The Hot Chocolate Festival is back in town! This is one of my favorite festivals of the year because who doesn’t like something warm to drink during January/February? It’s running now til February 14th.


I started with the Last Crumb cafe. I wanted to go to Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France, because I hear their hot chocolate just blows people out of the water. But my friend and I were drawn to the Cherry Lust Hot Chocolate and their cupcakes when we passed by. I never associate Cherry flavor with pleasant things: cough syrup being cough syrup, cherry candy often being too sweet. But this hot chocolate’s cherry was a fleeting but vibrant flavor in the hot chocolate. I had to take the marshmellow out, because I was fearful if it melted it might have become too sweet.

We also really enjoyed their strawberry chocolate cupcake. It reminded me of eating Neapolitan ice cream.

After a long day of OT, Josh and I went to go to Bella Gelateria. He had the Erin Gone Bananas and I had the James Brown. I love to Die for Banana bread, which came with the Erin hot chocolate. I kept taking some from Josh. The g-bar that came with mine was good, but it wasn’t remarkable. (Only because in the light of how good their gelato is, I would probably always buy gelato over their g-bars) The Erin Gone bananas was super delicious: the caramelized bananas and dark chocolate paired amazingly well together. I liked my James drink, because it was more of a spiced hot chocolate, but I definitely liked Erin Gone Bananas better.

I went to East Van Roasters next, right after having lunch with some friends at Nelson the Seagull. I had their Monkey Manna. This hot chocolate isn’t for me at all. I loved their chocolate dipped banana chip and I also ordered a salted chocolate chip cookie. I’d be back for their chocolates. But the pink peppercorn threw me off in the hot chocolate. The feeling is akin to people who don’t like cilantro because it tastes soapy. For some odd reason, this drink just reminded me of a bath product. I tried my best to drink it all up not to waste the drink, but I ended up drinking  a whole lot of water afterwards. I will try to give them a second chance when I return in February.IMG_5320

The Gastrofork crew (Nickie, Brendan, Dee and I) all haunted Lucky’s just last night.IMG_5322

I didn’t have this Nanaimo bar hot chocolate, as I was a bit sick so I didn’t share. I did like the lemon cake that came with it and ate most of Dee’s. It was moist and lemon-chunky which is one of my favorite things in lemon cake.IMG_5323I had their dark hot chocolate and a doughnut deal. I loved their dark hot chocolate — it tops Bella Gelateria’s James Brown at this point in terms of the balance of sweetness and bitterness and foam quality.

I’m off on a trip, but I will return to the hot chocolate festival to unwind when I return!