Yes, that’s right, an entire cafe where everything is centered around chocolate. The owners Mike and Diane Del Duca drew their inspiration from similar chocolate cafes found throughout Europe and decided that Fort Collins needed a similar place for all the local sweet tooths to congregate. You can get a dinner of soups, salads, and even pizza at The Chocolate Cafe, but the real attraction is their drinks and desserts. Each of their coffee and hot chocolate drinks can be customized with schnapps, whiskey, Kahlua, irish cream, and of course, chocolate liquor.
The first drink I ordered when I arrived was a latte with Kahlua. I was really in the mood for some caffeine, and pleasantly surprised that I could mix alcohol in. Several minutes later, my server brought out a huge cup filled to the brim and presented on a plate covered with a chocolate garnish. The drink tasted great, but not as great as the next one. At a cafe entirely themed around chocolate, there’s no excuse not to try their hot chocolate. This time I added in the irish cream and it was again presented to me on a fresh plate with its own unique garnish. You’re going to have to be careful if you order this drink, after the first sip I just wanted to down the entire thing. It’s the perfect balance of rich, dark chocolate and cream. It sounds simple, but I doubt I could make it better if I tried.
One thing that did surprise me about the cafe was the decor. It’s a small lounge and very sparingly decorated. You can tell that they’re going for a very minimalist approach, and in some ways I’m grateful for that. With such a heavy emphasis on chocolate, part of me expected at
least a handful of kitschy chocolate decorations, but they know that they don’t have to rub your face in it – their drinks and desserts speak for themselves. I will say that it was slightly jarring, however, so when you go in you should expect to be wowed by their offerings, not their furnishings.
The last important piece of information about The Chocolate Cafe is that you shouldn’t expect to just rush in and out for a quick drink. This is the kind of place where you sit down, take your time, and enjoy the company you bring. Each drink takes time to prepare and you’ll have to wait a minute before you can enjoy it. I had hoped to grab a piece of cake or some sort of dessert while I was there, but I didn’t plan out enough time and had to run off to a movie before I had the chance. The next time I go, and I will be going again, I’ll be sure to get there earlier so I have time to get a full meal and try out everything that they have to offer.
On the other hand, if you know you won’t have time to sit down to eat, but still want to satisfy that sweet tooth, you can order your desserts ahead of time. Give them a 24 hour notice and you can have your very own cake or pie all for yourself, or to share if you’re a more generous person than I. Although with options like molten lava cakes, a bacon stout cheesecake, and a chocolate bourbon pecan pie, I wouldn’t count on your generosity lasting long after you take your first bite.
The Chocolate Cafe
102 W Olive St,
Fort Collins, CO 80524