Some are boozy, some are spicy, some are minty and some are just plain bananas. The 4th Annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is back and holy chocolate smokes, there are some super delicious cups of cocoa being poured in Vancouver.
For a full month, you can sip, slurp and repeat as you taste your way through over 60 crazy hot chocolate or hot chocolate inspired flavours. Organised by City Food Magazine, the festival started January 18 and runs until February 14.
Over 20 cafes are participating in this year’s festival – from Bel Cafe to Blenz, Terra Breads to Thierry. If you want to walk off your calories and do a bit of a tour, festival sponsor City Food has mapped out Hot Chocolate Festival destinations here.
The festival isn’t only about hot chocolate, it’s also about raising funds for a local charity. This year’s recipient of Hot Chocolate Festival proceeds is the Downtown Eastside women’s job training program of the Portland Hotel Society and East Van Roasters. The program provides part-time employment for female residents of the Rainier Hotel in the art of chocolate making. Watch the completely inspiring video to feel great about all the chocolately goodness you’ll consume in the next few weeks.
Below you’ll find some highlights of this year’s festival.
Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie – Three times lucky? A TRIO OF CHOCOLATE is a base of 66% Mokaya chocolate by Michel Cluizel. Served with a disk of 45% Kayambe milk chocolate + white chocolate ice cream. The Trio of Chocolate is only available from January 18 – January 31, so carpe diem.
Bel Cafe – The PEPPERMINT PATTY reminds me of raiding my grandma’s box of Christmas After Eights. Available from January 18 to 31 this minty drink combines 70% Valrhona guanaja chocolate infused with organic peppermint and vanilla bean Chantilly and is served with a double fudge cookie.
Bella Gelateria – Give it away, give it away, give it away now. The RED HOT CHILI PEPPER contains gBAR flavoured with chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne. A piece of Erin Ireland’s “To Die For” Banana Bread served on the side. Available: every day of the Festival.
Thomas Haas – Caramel and salt are meant for each other. THE CAMPFIRE is a classic hot chocolate, only with smoky caramel, smoked Hawaiian sea salt and is served with vanilla marshmallows. It’s available throughout the Festival.
Uva Wine Bar – For lovers of all things hot and boozy, this is the drink for you. THE BLACK WIDOW is Uva’s Hot Chocolate-inspired cocktail: reposado tequila influenced with cacao beans and coffee, Cherry Heering liquer, Amaro averna, Bittered Sling plum and rootbeer bitters. It’s served up with an Italian doughnut or zeppoli. Available every day of the festival, from 11 a.m. to closing.
Which cafes are you going to check out during the 2014 Hot Chocolate Festival? Share your hot cocoa tips in the comment section below.