A tasty way to warm up your February
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
If you’re looking for a good walking date with your valentine, the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is in full swing! This celebration of all things sweet and bad for you is in its ninth year of operation. The festival has some local favourite coffee and gelato shops rolling out the red carpet for some pretty amazing flavour combinations.
The festival usually begins mid- to late January and lasts through to Valentine’s Day. It is not a competition, but you can have fun with your friends and loved ones as you try to discern your personal favourite. Be careful though—some flavours will not be always be available, as it’s quite common for businesses to rotate their selection.
The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival lists their main sponsor as CityFood Magazine, which seems to be a purely social media-based presence given that their most recent activity can be found on Twitter. CityFood’s website has been defunct since 2015, their offices are listed as permanently closed, and there is no information on any recent physical publications. However, this doesn’t detract from the festival’s celebration of independent local businesses.
Coffee and gelato shops put their best foot forward, luring new customers in with the promise of a unique hot chocolate experience—and boy, do they deliver! The popular flavours of the year seem to be either berries and dark chocolate or floral-infused white chocolate, with the majority of shops catering to this flavour profile in some way. Offerings of tasty morsels are also not out of the question. Cookies, doughnuts, chocolates, and bite-sized scones can be found alongside most of the entrants. Check the full list of entries at hotchocolatefest.com.
With that in mind, these cups don’t come cheap. Most range between $5 and $10, which is a tad pricey for a packet of Swiss Miss—but not at all out of the question for the pure chocolate bliss that awaits the intrigued at most of the participating locations.
The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival will end on February 14, so you’ve still got some time to get your cocoa fix.