps it’s time to set up the fireplace, take out the down blankets, and think warm thoughts.

Like hot chocolate.

Mmmmm … hot chocolate!

There’s no doubt (in my mind at least) where the best hot chocolate in Boston is. Time after time, year after year, we always bring out-of-town guests to the same place. It’s this cute, quaint little chocolate shop in Harvard Square that’s famous for its chocolate penguins, chocolate mice, and hot chocolate drinks.

Welcome to L.A. Burdick’s, (aka “Burdick’s), which is opening up a new location in Boston’s Back Bay very, very soon (we’re talking in less than a week!). Burdick’s makes one of the most intense, rich, and deep hot chocolate drinks I’ve ever had. They achieve this by heating their high quality chocolate shavings in hot cream and milk (no, I never said it was healthy!). The resultant hot chocolate is so rich, if you take it home and try to refrigerate it, it solidifies into a solid mass of chocolate (!).

It’s so delicious, though, you have to try it. I would recommend sharing, or ordering the smallest possible size.
Chocolate mice
Sometimes Bryan and I like to order a mocha, which “dilutes” the super thick and rich chocolate with espresso. The drink is still gorgeously chocolate-y, but the thickness and sweetness is tempered by the strong, dark coffee.

Burdick’s sells cute hot chocolate kits where you can make your own version at home. It comes with a bag of chocolate shavings and a tiny little whisk. They make great gifts – local, creative, and . . . it’s chocolate!

Their most famous chocolates are their miniature penguins which are made of lemon ganache, dark chocolate, and “little almond arms”.
chocolate penguins
Aren’t they so cute?
Chocolate mice
Their tiny little mice are also really famous. You can get all different kinds of mice. White chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate infused with various types of flavors (e.g., cinnamon, orange, or espresso!).

Even though I’ve been living close to Harvard Square for over a decade, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never had one!! As a student I never felt like I could afford it, and I guess since then I’ve never bought one for myself to try. I’ve bought them as gifts for others, but I’ve actually never had one, so I actually can’t comment on the penguins or the mice!

They open pretty late at night, so it’s fun here to just come, have some chocolate drinks, and sample their desserts (yes, they have a lovely spread of cakes, cookies, and cupcakes!). It’s a perfect place to visit after dinner at a restaurant in Harvard Square.
chocolate penguins
It used to be one of the few places in Boston that had French macarons, though I think these days more and more places are starting to offer them.

I promise I’ll get a few penguins and mice the next time I’m in the area and I’ll let you know what I think! Meanwhile, you should still stop by and try the hot chocolate while it’s cold outside!

Stay warm!

L.A. Burdicks
52 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138
L.A. Burdick on Urbanspoon

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  1. Jfsoo says

    OK, I have to admit…I was deciding b/t Harvard and Columbia for grad school and Burdick’s was pretty much the deciding factor!!!!!

  2. says

    Burdick’s is great and I agree on the ordering the smallest size possible.  :oP  Though the medium milk chocolate is more tolerable.  But who wants to just tolerate hot chocolate?!  :oP  I like their macarons!  And at $1/piece, that’s not too bad.

  3. kitn says

    No disagreement about Burdick’s being excellent; but for the sake of a fair comparison, I’d encourage anyone who’s looking for fabulous hot chocolate to also try Sofra, on the Cambridge/Watertown/Belmont line.

  4. Molly Galler says

    My mom is a Harvard alum and she used to take my sister and I to Burdicks for special occasions. All of us have a special (and warm and chocolatey!) place in our hearts for this cafe. The mice and penguins are too cute and make great gifts. Now that I work downtown, I can’t wait for the Back Bay location to open!

  5. ktfrek says

    It’s been breaking my heart that the Back Bay location still hasn’t received it’s permit to serve beverages.  I spoke with the shop management who said they’d hopefully get a meeting in April.  I just can’t imagine what business is like considering the high cost of rent (I’m assuming, but I’m sure it ain’t cheap) and not being able to sell one of its hottest items.  Not that it’ll stop me from drinking chocolate in the summertime. 

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