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Fun things to do in Vancouver: Mocha Matchup

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When it comes to certain “M” foods – mochas, macarons, and matcha desserts – I’m proud to say that I know my stuff. Though all of these items hold special places in my heart and stomach, the chilly weather of Vancouver approacheth; to combat the rainy season, we profile the Top Three Mochas in Vancouver that will warm you from head to toe.

If it weren’t for the price tag, I’d probably drink a mocha every day. A mocha is like a grown-up, caffeine-induced version of one of my favourite childhood beverage: hot chocolate. I have such fond memories of sipping a cup of hot chocolate after a day of sledding or skating (you caught me, I grew up in Calgary, Alberta). But seriously, why deal with the bitterness of coffee when you can sweeten it with chocolate? Don’t you agree, this is one of the fun things to do in Vancouver, especially if you enjoy chocolate!

This being said, it’s not just any combination of these things that’ll make this mocha list. Almost every coffee shop serves mochas and there are some that even single them out in their advertising. But, this is not about Blenz, Starbucks or Tim Hortons (with all due respect). This is about the best of mocha best. There is an experience to be had while there’s a mocha in your hand. The coffee must have zing. The chocolate must be decadent, but not overly sweet. The consistency must be thick, but unlike syrup. And lastly, that swirl of whipped cream must be undeniably worth your while.

Without further ado, let’s begin the countdown.

In third place, a Vancouver Foodie Tour favourite: the Dark Chocolate Mocha (with marshmallows!) from Mink Chocolate Cafe. The Mink story begins three generations ago, but their chocolate remains as infamous as ever. They use real, fresh chocolate ganache to create their mocha and you can taste the sincerity with every sip. You might just melt with the mini marshmallows swirling in the cup. The thickness of the beverage reflects its rich flavours, but for chocolate lovers, this will hit the spot. Plus, the little Mink chocolate that comes with every beverage never hurts! Mink also has a chocolate fondue experience…but that’s another blog post.

#3: Mink Chocolate Cafe
863 W Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC 

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In second place, the mocha that most often finds its way into my hands. I’m not sure what exactly they do to the chocolate at Viva Fine Foods and Bakery, but it’s unlike any other mocha that I’ve had.  There’s something about the taste of the chocolate – it’s not excessively sweet, but there is depth to the taste. If any of you have read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I imagine the chocolate river to taste like Viva’s mocha. Where Mink sent us away with a square of chocolate, Viva is seated across from Kits Beach. On a crisp fall morning, treat yourself with a mocha from VIva and a walk on Canada’s most beautiful seawall. P.S. If you have a pup, Viva has treats for them, too! Happy pup AND happy cup!

#2: Viva Fine Foods and Bakery
1555 Yew Street
Vancouver, BC 

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And finally, the best mocha in Vancouver. This mocha excels in every category, even defining a few of its own. The mocha from Blue Parrot Coffee on Granville Island is a perfect blend of chocolate and espresso, but what really sets this mocha apart is the chocolate whipped cream. Yes, friends. Chocolate. Whipped. Cream. It’s not overkill to the mocha, and it’s a subtle flavour that has just enough power to tip the scale. Moreover, I love that Blue Parrot offers their mocha in the 8oz size – a distinct point of differentiation compared to the numerous cafes that only serve their mochas in 16oz sizes or larger. With so many tasty delights to try at Granville Island, I’m thankful not to sacrifice this mocha in my decision-making! Start at Blue Parrot Coffee and meander through the Public Market with your mocha in hand…you’ll be in foodie euphoria!

#1: Blue Parrot Coffee
1689 Johnston Street
Vancouver, BC

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Joyce Chua

About Joyce Chua

I’m fascinated by food and its impact on culture, especially in an increasingly globalized world. I love how Vancouver’s multicultural food scene opens doors to history, culture, and understanding. Here’s to a life of eating and learning!

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