Coming in hot: The full list of 39 Vancouver restaurants, cafés, and treat shops taking part in the city's annual Hot Chocolate Festival has been revealed.
Taking place January 16 to February 14, the month-long event is undoubtedly the sweetest way to count down to Valentine’s Day, with participating businesses all around town offering up with original cocoa concoctions and specials to please your sweet tooth.
Fans of the warming, chocolatey bev can get their hands on the drinks of their choosing by simply visiting a participating location.
Now in its eleventh year, the fest is a great way to inject some sweetness into the winter months.
"In 2021 we need your support more than ever, and perhaps you need the little candle we light in the darkness too," say organizers. "However, in order to be mindful of your safety and respectful to BC Health Authority rules and regulations, we have made some modifications to this annual initiative."
Those modifications include every participating venue offering their special hot chocolate beverages for take-out. And while some may have limited dine-in or café seating, festival organizers are reminding everyone to comply with our health orders when it comes to wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and providing info for contact tracing when requested by the restaurant. You can read the full Hot Chocolate Festival COVID-19 guide on the event website.
89 creative takes on hot chocolate
This year, there will be a whopping 89 drinks available throughout the fest's entire month. Some participants will have multiple special hot chocolates available the whole time, while others will rotate their specials.
To help guide you, the Hot Chocolate Festival has even mapped out all 39 participants for this year's event.
Of course, be ready for some really creative takes on the typically milky, chocolatey classic, including ones that feature everything from spice to bacon and other unusual ingredients. There are plenty of plant-based options, and there's even one drink inspired by crooner Tony Bennett (that one's from Vancouver hot chocolate mecca Koko Monk, by the way). Several drinks come with some sweet extras that really take the hot chocolates over the top - think cookies, pastries, bonbons and more.
Here are a few highlights - some sips, if you will - from the complete lineup of special hot chocolate drinks:
- Peaked Pies' take on the classic Aussie cake with their Liquid Lamington: "A rich, dark hot chocolate infused with coconut. This hot chocolate is peaked with whipped cream, chocolate flakes and desiccated coconut. Served alongside its namesake - a mini Australian Lamington."
- Uno Gelato's zingy The Aztec: "Enjoy this cinnamon-spiked (cinnamon, coffee, vanilla) Hot Chocolate 70% Fleur de Cao with Mexican vanilla bean gelato to create a thick foam dusted with chili powder for a subtle savoury note. Served with a mini caramel beignet."
- Soirette's social media-minded Tik Choc: "Celebrating all things TikTok with this fun cereal hot chocolate featuring Valrhona's Ivoire 35% and maple whipped cream. Complete with a stack of mini pancakes as a treat!"
- Mon Paris in Burnaby's Moscow Calling: "Dark hot chocolate with hazelnut and raspberry. Served with a chocolate matryoshka doll on top and a traditional Russian nut cookie on the side."
- Beaucoup Bakery's That's My Jam: "Peanut butter milk hot chocolate with whipped strawberry ganache. Served with a peanut butter financier dipped in strawberry chocolate."
- Honolulu Coffee's fiery Mauna Loa: "A special concoction using 70% dark chocolate with a hint of maple chili bacon seasoned with cayenne pepper, served paired with a volcano-shaped brownie."
Participating locations span Metro Vancouver, from Bjon Bar Bakery in North Vancouver to Chez Christophe in White Rock and Burnaby, to Glenburn Soda Fountain in Burnaby Heights, for example, though most of the places are situated within Vancouver proper.
Hot Chocolate Festival 2021 participants
- 49th Parallel Coffee + Lucky’s Doughnuts
- Baker and Table
- Beaucoup Bakery
- Bel Cafe
- Bellaggio Hornby
- Bellaggio Canada Place
- Bench Bakehouse
- Beta 5 Chocolates
- Bjorn Bar Bakery
- Butter Baked Goods
- Cadeaux Bakery
- Caffe Artigiano
- Chez Christophe
- East Van Roasters
- Everbean Café
- Fife Bakery
- Fufú Café
- Gem Chocolates
- Giovane Cafe
- Glenburn Soda Fountain
- Honolulu Coffee
- Kafka's coffee
- Koko Monk Chocolates
- Koko Monk Hot Chocolate Lounge
- La Glace
- Mink Chocolates
- Mon Paris Pâtisserie
- Nelson the Seagull
- Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
- Passione Gelato
- Peaked Pies
- Sciué Italian Bakery Café
- Thomas Haas
- Uno Gelato
- Zimt Chocolates