It may be the dead of winter in Edmonton but I'm of the mindset that it's never too cold for ice cream. And when it's gourmet chocolate-dipped soft serve from Cacao 70... well, everyone should agree.

I first heard of Cacao 70, a Montreal-based chocolate company, while I was researching restaurants and eateries for my next trip to Vancouver. (Research includes reading endless food blogs and the painstaking task of scrolling through Instagram tags.) Turns out I can check off one my bookmarked spots without even having to fly there!   

Since their conception in 2011, Cacao 70 has evolved and expanded their brand quite a bit. With 14 franchises nationwide, their concept ranges from bistro to sweet house to ice cream shop. Their first ice cream parlour concept opened up early September in Vancouver's Gastown and has been trending and popular ever since.

From that success, Cacao 70 has now opened up the cutest little ice cream cart in Kingsway Mall, as part of #CommunityKingsway, a revolving showcase of "local" retailers. (I put local in quotations since Cacao 70 is based out of Montreal.) Other food retailers you'll find in the shared space include Whisk Dessert Co., Milk Milk Lemonade, and the Cookie Dough Stand. Because it's a pop up, Cacao 70 will only be open until January of next year. (Perhaps it's a test run for a more permanent location in Edmonton? Fingers crossed!)

With their ice cream concept, Cacao 70 serves vanilla soft serve cones dipped in a variety of chocolate flavours. Think fancy, gourmet version of Dairy Queen's chocolate dipped cone!

There are 11 flavours of dips to choose from, including the classic dark, milk or white chocolate. More unique flavour options include praline, peanut butter, earl grey, black sesame, chai, maple, matcha, and coffee. 

Cacao 70 does sell other things like chocolate bars and chocolate fondue pots, but I was too distracted and focused on the ice cream to take a closer look. 

When ordering, you can choose between a regular ($4.75) or large ($5.50) size. Soft serve vanilla ice cream is swirled into a waffle cone (or cup) and then carefully dipped into the melted chocolate fondue of your choice. Before handing the cone over to me, the worker said it would take about 20 seconds for the chocolate to fully harden and set.

My sister got a dark chocolate dipped cone (pictured at the start, on the right) while I went for a regular-sized black sesame dip. The ice cream melts pretty quickly so it's definitely a race against the clock when trying to take photos and devour the ice cream afterwards!

Because I was relying on my past memories of DQ chocolate dipped cones, I found the chocolate dip here to be too thick (which could be a good thing for some people!). For me, I prefer having a thin layer of chocolate that crackles when you bite into it. Because the coating was so thick, I found the texture of the chocolate to be too soft and almost chewy in a way. As for the chocolate itself, it had a slight hint of black sesame flavour, but it was very sweet (again, personal preference). I assume the black sesame, among the other unique flavours, are white chocolate-based and white chocolate will always be very sweet. If you don't have much of a sweet tooth, I'd suggest sticking to the dark chocolate dip!

In general, I love the ice cream concept that Cacao 70 is pushing but I do think their formulation needs to be tweaked somewhat in order for me to fully love the execution.

Do give them a try though, especially since they won't be here for long! You can find Cacao 70 as well as other dessert retailers in the Community space at Kingsway Mall, located kitty-corner from H&M in the new renovated wing. Sugar coma, here I come!

Cacao 70
1 Kingsway Garden Mall NW
Edmonton, AB

- CT


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CT is a 20-something Edmontonian who started blogging as an excuse for taking pictures of her food.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf