Gone are the days when chocolate was a mere confection. Over the years, the chocolate industry has developed so much that chocolatiers around the world take great pride in their creations, each using the best cocoa and best-quality ingredients. If people say that food is art, then chocolate is a masterpiece! If you want to taste some of Vancouver’s finest chocolates, you may just have to tour some of the city’s best chocolate shops with us!
2539 West Broadway Avenue
With his parents, grandparents, and great grandparents working in the pastry business, it’s no surprise that Thomas Haas chose the career of a pastry chef. And most people who have tasted his chocolates say that becoming a pastry chef was the best decision Haas could have made. Having worked in his native Germany and in Switzerland, France, Vancouver’s Four Seasons Hotel, and New York, he gained enough experience to become one of the most sought-after chefs in Vancouver. Even though the beginning wasn’t easy for Thomas, all his effort and sleepless nights have paid off.
So what’s the secret behind his success?
Money has never driven me. I want to get better, and we want to get better as a business—what we do for our customers, what we can do for our staff, and what we can do for ourselves.
Have you ever tried his gluten- and wheat-free Sparkle Cookies, which were featured as the “world’s best cookies” and “one of the top ten favourite recipes of the year” in a number of magazines including the LA Times, the Vancouver Sun, and the Food Network? Well, if you’re a fan of deep, dark, intense chocolate taste, then hurry to the closest store and indulge yourself in its deliciousness. There are a couple of similar recipes on the Internet, but believe us, nothing compares to the goodness of the store-bought treats. Of course, the collection of chocolates is much wider, but you can buy pretty much any decadent dessert — from colourful macarons, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts, fruit gelées, cakes, tarts, and croissants to sandwiches and even hot and cold beverages.
Macarons for Michael Buble´s weddings by Thomas Haas Patisserie
Tuesday–Saturday: 8:00 A.M.–5:30 P.M.
1105 Robson Street
Belgian chocolatemakers take their craft seriously, and Daniel Poncelet is no exception. Born and raised in Belgium, he developed a strong appreciation for the chocolate-making process, using traditional techniques and high-quality natural ingredients with no added preservatives, artificial flavourings, or hydrogenated or trans fats. Even though he moved to Vancouver quite a long time ago, in 1981, he still keeps his native country in his heart and lets his fellow Vancouverites explore the taste of Belgium’s most popular delight without having to travel more than 4,000 miles.
Working with chocolate is pure pleasure. I can make the same recipe a thousand times and it’s still like the first time.
Buttercreams, ganaches, pralines, giandujas, caramels, truffles, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts — is your mouth watering yet? Then we should also mention a special collection of sugar-free pralines, cocoa bars, and pastries. And we won’t stop there, since the shop offers a lot more than just chocolates. You can get cute little tins of tea, jams and marmalades, maple syrup, and a selection of treats ranging from Turkish delight and crystallized ginger to juicy berries. This high-quality Belgian chocolate might be a bit more expensive; however, if you taste them once, you’ll never want anything else. And what’s the best part of making chocolate according to Daniel?
We have to agree.
Monday–Wednesday: 10:00 A.M.–7:00 P.M.
Thursday–Saturday: 10:00 A.M.–9:00 P.M.
Sundays & Holidays: 12:00 P.M.–7:00 P.M.
151–1689 Johnston Street
They came, they saw… and they opened up one of the best chocolate shops in the city. Who are we talking about? Tim Was, a maître chocolatier (which is like having a Master’s degree in chocolate making) who was trained at Belgium’s most respected chocolate house, La Maison Wittamer (the exclusive chocolate supplier to the Belgian royal family), and his wife. The two immigrated to Canada in 2002 and have been attracting Vancouver’s chocoholics ever since. They believe that “the difference is in the details,” and therefore you can find more than 100 types of chocolates in their shop — all made from natural ingredients with no preservatives.
Tim uses the original methods of Belgian confectionery artistry, which he learned during his training at Maison Wittamer, and he creates truly spectacular products. You can choose from an array of flavours, including Baileys, Earl Grey tea, grapefruit, maple, mint, rooibos, sea salt, wasabi, whiskey… and we could go on and on. If you’re still wondering what all the fuss is about, you should visit one of their locations or order some sweets online and see whether these products live up to their reputation.
Daily 9:00 A.M.–7:00 P.M.
413 Industrial Avenue
One of North America’s Top 10 chocolatiers according to the prestigious Dessert Professional magazine, it won silver in the World Finals at the prestigious International Chocolate Awards as well as silver at the 2012 International Marmalade Awards — that’s Beta 5, a relatively new chocolatier named after the crystal structure that’s the most stable form of cocoa butter crystallization. The owners Jess Rosinski and Adam Chandler believe that there are only five important factors when it comes to creating heavenly chocolates, and these factors are flavour, creativity, the ability to surprise and bring something unexpected, inspiration from local surroundings, and responsibility when it comes to food security. And what drives them to succeed?
It’s about staying excited about what we do.
So it doesn’t really matter whether you buy their bars, pebbles (chocolate-covered nuts and dried fruits), rocks (the Canadian Rockies–inspired aerated chocolate), caramels, jellies, preserves, baked goods, or jarred desserts; you will never regret your purchase.
Tuesday–Friday: 10:30 A.M.–5:30 P.M.
Saturday–Sunday: 10:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M.
Have we missed your favorite shop? Leave your comments below and help us to make the most comprehensive list of Vancouver’s cocoa champions.