The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is a local excuse for people to treat themselves to mugs of gourmet hot cocoa from some of the city’s best cafes.
Hot Chocolate Festival
The 2018 Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival ran from January 20th until February 14th (the last day of which is Valentine’s Day). 2019 dates will be similar.
Close to three dozen cafes, bakeries and chocolatiers throughout the region participate in the event by offering extra special gourmet cups of hot chocolate on their menus. Even a few gelato and specialty ice cream shops join in too!
Each participating venue offers a special selection of hot chocolate creations during the festival. Ingredients include everything from white chocolate to dark chocolate, Belgian chocolate, exotic whipped creams, torched marshmallow, cookie crumbs and even ice cream!
It’s not really a “festival” …
The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival isn’t so much a “festival” as an excuse to indulge, warm yourself up and try different cafes around town. In fact, often when you go to a venue you have to look around for their Hot Chocolate Festival menu. It’s a pretty subtle “festival,” but the drinks are good and usually somewhat out of the ordinary.
At the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival don’t expect parades, balloons, live entertainment, fireworks or even craft activities and face painting for children. It’s not that kind of festival at all. Again, it’s an excuse for a unique cup of hot chocolate, but a good one!
Given that Vancouver’s winter can start to get dreary by the end of January and early February, any excuse to indulge in something like hot chocolate is a welcome opportunity!
Some of the festival’s participating venues most years include the following:
- 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters – with locations at 2902 Main Street in the Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood and at 2198 West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano.
- Bella Gelateria – an Italian ice cream shop at 1001 West Cordova Street in Coal Harbour near the Vancouver Convention Centre.
- Diva at the Met – a fancy restaurant at the Metropolitan Hotel at 645 Howe Street in downtown Vancouver.
- Earnest Ice Cream – an environmentally-responsible gourmet ice cream company with a location in East Vancouver at 3992 Fraser Street, another about six blocks from Science World at 1829 Quebec Street, and one in North Vancouver at 127 West 1st Avenue.
- Koko Monk Chocolates – a chocolatier at 1849 West 1st Avenue in Kitsilano.
- Mink Chocolates & Cafe – at 863 West Hastings Street not far from Canada Place.
- Temper Chocolate and Pastry – at 2406 Marine Drive in West Vancouver.
- Terra Breads – a bakery with locations at 1605 Manitoba Street in the Olympic Village, at 2380 West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano and at 53 West 5th Avenue in the Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood.
- Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe – a chocolatier patisserie and cafe in downtown Vancouver at 1059 Alberni Street.
- Thomas Haas – a chocolate and pastry shop with locations at 2539 West Broadway in Vancouver and at 128-988 Harbourside Drive in North Vancouver.
For more information on the event and the full list of participating locations see the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival website.