Chocolate. That word alone makes some people go weak in the knees. If you are one of those people, keep reading! I’m about to tell you about some local Vancouver places where you can indulge that sweet-tooth.
Thomas Haas (Kitsilano)
2539 West Broadway
There is no denying Thomas Haas’ popularity in this town when it comes to chocolate. In addition to his elegant cakes and desserts, macarons, and delicate pastries, Thomas Haas also finds time to create house-made chocolates and truffles. His collection is extensive and includes chocolates that are fruit-filled, ganache-filled, caramels, nut-based, or chocolates infused with exotic flavours, such as Earl Grey tea. Is there anything this man can’t do?! If you can’t make it to the store, some stores (like Whole Foods) do stock some of his stuff.
2391 Burrard Street
XOXOLAT, located on West 8th and Burrard, sell their own selection of house-made specialty chocolates (even some shaped as high-heels), in addition to a variety of imported choccies. Prices are expensive here because you are paying for quality and workmanship. I’m a huge fan of their house-made peanut butter cups, their elusive “PBJ” bar, and their chocolate-coated marshmallows. XOXOLAT also put on regular “Chocolate 101” tasting classes – but book ahead as they sell out fast.
BETA5 Chocolates (Strathcona)
413 Industrial Ave
BETA5 has been on my radar since they first exploded onto the scene in late 2011 but I was truly hooked when I saw owner, Adam Chandler, talk passionately about his love of chocolate at a Pecha Kucha event. Like most of the other chocolate purveyors in my recommendations, BETA5 offers high-quality, house-made chocolates in a variety of selections. Options include ganache-filled chocolates in unique flavours, such as tobacco or Imperial Stout, assorted bars of chocolate, and coated nuts and fruits. My personal favourites are the salted chocolate caramels. The shop also bake fresh pastries daily and they make their own jellies, preserves, and individual-sized desserts in a jar. If you can’t make it to their store, you can also pick up some BETA5 supplies from The Dirty Apron deli.
Signature chocolates from BETA5
Salted chocolate caramels from BETA5
1059 Alberni Street
Thierry Busset is a veteran local pastry chef who also creates sophisticated chocolates at his beautiful downtown space. Selections include fruit and flavoured ganache, such as whiskey truffle or passionfruit, as well as praline and marzipan options. Prices aren’t cheap but the quality is worth the splurge.
Chocoholic Buffet at Sutton Place Hotel (Downtown)
845 Burrard Street
Although I haven’t been for years, you can’t argue with a buffet. Of CHOCOLATE! Sure, the quality is not in the same realm as my other recommendations, but who cares? Sometimes you just want to gorge and for $28 (for adults), it can be all yours! Chocolate cakes, chocolate pastries, chocolate pies, chocolate ice cream, chocolate slices, chocolate fondue, crepes…with chocolate – it’s all yours! My stomach hurts just thinking about it.