The city’s most comforting, chocolate-y food festival is back for another year for a great cause. With over 100 spots to head around Calgary to try some sweet creations, the YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is always a good excuse to visit local businesses for a daily (perhaps more than just daily?) dose of hot chocolate. Better yet, proceeds from each drink sold this entire month will go towards Calgary Meals on Wheels. The only thing better than sipping hot chocoate on a cold day is sipping for a good cause, am I right?

Here are 5 especially interesting variations on the chocolate-y theme that you should make a point of trying during YYC Hot Chocolate Fest that’s on now until the end of February.

Alforno Bakery’s 1502 Hot Chocolate

Definitely a little out-of-the-box, one of Alforno’s two hot chocolates up for offer uses passionfruit Monin syrup to add some tropical hints as well as a dash of sriracha for heat. Since sriracha is a condiment that consists of a lot of other ingredients outside of chilis (garlic being a prominent one), it will be interesting to see how this inventive concoction sips!

222 7 St SW, alforno.ca

Deane House’s Bergamot Sea Salt Hot Chocolate

I’d expect nothing less from Deane House than a truly unique take on winter’s most comforting drink. High quality earl grey tea (bergamot and chocolate go beautifully together in case you’re warry) joins forces with salted chocolate, smoked house-made marshmallows and orange zest to make the most sophisticated drink of the bunch. Strolling along the river pathways prior to sipping will result in maximum enjoyment.

806 9 Ave SE, deanehouse.com

Monogram Coffee’s Citrus Ginger Orange Hot Chocolate

Coffee beans aren’t the only ingredients this award-winning coffee roaster can work magic with. Using Vahlrona chocolate as its base, you expect rich, indulgent sips from this beautifully poured hot chocolate accented by orange zest and aromatic ginger.

4814 16 St SW, monogramcoffee.com

Sauce’s Saucy S’more Hot Chocolate

Admittedly, a s’more-style of hot chocolate is nothing overly inventive, but I like the fact that Sauce is upping the anté a bit by topping the hot chocolate with a marshmallow fluff (made in-house), espresso chocolate sauce and also offers a gluten-free alternative to the graham cracker crumble on top. It’s big, it’s sweet, it’s everything a kid (or a kid at heart) would want in a tasty hot chocolate.

3326 17 Ave SW, sauceitalianmarket.com

Yellow Door Bistro’s Reverse White Hot Chocolate

Amaretto and Frangelico bring this white chocolate-based cocktail to life inside Hotel Art’s charming, contemporary restaurant. Topped with a homemade cocoa marshmallow and almond slivers, this drink (of which a non-alcoholic version is also available) is the perfect accompaniment to a plate of Yellow Door’s signature pancakes on a weekend morning.

119 12 Ave SW, yellowdoorbistro.ca

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