Returning for its 6th Year! The VANCOUVER HOT CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL   January 16 – February 14, 2016


When it launched in 2011, The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival was the first city-wide festival of its kind in the world. This Saturday it returns for its 6th season, bigger and better than ever, with Vancouver’s best chocolatiers, pastry shops, bakeries, cafes, gelato and ice cream parlours joining forces to make the humble hot chocolate hotter than it has ever been before.

This year the Festival will have it’s own dedicated website and Instagram account and we invite you to use them to meet our vendor participants, find your favourite flavours, download walking maps, and enter our social media contest. In the damp and gloomy days of our Westcoast winter, you’ll find our motto to be true: “Chocolate Makes You Happy!”

View the new website with all its information about the festival at:

Or, as an alternative, log into the CityFood website at 

(For this year only, we will continue to post duplicate information on the CityFood Magazine page that many people will still have tagged on their browser. Plus you will be able to get direct access to new features that will not be transferred until Festival 2017 – such as the ‘Calendar of Flavours’ and contest entry confirmations. These will be linked to from the new site.)

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s Festival …



New participants for 2016 include:

EARNEST ICE CREAM:  Vancouver’s favourite young ice cream company will join us this year to spin their cool product into hip and haute chocolate-y drinks. (But only at their Quebec street location.)  Sip, don’t lick their “Ambrosio Affogato” and “Snow on Mount Kilimanjaro“.

RAILTOWN CAFE:  The catering team behind Gastown’s fun and friendly Railtown Cafe will transport you to Germany and South East Asia with their fruitcake- and lime leaf – inspired hot chocolate creations. This year, be sure to put “You’ve Stollen My Hot Chocolate” and “Pandance With Me” on your bucket list.

TEMPER CHOCOLATES AND PASTRY: More options for the North Shore. Skilled pastry master and chocolatier Steven Hodge brings the Hot Chocolate Festival to his hometown of West Vancouver with “Smoke In Balls” and “Southern Hemisphere“.



With 59 hot chocolates to choose from, it’s going to take all 30 days of the Festival to try them all.  Trend watches won’t be surprised to see salted caramel, Earl Grey tea and coconut as popular flavour choices again this year. But if they’re looking for something a little edgier, they will find plenty to tempt their curiosity.

After all, when was the last time you tried a hot chocolate spiked with …

OYSTERS: Calling all adventurers. Mink Chocolates, who had all of Vancouver cheeping about their ‘cricket” drink last year, are going for the buzz again with a drink combo that incorporates smoked oysters. We almost can’t believe it ourselves. Taste will tell ….

PEACHES: “Love is Monkey see and Monkey do…That’s all it is, Peaches!”  Well, maybe there’s a little white chocolate in there too. Soirette Macarons & Tea continues to produce the cream of the crop.

GREAT LORDS OF SITH!!:  Is that Darth Vader perched on your mug? Watch out! Gem Chocolates has gone over to “The Dark Side“, so stay true and may the chocolate force be with you.

OTTOMAN SELEP ROOT: The always romantic Paul Dincer, owner of Koko Monk Chocolates, is our exotic Festival Poet, so when he claims his “Istanbul Blues” drink

of chocolate plus Middle Eastern roots and spices will “create a palace in your heart like a cozy, dreamy, Turkish winter morning”, you’d better believe him!

MYSTERY BEANS:  At Thierry Chocolaterie they’re keeping their drink details so secret they wouldn’t even share them with us.  What?  No, really!  You’ll have to visit and  report back to us. Inquiring minds want to know.

10-YEAR-OLD SCOTCH: (Not Scotch for 10-year-olds.) Robbie Burns Day is just around the corner. So if you’re of the age of consent, lift a wee cup of “Malt Teaser” at Chocolate Arts and drink hale and hearty till ye’re auld enough tae dee.

DOUBLE TROUBLE:  Bella Gelateria had so many hot chocolate visions in mind they had to split them up between their two locations in Coal Harbour and Yaletown. Different drinks and hours at each venue. However we’ve heard a rumour that both places may drive you bananas.

But it’s not all craziness.  Vendors that specialize in extremely high quality, single-estate chocolate (such as Bel CafeChez Christophe, East Van Roasters and Thomas Haas) won’t let the chocolate purists down.  Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionary, Butter Baked Goods, Last Crumb Bakery and Terra Breads will continue to offer their family-popular choices – hey, cinnamon buns, anyone? And In response to public demand, French Made Baking will bring back one of their blasts from the past. “Only Thyme Will Tell” joins their new list of 2016 flavours. At 49th Parallel Roasters the HC’s come with … doughnuts … oh mercy! While Schokolade Artisan Chocolate will even help you construct your own hot chocolate masterpiece. We predict only Diva at the Met and Temper Chocolates will drop the ball this year – but in a good way, of course.



Social Media Photo Contest:

Regardless of ingredients, all drinks are guaranteed to be deliciously photogenic, and in that light, festival-goers are invited to enter photos of their drinks to an online contest that could earn the lucky winner a set of gift certificates from all participating vendors. It’s a $500+ value and a great way to extend the Festival throughout the year.

Photo Contest:

Charity Partner:

For the third year, partial profits from Festival sales will be donated to The PHS Community Services program for Downtown Eastside women’s employment and job skills training programs (as run by East Van Roasters.)

2016 Funds Recipient:   (scroll down)

Walking Map:

This year we will again be providing a walking map to the neighbourhoods where our vendors are located.  Visit the website for a downloadable PDF. If you can’t do that, a large print format map can be picked up at any vendor location or at the Winter Farmers Market information booth.


Calendar of Flavours

If you can only go tasting on limited days, the Festival’s ‘Calendar of Flavours’ can help. Click here to find the link to the CityFood website page where the drinks available on each day of the festival are listed by date.

Flavours by Day:  (top of page, by the CityFood logo)



SOCIAL MEDIA: Festival news and updates will be posted at:


Hashtag: #HotChocolateFest

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