If you’re visiting Paris for the first time,Â LadurĂ©eÂ would be the obvious stop for authentic French macarons. Founded in 1862, they practically invented this delicate dessert of two crispy shells with a creamy ganache or jelly centre. TheirÂ photogenicÂ confections areÂ famous in pop culture (they supplied the pastriesÂ in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette), and their pĂątisseries, tea rooms and mint-green packaging are so adorable. But do they really have the best macarons in Paris?
The answer seems favourableÂ if judging by LadurĂ©e’s long queues, butÂ macaron connoisseursÂ would probably point you to Pierre HermĂ©, whose magical creations will turn even the mostÂ indifferent of tasters into macaron believers.
“The macarons, though only a few grams, agitate our senses. The eyes have already devoured them. Fingers skim their surface, the flavors are gently smelled. When their fine crunchy shell is crushed, the ears are excited by the sound. Then the mouth experiences a delicate grace…” – Pierre HermĂ©
Refer to this list if you are ready to up your macaron game. If anything, do not leave Paris without visiting no. 1 & 2.
no. 1Â Pierre HermĂ©
4 rue Cambon,Â 75001 Paris
Vogue dubbed Pierre HermĂ© the “Picasso of Pastry”âand for good reason. His creations are bold and innovative, with unconventional combinations like chocolate and foie gras, or olive oil and mandarin orange. The ingredients are distinguishable while staying perfectly balanced. They’re so soft they practically melt in your mouth.
If you think LadurĂ©e is overrated and you still don’t care for macarons after trying Pierre HermĂ©’s inventions, then there is no hope for you.
no. 2Â PĂątisserie Sadaharu AOKIÂ
56 boulevard de Port Royal, 75005 Paris
Sadaharu Aoki gives conventionalÂ French pastries a twist with traditional Japanese ingredients. After opening several boutiquesÂ around Paris, he now has two locationsÂ in Tokyo as well. Try the Matcha, Earl Grey, and Sesame Noir macarons. His pastries and chocolates are also out of this world.
no. 3Â Jean-Paul HĂ©vin
231 rue Saint HonorĂ©,Â 75001 Paris
Jean-Paul’s chain of boutiques in Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong specializes in high-end chocolates. It’s no surprise that they’re said to have the best chocolate macarons. You might as well try his award-winning chocolates while you’re at it.
no. 4Â Carette
4 place du TrocadĂ©ro, 75016 Paris
Carette is a fashionable cafe serving light lunches, hand-made chocolates, pastries, and macarons. Their macaron selection is smaller, but they are rich and intense, with some of the conventional flavours beating out Pierre HermĂ©’s in taste tests. Sit down for a hot chocolate and macarons in one of theirÂ two prime locations: place du TrocadĂ©ro, overlooking the Eiffel Tower, and Place des Vosges, which is the oldest and finest square in Paris.