Digging deep into the richness of various cultures and cuisines right at our fingertips, New York’s self-proclaimed foodies know that when it comes to chocolate there’s far more choices out there than the tourist’s beloved Hershey store.
For just shy of 93 years the Cortés family has been making a name for themselves in the Caribbean chocolate world. Production began in Puerto Rico with Don Pedro Cortés Forteza who pushed Caribbean grown cacao to its fullest potential. His family-owned bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturing company was established and quickly became the leading chocolate pioneer in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Most famous for their hot chocolate, the Cortés family created a menu with chocolate as the star ingredient and opened their first restaurant in Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan in 2013. Now, they’re hoping to garner attention from a new group of chocolate enthusiasts in New York.
On December 17, 2021, after multiple unfortunate pandemic delays, Chocobar Cortés opened its first brick-and-mortar location in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx.
The restaurant is split into two rooms – a counter-service shop on the left serving coffee, hot chocolate, and pastries, and the main dining room with a full bar on the right.
Here you’ll find an ode to their Old San Juan menu with a mix of savory and sweet dishes, many which contain ingredients you would have never imagined pairing together. Think: ham croquettes with a dark chocolate dipping sauce, a chicken sandwich with chocolate balsamic vinaigrette, and a bloody mary with, you guessed it, chocolate bitters.
Of course their menu wouldn’t be complete without their famous hot chocolate – in fact, they’re serving up 10 different variations of it.
As the Puerto Rican and Dominican community continues to grow in the Mott Haven neighborhood, Carlos Cortés, the creative director who runs the restaurant side of the company, is emphasizing his presence, making it known that it’s no coincidence Chocobar Cortés popped up where it did. The city is experiencing a lot of change, and Cortés is keen on being a part of it.
For all things chocolate and sweet tooth satisfying make sure to check out Chocobar Cortés. See the full menu here.