It goes without saying that kids love hot chocolate, but what about adults? If the hot choc at your local coffee shop leaves you a little underwhelmed, the annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is here with spicy, fruity, boozy, vegan, ice creamy and inventive chocolate concoctions to please all palates from connoisseurs to kids!
Vancouver’s top cafes, bakeries, chocolatiers and ice cream makers will dazzle you with their creative takes on the classic hot chocolate plus their accompanying amuse bouche. It’s a chocolate lovers dream with 30 participants offering 75 unique hot chocolate flavours over 26 days.
And did we mention melt-in-your-mouth homemade marshmallows?
Think lavender, blueberries, yuzu and lemongrass-infused white chocolate (not all together!), these are for the adventurous.
- Lavender Dream
Lavender and lemongrass-infused white chocolate served with a white chocolate-glazed doughnut. Location Diva at the Met.
- Yu-Zu… What?
Sweet-tart, citrus Yuzu-infused Tanzania white drinking chocolate, with coconut milk and citrus zest.
Accompanied by a house-made jasmine cookie. East Van Roasters (Feb 2-14)
- The Dazzling Mermaid
Wild blueberry cheesecake and butterfly pea white hot chocolate served with a Seashell Macaron. Location: Soirette
- The Citronelle
Lemongrass white chocolate latte paired with a Lemongrass Kumquat Macaron. Location: Beaucoup Bakery
Vegan or bust
This isn’t even the half of it! Vegan donuts are having a moment.
- Chocolate Power Plant
Vegan almond or vegan hazelnut milk hot chocolate. Paired with a vegan / gluten-free chocolate doughnut. Location: Lucky’s Doughnuts (pictured above).
- Merry Berry Hot Chocolate
Using local raspberries and fair trade premium cacao, this hot chocolate is 100% vegan, organic and irresistibly delicious.
Served with a house-made raspberry cheesecake. Location: Eternal Abundance Organic Market and Cafe.
- Neither Sun nor Rain
Vegan smoked curry dark hot chocolate with coconut milk paired with Lemongrass and Mango Praline. Location: Koko Monk Chocolates.
Ice Cream or Gelato
- Sweet and Salty
Salty pretzels and sweet caramel, topped with whipped cream and pretzels.
Paired with a house-made Blondie Bar. Location: Earnest Ice Cream
- Squeeze your Own Lemon
RAW coconut water and made in-house RAW coconut milk infused with Erin Ireland’s fab ‘To Die For Lemon Loaf’ and a medium dark chocolate blend. Served with a scoop of Uno’s Organic Avalon Dairy Gelato or Vegan Gelato. Available: February 2 – 14 Location: Uno Gelato.
- Îlles Flotantes
Dark hot chocolate with white and dark chocolate shavings topped with your choice of a petit scoop of Ganache Ice cream or a dark Valrhona Chocolate Marshmallow. Location: La Glace
Drunken Hot Chocs
- Almond Joy
Dark chocolate with Baileys Liqueur, vanilla-infused cream and shaved almonds.
Served with Almond Biscotti. Location: Baggio Gelateria
- Peta Kool Aid
Entirely vegan coconut cream ganache hot chocolate with Baileys Almond Milk liqueur paired with a mini dark chocolate bar. Location: Mink Chocolates.
- Great Balls of Fire
Spicy cinnamon Callebaut milk chocolate infused with Fireball liqueur served with “fried” ice cream.
Available: Feb 2 – 8
Pro tips for families
Split it: These hot chocolates are rich, rich, rich! They are full-on desserts. If you’re planning on going to few spots, consider splitting one.
Try out different flavours and places: Experience a variety of tastes – go boozy for after dinner, creamy for post-kids-activities and plant-based for a vegan experience.
Post a pic: Upload and tag your favourite (or most photogenic) hot choc with#hotchocolatefest and you could win one of many prizes including gift certificates valued at $500, $150 and $75 o a 2020 Festival Pass.
Hot Chocolate Festival
January 19 – February 14th
Get the full hot chocolate line-up
Partial proceeds from the fest go to for the The Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program of the PHS Community Services Societys run by East Vancouver Roasters, Growing Chefs and Fresh to Families.