best chocolate in Ottawa

What I love about Chocolatouring around a city is discovering the various faces of chocolate you’ll find in any given location if you keep your ears and eyes open. While attending a 2013 conference in Ottawa, Ontario, I had the good fortune to make a couple of outstanding chocolate discoveries thanks to tips from local chocolate-loving residents of the Canadian capital. What’s really interesting is how opposite each of these chocolate discoveries is, proving that when you’re on a chocolate tour you will undoubtedly find something to please your palate and chocolate personality if you heed the right advice and do your research.

Let’s begin with Stubbe Chocolates, where I met Anne Stubbe, a sixth-generation chocolatier and confectioner whose German heritage and family traditions heavily influence the style and offerings at the Stubbe chocolate shop.

Stubbe-chocolates

Anne Stubbe of Stubbe Chocolates in Ottawa

What I really loved about Stubbe is the old-world ambiance, where tradition and the history of the family business is honoured by a wall of photos reminding you of the family’s German heritage.

Stubbe-chocolates

the historic family photos at Stubbe Chocolates

If you’ve never had German florentines, you’re missing out on a delicious offering of a thin chocolate disc topped with candied with nuts, fruits, and caramel. Stubbe also specializes in high quality chocolate novelties such as chocolate shoes, champagne bottles, gondolas, and edible boxes to hold the chocolate truffles and treats you have selected. Candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate is their most popular product. Stubbe also has a few cafe tables, where you can enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate with a slice of one of the sumptuous tortes they offer in the German tradition. If you can’t make it over to Germany, this is the next best thing, and Stubbe is located just steps from Ottawa’s Byward Market where you can buy all sorts of fresh and handcrafted delicacies and foods.

hummingbird-chocolate

Erica Gilmour of Hummingbird Chocolate

Another terrific chocolate maker based in the Ottawa area is Hummingbird Chocolate, a bean-to-bar company in Almonte, Ontario, run by Erica and Drew Gilmour. Hummingbird offerings are limited in comparison to Stubbe, but they are well worth searching out and are continually experimenting with different cocoa beans and adding to their product line up. They hope to soon have a shop of their own, and currently offer their handmade dark chocolate bars at selected Ottawa stores and at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market held at Brewer Park, where Erica is pleased to give you a taste and explain the flavour nuances of the intense chocolate to you.

Of the four flavours of bars in Hummingbird Chocolate’s 2013 lineup, I loved the Patanemo bar made of Criollo cocoa beans from the coastal region of Patanemo, Venezuela—also known for its excellent surfing. Erica creates her own tasting notes for each bar, and the fruity taste of the Patanemo bar is described as featuring hints of toffee, fresh bread, and strawberries. You can bet that a trip to Venezuela is now high atop my list, as Hummingbird makes chocolate with beans from three different growing regions of Venezuela, as well as some wild beans from Bolivia which were also extraordinary and intense.

If you’d like to learn more about the non-chocolate highlights of Ottawa, please check out this post on the highlights of Ottawa.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

38 Responses

  1. I bought my father’s day chocolate at Stubbe in Toronto. What I loved the most was their incredibly beautiful display. I felt like I’d been transported back to some of our destinations in Amsterdam and Turin. There is nothing else quite like it in Toronto, or not that I have found anyway. It lifts the spirits, that attention to detail.

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Virginia: I haven’t yet had the chance to visit the Stubbe location in TO, but the one in Ottawa is lovely, and located right near the Byward Market. A really nice way to spend an afternoon.

  2. Susan Cooper says:

    Both of these chocolatiers sound pretty amazing, as you said for different reasons. I have had the good fortune of tasting some extraordinary German chocolates, complements of my French friends while in France. How lucky you were to have discovered this shop. The Hummingbird Chocolates are the ones I found the most fun and intriguing. Thank you for sharing your discoveries my friend. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc 2011My Profile

  3. Doreen says:

    Hi Susan: yes, it’s fun to explore direr rent kinds of chocolates for different occasions, different moods, etc. Just as you would with wine. Definitely not one size fits all.

  4. Catarina says:

    As always, Doreen, it sounds great and delicious. Thank God you don’t have a weight problem:-) Ottawa seems to have fantastic chocolate!!
    Catarina recently posted…Do you like Harvard’s new approach to leadership?My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks, Catarina. I have to admit … it’s always a bit of an issue with the weight. But I manage to hold my own and haven’t gained too much since I’ve been on this epic chocolate journey. It’s a good thing that pure dark chocolate isn’t fattening! I do eat other chocolate as well (such as sea salt caramels, chocolate truffles, and ganaches) but try and limit my intake of those. It’s not always easy!

  5. Hi Doreen,
    It’s good to know that there’s such great chocolate in Ottawa. Next time I’m there I’ll have to check it out.
    Merle Rosenstein recently posted…Something Old – Something New – in CubaMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Merle: Yes, one thing I’ve learned in my chocolate research is that if you put the word out, you’re sure to find an interesting offering. Not every choice will please every chocolate connoisseur, but the key is to seek, and you will usually find. 🙂

  6. Sweet! A chocolate travel blog! You must be having great fun with the serious business of researching the world’s best chocolate 🙂 We look forward to reading more chocolatey posts…
    Sand in my Suitcase recently posted…Turkish Delight: Part I – IstanbulMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Janice.

      Yes, I feel most fortunate to have created this project for myself. It has enabled me to combine my love and passion for travel, culinary delights, fascinating people and … Fine chocolate.
      Doreen recently posted…chocolate options in OttawaMy Profile

  7. Geek Girl says:

    I just wrote a lovely lengthy comment and got an error saying your web site was off line. Bummer… So here I am just trying to see if I can actually leave a comment this time.
    Geek Girl recently posted…Author Interview: Jeri Walker-BickettMy Profile

    • Oh, Cheryl. I’m SO sorry! I have no idea what that was about, as the bog seems to be operating just fine. I know how frustrating it can be when you write a heartfelt comment, only to find it disappear into the ether. Thanks for trying again, and for being a wonderful supporter of my blogs. I truly appreciate your friendship and support.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…blending chocolate with travel in ChocolatourMy Profile

  8. Jeri says:

    Even when you’re focusing on Chocolate options in Ottawa, it makes me conscious of being on the look out for great chocolate finds in my own area. That’s a very good thing indeed 😉 As with all foods I find myself interested in, having a knowledgeable source such as your blog feeds my curiosity for more.
    Jeri recently posted…Opening Lines: Such is LifeMy Profile

  9. Thank you, Jeri. That is precisely the purpose of my book. 🙂
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…blending chocolate with travel in ChocolatourMy Profile

  10. Salika Jay says:

    I’ve had some German chocolates and they were absolutely delicious. So I bet Stubbe chocolate is really good as well.
    Salika Jay recently posted…Why You Should Take An Alaska CruiseMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Salika Jay. I haven’t had much exposure to German chocolate, and that’s why I didn’t include Germany as a profiled country in the 1st edition of Chocolatour. However, I’m learning that there are some interesting options to explore, and I do hope to visit Germany for future research.

      Yes, Stubbe chocolate is definitely worthy investigating if you like German-style chocolate.
      Doreen recently posted…chocolate options in OttawaMy Profile

  11. Laura C says:

    Wonderful blog! Bringing together two great pleasures, travel and chocolate, seems to be a great way to enhance your creativity and find inner peace. And when the chocolate is German..well..all you can say is: “What a beautiful life I have!”:)
    Besides, meeting new people and cultures enriches every person spiritually.
    I’ll definitely be among your readers!
    Greetings from Romania!
    Laura C recently posted…Who Are YOU Truly?My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for joining the blog, Laura. Chocolate is indeed the language of love and makes us fee good. I’m on my way right now to Peru to attend the International Chocolate Salon and meet some cocoa farmers. Looking forward to it. Stay tuned for more exciting posts!
      Doreen recently posted…highlights of a visit to OttawaMy Profile

  12. Judith says:

    TOTALLY have to catch up with you soon – you’re learning about some epic chocolate awesomeness! This is just brilliant – may even convince me to leave TO next trip and venture to Ottawa!
    Judith recently posted…Win With Gu and Us Just Make Your Own Flavour!My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Well, dear Judith … Thanks for finally dropping in on the blog! Yes, I’ve made many chocolate miles since we last spoke. Right now, I’m in Peru at the Salon del Cacao y Chocolate. Absolutely LOVE Peruvian chocolate. stay tuned for more!
      Doreen recently posted…highlights of a visit to OttawaMy Profile

  13. Judith says:

    Awesome! I made yesterday my “comment on people’s blogs” day 🙂 I spend far too much time working 😀

    Can’t wait for the next run of the book!!
    Judith recently posted…Win With Gu and Us Just Make Your Own Flavour!My Profile

  14. I love chocolates! I’m afraid if I visit a chocolate maker, I’ll end up eating all the chocolates there. haha
    James Robinson recently posted…James RobinsonMy Profile

  15. sherryl says:

    Edible boxes to hold chocolate truffles? For some reason, that evoked a mental image in my mind and I could just about smell the chocolate. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t work there. I don’t know how long my self control would hold out.
    sherryl recently posted…Do-Follow Social Media Sites and a Filter for Facebook | FridayFindsMy Profile

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  17. barb derick says:

    There are 2 new chocolate places one on Donald St and market St.Andrew I think both sound good

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      Doreen recently posted…Fairmont Orchid is my kind of placeMy Profile

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    Star recently posted…StarMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hello Star: Thanks for your comment about my blog. I’d prefer if you share the link to the blog, vs reposting the content. Content on my blog is copyrighted and cannot be posted on other sites. But I certainly welcome everyone to come visit me here on this site and share their thoughts. Thanks!
      Doreen recently posted…wine travelMy Profile

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