The chill is in the air, and with that comes the desire for hot chocolate. It’s primal. Luckily, Montreal’s old-world/new world vibe makes it a great place to sip on choco – you get all the tradition of a Belgian or Swiss cup of cocoa goodness, with rock-and-roll elements such as salty caramel or chile for the adventurous palate. Here are some of our favourite places to stop off for a rich, unguent cup of chocolat chaud…
Juliette et Chocolat: This Montreal favourite has had a café on Laurier in Outremont for some time, which is still a great place to stop off after a rough day of window-shopping. But in recent years they’ve opened a big, airy, beautiful location on what is certainly one of the choicest corners of the whole city: Saint-Laurent and Prince Arthur. This is an optimal spot for people watching, while sipping a treat from their extensive and inventive menu of liquid choco-love.
Do you fancy a “Dark Grand Cru” or an “elaborate” drink, such as the Liegois (dark chocolate, milk chocolate and a scoop of ice cream with whipped cream on top) or the Nutella (all that and choco-Hazelnut spread, too)? Or would you rather be all grown up with an alcoholic chocolate cocktail with a intriguing title: The Nutcracker, the Choco-Mojito or the Snow White? The Creole, the Chocolate Ruby or the Spiced Sun (are these Blaxploitation movies, you ask, or merely chocolate drinks?). Stop in to find out.
Suite 88: This Montreal favourite, with elegant “chocolate lounges” on lively Rue St-Denis and de Maisoneuve, is a great place to purchase chocolate treats for loved ones back home and to indulge in a chocolate sip sensation. Choose from the classic drink in dark, light or white chocolate, or from their “intense” menu: Cinnamon, pumpkin, vanilla, ginger, sea salt or mint. Or try the Chile chocolate drink prepared just like Mom used to make, if your mom was a pre-Columbian Mayan cook. Spicy!
Havre Aux Glaces in Jean-Talon market: A quick stop-off in the bestest ice-cream store in any farmer’s market anywhere gets you a medium-sized cup of thick, tasty Belgian hot chocolate for $2.75 (and believe me, a medium is enough). You get to choose between a sprinkle of cardamom or pink pepper, or sip it plain while you wander through the winter market.
Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois: A Montreal classic. This is one of our favourite chocolate shops and she has the most tasty, sinful, decadent little espresso-sized hot chocolate, one of these will hold you all week. On St-Viateur, a coffee from one of the Italian cafés that flank her shop washed down with a Genevieve Grandbois chocolate shot is a neighbourhood secret.
Juliette et Chocolat, 3600 Saint-Laurent & 377 Laurier West
Suite 88, 3957 Rue Saint-Denis & 1225 de Maisonneuve West
Havre Aux Glaces, 7070 Avenue Henri Julien, Jean-Talon Market
Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois, 162 St-Viateur West