The annual Hot Chocolate Festival returns Saturday, January 15th to Monday, February 14th
Celebrate the season's sweetest hot beverage with local restaurants and cafes, who will be showcasing their own unique chocolate creations.
1. Giovane Caffè
Photo Credit: Mark YammineHead to Giovane's and indulge in the sweet, sweet taste of Italy with two hot chocolate offerings. The first, Aria Fresca, is a mint hot chocolate that has a herbaceous basil twist, putting a subtle spin on a peppermint patty-inspired drink. The second, Ciao Bella, is based on one of the fan-favourite pastries baked daily by their chef, which sees a milky hazelnut chocolate concoction topped with crunchy cookie crumbs.
Giovane Caffè, 1049 West Cordova Street, Vancouver
2. Honolulu Coffee
Honolulu CoffeeUpping the ante with festival-favourite Honolulu Coffee, the tropical hot chocolate flavours and perfectly paired desserts will make your experience that little bit sweeter. The ‘Bananako’i’, combines a hint of passionfruit and banana with 70 percent dark chocolate, and is paired with a bananas Foster ice cream sandwich to cool you down. Their second offering, ‘Soyly Guìhuā’, is crafted with their own Guìhuā sauce from the beautiful Osmanthus frangrans flower, and expertly mixes it with 70 percent dark chocolate and soy milk, and is paired with their house-made oat walnut Guìhuā cookie.
Honolulu Coffee, 888 Nelson Street & 2098 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver
SciuéThis year, Sciué developed their hot chocolate features with the team from the former Soirette Pastry Boutique, who recently closed their physical storefront. And, inspired by a different kind of mask than the ones we’ve all been wearing for the last few years, their ‘Mask-querade’ hot chocolate takes cues from the legendary masquerade balls during the Carnival of Venice, and includes a pistachio white hot chocolate, served in a crushed pistachio-rimmed mug, served with a spiced, cardamom and fennel shortbread masquerade mask cookie. Their second offering, Calabria Sunshine, celebrates the region of Calabria, the land of citrus fruit, and includes an orange milk hot chocolate paired, with a bergamot ricotta-filled cannoli and candied citrus and caramelized walnuts.
Sciué, 110—800 West Pender Street and 126 Davie Street, Vancouver
4. Super Veloce
Super VeloceHealth-focused Italian coffee bar Super Veloce's chocolate concoctions include the 'Formula Piccante', a chile hot chocolate that'll get you breathing and clear your sinuses, while still being a delicious treat, and the 'Pronti Partenza', featuring the classic duo of peanut butter and chocolate, providing healthy fats and protein... and utter bliss for your tastebuds.
Super Veloce, 150—1067 West Cordova Street
5. Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
Pacific Institute of Culinary ArtsOffering three unique and wonderful flavours, PICA's hot choc picks including the 'Mariah Cherry', a Black Forest-inspired treat with a rich, 69 percent dark chocolate infused with Kirsch and Amarena cherries, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles, and paired with a heart-shaped, dark chocolate shortbread cookie that's sure to leave you singing all the high notes. A Hopscotch butterscotch, with 69 percent chocolate blended with a salty-sweet, brown sugar butterscotch and finished with whipped cream and a butterscotch drizzle, paired with a dark chocolate sable brownie topped with butterscotch shards and cocoa nibs. And finally, 'Earl Greycouver', with 69 percent dark chocolate steeped in fragrant Earl Grey with a touch of bergamot, paired with an Earl Grey macaron with a milk chocolate ganache.
PICA; 101—1505 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver
6. Coho Coffee
Photo credit: Rich WonParticipating in their first Hot Chocolate Festival, the community-based East Vancouver spot Coho Coffee is featuring two unique chocolate beverages, including a vegan option, both paired with Indian sweets from local business Mithai & Co. Their 'Make It a Spicy Date' (gluten-free), is 70 percent dark chocolate, flavoured with masala chai spice and almond chai brittle, served with a chai date bite. Their second hot chocolate feature, 'Miso Want a Snow Day', includes a blend of 41 percent milk chocolate, whipped cream, shaved chocolate and miso caramel bites, and is served with a snowball bite featuring coconut laddoo, filled with caramel ganache and a toasted hazelnut in the centre.
Coho Coffee, 1370 East Georgia Street
7. Kafka Coffee
Kafka CoffeeWith two delicious offerings, Kafka Coffee's hot chocolate features include 'Drove My Dulce to the Leche but the Leche Was Chai', a blend of dark and milk chocolate with house-made dulce de leche and a hint of masala chai, served with a 70 percent dark chocolate brownie with a dulce de leche swirl; and 'Ruby Tuesday', which is ruby chocolate blended with pistachios and milk, served with a ruby chocolate-dipped pistachio shortbread.
Kafka Coffee, 2525 Main Street, Vancouver