I’ve been a fan of macarons before the big hype even started. Delicate, mildly sweet cakes/cookies that originated in France back in the 1800’s. I first had them at Laduree at Champs Elysee in Paris…I fell in love!
18 macaron flavors at Laduree in Paris
macarons, pastries and desserts at Laduree in Paris
At 1.50-1.70 euros a piece plus airfare to Paris, it can turn out to be an expensive food craving. Before Laduree in New York opened in August 2011, my task was to find macarons comparable to Laduree in the Las Vegas/ Los Angeles area. Here are some of my finds:
Paulette in Beverly Hills, California. They're now called 'lette. They have flavors such as passion fruit, lychee, earl grey, coconut and the usual flavors (vanilla, coffee, chocolate, pistachio, rose, raspberry). http://www.lettemacarons.com/macarons.html
Bottega Louie in Los Angeles, California. Probably the closest thing to Laduree in packaging and shape/size of their macarons.
Payard in Caesar's Palace - Las Vegas, Nevada. Their macarons are shipped from elsewhere so don't expect freshly-made macarons
Dalloyau - Paris, Tokyo, Dubai, Doha and Seoul.
Sakura and chocolate macarons from Starbucks in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
For some reason, I don’t have pictures of La Provence (Los Angeles) macarons. That gives me a good excuse to make a trip to L.A. to get some more and take pictures! Even when the fad dies, I’d still be eating macarons. And although macarons from these places are quite good, they’re still no LADUREE. Sure, vanilla, chocolate and coffee macarons are good in all places I’ve tried. But my test for good macarons is based on pistachio macarons – nobody can beat Laduree’s pistache!
Pistache/pistachio macaron from Laduree cannot be beat nor copied!
Laduree in Ginza Mitsukoshi - Tokyo, Japan
Valentine's Day edition box and macarons (pamplemousse/grapefuit with vanilla)...I'm not a fan of this flavor as it's very bitter but I still love Laduree
14 macaron flavors in Tokyo at 263 yen a piece
Laduree tote bags
Laduree handkerchiefs and scarves
My late-night dessert when I was in Tokyo: Laduree's Opera (raspberry and chocolate ganache with goldleaf on top).
I’ll be visiting New York soon. I strategically picked a hotel that’s within walking distance from Laduree! For now, I’ll be waiting on my cherry blossom macarons from Laduree…