Cacao 70: A downtown alternative to Juliette et Chocolat

When I was at summer camp one year, a girl in my bunk did not like the way I would drink my chocolate milk when we’d have breakfast in the dining hall. I would mix heaps of Nestle Quick in my milk and drink it with a spoon, scooping up the little chocolate balls that formed at the top and then burst in my mouth. She would shoot me dirty looks in disgust from across the table. She also happened to be the bunk bully, so in fear of being beaten up, I decided to compromise and have my chocolate milk in a different way. Instead of spooning it from a cup, I would put it in my bowl of Rice Krispies cereal, so she would think that I was just eating my cereal normally. The dirty looks stopped, but for the rest of the summer I could not have chocolate milk my way.

At Cacao 70, no one cares how you drink your cocoa. In fact, it’s hard not to use a spoon, as hot chocolate is served in large cognac glasses, which makes a mess of your face if you try to drink it that way. Moreover, slowly spooning is the best way of truly savouring the different blends of the bean, which range from 30% white chocolate to 100% pure unsweetened dark chocolate and hail mostly from West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. And you can have your hot chocolate any which way you like: spiced, flavoured, with ice cream, with marshmallows or even Italian pudding style.

Hot chocolate is obviously not the only item on the menu, as Cacao 70 specializes in everything chocolate including waffles, crepes and even pizza. Yes, you heard right, but sweet pizza with different toppings including bananas, nuts and ricotta, marshmallows and peanut butter. The banana one is the most popular from what I’m told, but I’m not a fan of the fruit and wish they’d serve one with strawberries. Better yet, it would be great if you could create your own pizza with other fruit toppings.

For the ultimate Cacao 70 experience, try a fondue for two (especially intimate if you’re on a date), or warm up by roasting some marshmallows over a mini open flame and pretend you’re back at camp (I’d rather not). Even their saltier items are delicious, particularly the roast beef crepe I had with mushrooms, cheese and onions.

Call it an addiction but what keeps me coming back besides chocolate is the warm ambiance and lofty décor that somewhat resembles my blog’s wood aneling.. The staff are also young and friendly and try their best to be on the ball when things get busy, especially on weekends when brunch is served between 10am and 4pm.

At Cacao 70, you just could lose yourself in a world of high-quality chocolate that will satisfy the most discerning palate, even that of “Sweet Genius” Ron Ben Israel.

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