Monday, February 11, 2013


Cacao is a chocolate shop with two locations in downtown Portland, Oregon. One storefront is on SW 13th Ave., between Burnside and Washington. I went to the other spot at the Heathman Hotel (corner of SW Broadway and Salmon).

Cacao at the Heathman Hotel
Jesse Manis and Aubrey Lindley founded Cacao in 2006, and they only use the best chocolate they can find. Each chocolate is handpicked using a variety of criteria. Rave reviews have poured in left and right.

After my friend and I got lunch one day in early January, he mentioned that I should try Cacao. Even though he had to get back to work and I only had a few minutes left on the parking meter, I made a quick stop at Cacao anyway. I wished my friend coulda joined me for this chocolate adventure.

(January 2013)
I came here for one thing: the flight of hot chocolate shots ($6). Each drinking chocolate is made in house.

Front Left: Rivoli Dark Chocolate
Front Right: Spicy Dark Chocolate
Back: Cinnamon-Infused Dark Milk Chocolate
The Rivoli Dark Drinking Chocolate was the first one I tried. 72% Ecuadorian chocolate blended with milk and cream. And once the chocolate hit my lips, it was all over. Send the panda on the road to chocoholism.

Next up, the Cinnamon-Infused Dark Milk Drinking Chocolate. 49% Venezuelan milk chocolate and 65% Venezuelan dark chocolate, blended with milk and cream. Continue the panda chocoholism.

Finally, the Spicy Dark Drinking Chocolate. 72% Ecuadorian dark chocolate blended with milk, cream, and coconut milk, infused with cayenne pepper, ginger, and smoked paprika. Instant win.

Each hot chocolate is amazingly silky and velvety, balancing chocolate sweetness and bitterness. Predictably, I thought the spicy chocolate was the best. A great burst of cayenne and paprika to awaken the taste buds.

One 2 oz. shot is $2 and a standard 7 oz. serving is $5. Something tells me I'll be returning for a bunch of spicy hot chocolate in the future.

Price would be the only thing that may keep me from returning more often. My wallet personally wouldn't like me spending $5 on a cup of hot chocolate, regardless of how amazing the quality is. I honestly could just melt a good chocolate bar and drink that.

All chocolates are from small producers and the best local chocolatiers. Gotta support the small businesses!

Overall, I had an awesome experience. The hot chocolate is well worth trying at least once. Cacao is a must-stop for chocolate lovers everywhere. 8.75/10

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