Bernard Noir Chocolate Boutique is located at 1270 West Pender in Coal Harbour in Vancouver. Is it ever a gem! The day Reg and I showed up for a tour of the chocolate shop, the weather was so dark but look at this store! So warm, welcoming and beautiful.
I was so excited to get a chance to go downtown to a chocolate shop for a tour and was I ever impressed at how much Bernard Noir Chocolate Boutique has to offer.
As soon as we walked inside we felt at home. Everything is elevated and special but there is still that warm cafe feeling you want as you indulge in coffee and chocolate.
So many treats to try and buy for the holidays! These are the best chocolates you are going to find but be prepared to pay for the quality. Only the best is found here.
You can even get a box of chocolates in the shape of a violin!
In the cases you will find some of the best chocolates in the world.
Not only is chocolate serious business but it is also lots of fun.
They even had a German Stollen Cake which looks a heck of a lot like a Latvian cake my mom used to buy on special occasions. I am going to try it the next time I am at the shop!
And pastries! Did I mention the pastries? There are pastries everywhere to choose from.
I had a challenging time photographing the Belgian waffles made with a very expensive imported waffle iron from Belgium because the moment they were topped up, someone would come in and buy some! A super popular item that I will try in the near future.
I think it is so smart that they serve not only delectable sweet treats but you can also get lunch there. So many times I want a meal with a little treat at the end. This place is perfect for me!
When it came to picking out what to try I could have chosen Michel Cluizel chocolates from France.
And why wouldn’t I?! Theirs had so much personality, dynamism and character. They just screamed my name! Reg chose the Aztec chilli and I got the salted caramel (which is the most popular at the store) and a passion fruit.
I finally also got to try real French macaroons for the first time! Reg got the Earl Grey and I chose coffee and we split the raspberry.
We also split the cheese sandwich on Focaccia and the minestrone soup. Absolutely delicious. The Swiss cheese was so good on the sandwich, I melted with it. The soup would have gotten my mom’s approval. Very rustic and true.
Everything was not only delicious, the flavours were super intense. So often you purchase a flavoured chocolate and there is just a hint of it in there but not so at Bernard Noir Chocolate Boutique. Reg’s Earl Grey macaroon could have come out of a cup of tea, it was so prevalent! Oh, it was such bliss!
The macaroons did not fail to impress me. They absolutely lived up to their reputation for having light and airy exteriors that just disintegrate as you bite into them and discover the creamy and flavoured interior.
From the sounds of it, I may never have a macaroon this good anywhere else. They did their research and got lots of feedback from people when they took on this foodie challenge for their store. Considering how damp Vancouver is for so much of the year, I wondered how they were made. I was told that the creator of these little dream bites has a special humidity-controlled room to make sure they are perfect every time.
And we are not done there! We also got to try one of these almond croissants. I was thrilled to hear that they use homemade almond paste, as well as real butter, of course! Everything here is made with the finest ingredients. Can you ever taste the quality.
As Reg is demonstrating here, blissfully eating the croissant. I have to say, there is no comparison to any other store or cafe-bought almond croissant I have ever had. These are the real deal. Moist and delicious.
Reg enjoyed his treats with coffee and I transcended the room eating chocolates, macaroons, the almond croissant… while drinking the best hot chocolate I have ever had. The owner Bernard kept us company and we had a great time chatting and chatting.
The Owner (see behind me)
As I was filming a short intro video before going in the store, you can see Bernard peeking around the corner! Bernard and his wife are from Germany and fell in love with Vancouver. They went back home for a while but Vancouver just called them back and now they serve the best chocolates, pastries, waffles… that you can imagine.
I asked about the chocolatier and was intrigued to discover he is a mostly-retired chocolatier who wants to remain anonymous. How delicious! A mysterious chocolate wizard behind the curtain at Bernard Noir Chocolate Boutique.
One last treat we had as the barely-visible sun decided to start its final descent and the rain began to roll into downtown was their champagne truffle. Reg and I do not drink a lot but we do enjoy the flavours of alcohol and this truffle almost brought me to tears of joy. The flavour of the champagne was so strong, so present, the only thing missing was the bubbles. Genius.
I do not think I could have been more impressed with Bernard Noir Chocolate Boutique. They made us feel welcome and shared their treasures with us, as well as their story. How challenging it must have been to go across the ocean and years later decide to come back and start a business from scratch. It is a story I find moving, inspiring and in some ways, very familiar.
I was almost sad as we left that day. I really did not want the day to end. But then how wonderful it was to realize, I can go back whenever I want. This does not have to be good-bye. I will have hot chocolate and a slice of German Stollen Cake at Bernard Noir Chocolate Boutique. Hopefully soon!