Celebrate the Hallmark Holiday with something to satisfy your sweet tooth
Kaileigh Bunting // Contributor
Returning for its ninth consecutive year, the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is the perfect way to indulge with that special someone this winter season. The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival, hosted by City Food Events, is a three-week festival that has been challenging Vancouver’s best chocolatiers, pastry shops, bakeries, cafes and gelato and ice cream makers to whip up creative hot chocolate creations. After all, there’s no better place to spend a cold, winter night than sipping delightful hot cocoa.
The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival launched on Jan. 19 with over 25 participating hot chocolate enthusiasts and 40 different hot chocolate creations. In addition to spreading laughs and good memories across shops in Vancouver, this festival prides itself on supporting select charitable organizations – all of which seek to improve the lives of women and families in Vancouver.
Among baristas and hot chocolate servers alike, a common theme seemed to appear, which coincided with the festival’s theme. “Hot Chocolate makes people happy,” said one barista from Earnest Ice Cream, one of North Vancouver’s most popular ice cream shops and a participating location in the 2019 Hot Chocolate Festival. “It’s always fun to see the different reactions people – especially small kids have – when we bring out our hot chocolate,” she continued, raving about different hot chocolates available in Vancouver. Here are the top three hot chocolates from the festival, only available until Valentine’s Day.
Earnest Ice Cream: Sweet and Salty
Keep things fun and flirty on your date while sharing this incredibly creamy cocoa, focusing on caramel notes and slightly savoury after taste. Topped with heavy whipped cream, caramel and pretzel bits, this drink checks all the boxes for the perfect Valentine’s desert. Vegan options are also available, and paired with a blondie bar this treat is perfect to share.
Chez Christophe: Strawberry Fields Forever
This dark chocolate drink blended with roasted strawberries and served with a house-made s’more is sure to blow your date away with its decadence. Sprinkled with cocoa powder designs, this hot chocolate is sure to keep it flirty this Valentine’s Day. While there is a lot of dark chocolate on the Festival’s menu, if you’re looking for something a little lighter on the palate, Chez Christophe also has a lemon and honey cheesecake white hot chocolate with cream cheese ganache.
Cartems Donuts: Roseberry White Chocolate
If dark chocolate just isn’t for you, or your taste buds are looking for something a little sweeter, take a trip to Cartems donut shop and cafe. With three locations in Vancouver on West Pender, West Broadway and on the corner of 6th and Main, Cartems is a one-stop shop to satisfy your sweet tooth this Valentine’s Day. As a participating pit stop during this year’s Hot Chocolate Festival, the creators at Cartems have whipped up a light, white chocolate cocoa topped with rosewater whipped cream. Pair it with any donut from their fresh baked selection (Earl Grey donut recommended) for a perfect date.
The cold Vancouver weather is no match for 2019’s Hot Chocolate Festival. With hundreds of participants sharing their sweet treats via social media @hotchocolatefest in support of great organizations around Vancouver, the Hot Chocolate Festival only has room to grow. If you missed it this year, check it out next year (dates to be announced), and transform your Valentine’s Day into a Hot Chocolate marathon.