Red alert. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Some of us will spend Thursday, February 14 smooching etc. Some of us will bemoan commercialism. Some of us will make last minute DIY cards and trinkets. And hopefully all of us spend Valentine’s Day with our one true love, who’s always been there when we needed it, sometimes even with a bottle of red wine. That’s right. I’m talking about chocolate.
Walk by the Hershey kisses in the drug store and source yourself some of the locally-made good stuff – chocolate crafted with love using single origin cacao and B.C. flavours. I considered making a list of Vancouver’s top chocolatiers and boutique chocolate shops. But Vancouver has too many winners to do a top five or even a top ten list.
We’ve got old school chocolate makers, like Roger’s Chocolates (on Granville Island) which has been around since 1885.
Others, like Beta 5 Chocolates (413 Industrial Avenue), are cool upstarts putting an edge tried-and-true confectionary. Beta 5’s polygon-shaped chocolate bars mimic British Columbia’s mountainous landscape. Their small-batch filled chocolates contain ganache enriched with everything from olive oil to cocoa nib-hazelnut praline.
Meanwhile Thierry Chocolaterie (1059 Alberni) is the real fancy-pants deal. The affable pastry chef/chocolatier is considered among the best dessert chefs in the world by Gordon Ramsay. He learned his trade in his native France and turns out professional, precise and exquisite chocs.
What’s your go-to Vancouver chocolatier or chocolate shop? Help out by commenting below. I’ve shared more of my favourites after the jump.
Here are a few more of my favourite chocolate shops to get the ball rolling:
As a Kits dweller, I love taking friends to Chocolate Arts (1620 West 3rd Avenue) in Kitsilano. Chocolate Arts turns out gorgeous chocolates (the finest cocao + local produce) with creative packaging.
Then there’s Thomas Haas (multiple locations)- a dependable source of high end chocolates by a fourth generation German pastry chef. Another personal favourite is Cocoa Nymph. Cocoa Nymph is perhaps the best at pushing the palate and making a wild flavour seem intuitive. Proprietor Rachel Sawatzky recently opened a new East Vancouver location at (7th & Ontario). The best chocolate shop for bringing along a kiddo is probably Charlie’s Chocolate Factory – every bit the fun scenario it sounds like in Burnaby (3746 Canada Way).
So where do you get sweets for your sweet? Or for yourself. Tell us your favourites.
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