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Drive-Thru Gourmet

So chill: This fabulously 'frrrozen' hot chocolate makes for a decadent dessert

This fabulously 'frrrozen' hot chocolate makes for a decadent dessert

Drive-Thru Gourmet - Frrrozen hot chocolate
This Frrrozen drink is a legendary, must-try New York treat.  Courtesy photo

This week I reached out for something completely different and frankly incomparable: a goblet of Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at New York City’s legendary Serendipity 3 restaurant.

That’s Frrrozen, with three R’s — it’s trademarked. And it’s become as synonymous with New York fun food as a street corner hot dog or slice of pepperoni pie. 

Here’s the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate breakdown: a blend of 14 exotic cocoas, ice and milk, all shook up, topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Total calories: 420 (for a large 20-ounce serving). Fat grams: 8. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $10.95 served in the restaurant. You can take home a canister of the cocoa mix for $16.95.

Usually this column focuses on a new menu item from a national fast food chain. But when I was in New York recently and got a special invite to try a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate...well, heck yeah. 

One week only, a one-off review of a one-of-a-kind dessert. Serendipity 3 is a full- service restaurant, open from 11:30 am to midnight weekdays, and til’ 1 am on weekends. There’s the usual run of burgers and sandwiches and platters, sure, but that line of locals and tourists out the front door is craving one thing, the iconic Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.

Serendipity 3 serves, oh, 10,000 Frrrozen Hot Chocolates a month. (It’s pretty popular.)

What exactly is a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate? Think of a cross between a gritty, icy Slushee from your corner convenience store and a smooth, creamy Frosty from Wendy’s. It’s super chocolatey and decadent. It really does taste like hot chocolate that’s dropped below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Big enough for two people, it’s served with a spoon and a straw. Be careful if you get the short straw. That first sip may give you a momentary ice cream headache. Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is brrr!

Serendipity 3 is a spectacular feast for the eye, too. When you walk through the door at 225 East 60th St. on Manhattan’s uppity upper East Side, it’s like you fell down the rabbit hole into Alice in Wonderland. Stained glass and fanciful visuals are everywhere. There’s an Andy Warhol figure hovering over the artist’s favorite table, where he would trade a sketch for a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. The place has tables upstairs and down, room for 160 guests. Tables turn fast, so don’t frown at the line outside.

Jackie Kennedy once asked the restaurant for its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate recipe so she could serve it at the White House. Serendipity 3 said nope, but we’ll come to Washington and make them for your guests.

Beyonce, Jay Z, President Trump, the Obama girls, Sarah Palin, Kim and Kanye, Tom Cruise, Barbra Streisand, Cher, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and Marilyn Monroe — all big fans of Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.

Joan Rivers used to bring her grandson in for “reverse lunch.” First they’d have a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, then a sandwich. It’s completely understandable, like breakfast for dinner. Everybody loves breakfast for dinner.


Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know in the comments, or on Twitter