In a city overrun with Cronuts and dough’ssants, it’s tough to make a croissant that stands out (and that’s saying nothing about all of the excellent traditional versions). Yet the bakers at Union Fare — the food hall just north of Union Square — managed the task when they opened earlier this summer. They did it by eschewing novelty techniques and instead focusing on flavors, rolling out croissants that would probably feel out of place in Paris: birthday cake, matcha, cookies and cream, red velvet, and crème brûlée. And, as of today, they’re taking those flavors and also using them as the base of some brand-new ice-cream sandwiches.
“Everybody wants ice cream,” says executive chef Yvan Lemoine. “It’s freaking hot.” The shop’s homemade flavors include caramel macchiato, vanilla, banana, coconut sorbet, strawberry sorbet, and blackberry-hibiscus sorbet. The ice-cream sandwiches are $8.50, and people can mix and match however they’d like with the croissants, though the staff does suggest certain combinations: matcha and strawberry, cookies and cream stuffed with caramel macchiato, or red velvet and vanilla. (Also worth mentioning: a savory croissant that serves as the base of Union Fare’s lobster roll.)
Here’s the thing: Unlike lots of gimmick foods — rainbow-colored whatever — Union Fare’s croissants taste good, in a sugary, nostalgic way. There are more flavors on the horizon, too. The bakers are currently testing s’mores and cinnamon-sugar options. In the meantime, check out the bakery’s full roster of options: