10 Hot Chocolates To Try During This Year’s YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

A hot chocolate inspired by a vintage board game, another that has a doughnut and Pop Rocks, and another that is really Christmas-y are just a few of the hot chocolates to sample this year.


The sixth annual YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is back and running from February 1 to 28. Each year, the festival sees restaurants and cafés prepare signature hot chocolates that Calgarians can sample all month long. It’s also a competition. Calgarians can vote online for their favourite hot chocolate in the two categories — there’s the title of Calgary’s Best Hot Chocolate and the title of Calgary’s Best Spirit Hot Chocolate. 

This year, 103 locations across the city are participating and you can sample 52 traditional hot chocolates and 30 spiked ones. Even if you’re gluten-free or dairy-free or vegan, there will be numerous hot chocolate options for you. 

But, there’s more to all this than just the hot chocolates. It’s also a charity event that supports Calgary Meals on Wheels. At least $1 from each hot chocolate sold will be donated to the Calgary Meals on Wheels’ Home Delivery Program.

There are more than 80 signature hot chocolates this year, but we help you figure out where to get started.


The hot chocolate that will remind you of the Christmas holidays

Citrus Ginger Orange Hot Chocolate

photograph courtesy of yyc hot chocolate fest

The mixture of citrus, ginger and orange in this hot chocolate will have you thinking fondly about the past Christmases. 

Monogram Coffee, 2, 420 2 St. S.W., 403-975-2203; 4814 16 St. S.W., 587-893-0444, monogramcoffee.com


The hot chocolate that doesn’t hold back on the calories

Inzuppata Calda

(That means “hot dunk” in Italian.) If you want a treat, you’re going to get one with this hot chocolate. It’s made with Nutella, has a marshmallow foam and is served in a glass that is rimmed with Pop Rocks. It’s also served with a hot, fresh Italian doughnut. 

PZA Parlour, 9737 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-455-2033, pzaparlour.com


The hot chocolate that’s traditional yet perfect

Osteria Hot Chocolate

Osteria doesn’t complicate what’s already loved. This Italian dark hot chocolate is topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. There are also vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options. 

Osteria Chef’s Table, 201B 10 St. N.W., 403-283-5553, osteria.ca 


The hot chocolate that’s kind of like camping but without the wet socks, heavy bags and bear spray

Saucy S’more Hot Chocolate

Like your traditional camping dessert, this hot chocolate tastes like toasted marshmallow — the hot chocolate itself has toasted marshmallow in it and it’s topped with a marshmallow meringue. Of course, it has also has the other essential s’more ingredients: graham crumb sprinkle and espresso chocolate drizzle. All that’s missing is the campfire.

Sauce, 3326 17 Ave. S.W., 403-727, 7627, sauceitalianmarket.com


The cutest hot chocolate ever


photograph courtesy of yyc hot chocolate fest

Chances are, you have never had a drink with elephant hot chocolate art. Now you can. 

Boxcar Café, 100, 1215 1 St. S.W., 403-383-0000, boxcarcafe.ca 


The hot chocolate where crispy and meaty totally works

Maple Bacon Hot Chocolate

This one is for the people who think putting maple syrup on their bacon is a great idea. The hot chocolate, made with hickory maple and Peruvian cacao, is topped with whipped cream, maple syrup and a crispy piece of bacon. 

Odyssey Coffeehouse, SAIT, 1301 16 Ave. N.W., 403-774-4741, saitsa.com


The hot chocolate that’s inspired by a vintage board game

Hobbit’s Hot Chocolate

Hexagon, one of the city’s board game cafes, has created a signature hot chocolate that is inspired by a vintage Lord of the Rings board game. The idea is that when you drink this mixture of chocolate sauce, whipped cream, caramel drizzle and smoked bacon, you might feel like you’re on a trip to Middle Earth with Sam and Frodo. (Some imagination is required, but surely you already knew that if you were stepping inside a board game café.)

Hexagon Café, 200, 1140 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-209-2881, thehexcafe.com 


The hot chocolate that would satisfy you even after a really tough, long week 

Irish Car Bomb

This boozy hot chocolate will help you relax and unwind even after the most stressful week. It is spiked with Bailey’s and Bushmills Irish Whiskey, and topped with whipped cream and a Guinness syrup chocolate cigar. 

Fionn MacCools, Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire, 255 Barclay Parade S.W., 403-517-6699, fionnmaccools.com 


The hot chocolate that combines three great things 

Chèvre Chaud Chocolat 

photograph courtesy of yyc hot chocolate fest

This drink combines three decadent things into one tasty treat: chocolate, cheese and wine. The thick, dark hot chocolate includes a generous helping of goat cheese from Rocky Ridge Dairy out of Ponoka. There’s also the option to add in Kabir, a citrusy dessert wine. 

Mabou Cheese + Bar, 1006 17 Ave. S.W., 403-229-0905, maboucalgary.com


The hot chocolate that’s like your last trip to Maui, but in a mug

Almond Spiked Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate is topped with a house-made whipped cream and toasted almonds. And it’s spiked with amaretto and Kahlua, so it’s really a lot like your last beach vacation. Have it in the evening and bring along those vacation photos to enhance the beach-like experience. 

The Main Dish, 903 General Ave. N.E., 403-265-3474, tmdish.com


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