Count on Niagara Falls Tourism to provide yet another reason to visit the Niagara Region. If the Falls itself and the amazing festival of lights are not enough, then how-about adding a Hot Chocolate Trail? Just think of it, on a cold day, what better than a hot chocolate to warm one up. A new addition to the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights, it has been described as. “A delightful journey of taste and warmth,” this now the second year of The Hot Chocolate Trail.
Niagara’s Hot Chocolate Trail is a self-guided adventure where you pick the locations to tantalize your tastebuds with decadent hot beverages created by skilled chocolatiers, chefs, and mixologists across Niagara Falls. There are 22 stops along the trail featuring 33 unique and delicious flavours of hot chocolate, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. I am fortunate to visit four of the locations on the trail and although they are very close to each other, I am flying high on the decadent scale, they are all so good. The Bar Barista at Fallsview Casino Resort, Lucky’s Restaurant and Bar, The Moose and Squirrel at DoubleTree Fallsview Hotel and Hershey’s Chocolate World are all unbelievable.
At the Bar Barista, a unique high-end European coffeehouse that features fine pastries and by night is a contemporary cocktail bar featuring small plates, local wines and expertly curated beverages, located inside the Fallsview Casino Niagara Resort. I try both of their creations, the Triple Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Hot Chocolate and the Nutty Oat Hot Chocolatini. Mmmmm does not begin to describe the great taste that swirls in your mouth. The ingredients for both of these hot chocolates are simple with locally sourced ingredients, all combined for a taste you will remember because they are so delicious.
The Triple Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Hot Chocolate (No-alcoholic):
House made raspberry syrup, milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate base, steamed out or regular milk, served with a chocolate croissant crostini.
Nutty Oat Hot Chocolatini (contains alcohol)
House made dark chocolate syrup, steamed oat milk, house made chocolate liqueur, hazelnut liqueur, roasted almond and cocoa nib dust.
Lucky’s Restaurant and Bar
Just down the hall from the Bar Barista at the Fallsview Casino Resort is Lucky’s Restaurant and Bar where the feature is their Vanilla Dream Delight Hot Chocolate. The ingredients are simply delightful; Hot Chocolate, Vanilla, simple syrup, espresso, Amarula Cream liqueur and garnished with a Candy Cane.
The Moose and Squirrel Coffee Bar at The DoubleTree Fallsview Hotel
A short drive from the Fallsview Cassino Niagara Resort is The Moose and Squirrel Coffee Bar at The DoubleTree Fallsview Hotel where they served up The Peppermint Hot Chocolate (non-alcoholic-$3.95-$4.95 depending on size) and Whiskey Hot Chocolate (alcoholic-$10).
The Moose and Squirrel Coffee Bar prides itself on using Starbucks authentic ingredients (real cream) to create their hot chocolates. Ahmet, the manager of the Moose and Squirrel prepares two delectable drinks. Although The Peppermint Hot Chocolate is really, really yummy, The Whiskey Hot Chocolate is my favourite. He tells me that the robust taste comes from the shot of Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon mixed with the hot chocolate, steamed milk, vanilla syrup and the whipped cream. Wow, that certainly packs a punch and so delicious.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
My final stop on this tour is Hershey’s Chocolate World and I am not disappointed. I meet with Diana who createds their Candy Cane Hot Chocolate, a non-alcoholic drink using mint syrup, hot chocolate, whipped cream, crushed candy cane and topped with a candy cane kiss. Although the hot chocolate is available year-round, the candy cane kisses are seasonal. If you love Hersey’s chocolates, then this is a must visit along The Hot Chocolate Trail.
Hurry, The Chocolate Trail is on until January 7th, 2024.
Complete list of Niagara Falls Hot Chocolate Trail participants 2023
For more information and locations of all Hot Chocolate Trail participants and their offerings, visit https://www.niagarafallstourism.com/events/hot-chocolate-trail-2022/ or https://www.cliftonhill.com/events/hot-chocolate-trail.
Frank Greco is a freelance writer known for his travel and culinary articles as well as his television production of The Travel Guy, Gourmet Escapes, The Mangia Cake Boys and others.
by Frank Greco