chocolate tour of Ottawa

One of the best ways to discover the chocolate hot spots of any destination is to find out whether there is a local chocolate lover’s tour. I was thrilled to be invited on the 90-minute Chocolate Lover’s Tour of the ByWard Market area offered by C’est Bon Cooking in Ottawa. Clare was my guide, and I really enjoyed her company, as she has lived abroad and had a real passion for both chocolate and travel. My kind of girl!


Heinrich Stubbe is very knowledgeable and passionate about the world of chocolate. You’ll enjoy exploring the many options at Stubbe Chocolates during the chocolate tour of Ottawa.

Our first stop on this delicious chocolate walking tour was Stubbe Chocolates. I had visited this lovely chocolate shop a number of years ago when I was in Ottawa, but my visit this time was even better as I had the opportunity to meet the owner of the shop, learn from his knowledge and become immersed in his passion for chocolate. Heinrich Stubbe was born in Germany. His wife is from South America. Between them, they have effectively created an artful blend of old and new world chocolates, now offering 520 different chocolates and confections at various times of the year. The quality of the chocolate you will find at Stubbe is top-notch, and the flavour terrific. I was really impressed with the chocolate fruit leather, a new product that was still under development at time of my visit.


Chocolate lovers will enjoy the Belgian Chocolate Rooibos tea available at the Tea Store, one of the stops on your chocolate tour of Ottawa.

Our next stop was Cacao 70, where we could enjoy a customized hot chocolate made from various single origin chocolate disks. This is a really cool place to come back to and enjoy lunch off the extensive menu, as there are many chocolate offerings to explore. We then headed over to the Tea Store, where you’ll find more than 300 different teas. I loved the Vanilla Bourbon Rooibos from South Africa, but die-hard chocolate lovers might be attracted to the Belgian Chocolate Rooibos. Rooibos tea is one of my favourites for pairing with chocolate.


The Cupcake Lounge in Ottawa’s ByWard Market was a delicious stop on the Chocolate Lover’s Tour. I chose the Red Velvet cupcake with buttercream icing and it was divine.

Cupcakes anyone? Our next stop was a visit to The Cupcake Lounge. This is my kind of place as they offer a good variety of delicious cupcakes and are a licensed establishment, so you can enjoy a glass of Prosecco (sparkling wine) or other libation with your cupcake. We enjoyed sitting outdoors at the tables on the patio and watching the world go by.



The chocolate bars at Cylie are elegant and creative. I loved the white chocolate bar with ginger, pictured in the middle of the right hand row. Lots of delicious ginger really balanced the sweetness of the white chocolate.

Our next stop was Cylie Artisans Chocolatiers, a fabulous chocolate shop featuring the artistic creativity of Leslie and chocolate mastery of Cyril, a husband and wife team that is taking Ottawa by storm. Cyril was born in France and began his culinary career specializing in French pastries. He was teaching a pastry course at the Cordon Bleu College, where he met Leslie (pictured above), an enthusiastic student who caught his eye. The two later married, and on September 13, 2013, opened their shop in the North Dal (Dalhousie) area of Ottawa where you’ll find many small unique shops.


The Beaver Tail is a whole wheat hand-stretched pastry cooked on site and flavoured with cinnamon, maple, and several other delectable variations.

We stopped at Piccolo Grande, a shop where you can choose from over 40 flavours of house-made gelato–about 10 of which featured chocolate. And we ended with a stop at the Beaver Tails trailer, as I’m told that no culinary trip to Ottawa is complete with tasting a Beaver Tail. I was pleasantly surprised with the maple version, that had a nice chocolate drizzle on the top. I admit to eating it so quickly, I never even noticed the 446 calories that slid onto my hips before I could catch them! Definitely not a healthy treat that you would eat often. But I agree that they’re definitely worth a try.

I really enjoyed this chocolate tour and highly recommend it should you find yourself in Ottawa. For the size of Ottawa, a city with just under one million people, the culinary and chocolate options are quite astounding.

My sincere thanks to Ottawa Tourism and Ontario Travel for making this trip possible. And for more on my Ottawa adventures, please check out this post.




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.

36 Responses

  1. Thx to everyone for your latest comments! I have been away researching chocolate in Switzerland, and just as in Ottawa, you can discover many incredible chocolate creations when you take an organized chocolate tour. Stay tuned for more info on what I have in store for you!

  2. An amazing array of chocolate offerings. Leave it to Doreen to find the best chocolate around the world — and this one is close to home!

  3. Ottawa is not that far from me. When I cross the border, I should check these places out. Always nice to see a place I have read about in a blog, and in this instance it has chocolate!
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sushmita says:

    The idea of “Chocolate Lovers Tour” makes me smile what an amazing idea it is for lovers like us.Someday would like to travel explore and share like you do.

  5. Tuhin says:

    Wow! I have never been to any chocolate tour. The idea seems wonderful to me.
    It always feels good to read about new things.

  6. I forgot to add my twitter “ID,” so here it is the message again with it added. 😉

    Wowee, I love vanilla rooibus tea. Paired with chocolate? I wonder if I can find some in Victoria! The products shown here are visually most appealing. Thanks for this.

  7. Wowee, I love vanilla rooibus tea. Paired with chocolate? I wonder if I can find some in Victoria! The products shown here are visually most appealing. Thanks for this. 🙂

  8. Erica says:

    I’ve seen ads for cupcake tours and coffee tours where I live, but never a chocolate tour. The picture you have of the cupcake looks amazing. I’m much more into the frosting than the actual cake. So that cupcake looks right up my alley.

  9. Jeri says:

    I’ve never done a food-specfic tour, let alone a chocolate-specfic tour, but this one for Ottawa looks fantastic 🙂

  10. This tour looks wonderful. I’ve not heard much about chocolate tours before but I am going to look for them now when I travel. What fun. I really enjoy Rooibos tea. I’ve had a chocolate Rooibos tea before (delightful), but hadn’t considered pairing regular Rooibos with a chocolate treat. Something to look forward to trying.

  11. Looks wonderful! I’ve been to Ottawa but only on business so it was pretty much a whirlwind visit, and definitely no time for tours. On the other hand, you got me to thinking and I jumped over and quickly Googled “chocolate lover’s tours” for Oregon, and there is one in Portland! I’ve added it to my list of things to do in my new home. 🙂

  12. My mouth is watering thinking how good Prosecco and dark chocolate would taste right now. Sounds like Ottawa has a thriving chocolate community. Yum!

  13. Sabrina Quairoli says:

    Wow, that looks like fun. I love themed tours. A chocolate one is right up my husband’s alley. I will need to find one on our next trip as a surprise. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Ken Dowell says:

    An interesting variety of chocolate as well as an interesting variety of overseas influences. I like the look of the cupcake. It is somewhat fashionable in New York to create cupcakes with an ungodly amount of multi-colored gooey stuff on top, so I live the simplicity of the one in your image.

  15. Hi Doreen, those behind the scenes tours are always the best, aren’t they? You always see and learn so much more. The Cupcake Lounge sounds the best. Great chocolate cupcakes and can you go wrong. 🙂

  16. Joanne says:

    Glad you enjoyed your trip to Ottawa! Thank you for spreading the word that Ottawa is a destination for great chocolate!

  17. Phoenicia says:

    520 different chocolates?

    I really was trying not dribble when I looked at the photographs. Selection chocolates are my favourite as I like to surprise my taste buds by not looking at the flavours.

  18. Beverly says:

    I have tasted Cylie chocolate and I can report that it is absolutely delicious. The artisitically designed look of the chocolate bars is without compare.

  19. lenie says:

    Doreen, this all looks wonderful but the one I really want to try is the Belgian Chocolate Rooibos tea. I’m going to look them up online because I think that would be the perfect drink for a stormy day.

  20. I like the idea of expanding what I normally would look for in a city. Especially if it involves chocolate!!! Definitely on my next trip there.

  21. Sounds like a lot of fun. Did the other stops you mention not want you to share photographs?

  22. Linda Strange says:

    Have to admit I’m surprised. I do think of Ottawa as having an international reputation, being our Capital city; but I’d not suspected it would be a chocolate destination. This is wonderful.

    • I, too, was really surprised, Linda! And all these places I mentioned are all within walking distance from one another. Don’t forget about Hummingbird Chocolate, the winner of the 2016 Golden Bean Award that is just 40 minutes outside of Ottawa in the Ottawa Valley in Almonte. This region really is the hotbed of Canadian chocolate. Thx for stopping by.

  23. Catarina says:

    Love the idea of a “Chocolate Lover’s Tour”. And looking at the pictures I’m certain there was a lot to love. What you display look absolutely delicious!

  24. Hilda Young says:

    Thanks Doreen for teaching me more about the city i go to most often! I will attempt to send links to my Ottawa people.. they would love the tour!

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