Must-try sweet sips at this year's Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Jan 14 2023, 12:40 am

The Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is nearly upon us, as the month-long event kicks off tomorrow, January 14.

With 66 different vendors (22 of them being first-timers for 2023!), 95 locations, and 143 different takes on the classic hot chocolate, the festival can be a little overwhelming for those who have no idea where to start.

In order to help you out on your sweet sipping journey, we did the work of digging around to narrow down the most interesting, one-of-a-kind-special, and must-try hot cocoas of the season.

From hot chocolate with an entire croissant on top to one called The Raincouver (complete with a cotton candy cloud!), here are some of the best hot cocoas you can try this year at the Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival.

Raincouver from Honolulu Coffee

Made with 70% dark chocolate and pink Himalayan salt, the real star of this cup is the cloud of cotton candy suspended above it. Do you dip the cotton candy into the hot chocolate or let it slowly melt into the cup below? It’s up to you! This one will be available at Honolulu Coffee starting January 20.

Address: Multiple locations

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Day Drinkin’ from Bjorn Bar Bakery

 

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Decidedly catered to those with a sweet tooth, the Day Drinkin’ hot chocolate from Bjorn Bar Bakery is made with pineapple and coconut-flavoured white chocolate. It’s also served with a piña colada meringue cookie and a little paper umbrella.

Address: Multiple locations

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Double Baked from Bjorn Bar Bakery

 

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The same bakery as the Day Drinkin’ will also be offering a Double Baked hot cocoa option, with dark chocolate and almond topped with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and slivered almonds. The real kicker here is that it’s served with one of the bakery’s mini butter croissants.

Address: Multiple locations

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Obaachan’s Plum Wine Stash from Aiyaohno CafĂ©

This special hot chocolate is made with a non-alcoholic umeshu plum wine, which is made with Nanko ume plums from Kishu, Japan. It’s slightly sweet and complex and is served with an Umeshu chocolate truffle.

Address: 030 – 425 Carrall Street, Vancouver

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The Ultimate “Kid’s” Hot Chocolate from Kafka’s

One of Vancouver’s best coffee shops is participating this year with a hot chocolate fit for kids – and adults. Kafka’s The Ultimate “Kid’s” Hot Chocolate is a creamy milk chocolate drink topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and mini marshmallows. It’s also served with a slice of pretzel-adorned cookie, just in case you didn’t think the drink had enough sugar in it.

The Amarena Calda from Giovanne Caffé

 

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This dark chocolate, cherry-infused hot cacao is made with plant-based milk, topped with chantilly cream, and dusted with chocolate shavings. It’s also served with a vanilla amaretto cookie.

Florals & Spice Hot Chocolate from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters

For the first two weeks of the festival, 49th Parallel will be offering its Florals & Spice Hot Chocolate, made with dark chocolate, cardamom, and organic rose petals. It’s also paired with a mini brioche donut filled with spiced chocolate custard, topped with orange blossom glaze, pistachios, and rose petals.

My Mandarin Squeeze from Boba Run

 

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Boba Run will have two hot chocolates featured this year, but its drink My Mandarin Squeeze sounds like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange in a cup, which we are very into. The drink features a Korean Jeju mandarin-infused hot chocolate with dark chocolate and is topped with a citrus whip and fresh mandarin zest. This one will be available on January 30.
Address: 102 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
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