Chocolate is a very important food group in Vancouver, British Columbia. There are many locally owned chocolate stores in the city that all offer something different, including s’mores specialties and world-famous bites. Check out these businesses the next time you need a chocolate fix in Vancouver.
BETA5 Chocolates is run by a husband-and-wife team, recognized as one of North America’s Top Ten Chocolatiers. As their Instagram states, their tiny storefront is ‘tucked away, like a secret’ in an industrial neighborhood, just on the outskirts of downtown Vancouver. They are known for their uniquely flavored cream puffs, such as piña colada, pisco sour and spiced sweet potato. Their award-winning signature chocolate box includes flavors like Fisherman’s Friend, Tropical Crunch and Caramelized Banana.
Chocolatas is an award-winning chocolate shop located on Vancouver’s Granville Island. Owner and master chocolatier Wim Tas recently won Best Artisan Chocolatier and Most Gifted Chocolatier at the International Chocolate Salon. They offer a fascinating range of ganaches, as well as truffles and caramels. Some of the flavors include pepper and mango, tomato and basil, plus chipotle and lavender. For a special occasion, Chocolatas also creates wedding favors and chocolate fountains.
Mink Chocolates has a café in downtown Vancouver that offers an excellent selection of desserts when you want to indulge. A family affair, it is run by third-generation Minks, with the recipes and chocolate empire passed down generation to generation. Take away a chocolate bar or settle down and try their personal fondue. The s’mores includes a mini hibachi so that you can toast the marshmallows yourself, dip it into chocolate (70% or 38% cacao) and squeeze it in between some graham crackers.
Chocolate Arts is passionate about supporting local businesses. Their website says, ‘The produce we add to our creations is locally grown and nurtured by organic growers who approach their craft with the same passion as we do ours.’ Their craft includes a wide selection of chocolate treats, which each have a unique style. The café is home to the chocolates and also offers a light lunch menu.
Thomas Haas is a fourth-generation pâtissier and has accumulated many awards for his delectable pastries and chocolates. He has two cafés in the Greater Vancouver area – one on Broadway and the other in North Vancouver – which stock his chocolates as well as croissants, danishes and strudels on a daily basis. His chocolates include flavors like lemongrass, pear and ginger, Jamaican rum and cognac.
With locations throughout Quebec, Cacao 70 is a dessert bistro in Vancouver’s West End neighborhood and the company’s first foray into Western Canada. It sells locally handmade chocolate bars and has a sweets menu to die for. They have chocolate pizzas, which include warm pizza crusts topped with chocolate, peanut butter or marshmallows. The detailed menu also features waffles, crêpes, cheesecakes, ice cream cups, fondue, and a range of hot chocolates and milkshakes. For people with a sweet tooth, Cacao 70 will definitely satisfy your craving.
Thierry has repeatedly been voted ‘Best Desserts’ in Vancouver, so chef-owner Thierry Busset definitely knows what he’s doing. The all-day café means you can stop by for your morning coffee, enjoy a pastry for afternoon tea or treat yourself to a late-night dessert. One of his specialties is liquid chocolate, but he also offers ganache, macarons, croissants, cakes (both slices and full-sized) and so much more.
XOXOLAT (pronounced sho-sho-la) is a chocolate boutique offering a wide range of fair-trade chocolate from around the world, including their own. It’s actually home to Canada’s largest selection of single-origin chocolate bars, so there is definitely something for everyone inside this chocolate haven. Some of their unique local flavors include masala chai, West Coast breakfast (maple-flavoured bacon with espresso), sour cherry and chili and BTO (bacon, tomato, and olive). Another specialty at XOXOLAT is shoes made from chocolate.