To satisfy a sweet tooth, or keep a sweetheart satisfied, Vancouver has some delectable options for chocoholics.
While the city is home to one of the province’s most-loved chocolate businesses, we’re also chock-full of independent chocolate shops, where hand-crafted treats fill display cases, and cozy cafés welcome
Here are our picks for the best independent chocolate shops in Vancouver:
Thomas Haas has been making life in Vancouver sweeter for 20 years now, and his handcrafted chocolates and pastries are destination desserts for locals and tourists alike. At his Kitsilano cafe (as well as the one in North Vancouver), customers can order up chocolates by the piece or box, baked goods, confections, coffees, and more.
Address: 2539 West Broadway, Kitsilano
Beautiful, high-end, boutique chocolate gems abound at Beta5. This modest space is brimming with artisanal treats. Come for the chocolates, indeed, but stay (or come back again and again) for their much-lauded cream puffs in an array of whimsical flavours.
Address: 413 Industrial Avenue, Strathcona
Yaletown’s xoxolat is an “edible gallery,” making it a destination for chocolate enthusiasts and those wanting to learn more about single origin chocolate from around the globe. Savvy staff will guide shoppers through their array of estate, organic, or fair trade treats, or sign up for one of their many chocolate tasting events.
Address: 1271 Homer Street, Yaletown
Small batch chocolates in the French tradition are the specialty of the maison at Thierry, though you may be easily–and rightly–sidetracked by the café’s stunning pastries, liquid chocolate, and macarons. Choose from bites of rich, flavoured ganache blanketed in fine chocolate, or get nutty with their pralines.
Address: 1059 Alberni Street, West End
This chic chocolatier and café on the downtown waterfront is a great place to sit back and sip a cup of cocoa, or pick up some delectable chocolate treats to savour later. If you’ve got time to linger, bring a friend or date and order up the s’mores, which you can cook at your own table. There’s lots of fun and whimsy when it comes to chocolate at Mink.
Address: 863 Hastings St W, Coal Harbour (Cafe)
It’s no wonder “arts” is in Chocolate Arts’ name: Their chocolates are visually stunning, and boast tantalizing flavour combinations. The “Matcha Leaf” is, fittingly, leaf-shaped and made with Japanese matcha green tea infused into white chocolate, and highlighted with dark chocolate, while the “Blossom” is a floral-shaped piece with house-dried organic Okanagan cherries macerated in cherry juice surrounded by dark or milk chocolate. Vegan chocoholics will want to check for their rotating animal product-free selection, too.
Address: 1620 W 3rd Avenue, Fairview Slopes
Granville Island’s ChocolaTas beckons locals and visitors alike with their stunning visual display, and keeps their sweet-loving customers happy with excellent service and, of course, excellent chocolate. The “Tas,” by the way, comes from Belgian-trained chocolatier Wim Tas’ name. Tas and wife Veve are behind the chocolate “jewels” of ChocolaTas.
Address: 151-1669 Johnston Street, Granville Island
Kerrisdale’s Gem Chocolates is one of the newer kids on the Vancouver chocolate block. This award-winning chocolatier uses fair trade, organic cocoa to make their artisanal chocolates right there in the shop. High quality comes with a high price, but hopefully that will encourage chocolate lovers to slow down and savour these carefully crafted gems.
Address: 2029 West 41st Avenue, Kerrisdale
Featured image: Chocolate heart/Shutterstock