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These Tri-Cities cafés are serving up specialty hot chocolate for regional festival

Warning: your mouth will salivate when you see what Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam has to offer for the month-long event.
BjornBar Bakery (Coquitlam) and Cassandra Cake Co. (Port Coquitlam) are creating a total of four creatively delicious drinks for the 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival.

The 2023 Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is slated to begin this week, and two Tri-Cities businesses are concocting flavourful sips for the month-long event.

BjornBar Bakery (Coquitlam) is returning for a consecutive year in addition to Cassandra Cake Co. (Port Coquitlam) — each creating two unique cups of cocoa for the public to warm up and enjoy.

The local businesses are two of nearly 66 restaurants, cafés and shops in nearly 100 locations putting forward 140 different designs and mixes.

The 13th annual tour is said to be the first-of-its-kind in all of the world, beating the "west coast winter" blues since 2011, and is scheduled to take place from Saturday (Jan. 14) to Valentine's Day (Feb. 14).

Organizers have said the event's ultimate goal to supports local small businesses and showcase their creativity in the community.

You can view a virtual map of the Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival below.

BjornBar Bakery's recipes are as follows:

Day Drinkin’ 

  • Pineapple and coconut flavoured white hot chocolate 
    • On the side: a pina colada meringue cookie

Double Baked

  • Dark chocolate and almond hot chocolate topped with whip cream, chocolate drizzle, slivered almonds and dusted with icing sugar (just like our double baked croissant) 
    • On the side: mini all butter croissant

BjornBar Bakery — located in the Burquitlam neighbourhood at 111-581 Clarke Rd. — is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.

You can visit its website for more information.

Meanwhile, Cassandra Cake Co., run by custom cake baker and Food Network champion Cassandra Curtis, is entering the hot chocolate festival with a pair of pastry-inspired treats:

Mickey's Magic Macaron

  • An almond milk and white hot chocolate base with house made macaron flavouring, whipped cream and Mickey Mouse sprinkles
    • On the side: a white chocolate Mickey Macaron

Brownie Bomb!

  • Dark hot chocolate with ganache, chocolate whipped cream, and chocolate shavings 
    • On the side: a flourless chocolate fudge brownie

Cassandra Cake Co (105-2331 Marpole Ave.) is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, 10 a.m, to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

For more information, you can visit the Port Coquitlam business' website.