HUMBOLDT PARK — Humboldt Parkers can now grab baguettes, macarons and other European baked treats at La Boulangerie, which opened this week on California Avenue.
La Boulangerie Humboldt Park, the French bakery and cafe’s third location, debuted Thursday at 936 N. California Ave. after a two-year pandemic delay. It’s open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Like La Boulangerie’s locations in Logan Square and Ravenswood, the Humboldt Park cafe sells baguettes, croissants and other fresh-baked goods, an array of French pastries made on-site and a lunch menu of sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza.
The cafe doubles as a market with shelves of imported goods, including olive oil, cheese and wine. It has an outdoor patio for warmer months.
Owner Vincent Colombet said the Humboldt Park location is open later than the other spots and offers a wider selection of market goods to accommodate neighbors on the go.
“The idea is if someone wants to stop by at 6 p.m. before they’re having people over, they can just stop there and get some bread, dessert and cheese and nuts for a charcuterie plate,” Colombet said.
Colombet said they’re focusing on pizza at the Humboldt Park cafe because there aren’t too many other pizza joints in Humboldt Park.
La Boulangerie pizza is made with pinsa, a type of dough that originated in Roman baking a century ago and is defined by its light and airy texture.
“I fell in love with the complexity of the product. It’s an art to make it,” Colombet said.
Like other restaurants in the city, the pandemic significantly delayed the cafe’s opening. The La Boulangerie team found the location in early 2020, but they were forced to hit the brakes on the project when the public health crisis gripped the city, Colombet said.
Colombet said they finally felt comfortable opening now and modified the space to keep people safe by reducing indoor seating and putting in a side door so patrons can come and go without being as close to one another.
The Humboldt Park cafe is the latest restaurant/bar to join a thriving stretch of California Avenue home to The California Clipper, Sengatore and Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar.
Colombet said that’s by design.
Humboldt Park “is almost what Logan Square was 10 years ago … it’s still very casual,” he said.
Online ordering for the Humboldt Park cafe starts May 12.
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