The “old” Chez Christophe only opened its doors in Burnaby Heights a few short years ago. At the time, most of us didn’t know who Christophe Bonzon even was… and then he started winning awards. From incredible chocolate to delectable macarons, from amazing croissants to buttery French pastries, Chez Christophe has become the place to go for an indulgent treat in the area. And it outgrew its old space far more quickly than anyone could have predicted.
So, they moved across the street to a larger location and the grand opening took place this past Saturday. Whereas the old location only had a few counter seats along the window, the new location has about a half dozen tables, in addition to some window seating and two small tables outside. It’s still not a lot, but it’s a very welcome expansion.
The range of offerings remains largely unchanged from the original location across the street. I noticed that Chez Christophe now serves coffee from Pallet Coffee Roasters now, including the usual range of lattes and Americanos.
The other difference is that you can now come here for a legitimate lunch as sandwiches have been added to the menu. I don’t expect this to draw too many customers away from the French-inspired experience at Chez Meme Baguette Bistro, but it’s nice to see that we can go to Christophe for a proper meal and not just for a light breakfast or some dessert.
The viennoiserie selection looks like it may have expanded. The regular flaky croissant is about $2.65, while the fancier and double-baked variations are in the $3 to $5 range. A chausson aux pommes is $3.45, for instance. I never really noticed the scones before; one with parmigiano and rosemary is $2.80.
Christophe Bonzon is perhaps best known for his chocolate, having won a Canadian gold at the 2013 International Chocolate Awards and a world gold in the 2014 competition. Individual pieces are $1.55 and come in a variety of flavors. You’ll also find seasonal showpieces. These are not cheap; the Easter one shaped like a Canadian Mountie is $34.95, including five pieces of chocolate.
To celebrate the grand opening of the new location, Chez Christophe was giving away free mini croissants to customers on Saturday. There were three of us, including Adalynn, so we got three to go along with the rest of our French-inspired breakfast.
We got the pain au chocolat with hazelnut ($3.85), the double baked almond and chocolate croissant ($4.65), and a ham and cheese croissant ($3.95). And I had an Americano misto. They were all wonderfully buttery and flaky, though the doubled baked croissant was understandably crispier in texture rather than being light and airy. Just be prepared for crumbs everywhere.
Regular frequent visits to Chez Christophe may be a little too painful for the pocketbook, but I can certainly justify an occasional croissant or a great pastry to celebrate a special occasion. Everything here is fantastic and I wish Mr. Bonzon and his team all the best.
The new Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie is located at 4717 Hastings Street in Burnaby. It’s open Tuesday through Friday 8 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 8 am to 5 pm, and closed Sundays and Mondays.