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Mapped: Hot Chocolate Festival's Most Unusual Flavours

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As the punishing winter grey skies continue to give Vancouverites the blues be reassured: there is a light on the horizon in the shape of the fourth annual Hot Chocolate festival which launches on January 18 and runs until February 14. With almost two dozen participants and more than 60 varieties on offer there are plenty of varieties to try over the month, plus profits from all 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.) So, the more hot chocolate you drink, the more good you can do for the DTES: it's essentially your moral duty to try as many as possible.
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Curried hot chocolate, smoky flavours and boozy hot chocolate-inspired cocktail, here is Eater's pick of the most unusual flavours of the festival.
Let us know if you've tried any of them and what you thought. What's your favourite flavour? Drop us a line or leave a comment.

· Hot Chocolate Festival [Official Site]


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Thomas Haas Patisserie

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Grown-up smoky-salty flavours caught our eye at Thomas Haas who has two different varieties on offer throughout the festival. We like the sound of the CAMPFIRE, a classic hot chocolate with smoky caramel and smoked Hawaiian sea salt served with vanilla marshmallows.

Schokolade Café

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Five different flavours are on offer here and we like the sound of the DARK AND SPICY best. Made from 70% dark chocolate, cayenne, a shot of espresso and steamed milk. 
Served with four pieces of handcrafted chocolate pralines of your choice.
 Available: every day of the Festival.

East Van Roasters

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Tea at a coffee and chocolate roasters? Why not. The HIGH SOCIETY 
Earl Grey drinking chocolate sounds divine. 
Served with East Van Roasters' signature gluten-free brownie and candied orange. 
Available: February 1 - 14.

Mink Chocolate and Coffee

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Oh, Mink, how you are spoiling us with the best-named hot choc of the festival: the PAULA DEAN WHITE TRASH TRAINWRECK, a heavenly hot mess of a 70% dark chocolate ganache with condensed milk, salted kettle chips,
and vanilla whipped cream, served with a 72% dark chocolate wafer.
 Available: January 18 - January 31.

Bella Gelateria

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Knocking it out of the park, Bella Gelateria are offering five different blends of hot chocolate and gelato with drinks flavoured by gBARs - frozen gelato on sticks which melt into the drink. Look out for off-menu 99% chocolate drinks plus bonus daily choices. Our pick is the BLACK MAGIC gBAR flavoured with black sesame and matcha tea. Served with Erin Ireland's delicious"To Die For" Banana Bread.

Leonidas Waterfront

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Four different flavours down at the Belgian chocolatiers on the waterfront, our pick is the TIGER MILK, a 
white Belgian chocolate with cardamom, nutmeg and saffron, served with your choice of liege waffle, cheesecake, chocolate, or a scoop of Italian ice cream.


Soirette Macarons & Tea

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Soirette have gone with a local theme this year with four different creations inspired by the city's top attractions. Our pick, the GRANVILLE ISLAND GROCERY LIST, is a beet and saffron hot chocolate served with a Gjetost macaron. 
Available: January 24 - 26, February 5 - 7 (Featured Festival hot chocolate flavours will change every 3 days.)

Uva Wine Bar

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Four intriguing booze-spiked confections on offer from Bittered Sling's Lauren Mote. We want them all. But if we have to pick just one then it's the CHARTREUSE MILKSHAKE a hot choc-inspired cocktail with Citadelle gin, green Chartreuse, cacao beans, lime, orange juice, Bittered Sling Malagasy chocolate bitters and egg white.
 Served with zeppoli (Italian doughnuts) and available every day of the festival, from 11 a.m. to late.

Beaucoup Bakery

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Jackie Kai Ellis's French-style bakery is offering three different hot chocolates with the most unusual being the HUNGERS SATISFIED; 
dark chocolate with black pepper served with a vanilla/maldon salt cookie. 
Available: February 6 - February 14.

Koko Monk

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Nothing better than some chocolate while you wait for chocolate and that's what you'll get at Koko Monk who'll be doing complimentary blind tastings while you wait for your drink. Our pick is the BRUNETTE BANGLE; hot Chocolate with a hint of curry. 
Served with your choice of cookie. 
Available: January 18 - February 14.

Terra Breads

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Two different flavours at Terra Breads will be on offer at their Kits, Olympic Village and 5th Ave locations. We like the sound of the CALL ME A CAB, a hot choc with Cabernet, cinnamon and pear served with a pear crisp and a cocoa sugar cookie. 
Available: January 18 - February 14

Cocoa Nymph

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Serving up five different varieties, Cocoa Nymph’s PHAUN'S FANCY points for A) not spelling it ‘Phancy’ and B) for its bold flavour profile: a 64% dark chocolate with parmesan and fresh nutmeg, served with a side of Umami No. 5 fudge.

French Made Baking

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Go dairy-free with BEYOND THE MILKY WAY, a Valrhona Araguani dark chocolate (72%), pear and almond milk (dairy free) hot chocolate. Served with "Marocaine" (almond flour ball flavoured with orange blossom water (dairy free). Available: January 21, 26, 31 and February 5, 10.

Chocolaterie De La Nouvelle France

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A floral flavour gets our pick at this popular east-side French artisan-inspired chocolate shop; the CHOCOLAT GLACE A LA ROSE, a rose-flavoured iced drinking chocolate, served with a Gaufre de Liège waffle, along with a side of fleur de sel caramel or chocolate hazelnut spread.

gem chocolates

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Three different flavours to tempt you at Gem; our pick is the TWISTED ROMANCE, 
a hot chocolate made with Aussie natural black licorice. 
Served with chocolate-dipped natural black licorice. 
Available: January 25 - February 2


Thomas Haas Patisserie

Grown-up smoky-salty flavours caught our eye at Thomas Haas who has two different varieties on offer throughout the festival. We like the sound of the CAMPFIRE, a classic hot chocolate with smoky caramel and smoked Hawaiian sea salt served with vanilla marshmallows.

Schokolade Café

Five different flavours are on offer here and we like the sound of the DARK AND SPICY best. Made from 70% dark chocolate, cayenne, a shot of espresso and steamed milk. 
Served with four pieces of handcrafted chocolate pralines of your choice.
 Available: every day of the Festival.

East Van Roasters

Tea at a coffee and chocolate roasters? Why not. The HIGH SOCIETY 
Earl Grey drinking chocolate sounds divine. 
Served with East Van Roasters' signature gluten-free brownie and candied orange. 
Available: February 1 - 14.

Mink Chocolate and Coffee

Oh, Mink, how you are spoiling us with the best-named hot choc of the festival: the PAULA DEAN WHITE TRASH TRAINWRECK, a heavenly hot mess of a 70% dark chocolate ganache with condensed milk, salted kettle chips,
and vanilla whipped cream, served with a 72% dark chocolate wafer.
 Available: January 18 - January 31.

Bella Gelateria

Knocking it out of the park, Bella Gelateria are offering five different blends of hot chocolate and gelato with drinks flavoured by gBARs - frozen gelato on sticks which melt into the drink. Look out for off-menu 99% chocolate drinks plus bonus daily choices. Our pick is the BLACK MAGIC gBAR flavoured with black sesame and matcha tea. Served with Erin Ireland's delicious"To Die For" Banana Bread.

Leonidas Waterfront

Four different flavours down at the Belgian chocolatiers on the waterfront, our pick is the TIGER MILK, a 
white Belgian chocolate with cardamom, nutmeg and saffron, served with your choice of liege waffle, cheesecake, chocolate, or a scoop of Italian ice cream.


Soirette Macarons & Tea

Soirette have gone with a local theme this year with four different creations inspired by the city's top attractions. Our pick, the GRANVILLE ISLAND GROCERY LIST, is a beet and saffron hot chocolate served with a Gjetost macaron. 
Available: January 24 - 26, February 5 - 7 (Featured Festival hot chocolate flavours will change every 3 days.)

Uva Wine Bar

Four intriguing booze-spiked confections on offer from Bittered Sling's Lauren Mote. We want them all. But if we have to pick just one then it's the CHARTREUSE MILKSHAKE a hot choc-inspired cocktail with Citadelle gin, green Chartreuse, cacao beans, lime, orange juice, Bittered Sling Malagasy chocolate bitters and egg white.
 Served with zeppoli (Italian doughnuts) and available every day of the festival, from 11 a.m. to late.

Beaucoup Bakery

Jackie Kai Ellis's French-style bakery is offering three different hot chocolates with the most unusual being the HUNGERS SATISFIED; 
dark chocolate with black pepper served with a vanilla/maldon salt cookie. 
Available: February 6 - February 14.

Koko Monk

Nothing better than some chocolate while you wait for chocolate and that's what you'll get at Koko Monk who'll be doing complimentary blind tastings while you wait for your drink. Our pick is the BRUNETTE BANGLE; hot Chocolate with a hint of curry. 
Served with your choice of cookie. 
Available: January 18 - February 14.

Terra Breads

Two different flavours at Terra Breads will be on offer at their Kits, Olympic Village and 5th Ave locations. We like the sound of the CALL ME A CAB, a hot choc with Cabernet, cinnamon and pear served with a pear crisp and a cocoa sugar cookie. 
Available: January 18 - February 14

Cocoa Nymph

Serving up five different varieties, Cocoa Nymph’s PHAUN'S FANCY points for A) not spelling it ‘Phancy’ and B) for its bold flavour profile: a 64% dark chocolate with parmesan and fresh nutmeg, served with a side of Umami No. 5 fudge.

French Made Baking

Go dairy-free with BEYOND THE MILKY WAY, a Valrhona Araguani dark chocolate (72%), pear and almond milk (dairy free) hot chocolate. Served with "Marocaine" (almond flour ball flavoured with orange blossom water (dairy free). Available: January 21, 26, 31 and February 5, 10.

Chocolaterie De La Nouvelle France

A floral flavour gets our pick at this popular east-side French artisan-inspired chocolate shop; the CHOCOLAT GLACE A LA ROSE, a rose-flavoured iced drinking chocolate, served with a Gaufre de Liège waffle, along with a side of fleur de sel caramel or chocolate hazelnut spread.

gem chocolates

Three different flavours to tempt you at Gem; our pick is the TWISTED ROMANCE, 
a hot chocolate made with Aussie natural black licorice. 
Served with chocolate-dipped natural black licorice. 
Available: January 25 - February 2