The Daily Sampler Abroad: Halifax – Choco Cafe

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops and one of my favorite activities in a new town is sampling all the best local spots. Local coffee, people! You’re only allowed chain coffee if: you have a gift card, are in a rush/on a road trip and need a drive-thru, and that’s pretty much it. Otherwise, no excuses. You’ll be seeing a lot of mini-reviews of my Haligonian coffee adventures, so get ready.

It’s a rare occasion that I’ll get something other than a good old fashioned house blend. I know that’s boring. I find it’s the best judge of a coffee establishment, however, the Choco Cafe reeled me in with promises of real hot chocolate glory, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my order.

When I entered the Choco Cafe, located at 1360 Lower Water St. in downtown Halifax, it was empty except for one couple buying chocolates. FYI, Choco Cafe is the sister of Chocolates by Design, a gourmet chocolate and gift shop. Though the chocolates looked quite appealing, I stuck to my guns and ordered the classic dark chocolate, and made the “lighter” choice of forgoing the whipped cream in favor of a side of blueberry cheesecake. It was past lunch time, okay? The Daily Sampler is a non-judgement food zone. I cozied into a spot with a great view of the harbor down the street, set up my free wi-fi, and got down to the business of enjoying my lunch.

All I could think of as I ate the blueberry pie was my Aunt Linnie (Hi, Linnie!) and how she taught me to know what homemade baked goods should taste like. It was easy to identify this cheesecake as a homemade baked good, though I’m sorry to say, I got distracted and forgot to ask if CC makes their bakery items in-house. I was distracted by the dark hot chocolate. Sweet, but not too sweet, and the very definition of sinful. I went classic, but your choices ranged from dark to milk, to white chocolate, or upgrade to add flavors like cinnamon to make it a Mexican hot chocolate. The coffee comes organic and fair trade and there’s also a selection of specialty teas, if the best hot chocolate of your life isn’t on your schedule for the day.
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+ Everything about what I put in my mouth. Especially loved the graham cracker crust on the cheesecake. It’s my favorite!

Service was a little slow, but there was only one person working when I arrived, so that wasn’t really her fault. Not really a place I’d set up for an afternoon of computer work, either. Once other customers and families started to come in, my in-the-zone concentration was out the window.

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