Drop It Like It’s Hot Chocolate

Clash Of Competing Brands Gets Settled

Hailey Milliken


Friendly Bean   


Cost: $2.10        Size: small, 12 ounces  

420 Northeast Barry Road Kansas City, Mo.

Hot chocolate from the Friendly Bean tasted like the best possible treat on a cold winter day. The outstanding taste made the few extra cents worth it. The drink had layers of flavor and subtle undertones of vanilla to make it stand out. The atmosphere of the coffee shop was small, cute and comforting. The Friendly Bean easily had the best price, size and flavor combination out of all the hot chocolates.


Panera Bread   


Cost: $4.90       Size: small, 16 ounces

6145 Northwest Barry Road Kansas City, Mo.

The taste and quality of Panera never fails to disappoint. The standard hot chocolate at this restaurant is fancy within itself and is easily the most impressive out of the five. The flavor of cookie dough marshmallows is addictive, and the creaminess is obvious. The downfall? The significantly heftier price. Panera would be ranked as my favorite if it weren’t for the bigger price tag, but you get what you pay for.




Cost: $1.65     Size: small, 16 ounces 

9600 North Oak Trafficway Kansas City, Mo.

The best way to describe gas station hot chocolate is that it tastes the way you would imagine: very scalding, very watery and very cookie-cutter. If you are looking for a typical Swiss-Miss tasting hot chocolate, then QuikTrip is the place to be. I have to praise the store for having such a large cup size for such a low price. Out of all five locations we visited, this was most definitely the best bang for your buck. Overall, QT offers a familiar and affordable hot chocolate.




Cost: $2.00        Size: small, 12 ounces

8642 North Dixson Avenue Kansas City, Mo.

If a place sounds like it should not be serving hot chocolate, then it probably shouldn’t. Subway hot chocolate wasn’t really a disappointment but more of just an expected outcome. It tasted like pure hot water and unsweetened cocoa powder. The light brown liquid burned my tongue and kept a bad taste in my mouth before trying the next drink available. The price was low enough, but still not as low as QuikTrip. I would’ve rather not spent any money on this beverage at all.

Make Your Own:


  • Whole milk (6 cups)
  • Heavy cream (2 cups)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Chocolate chips (12 oz)
  • Vanilla extract (1 tsp)
  • Toppings


  1. Stir milk and heavy cream in a large pot.
  2. Heat milk and cream mixture over medium heat until hot, not boiling.
  3. Remove from heat. Add a pinch of salt.
  4. Whisk in chocolate chips until melted. Stir in vanilla extract. 
  5. Add toppings. Enjoy!