Eat + Drink,  Travel

Haute Chocolate Hop in Colorado Springs
A perfect pre-Valentine's Day date night.


The Haute Chocolate Hop is an event organized by the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs and takes place on the first Friday of February. As far as I can tell, it has been a thing since 2017 and consistently sells out. Which honestly makes sense: a chocolate themed downtown hop a few days before Valentine’s Day? Sign. Us. Up. 

Which Yem and I did this year, and here’s what I can tell you about the event: It costs $10 per person (and it seems to have stayed that way ever since the first edition), you get a passport with all the participating businesses in it (must download the Downtown Colorado Springs app), you visit them, grab a bite, get your passport stamped, and are entered to win something (this year it’s one of two $50 Downtown Gift Cards). It’s a great way to get to know your local businesses, try out new things, get some steps in, and honestly just have good time. 

The Hop runs from 5pm to 8pm, so we planned out our route in an attempt to hit all 20 businesses. With 5 minutes to spare, we were able to visit every business and get our passport fully stamped (!). 

In chronological (and geographical) order, this is everything we got at the Hop:

Some of the offerings were super fresh and very clearly made in-house, while others seemed pre-packaged. It makes sense though, as many of the participating venues aren’t food businesses to begin with.

All of the samples were good, but our absolute favorites were the Guajillo Hot Chocolate at The Carter Payne, the Chocolate Chip Cookies at Lemon Lodge Ski Bar, the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie at Mary’s Mountain Cookies, the Peppermint Hot Chocolate at Cacao Chemistry, the Wine Slushes at Painting with a Twist, the Cappuccino Shake at Bingo Burger, the Rosemary Hot Chocolate at Story Coffee Co. And a special mention goes to the S’mores Cocoa at Pikes Peak Lemonade. The presentation was easily the best of the night, and the toppings were great, but the chocolate itself was a little watered down, which is completely understandable given the speed they were having to churn them out.

I don’t know how easy it is to set up logistically from the perspective of the vendors, but from a consumer side, the Downtown Colorado Springs app is really well executed and easy to use. It’s super simple but thorough, with a map, list of participating venues, information about each business, a description of the offering at each location, and detailed instructions on how to use the passport and redemptions.

If you happen to be in Colorado Springs during the first Friday of February, I would highly encourage you to check out the Haute Chocolate Hop. There are other similar events throughout the year, including the Popsicle Promenade, a frozen treat-themed hop that usually takes place on the first Friday of August or September. And for any other day, the Discover Downtown Pass has tons of discounts at so many locations. Check it out here.

Honestly, this Hop was the most [delicious] fun I’ve had in a while. It was almost like a treasure hunt, figuring out where to go next and collecting little treasures with my partner in crime.

I can’t think of a better pre-Valentine’s Day date❤️


p.s. as someone who’s worked in destination branding and marketing, I think this is an excellent idea that could be easily adapted and implemented to destinations of any size. A fun, interactive, and affordable way to showcase your local businesses is always a win in my book.


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Based mainly in Colorado. Loves cheese, rain, and starry nights. Can usually be spotted in the wild wearing a Spirit Jersey and balancing two cameras. Often laughs and cries at the same time. Barely survived one Master's program, but wants to do another.

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