by Ania Dani
Chocoholics rejoice! From January 15 to February 14, 2022 the Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is back for its 12th year.
With 44 vendors and 106 hot chocolate favours to choose from, your mission—if you choose to accept it—is to find your perfect cup of hot coco. There’s a flavour for every type of hot chocolate lover, from classic dark chocolate to passion fruit white chocolate and plenty of vegan and gluten free options (check the flavours by vendor if you have dietary restrictions).
Plan your hot chocolate sampling route by neighbourhood via an interactive map or scout the options by flavour.
Here are my top three picks from East Vancouver to get your mission started, as well as a few standout flavours that I’m aiming to sample before the festival ends on Valentine’s Day.
The Bench Bakehouse
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tue-Sun (Closed Mon)
I tried The Polar Vortex. Dark chocolate and strawberry. How can you say no to that? There’s also a pasty and hot chocolate special for the ultimate chocoholic breakfast or lunch.
Location: 1370 East Georgia St.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mon-Sat (Closed Sun, except Feb. 6)
I tried the Make it a Spicy Date, a dark-chocolate and masala chai-based concoction. Don’t let the name fool you, while packed with flavour it’s not super spicy. And, it’s gluten free and vegan to boot!
Address: 143 East 3rd Ave.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon-Fri. (Closed Sat and Sun)
I tried the Under the Palms hot chocolate for a taste of warm tropical paradise to distract me from the rainy weather. I’ve always loved anything with passion fruit and this white chocolate-based coco did not disappoint.
Next on my to try list are:
We’ve still got a little over a week left of the Hot Chocolate Festival, so I’ll be making it my mission to try these stand-out temptations:
- Wasabi Cannon Ball (until Feb. 4 only) and Caesar’s Proposal at A La Mode Pie Café (Granville Island)
- Rose Coloured Glasses at Temper Chocolate & Pastry (West Vancouver)
- Salted Miso Hot Chocolate from Café Artigiano (multiple locations in Vancouver and North Vancouver)
We want to hear from you! What is your favourite flavour? Tell us in the comments.