Beat the brrrr of the season with a cup of hot chocolate. Whether its dabbed with marshmallows or boosted with booze, classic cocoa gets all sorts of twists in Vancouver.
Put down that generic tin of powder and venture out to find some of the city's best sweet sips. Here are five places for heavenly hot chocolate (or cocoa, or drinking chocolate) in Vancouver.
Chocolate is the second specialty of East Van Roasters. Head to this artisanal small batch chocolate-maker and roastery to try their thick, rich, and indulgent drinking chocolate. They often have special flavours, too, like their island-inspired "Aloha" drinking chocolate, which features Caramel and Peru ganache with a touch of Hawaiian black salt. For an extra jolt, try it as a mocha--you're in a coffee shop, after all!
Address: 319 Carrall Street, Vancouver
Few things pair as exquisitely with a pastry from Thomas Haas than a cup of hot chocolate, and fortunately theirs is divine. You can also grab the mix to take home so you can prolong the enjoyment; it's available in Classic, Aztec, and Extra Dark. Snag an Almond Croissant to go, too.
Address: 2539 West Broadway, Vancouver
Address: 128-998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver
This Chinatown grocer and cafe makes a wickedly good hot chocolate with an Italian twist. The Gianduiotto is made with milk chocolate, hazelnut, and steamed milk. If you prefer a coffee kick, try their Bicerin, which is made with espresso, chocolate, and steamed milk. Look for seasonal varieties, too.
Address: 687 Main Street, Vancouver
The Montreal-based everything chocolate emporium has taken over Vancouver in a most delicious way. While you can have everything from dipped cones to crepes oozing with chocolate (and fondue, too), Cacao 70 is also known for their hot chocolate. Their menu includes the Americocoa, the spicy Mexicocoa, classic dark or milk hot chocolate, and hot cocoa (dark, milk, or black sesame). Plus they have flavour twists like Matcha and Earl Grey. Winter is long...try them all. Then get them iced when it's warm out.
Address: 3 locations in Metro Vancouver; check website for details
These passionate chocolatiers are known for their inventive and bold chocolate flavours, and this is true for their hot chocolate as well. Koko Monk makes a decadent 72% pure cacao "classic" hot chocolate with hints of orange and spice, as well as their signature "Harem A La Turca" which is a turkish coffee with 72% pure, organic dark chocolate, flavoured with a dash of Courvoisier Cognac (if you so desire) and hints of salted caramel. Koko Monk also offers a range of special flavours, with intriguing ingredients (and names to match).
Address: 1849 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver