Macarons (not to be confused with macaroons, a typically coconut-flavored meringue-like confection) are one of the best-selling pastries in France and Europe. Now, they are all the rage in New York with a wide variety of flavors available all over the city. From rose to chocolate to bacon (yes, bacon!), these colorful pastries make the perfect finger food or gift.
Over the past two years, numerous pastry shops have sprung up all over Manhattan leaving New Yorkers spoiled for choice as to where to get this sugar-laden but oh-so-addictive dessert. To ease the struggle, NYU Spoon went on the fattening hunt to find some of the best macarons in the city.
La Maison Du Chocolat
Unlike macarons from other stores, those from La Maison Du Chocolat have a thin shell and a bountiful cream center, which makes up most of the pastry. Although these macarons have a rich, velvety core, they are still extremely light and do not leave an overwhelmingly sweet after taste.
Fun fact: the pastry chefs at La Maison were trained in ateliers in France and all of the ingredients they use are shipped in temperature-controlled containers to ensure freshness and high quality. Talk about an authentic macaron experience!
Location: 1018 Madison Ave (at 78th) NY
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat: 10am to 7pm, Sun: noon to 6pm
With over 150 years of history, this famous French patisserie needs no further introduction. Being one of the most renowned macaron “houses” in the world, the owners have sought to maintain their distinct French style in all of their stores where it be located in Paris, Tokyo or São Paulo, Brazil. As you step into the New York location off of Madison Avenue, the French-styled antiques, marble-topped tables and extravagant chandeliers instantly transport you across the Atlantic to the heart of France.
The chocolate, salted caramel, rose and pistachio flavors are amongst the best-selling macarons at Ladurée. Each pastry has the right cookie-to-filling ratio and the pastry shells are perfectly crisp with just the right amount of softness. While the best-selling flavors are bound to be delicious, do not miss the seasonal flavors such as strawberry candy and chocolate coconut. Instead of the typical ganache or caramel filling, these flavors feature a marshmallow-like center that complements the macaron shell in a different, yet just as delightful way.
Fun fact: all Ladurée macarons are made in Paris and shipped to international outlets overnight.
Location: 864 Madison Avenue (at 71st)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat: 9am to 7pm, Sun: 10am to 6pm
Rated best caramel macaron in NYC by Serious Eats New York, Mille Feuille’s salted caramel macaron has a crisp but soft shell that almost melts in your mouth. The taste of the burnt caramel is distinctive and gives the pastry a sweet but not overly sugary taste.
Fun fact: Mille Feuille is the name of a cake that translates to “a thousand layers or pages.” The owners of Mille Feuille intentionally chose this name to reference our beloved Bobst Library, which is just a corner away from their store. Gotta love a good macaron study break.
Location: 552 Laguardia Pl. (between 3rd & Bleecker)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 7:30am to 7pm, Sat-Sun: 8:30am to 7pm
Financier Patisserie offers boxes of “mini” macarons (great for a gift or a midday treat) along with individual macarons that are larger than most sold elsewhere. Because the individual macarons are larger, each bite feels fuller and more flavorful. Not to mention the macaron lasts longer than one or two bites — always a plus.
Financier Patisserie’s delicious pistachio macaron definitely puts this pastry shop in the running for best macaron in the city. When bitten into, the thin crisp shell blends effortlessly with the soft, chewy body and delicious macaron cream. The large sizes of the macarons are perfect for the shameless dessert lover, but if you are accustomed to smaller macaroons, it would be a good idea to buy different flavors and split them with a friend.
Fun fact: Financier Patisserie was named after both the area of its flagship store in the Financial District and the famous French almond cake that is often shaped like a bar of gold.
Address: 2 Astor Place (at Broadway)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 7am to 8pm, Sat: 8am to 7pm, Sun: 8am to 6pm