Leonidas Waterfront (Hot Chocolate Festival)
Dine Out Vancouver may have ended for the year but not to fear, Hot Chocolate Festival is still here! (wow look at all that rhyming haha) Leonidas is a cute little dessert store tucked in the line of shops that border the Vancouver Convention Centre at Waterfront. It's easy to miss since it's one of the only stores that doesn't have a crazy big sign at the top so keep your eyes peeled for it! The store itself is very cozy and seats only about 6 or so groups of people so it gets crowded easily during weekends. My friend and I arrived on a Saturday afternoon and to no surprise, the store was getting pretty busy. We were lucky enough to salvage the bar seats in the front before the real crowd came in.
For the Hot Chocolate Festival at Leonidas, there is a choice of about five different drinks that can be paired with either a liege waffle ,cheesecake, chocolate, or a scoop of Italian ice cream. We chose to order the Tiger Milk and Jamaican Kiss for drinks with two liege waffles topped with chocolate, bananas, and nuts. My Tiger Milk was literally a dream in a cup: Leonidas white chocolate, saffron, cardamom, nutmeg, pistachio, and almonds. It tasted like an exotic Ovaltine drink, just sweet and rich enough for my liking. If this drink was part of Leonidas' regular menu, I'd come by every week to get one. The Jamaican Kiss on the other hand provided very different flavours since it was made from Belgian Milk Chocolate flavoured with coconut, pineapple and rum. This drink was definitely interesting. The pineapple puree added a new texture into the chocolate and provided a tinge of fruitiness. The coconut helped lift the tastes a bit but the rum was hardly noticeable. Though it was a good drink, I would have picked my Tiger Milk over the Jamaican Kiss if I had to choose.
The waffles were decent but compared to Medina's, they were noticeably eggy-er and were a bit more dense. However, I feel like it still lacked the sweet crunchiness and crispness of a classic liege waffle. Toppings wise, I think getting bananas were the best deal since my friend got heaps of them on his waffles while the nuts and chocolate on mine were of modest proportions.
Service was definitely slow (we waited about half an hour for our order) but the staff is definitely friendly. Leonidas is most assuredly a place for you to sit down and relax with a drink and some of their fine chocolates so I'll definitely be back on a slower day to try out their large assortment of treats.
My experience at Leonidas in a nut shell:
Pros: Amazing drinks (Tiger Milk for days) Good atmosphere Friendly staff
Cons: Slow slow service Average waffles
Will I be back? Yepp!