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Warm Up to Winter at the YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

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No doubt about it, February is chocolate month. Diets be damned, we wouldn’t be worth our salt as parents if we ignored Valentines Day and the YYC Hot Chocolate Fest, now would we?

This flavourful festival runs the entire month of February with several of the city’s best chocolatiers, coffee shops and restaurants donating profits from their signature hot chocolates to Meals on Wheels.

It’s not very often that drinking hot chocolate builds community, but it certainly does in this case. A minimum of $1 from each traditional hot chocolate and $2 from each spirited drink goes directly to Calgary’s Meals on Wheels. So far, over $64,000 has been raised for the charity, which supports Calgarians in need of nutritious meals by delivering them to their homes.

Winter in Calgary just got a whole lot sweeter with over 60 businesses participating in over 100 locations. No matter which part of the city you live in, there’s a warm mug of chocolatey goodness just waiting for you.

Besides a delicious excuse to forgo snack duty, our votes decide which drink will be named Calgary’s Best Hot Chocolate. The Taj Mahal took top honours last year, and each rating gives customers a chance to win prizes all month long.

Forget your basic milk and powdered cocoa microwaved drink. These signature sippers range from White Chocolate Chai at NOtaBLE – The Restaurant, to two different types of frozen hot chocolate at Boogie’s Burgers. Pro tip: Bring your quarters to Boogies as they rock a few old school video games the kids will enjoy playing. And if you want to keep on pairing hot chocolate with burgers, Instagram favourite REGRUB can’t be missed, either.

For a true European-style drinking chocolate, head to Ollia and snap up a few house-made macarons while you’re at it. We’re also keeping our eye out for the Orange Blossom Hot Cocoa from Rosso Coffee Roasters. If you’re a fan of cinnamon, however, you’ll want to check out The Main Dish and Cravings Market Restaurant for their cinnamon bun inspired beverages.

For chocolate infused cocktails, don’t only look to the participating restaurants and bars. Some of our favourite coffee houses like Phil & Sebastian, Vendome Cafe, Alforno and Ca’Puccini Café are whipping up boozy, comforting concoctions – all in the name of charity!

For those with food sensitivities, there are dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free options served up across the city. Go ahead and give winter the cold shoulder and snuggle up with a steaming cup of cocoa.

Trust us, it’s worth the calories.

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