We all have a food indulgence—for some of us, it’s tacos at 2am; for others, it’s stoner food galore. But for the sweet toothed among us who want more than just a piece of candy from a chocolate shop, French macarons are an especially decadent and delicate treat.
Whether you have an obsession with the almond-flour cookies’ cute look, want to feel like you’re in Paris for a day, or just need to make your Instagram followers jealous, a colorful French macaron from one of these bakeries should do the trick.
Add some color to dessert with these macaron shops
The beloved Paris chain fast became an obsession for Angelenos, and fortunately, you can find its vibrant, classic and gourmet macarons all over—in Mid-City at the Grove; in Beverly Hills; and in Glendale at the Americana at Brand, specifically—offering a retail case to purchase classic flavors and, at those first two locations, a small café for those who want an elegant tea party or a full meal. Ladurée has been baking up macarons since 1862 and might be the world's best-known name (and packaging) in the game. That doesn't mean they're stodgy; in addition to classics, the brand keeps evolving with new flavors and even vegan options. Look for seasonal specials and boxes that somehow make the macarons even more adorable—which is a pretty phenomenal feat, if we’re being honest.
Dominique Ansel might very well be most famous for the Cronut, but the French chef knows his way around the rest of the pastry case better than most—especially when it comes to macarons. Ansel's long-awaited first West Coast bakery is tucked into the Grove, where you can always find rows of the artful almond-flour cookies in standard size, as well as the larger dessert-for-one variety. When it comes to flavors, Ansel nails the classics, but also offers cheffy, gourmet combinations such as blueberry bayleaf, matcha lemon, and strawberry rose. Decisions, decisions.
Everyone in L.A.—Francophiles included—knows about Bottega Louie. Their gourmet macarons are made with California almond flour, their towers of macarons light up the shop's big, beautiful windows, and there's almost always a crowd with their noses pressed to the pastry case. If you’re sitting down for dessert and want to go big (and we mean big), try the Le Grand Macaron: a colossal cookie with raspberry jam and ganache, and raspberries on top. If not, we have one suggestion for you: the salted caramel. Soft and perfectly balanced between sweet and salty, this classic flavor will be sure to impress. Head over to the back of the bakery section for a chilled bottle of champagne, perfect for accompanying the macarons' gorgeous Louis XIV-esque packaging.
Oh hey, pretty thing. ’Lette’s sugary macarons are some of the most arresting around, coming brushed with additional color on one side, or topped with nuts, or as seasonal cookies mixed and matched on either side of the macaron sandwich for even more of a macaron rainbow. Build the pastry boxes of your dreams with the shop’s take on classics with fruit or seasonal specialties—Caribbean chocolate next to passion fruit, Madagascar vanilla next to raspberry, Colombian coffee next to sweet wedding almond—then snap away; ’Lette’s dispay case is a thing of beauty as well, and worthy of its own photo shoot.
Forget buying your sweetheart a bouquet of roses—opt for rose macarons instead. “A rose for a rose” takes on a whole new meaning at Jin Patisserie, thanks to their wide assortment of flower- and perfume-flavored treats. Their traditionally light, exquisitely-scented, pastel-colored bites are perfect for those who like to mix their senses. At Jin, the rose and jasmine macarons are the way to go. Small and crisp, these sweets would go over well at a garden soirée. Don’t leave without checking out Jin’s more unique, fruity flavors, such as lychee or yuzu—they’ll complement the perfume options without overpowering them.
If you’re a pistachio fan, stop what you’re doing and head over to Larder at Tavern as soon as possible: The best pistachio macaron in the city is about to drive you nuts (pun intended). Load up on the pale green pretties and, if you can’t get enough, toss in a few other flavors of macarons, too. Don’t stop with just the cookies, though—you’ll also love the Larder’s seasonal cobblers and fruit tarts.
This cozy, family-owned café will transport you from L.A. to gay Paris in no time, whether you're in the DTLA originator or the newer Beverly Center outpost. Don’t get distracted by the pastry case full of classic French sweets—best of luck—and keep your eyes on the prize: You’re here for pillowy cookies in flavors like champagne, hazelnut and pistachio. At the holidays, look for festive macarons decked out like Jack-O-Lanterns or shaped like hearts—this team goes above and beyond year round.
For those who can’t get enough of that light macaron cookie crunch and decadent filling, Pasadena gem Euro Pane bakes especially large macarons at roughly the same price you’d find the smaller versions everywhere else. Grab a box and load up because these may be the biggest steal on the list.
As the name suggests, this Santa Monica patisserie specializes in the macaron, but that's not to say there aren't other delectables for those with a sweet tooth: candied fruit, bonbons, truffles, croissants and other pastries abound. But it is to say that you shouldn't leave Le Macaron without one of their signatures, two especially chewy cookies sandwiching cream, and ranging from classic flavors to more modern creations like gingerbread, strawberry with Key lime, and Columbian coffee.
Can’t decide between a macaron or ice cream? Milk has you covered with their macaron ice cream sandwiches, a colorful signature item that can incorporate chocolate dips and fruity pebbles and mix-and-match flavors to your heart's content. Oversized macarons in flavors like Thai iced tea and red velvet take the place of the traditional sandwich cookies and, instead of filling, you’ll find a thick layer of the shop’s house-made gourmet ice cream.