In January, we found out that Vancouver, British Columbia, holds a Hot Chocolate Festival. This is something we had to experience, so we ventured north for a fun weekend of hot chocolate sampling. Here is what we discovered:
Our first stop was at Cocoa Nymph in the Kitsialano District. We ordered Hera’s Habit, and found it be to be a smooth milk chocolate explosion with a the wonderful taste of the malted milk balls. We also tried the Bachus’ Dream. It had a light chocolate flavor, and you could feel the consistency of the wine reduction compote. It was not super sweet.
Our next shop was Chocolate Arts, where we shared one of their festival feature drinks, a Put the Lime in Da Coconut. This was a stunning presentation straight off the pages of a gourmet food magazine. The drink came in a heavy, clear glass with a lime sugar crusted on the rim. It also included a shot glass with a Kalamansi lime concentrate– the shot was even rimmed with a coconut crust, yummy! This one was super rich, smooth and full of chocolaty, coconut flavors, ending with a lime explosion!
Our chocolate coma had yet to set in, so we decided to make one more stop for the day at Thierry Chocolaterie, Patisserie and Café, one block off the Robson Shopping District. Here we tried the The Ampamakia. It was served with two chocolate-dipped chocolate marshmallows. This cup of chocolate was creamy, decadent and smooth. The chocolate on chocolate marshmallows on the side, just put it over the top!
We had saved the best for last. The Ampamakia was the winner for the day!
The next day we had to start our journey home, so there was only time for one stop. It was at a small shop named Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France. We went all out and ordered two drinks. First, the plain drinking chocolate, which was a small shot of thick and rich dark chocolate. This was a perfect drink and amount after tasting so much chocolate the day before. We also sampled the festival special, a coconut iced chocolate drink served with a fresh-made waffle and homemade chocolate hazelnut spread. It was delicious and you could taste the coconut infused with chocolate. A great drink on a warm day! We even purchased some the mix to make our own iced chocolate drinks. When summer comes we will give it a try.
We are so happy we were able to join in the festivities of this annual Vancouver event. Information about all the shops that participated is available on the City Food website. It sounds like the festival goes for about a month each winter. We think this will make a great annual getaway!