Close your eyes and imagine a cozy winter evening.
Does it include curling up with your favourite book and a cup of decadently delicious hot chocolate?
It is no secret that hot chocolate is synonymous with winter, and if hot chocolate makes you happy, you will be delighted to know that the annual Greater Vancouver’s Hot Chocolate festival, running from Jan. 14 to Feb. 14, is making a sweet comeback in 2023 — bigger and better with 143 unique hot chocolate flavours.
From film-inspired “Avatar - 21st century sci-fi” blue chocolate flavour to adult-friendly whisky-infused hot chocolate that feels “Like a Warm Hug,” the best chocolatiers, pastry shops, cafes and ice cream makers from all across Metro Vancouver are joining forces to create limited-time hot chocolate creations for everyone to enjoy.
The sweet festival features over 95 locations across Metro Vancouver (and one in Whistler).
Some of these can be found close to home in Burnaby.
Here’s a list of Burnaby locations where you can indulge in some sweet comforting hot chocolate over the month leading up to Valentine’s day:
We all know that hot chocolate and croissants make a sweet combination. But ever heard of pies and hot chocolate? This is your chance to try. The acclaimed pie shop featured in the popular Food Network television series, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is serving up some pies with their pie-inspired hot chocolate creations.
On the limited-edition menu is their "Fat Elvis" creation – dark chocolate and banana-infused hot chocolate, topped with peanut butter whipped cream, chocolate ganache, caramel and candied peanuts.
Its best-selling pie featured on the food network show, "'DDD' Raspberry Cream" inspired white chocolate mascarpone hot chocolate with fresh vanilla bean whipped cream, raspberry compote and buttery pie crumbles will be on the menu along with another “Drink Your Feelings” beverage coming on Feb. 1. The latter is a dark chocolate and oat hot chocolate made with house-made butter pecan syrup. It's served with the shop's "Eat Your Feelings" bar.
All creations will be served with a 3” personal pie.
Address: 7832 6th St., Burnaby.
Hours: Noon to 6 p.m., daily.
Think hot chocolate but less sweet, healthier and with a Malaysian twist.
The "Pandan De Coco-A" flavour on the menu is Malaysia in a cup. Inspired by the Malaysian traditional bite-size cake “kuih,” it is hot milk chocolate with fragrant pandan extract sauce and coconut puree, topped with shredded coconut flakes for a hint of nuttiness. It is served with a pandan-flavoured snack.
The other item on the menu, “Muddy Piggy,” is a sweet-savoury hot chocolate drink featuring real bacon slow cooked in brown sugar syrup blended with dark chocolate.Topped with sea salt milk foam and served with a crispy bacon strip, this hot chocolate combo is sure to sate your palate.
Address: 5325 Lane St., Burnaby.
Hours: Noon to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday to Sunday.
One of Burnaby’s favourite patisseries carrying an exquisite line of pastries, chocolates and desserts, Mon Paris Patisserie brings two film-inspired drinks to the hot chocolate festival:
A “Charlie Chaplin - back to silent film” hot chocolate drink will provide the perfect black-and-white combo as it brings together the patisserie’s very own 72 per cent chocolate brand (dark and simple with soothing flavours of red fruits and floral aroma) with a dark chocolate bonbon in the shape of a hat and cane-shaped vanilla cookie.
The “Avatar - 21st century sci-fi” drink inspired by James Cameron’s blockbuster hits, Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water, brings a unique blue chocolate flavoured hot chocolate with passion fruit and coconut.
It is also served with coconut whipped cream on top and a chocolate Avatar medallion and seaweed shortbread on the side.
This would be the must-try hot chocolate spot in Burnaby for all the film lovers.
Address: 4396 Beresford St., Burnaby.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday.
Another hard-to-miss chocolatier in Burnaby is award-winning Christophe Bonzon. He, along with his wife, Jess, opened Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie in 2013, and the flagship pastry shop has remained a front-runner in all things chocolate.
For this year's festival, the Burnaby and White Rock patisserie brings one of the most important head-turning hot chocolate creations (the writer may be biased here as it is a personal favourite) — "The Sorting Hat."
Sure to be a treat for all Potterheads, it is butter-beer 34 per cent cocoa white hot chocolate infused with butterscotch and butter-flavoured popcorn milk. It is served with a mystery house-made lollipop that has four different fillings indicating the assigned wizard house on the side — find out if you are team Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw.
Non-Potterheads heading to the patisserie can try out the "Canadian Winter with a Kick" flavour, which is a smooth and creamy 41 per cent Swiss milk chocolate enhanced with cayenne pepper and chili powder combined with cinnamon and maple syrup. It is paired with a small, spicy bacon pull-apart. This creation is available until Jan. 27.
Address: 4717 Hastings St, Burnaby.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
A chain with 16 locations and two coffee bars in Vancouver and Calgary is sure to make a splash in the hot chocolate festival. The unique coffee blends are produced at its own roaster in Burnaby, and they are sure to make a mean cup of coffee (and hot chocolate.)
They have two items on the menu for the festival — a "Cookies & Creme" beverage consisting of a blend of dark and white chocolate sauce, house-made syrup, fresh whipped cream and dark chocolate cookie crumble. It is served with a chocolate cookie with dark and white chocolate chips. And the second limited menu item is their "Passionfruit Hot Chocolate."
It is a blend of dark chocolate and house-made passion fruit syrup blended with oat milk and topped with a passion fruit cheesecake whipped cream. Served on the side is a sugar-dusted passion fruit crinkle cookie.
Address: 4359 East Hastings St., Burnaby.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily.
The Australian bakery in Burnaby will feature unique flavours including that of "Pineapple Lumps," which is inspired by the popular New Zealand confection — the hot chocolate is made from dark chocolate and pineapple juice and comes topped with whipped cream and house-made pineapple lumps dipped in chocolate. Ever heard of an iced Vovo biscuit? The "Iced Vovo" is a hot chocolate inspired by the traditional Australian wheat flour biscuit.
It is a white chocolate, coconut, raspberry hot chocolate is topped with whipped cream and in-house prepared iced Vovo biscuit.
Address: 4114 Hastings St., Burnaby.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily.
When you walk down the heights of Burnaby, it is impossible to miss this sweet spot. Glenburn Soda fountain is a go-to local spot for premium ice cream. And it is ready to give its chocolate competitors a run for the money with its hot chocolate paired with ice cream — bringing the best of both hot and cold.
Their "Adventures in Strawberryland" creation features callebaut Ruby Chocolate-based hot chocolate, infused with strawberry flavour. The hot chocolate is topped with strawberry whipped cream, and served on the side is a mini scoop of strawberry shortcake ice cream. If the first beverage was pink, the next limited-menu item will bring the blue to shine.
The "True Blue Friend" is a callebaut white hot chocolate infused with blueberry and lemon. It comes topped with blueberry whipped cream and served with a mini scoop of blueberry muffin ice cream.
Address: 4090 Hastings Street, Burnaby.
Hours: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday; 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday; closed Monday.
For a complete list of other Vancouver and Port Coquitlam spots, and a virtual map, click here.