Swiss-trained, award-winning chocolatier and pastry chef Christophe Bonzon and his wife, Jess, make the neighborhood happy with their wares. This is classic French technique meets modern sensibility and local ingredients, from the individual gateaux to pastel macarons. There’s a tidy lunch menu of croissant-based sandwiches — and the Swiss “flutes” look like breadsticks and are impossible to put down. Better get an extra box.
Chez Christophe, 4717 Hastings St. Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2K8
Kazu Japanese Restaurant
North Burnaby isn’t known for its Japanese food. But Kazu is not just good for the neighborhood — it’s good, full stop. Chef Kazuhisa Tanimoto spent 16 years at Shiro, a beloved sushi restaurant in Vancouver, and now calls the shots at Kazu. Seafood comes from B.C.’s Campbell River, and the wasabi is the real thing.
Kazu Japanese Restaurant, 4332 Hastings St. Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2J9
This kitchenware store carries all the premium products you’d expect — French enameled cast iron, Australian-designed tableware and handy gadgets galore — as well as local favorites. Bring home a few jars of Preservatory jams (made in nearby Langley) or the invented-in-Vancouver Espro coffee press that local caffeine fiends swear by. Call ahead to see if there’s room in one of the pantry’s popular cooking classes.
Posh Pantry, 4548 Hastings St. Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2K4
Glenburn Soda Fountain
Do you know your rickeys from your egg creams? Do you dream in shades of sherbet? Glenburn Soda Fountain will indulge your ice cream dreams, whether it’s sundaes (made with local Birchwood Dairy ice cream), floats or shakes. Snag one of the chrome chairs at the mint-green counter and feel like an extra from “Grease.”
Glenburn Soda Fountain, 4090 Hastings St. Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2H9
Local families come to Confederation Park year-round for the level trails, off-leash dog areas and skateboard park. In summer, the “spray pad” allows kids to move gates and weirs to create obstacle courses for water. And if you hear a train whistle, you’re not imagining things. The steam-operated miniature train at Burnaby Central Railway runs from Easter to mid-October, chugging along a two-mile track through the forest.
Confederation Park, 250 Willingdon Ave. Burnaby, B.C. V5C 5E9
You can’t miss Cioffi’s — it’s right under the neon sign that marks the neighborhood of Burnaby Heights, complete with swinging girl (her name is Helen). Inside the shop is a plethora of all things epicurean, a real-deal Italian grocery replete with elbow-slinging nonnas. After you ogle the aisles, head to Cioffi’s Cucina for paninis and small takeout meals.
Cioffi’s, 4142 Hastings St. Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2J4
The Pear Tree
Run by husband-and-wife team Scott and Stephanie Jaeger, the Pear Tree is fine dining and white tablecloths but without the stuffy menu or service. For more than 20 years, it’s been beckoning locals to make the trip to North Burnaby for Scott’s cooking (he represented Canada at the 2007 Bocuse d’Or competition) and Stephanie’s encyclopedic wine knowledge. If you want to understand how B.C.’s cuisine, ingredients and wine come together, this is the place to do it.
The Pear Tree, 4120 Hastings St. Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2J4