Hot chocolate spots for V-Day

Delight 3040 Dundas W, at High Park, 416-760-9995. Jennifer Rashleigh and Jeff Brown's organic chocolaterie in the Junction makes some.


Delight

3040 Dundas W, at High Park, 416-760-9995. Jennifer Rashleigh and Jeff Brown’s organic chocolaterie in the Junction makes some of the finest hand-crafted truffles in the city – all of it fair trade. The former Citron pastry chef and her partner also offer the most intensely flavoured ice cream in town. Best: Valentine’s boxes of chocolates – extra-dark, vanilla rose, hot ‘n’ spicy, coffee caramel dark chocolate hearts with chocolate drizzle ice wine truffles all-natural preservative-free ice creams like spicy Cinnamon Hearts and Quebecois blue cheese to drink, Alternative Grounds coffee and organic tea. Open Tuesday to Thursday 9 am to 9 pm, Friday 9 am to 10 pm, Saturday 10 am to 10 pm, Sunday 11 am to 6 pm. Closed Monday. Unlicensed. Access: ramp at door, no washrooms. Rating: NNNNN

Soma

55 Mill, bldg 48, unit 102, at Trinity, 416-815-7662. Located next door to the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District, this former 19th-century warehouse comes with the theatricality you expect from a high-profile Oliver Bonacini (Canoe, Jump, Auberge du Pommier) enterprise. A gorgeous space, it contains a retail store stocked with Soma’s terrific handmade truffles, pralines and frozen ices. Best: limited-edition red chocolate bars with wild cherries, cranberries and sumac Melty Love Hearts, barberry-stuffed milk chocolates from the in-house gelato lab, Meyer lemon ice rich dairy-free Ontario blueberry with basil to drink, hot shots of Mayan chocolate, straight or with steamed milk. Average main $4. Open Monday to Saturday 10 am to 7:30 pm, Sunday and holidays 11 am to 6 pm. Unlicensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNNN

Xococava

1560 Yonge, at Heath, 416-979-9916. An offshoot of chef Chris McDonald’s chi-chi Cava tapas bar, this charming all-chocolate specialty shop – “xoco” (prounounced “shock-o”) means chocolate in Catalan – may be hidden away in Delisle Court, but will become a regular foodie destination once found. Best: house-made truffle assortments like Spanish chorizo, black olive or Seville orange savouries like black trumpet mushroom or salted caramel exotica like pink Szechuan peppercorn or fennel pollen insanely rich ice cream like prune with Pedro Ximenez sweet Spanish sherry by the take-home litre house-baked churros crushed white chocolate bark to drink, spicy hot chocolate with house-made marshmallows. Open 10 am-10 pm daily. Unlicensed. Access: barrier-free, no washrooms. Rating: NNNN

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