The 2nd Annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Looking for the best chocolate or hot chocolate in Vancouver? This event was made for you.

The VANCOUVER HOT CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL, beginning this Saturday, January 14th, is back for its 2nd year – and this time, there are twice as many participating venues, including a truck! As far as we know, it’s the only city-wide Hot Chocolate Festival taking place anywhere in the world this winter.


  • The Festival features 15 Vancouver participants, offering 50+ crazy hot chocolate flavours over 32 days (January 14 – February 14, 2012). Sales from the Festival Feature hot chocolates will benefit the food program of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.
  • New this year – Via the “Festival Passport”, a Grand Prize Chocolate Gift Basket (featuring items from all the participating venues) will be given away on Valentines Day, February 14th (value  $360). Further details on the passport to be released later this week.
  • You’ll find all basic details and information, including the profiles, schedules and flavours of the various participants here.
  • Throughout the festival, news, updates and comments from the public will also be posted to CityFood Magazine’s Facebook page.


Our Festival participants (all local Vancouverites) are hot for chocolate, and each will bring his or her unique creative style to this fundraising festival. Concern for the environment, a passion for the highest quality ingredients, plus a strong sense of community – these qualities they have in common. But here is how we categorize them further, along with one example of the several hot chocolates each will be offering:


French Made Baking: These macaron experts from France (familiar to supporters of the Vancouver Farmers Market), opened a new retail store on Kingsway in late December. (Vanilla Chestnut Hot Chocolate – served with a housemade macaron.)
Gem Chocolates:  Winner of nine gold medals in last year’s Chicago Chocolate Salon, Glenn Knowles opened the doors to his new Kerrisdale chocolaterie in mid December. (Blueberry Hot Chocolate served with organic, chocolate-covered hazelnuts.)
Leonidas:  The new Belgian chocolate shop and cafe at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Opened November 2011. (“Tosca” – dark chocolate ganache and rum.)


The Juice Truck: An exciting fixture of the Gastown food scene, who has partnered with Beta5 Chocolates for this year’s festival. The two young, hipster companies share a passion for artisan quality ingredients. (Try their “Canada Cup” – 63% dark chocolate served with a smoked sugar marshmallow.)
Bella GelateriaFor its second year at the festival, Vancouver’s world-class gelato shop has partnered with Erin Ireland’s “To Die For Banana Bread”. (Gelato maestro James Coleridge is keeping his hot chocolate flavours a secret for now, but it’s a bet they’re going to be amazing!)
Cocoanymph: Rachel Sawatzky’s exquisite little chocolate shop on West 10th is a neighbourhood favourite. Cocoanymph and JuiceTruck/Beta5 are both offering vegan hot chocolates in their line up this year. (Vegan dark drinking chocolate with black sesame served with a wafer of sesame bianco chocolate bark.) 


Bel Cafe:  Chef David Hawksworth’s tribute to the modern cafes of Europe.
(Orange Citrus and Roasted Green Cardamon hot chocolate served with a Valrhona fudge cookie.)

Thierry Chocolaterie: Master patissier Thierry Busset will show us how chocolat chaud is served in Paris. (Fresh Ginger Hot Chocolate in a dark/milk chocolate blend served with an almond financier.)

Thomas Haas: By popular demand, Thomas Haas brings back last year’s hit flavour. (Soft Caramel and Fleur de Sel Hot Chocolate served with Haas’ signature warm Sparkle Cookie.)
Mink Chocolates: Both a cafe and a urban chocolate workshop, Mink creates hot chocolates that riff on their best selling chocolate bars. (“The Sheba” – dark chocolate and pistachio )


Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France: The little shop on Main Street looks like a setting for the movie “Chocolat”. (Surprise Flower – Mexican hot chocolate infused with hibiscus, jasmine or violet.)
Schokolade: Back again this year and still seriously nutty about chocolate. (“Squirrel special” – Swiss milk chocolate and hazelnut butter hot chocolate, served with Swiss Hazelnut Puff Pastry Roll, or three-Hazelnut praline.)


Terra Breads: Serving hot chocolate at their three cafe locations, including their newest venue at Olympic Village. (Chai hot milk chocolate served with coconut macaroon.)

Twitter hashtag: #HotChocolateFestival (see also: @CityFood_mag)

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