Bring the Family

Cold comfort in hot chocolate tour

Joanna Weiss/globe Staff

Who: Globe columnist Joanna Weiss and her daughter Ava, 8

What: Hot chocolate indulgence tour


Where: Fazenda Coffee Roasters in Jamaica Plain; Sweet Life Bakery & Cafe in Dorchester;
Radio Coffeehouse in Milton

This is a tough time of year for the warm-blooded among us. The calendar says “spring,” but the weather says, “in your dreams.” How do you console a child who still needs her down coat as the crocuses rise beneath her feet? This year, our solution was to indulge in a wintry activity that wouldn’t be so pleasant in actual warm weather: the hot chocolate indulgence tour.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Our purpose wasn’t a taste test so much as a journey: an excuse for sampling sips and venues and touring the neighborhoods around us. We didn’t hit every stop in a single day, though if you’re sugar-tolerant, you surely could.

We started our rounds at Fazenda Coffee Roasters Café in Jamaica Plain, across the street from the Forest Hills T station. This is a relatively new retail outpost of a Dedham-based roasting operation, and on the Saturday we went, it was packed with intense-looking hipsters. They were tolerant of Ava, her 4-year-old brother, and two of her friends, who scored a counter-height table beneath the front window. The kids loved the tall paper cups and the ultra-long spoons — flatware can be exciting when you’re 8 — and they loved watching the traffic go in and out of the station. File under: extra-grand central.

Our next stop was the Sweet Life Cafe, a sleek and streamlined restaurant in Dorchester’s Lower Mills section. Here, hot chocolate was treated as a fancy indulgence, served in a ceramic mug, artfully topped with whipped cream. The foot traffic was less robust, but the menu offered plenty of diversions, and Ava partook of breakfast food late in the afternoon. File under: hot chocolate as high tea.


Finally, we hit a low-frills neighborhood joint in Milton: the affordable Radio Coffeehouse, known for its retro interior and its support for local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. The hot chocolate was nothing special, but the bins of candy made up for it, and Ava was happy to sit on a couch by the window and stare at a statue of a soft-serve ice cream cone. File under: It’s good to dream.

Hot chocolate is great, but next month we hope it’s time to undertake an ice cream tour.

Fazenda Coffee Roasters Cafe, 3710 Washington St., Jamaica Plain; Sweet Life Bakery & Cafe, 2243 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester; Radio Coffeehouse, 24 Central Ave, Milton.

Joanna Weiss can be reached atWeiss@globe
. Follow her on Twitter @joannaweiss

Correction: Because of a reporting error, the original version of this story misspelled the name of Fazenda Coffee Roasters Cafe.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of