Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival 2016

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What tastes better during the cold, snowy, (rainy for us West Coasters) dreary, winter months then a mug of delicious, creamy hot chocolate? It’s honestly the best winter drink ever!

Natasha and I have been to Vancouver’s Annual Hot Chocolate Festival before so we wanted to try at least a couple of the creations this year. We would love to have tried them all but with 59 hot chocolate flavours in total, we settled on just 4 cafes we’ve not yet been to.

Vancouver launched the first Hot Chocolate Festival 6 years ago. At the time it was the first city-wide Hot Chocolate Festival of its kind in the world. Pretty cool!

It has since grown and gained much popularity around the city. It is a month long event with 25 various cafes, bakeries, pastry shops and chocolatiers around Vancouver who create signature hot chocolate flavours. These are not your ordinary run of the mill kind of flavours by no means. This year there was everything from, dark chocolate with squash and almond milk to milk chocolate with banana and hazelnut. Creativity at it’s finest.

What’s really awesome about this festival is that it is a fundraiser for the Vancouver Downtown EastSide Women’s job training program.

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GEM CHOCOLATES

This Kerrisdale chocolatier is known for their hand made, natural, preservative-free award winning chocolates. Which by the way are devine.

This hot chocolate creation ‘Give Yourself To The Dark Side‘ was one of the most anticipated at the Festival this year. For obvious reason with the movie recently released. The adorable (and delicious) Darth Vader dark chocolate along with a cup of their creamy dark hot chocolate was the perfect match. The hot chocolate was light, smooth, not too sweet or heavy. I also tried their unbelievable Pecan Pie chocolates and the flavour made me literally giddy with happiness. Seriously. Happy.

Each week Gem Chocolates made a different flavour along with a new cinematic theme to their hot chocolate drink.

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49th PARALLEL COFFEE ROASTERS

One of the most popular cafe’s in Vancouver, known for their superior coffee quality, we were really excited to try one of their hot chocolate creations this year. I’m not gonna lie, the fact that they make the BEST homemade donuts from scratch right in their store may or may not be the reason I was completely stoked to go! Okay. It was totally a big plus!
They offered a few different hot chocolate choices but we went with the classic ‘Hot Chocolate And A Doughnut‘ combo. I mean really. How could I not? It’s like a match made in heaven.
Honestly heaven. I’m not even ashamed to say we also bought additional doughnuts to take home. Nope. Not ashamed.

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TERRA BREADS

Don’t let the name of this cafe fool you. This is definitely not just a bread making bakery. Although if you want crazy delicious artison baked breads of numerous styles then this is the place to go. But it’s so much more. They serve everything from freshly baked breads, salads, soups, sandwiches, specialty espressos and fantastic rustic baked pastries. I didn’t want to leave until I tried one of everything. Ha! I wish! Lets just say we will be frequenting Terra Breads more often.

We went with the intention to just have a hot chocolate. But once we got inside we couldn’t resist ordering one of their signature rustic roasted turkey & asiago sandwiches as well. Oh my it was superb!

Then we chose the ‘Honey Buns‘ hot chocolate which is a Cocoa Barry Chocolate Dark Venezuela single origin hot chocolate with chili honey, cinnamon and Bourbon vanilla bean.
Served with cinnamon sugar brioche. It definitely had a kick to it with the chili spice. Looking at other peoples photos of the same drink afterwards we do think that they may have added a tad too much of the chili spice to ours.

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CHOCOLATE ARTS

Located in Kitsilano, this chocolate shop specializes in fine hand crafted chocolates using the very best quality of ingredients. With the finest chocolate from France, and locally sourced BC fruits they create a range of delicious chocolate flavours that represent the West Coast.
The hot chocolate we chose at this location was ‘The Creamsicle‘. A creamy white chocolate and vanilla hot chocolate.
Served with blood-orange sorbet that you dip into the hot chocolate. Blended together it was like a magical warm cocoa-creamsicle. Dreamy. It was served with a macaron.

The festival is on until this Sunday which is Valentine’s Day. Going for a warm hot chocolate is a perfect way to end a romantic date!

Laura & Natasha xo
(written by Laura, photos by Natasha)

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