Love can be sweet.
For Christina Ha and Simon Tung, co-founders and newly-wed owners of the East Village’s Macaron Parlour, love can also be infused with tart lemon, subtle Earl gray tea and even peanut butter and caramelized banana.
This St. Marks patisserie—which celebrated its one year anniversary last Friday—has been luring in foodies with the largest selection of macaron flavors in New York City, from classics like chocolate and strawberry to oddballs like the Cheetos macaron.
In fact, this cheesy-American-chip-inspired dessert, first created as a joke by the creative duo last Halloween, is said to be making a comeback this year just in time for October 31st.
Since opening the bakery, the couple has quickly expanded beyond the shop, selling to various cafés and Chelsea Market as well as catering for weddings and birthdays. “They’re just cute. Everyone loves them,” says Tung. “They’re small and you don’t have to feel guilty about buying a lot of them. They also come in a lot of flavors.”
Not only does the Macaron Parlour carry 20 classic flavors—including pistachio, dark chocolate, and chocolate raspberry—it also features four specialty flavors rotated every couple of weeks like the spice-and-peanut Thai chili, the maple-candied bacon with cream cheese and, of course, the Cheetos.
In the warmer seasons, the shop also carries its own over-the-top ice cream sandwiches—an indulgent scoop of ice cream, with flavors like salted caramel, served between two large, color-swirled macaron cookies—alongside house pastries like chocolate-filled croissants, cookies, blondies and a mean crème brûlée doughnut complete with caramelized glaze and a flan-filled center.
“We have a laid-back vibe here,” says Tung, sitting at the back of the bakery, a collection of hand-drawn artwork taped on the wall behind him and the delicate nutty aroma swirling through the kitchen archway. “I don’t think we’re as uppity as other places, you know? You could come in with a hangover if you just wanted a macaron.”
As for a forecast of upcoming flavors? Tung says, “We always come out with a few holiday flavors so you can look forward to those!” But until then, the next featured macaron will be kept a secret. The inspiration is, after all, as unpredictable as it is simple: “Christina likes Cheetos. We get ideas from things we like to eat.”
Address: 111 St. Marks Place (bet Ave A and 1st)
Hours of operation: Mon: noon to 8pm, Tues-Wed: noon to 10pm, Thurs noon to 11pm, Fri: noon to midnight, Sat: 11am to midnight, Sun: 11am to 8pm