Sipping on a hot mug of cocoa is one of winter’s greatest pleasures. Wonderfully indulgent and comforting, this beverage is guaranteed to warm your spirits on the most frigid of days.
Whether you like your hot chocolate ultra thick, on the bitter side, or topped with whipped cream, here’s our list of where to sip on the best hot chocolate in Vancouver.
In addition to providing customers with cozy nooks to enjoy well-made espresso drinks, Prado Café also whips up a light, addictively smooth hot chocolate rendition. Sweet and mild, Prado make their own chocolate sauce, using a dark 80 per cent Dutch process cocoa and a secret, dry spice blend. After pouring steamed milk over the chocolate sauce the baristas shake a little more cocoa powder over it and stir. The cost is $3.75 and there is even a special kids price ($1.95) that comes with mini marshmallows.
Address: Three locations (check website)
Known for their delicate handcrafted chocolates and pastries, it’s no wonder that Thomas Haas creates a stunning hot chocolate. Made with real chocolate (not cocoa powder), Thomas Haas’ drinking chocolate is thick, rich and boasts a creamy texture. This wicked concoction comes in three varieties: a ‘Classic’ version with 65 per cent cocoa; an ‘Extra Dark’ which contains 75 per cent cocoa; and an ‘Aztec’ which uses 65 per cent cocoa along with chipotle and ancho chili for a touch of spice.
Address: 128-998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver
Address: 2539 West Broadway, Kitsilano
Yaletown’s Small Victory Bakery creates on-site an incredibly light and smooth-textured hot chocolate. Not too big, not too sweet the hot chocolate is made with top-grade Valrhona chocolate from France.
Address: 1088 Homer Street
East Van Roasters’ made in-house drinking chocolates are sure to put a smile on your dial — they’re smooth to taste and comprised of 70 per cent dark chocolate. Currently the Gastown outpost has a Single-Origin, Mayan spiced and a Malagasy Bitters drinking chocolate on offer.
Address: 319 Carrall Street
Thick, rich, and ultra-luxurious Mink Chocolate Café celebrates hot chocolate in the most opulent of ways. Ranging from 38 to 70 per cent cocoa content Mink’s drinking chocolate consists of pure, fresh chocolate ganache (no powders, no water, nothing reconstituted or rehydrated).
Address: 863 West Hastings Street
Thierry’s signature blend of pure velvety dark chocolate is on the bitter side and can be savoured on its own or for those with a sweet tooth, complemented with caramel or hazelnut, or even Basque chilli for an added kick.
Address: 1059 Alberni Street
Made with 72 per cent Venezuelan Trinitario, top quality pure cacaos, herbs, spices, and a dash of orange zest, Kitsilano’s Koko Monk Chocolates offers a sweet and slightly spicy sipping hot chocolate. In addition to this authentic brew that guarantees to warm patrons to the core, Koko Monk Chocolates also prepares a spiked brew, which is made up of Turkish coffee, organic dark chocolate and Courvoisier Cognac.
Address: 1849 West 1st Avenue, Kitsilano
With an array of chocolatey treats (in the form of cookies, pastries, macarons, and crumbles) it should come as no surprise that David Hawksworth’s downtown Bel Café whips up a memorable cup of hot cocoa. Made with 70 per cent Valrhona Dark Chocolate, Bel Café’s drinking chocolate is heavenly; it’s mildly sweet and smooth to drink.
Address: Located at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 801 West Georgia Street
Chocoholics will savour Blenz’s signature hot chocolate, which is made from using only 100 per cent authentic Belgian chocolate chips. Hand blended with freshly steamed milk, then topped off with whipped cream, Blenz’s hot chocolate is available in dark, milk or white Belgian chocolate. Customers can even request a mixture of all three, in addition to opting for almond milk or soy milk.
Address: Various locations (check website)
Continental Coffee offers an incredibly indulgent hot chocolate. Crafted with steamed milk and Belgian chocolate syrup, Continental Coffee’s sweet decadent pick-me-up is topped with their famous house-made chocolate whipped cream. Chocolate drizzle finishes it off.
Address: 1806 Commercial Drive
Address: 4295 Main Street