Mutari: Serious Hot Chocolate in Santa Cruz, CA

Recently, we went on an amazing road trip up the California coast. Mutari is a little hot chocolate joint we visited in Santa Cruz, California. We stopped by to escape a rainy Santa Cruz night after dinner and before returning to our hotel on our trip up the coast. It was an experience. I’ll get straight to the point that I did not love their chocolate. But I loved their passion and it made everything taste a little better.


My wife got a hot chocolate chai, which she loved. She ended up not being able to finish it because it was so incredibly rich, which makes their somewhat higher prices easier to handle. You always feel better about spending more on food if you don’t leave hungry. I, who prefer to avoid darker chocolate, requested what was most like milk chocolate. Their very organic selection from across the world is a higher percentage of cocoa, so it’s all on the dark side. It was a little strong for me, but I finished my hot chocolate.

The service is good, but it’s a small operation so we did have to wait some time for our drinks since he was not only taking orders, but also making all the drinks. It might have helped to have more staff, but that might help keep the costs down. The environment is very laid back (full of Ella Fitzgerald jazz and dimmed lights–which you can see attributed to our low-quality pics)  and we were able to relax, which is nice

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In the end, if you can appreciate dark chocolate, you should stop by and try something fun. If you’re a big milk chocolate fan or looking for something sweeter, you could probably find an ice cream shop instead. Still, their caring for the craft makes this a worthwhile thoroughfare. We would say this is a one-of-a-kind establishment and we’re happy to support unique people and businesses. As always, stay hungry and fit!



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