When the weather outside is frightful, a cup of hot chocolate is ever so delightful. Rich, creamy, and chocolatey, hot chocolate (or hot cocoa or drinking chocolate) isn’t just for kids.
From cups of deep, dark liquid chocolate to sophisticated sips kicked up with added flavours, Vancouver has quite a few hot spots when nothing but hot chocolate will do. Here are the best places to have hot chocolate in Vancouver.
Known for their delicate handcrafted chocolates and pastries, it’s no wonder that Thomas Haas creates a stunning hot chocolate, too. Made with real chocolate, Thomas Haas’ drinking chocolate is thick, rich and creamy. 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
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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.
Address: 319 Carrall 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, bumped up a level with caramel or hazelnut, or even Basque chilli for an added punch.
Address: 1059 Alberni Street, Vancouver
A newcomer on the Vancouver cafe (and neighbourhood market) scene, Dalina makes an array of Italian espresso beverages, but also one delectable coffee-free chocolate drink: The Gianduiotto. Made with steamed milk, milk chocolate, and hazelnut, this is a hot chocolate drink for grownups. For an extra grown-up boost, order the Bicerin, which is an espresso and steamed milk drink with chocolate.
Address: 687 Main Street, Vancouver
Although this mini-coffee empire was built on their incredible espresso drinks and barista skills, Prado Cafe also puts together a mean cup of hot chocolate. 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. Kids will love the option with mini marshmallows.
Address: Three locations (check website for details)
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, Vancouver
A venerable downtown stopping spot, Bel Cafe inside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia makes it easy to slip into a bit of luxury in the middle of your day. Part of the Hawksworth family of restaurants, Bel Cafe also happens to serve a delicious hot chocolate. 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
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). Pair it with their table-top DIY s’mores for an extra chocolatey treat.
Address: 863 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Address: Unit F-110 Morgan Crossing, 15775 Croydon Drive, Surrey
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, Vancouver
With files from Jess Fleming.