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The Best Macarons in Paris

Small, round, and delicious sandwiches of meringue, almond flour, and buttercream filling, the world-famous macarons are quintessential icons of France. These elegant little sweet treats can be found in almost all cafes, restaurants, and patisseries throughout Paris and French cities near and far.

macarons and a mini eiffel tower

But not all macarons are made equal! From rare and luxurious with exotic flavors to simple ones with traditional flavors, or even vegan, I am sharing where you can find the best macarons in Paris. And if you are in Paris on March 20 for National Macaron Day make sure you enjoy the festivities! You can get free macarons or collect special edition ones to indulge your inner sweet tooth!

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And you know me, I always like to dive into its history, share where to buy them when you can't get to Paris, and answer a few questions.

Lastly, these delicious macarons make fabulous gifts for friends or family…or for the airplane ride home as French macarons are even available at the airport!

First off, what are macarons?

Macarons were first made in the Middle Ages as small biscuits that were crunchy on the outside but soft and pillowy on the inside. Although popularly considered French, macarons were originally made in Italy with almonds, egg whites, and sugar by Venetian monasteries in the 8th century.

Several Italian cookbooks from the 15th century talk about almond biscuits resembling a macaron but with different names.

It is believed that when Catherine de Medici married Henri II in the 1500s, she brought these exquisite pastries to France. Known as maccherone in Italian (meaning thin dough), macarons were crunchy cookies with little to no softness, unlike the versions we get today.

4 macarons stacked

The macaron cookies became more and more popular in the 1600s. In 1660, the chefs from the Basque region offered macarons to Louis XIV for his wedding. Since then, the recipe for these cookies has remained unchanged. In 1792, two Carmelite nuns seeking asylum in Nancy baked and sold these macaron cookies to support themselves during the French Revolution.

They came to be known as the Macaron Sisters and further increased the demand for the pastries. There is a legend that one of the Macaron Sisters passed the recipe to King Louis XV’s father-in-law, Stanislas Leszczynski who shared it with the royal pastry chefs. When his granddaughter, Marie Antoinette, became the queen of France after marrying Louis XVIII in 1808, she brought back the popularity of the macarons.


It wasn’t until the 1900s that macarons became sandwich cookies with cream filling. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Parisian bakery La Maison Ladurée introduced buttercream, jam fillings, and ganache filling between these meringue cookies. As French baking evolved, the macaron became a luxurious treat with a thin crispy layer of almond meringue filled with creamy ganache.

Now that you know a little more about what a macaron is…now let's see where are the best places to get your hands on this classic french dessert!

Where to buy the best macarons in Paris

There’s no doubt that Paris has some of the best macaron shops. Tourists from all over the world flock to the French capital to taste these delicious treats and carry them back as souvenirs to share. While the city has countless cafes, bakeries, and stores selling these pastries, only a few remain the most desired.

For the modern macaron, new flavors are developed in pastry shops all over Paris all the time. Their ability to transform a classic macaron into masterpieces that haunt your taste buds is extraordinary! They develop unique flavor combinations and special flavors that are out of this world.


Ladurée is synonmous with macarons. Louis Ernest Ladurée who milled flour opened a bakery in 1862 that transitioned from a pastry shop to a high society café, to one of the first tea rooms in the city (here's an excellent article from Food & Wine magazine if you are interested). It is believed that Ladurée bakery was the first shop in the early 20th century to add the filling and create the macaron we eat today and it was chef Pierre Desfontaines who worked at Laduree that we have to thank!

Ladurée shop in Paris
Ladurée in Paris

One of the most Instagrammable shops in Paris, Ladurée is perfect for high tea and brunch. The luxurious setting transports you to a calmer place and the simple flavors are more than delicious.

Their most popular store with signature pastel green and gold decor is the flagship store at 75 Avenue des Champs-Élyées. Ladurée has played an essential role in popularizing macarons across the globe and has many Ladurée locations to prove it! Ladurée macarons are probably the most recognizable macarons in Paris plus they have 4 shops in the Charles de Gaulle airport so people who are transferring flights can benefit without stepping foot in Paris!

They are always on the best macaron in Paris list and are known for classic flavors (as well as seasonal flavors too) such as dark chocolate, raspberry, and vanilla as well as pistachio (my second favorite macaron flavor) and butter caramel macarons. They have vegan versions too!

If you are going to do a starter box from Laduree, try these unique flavors (mixed with the classics of course): rose petal, Marie Antoinette tea, and passion fruit.

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Ladurée locations in Paris:

Pierre Hermé

Another one of the most famous macarons in Paris, well really of patissiers in Paris, is the brand and pastry chef Pierre Hermé is synonymous with baked perfection! He is known to push the limits of flavors and textures in pastries and desserts.

Although all Pierre Hermé macarons taste delicious, the most incredible and popular ones are the Ispahan macaron – made with a combination of subtle rose flavors, lychee, and raspberry, the Mosaïc with pistachio, cinnamon, and kirsch-soaked cherry; and the Mogador made with milk chocolate and passionfruit.

Pierre Hermé macarons
Pierre Hermé macarons

All his creations are daring and interesting and you have to keep coming back to try the seasonal delights.

Pierre Hermé creations are not available in the US, so it is a must-visit when in Paris. They have multiple shops throughout the city. They have one shop in the Charles de Gaulle airport should you want to bring some home.

Pierre Hermé locations in Paris:

Jean-Paul Hévin

One of the best chocolatiers (he is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France in the Confiserie chocolate category) with chocolate stores in Paris, Jean-Paul Hévin is the place to go to taste chocolate macarons. Especially chocolate ones with chocolate ganache! Freshly homemade macaron boxes come in several sizes, perfect for chocolate gourmands.

Jean-Paul Hévin macarons
Jean-Paul Hévin macarons

Another well-loved flavor is the crème brulée, but my personal favorite is the Normandy. A coffee and caramel macaron, with dark chocolate and salted butter caramel milk ganache.

Jean-Paul Hévin locations in Paris:


Fauchon is a popular traiteur (caterer or fancy deli) known for its fancy dishes, but they are also quite popular for its eclairs and chocolate, and they have a range of traditional macarons.

Fauchon macarons
Fauchon macarons

Bursting with flavors like passionfruit and blackcurrant, the macarons of this gourmet store have a delicious little crunch to their macaron shells. And Fauchon is the perfect quick stop to build your entire picnic basket!  

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Fauchon locations in Paris:


Lenôtre has been around for more than half a century and while its creator Gaston Lenôtre is most known for his creation of the opera cake (gâteau opéra) this shop also creates light and fluffy macarons. Lenôtre may go slightly above your budget, but their macarons have natural flavors (no artificial colorants) and a certain finesse that sets them apart.

Lenôtre macarons
Lenôtre macarons

They stick with classic flavors but experiment with French ingredients like sel de Guérande (sea salt from Guérande from the Guérande peninsula in Brittany) and vanilla from Madagascar (a French colony)

Lenôtre locations in Paris:


Mostly known for its deliciously rich famous hot chocolate, Carette also serves simple but tasty macarons. Along with the usual salted caramel and chocolate, and praline noisette, the cafe has some fruity flavors that work very well in spring and summer. One of their best macaron flavors is lemon!

Carette macarons
Carette macarons

They are not new to the scene, but unless you are a macaron connoisseur, you may not have heard of this pastry shop and art-deco tea salon that opened in 1927. Many Parisians consider it the best.

If you’re looking for a Parisian experience and want to enjoy an Eiffel Tower while nibbling on macarons, head to their location in the Place du Trocadero.

Carette's location in Paris:

  • 25 Place des Vosges in the 3rd arrondissement
  • 4 Pl. du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre in the 16th arrondissement

Sadaharu Aoki

A beautiful fusion of French and Japanese flavors, Sadaharu Aoki is changing the pastry world with their macarons. Pairing Parisian elegance with Japanese minimalism gives way to out-of-the-box flavors like wasabi-horseradish, yuzu, matcha tea, and more. My favorites are red bean and black sesame!

Sadaharu Aoki macarons
Sadaharu Aoki macarons

There is an amazing macaron called Symphonie with a violette (a small blue flower) shell and crème brûlée, Earl Grey tea, crème à la violette ganache, and fruits rouges (red berries). Wow!

I know this article is about macarons but if you are a fan of Japanese green tea, Sadaharu Aoki is the pastry shop for you!

Sadaharu Aoki locations in Paris:


Well-known for a recipe that has been passed through the generations for 300 years, Dalloyau brings you macarons straight from the court of Louis XIV. After the French Revolution when royal pastry chefs were obsolete, Jean-Baptiste Dalloyau from Dalloyau family opened a bakery that serves Parisians even today. 

Dalloyau macarons
Dalloyau macarons

Their macarons are known to be less sweet as they use a paste with almonds from Valencia. The dough is barely sweetened, and specific garnishes are adapted based on the individual flavor to perfect the balance. They have different flavors based on seasonal availability and really interesting combinations like nougat mixed with cherry soufflé, sesame grapefruit, and ginger apple.

Dalloyau locations in Paris:

  • Inside the Samaritane department store at 9 R. de la Monnaie in the 1st arrondissement
  • 101 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the 8th arrondissement
  • Inside the Galeries Lafayette department store at 35 Bd Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement
  • They have a restaurant inside the Gare Saint-Lazare train station at passerelle Eugénie also in the 8th

A few other special macarons to consider:

  • The olive oil macaron from Arnaud Laher at 93 Rue de Seine (in the 6th) or 53 Rue Caulaincourt in the 18th.
  • The chocolate passion fruit macaron from Pierre Marcolini at 89 Rue de Seine (in the 6th).
  • Sébastien Degardin is pushing the boundaries by playing with the batter and consistency in a new version called maronis that you can find at 200 Rue Saint-Jacques in the 5th.
  • The chocolate and Earl grey macaron from Victor & Hugo at 40 Bd Raspail in the 7th.
  • The nougat macaron from Maison Mulot 76 Rue de Seine in the 6th.
  • Coco Chanel didn't just love the hot chocolate at Angelina's she nibbled on their macarons too! The main store is at 226 Rue de Rivoli in the 1st.
  • NOTE: Café Pouchkine which had one of my favorite desserts and lovely macarons is now closed.

Macaron classes and tours in Paris

Two great ways to go all in on macaron madness are to take a macaron class while in Paris (so you can learn how to make them at home!) or do a macaron tour.

Where to buy Macarons in the US

If you love French macarons but aren't going to be traveling to France, there are options!

pastel macarons in a row

Frequently Asked Questions about Macarons

What does a macaron taste like?

Delicious little treats, most macarons can be popped in your mouth and eaten in a single bite but eating them slowly is the best way to uncover the flavors. To begin, a macaron has a delicate but crunchy outer shell while the center of the cookie is slightly soft and moist. Made with almonds and sugar, the shell has a distinct taste and crumbles easily when bitten.

The center has a smooth creamy filling, usually made with jams, buttercream, or ganache. Some of the most popular flavors include vanilla, chocolate, raspberry, pistachio, coffee, and even lemon. Sometimes, bakers would experiment with unusual flavors like lavender, tea, or eggnog.

What is the difference between macaron and macaroon?

If not for that double “o” in a macaroon, mixing up the two words in your head is quite easy. But macarons and macaroons are very different from each other. While both share some of the same ingredients, macarons are made with blanched and grounded almonds whereas macaroons are made with shredded coconut.

Coconut macaroons were usually made by Jewish food companies in the 1950s to be eaten on Passover.

Although both macarons and macaroons have the same ancestors – the Italian maccherone -the French version has almond flour while the US and Jewish version is dominated by coconut.  

The reason why most people confuse the two is that macaroon is an English translation of the French macaron. In the United States, some bakers use the English translation while others stick to the original French. When you come to France, the confusion is no longer valid as macaroons here are known as rocher coco.

What is the price of macarons?

Macarons, even in France, are a delicacy on the slightly expensive side. The cost differs from location to location but they are definitely worth splurging on once in a while.

Local or chain bakeries sell them at a lower cost whereas artisanal or high-end pâtisseries can price them higher for their quality, craftsmanship, and flavors. On average, a good macaron can cost anywhere between $2-4. 

Why are macarons so expensive?

While macaron ingredients are not all that expensive, the time-consuming process and expert craftsmanship are the main reasons for their cost.

Only the most skilled chefs can create a good macaron. There are several things that can go wrong in the process, resulting in crumbly or wonky shells.

From creating the batter to piping in the filling, the techniques require patience. Some macarons have decadent flavors and ingredients which can quickly add up and elevate the overall prices.

Furthermore, macarons require good packaging as they’re delicate cookies that can crack quite easily. As such, boxes that prevent too much movement of the cookies are essential.

When is Macaron Day celebrated?

Every year, Macaron Day is celebrated on the 20th of March. It is a day to indulge in the sweet and crunchy goodness of these French pastries.

Although it is not a public holiday, Macaron Day falls on the first day of spring and also on the International Day of Happiness, making it a delightful little coincidence.

How long do macarons stay fresh?

Macarons have a good shelf life if stored at the right temperatures. Macarons left outside should be eaten within a day or two otherwise they go stale. 

If you’re bringing them as souvenirs, store them in the refrigerator to retain their freshness and crispiness. Keep as much air away from them as possible and store them in the original containers they came from.

Freezing macarons is a big no-no as the texture could change and the taste might be heavily altered.

What makes a good macaron?

baking macarons

Although you might have several variations of a macaron, there are some elements to look out for when searching for a good macaron.

  • The cookie-to-filling ratio matters. Ideally, the ratio should be 1:1 or even 2:1. If the filling is too thin or unable to meet the ends, the taste and the texture are compromised.
  • The filling should have a firm, smooth and light consistency, like a ganache. If it is too sticky or too runny, it would ruin the macaron. Similarly, the filling should not leave behind marks when eaten.
  • When it comes to the texture of the cookie, the outer shell should be smooth. If you see bumps, it means the almond was not finely ground during the process.
  • The biscuit should be extremely easy to bite into and have a slightly soft and chewy interior.
  • Flavors make the French macaron. Let your flavors shine through and avoid adding too much sugar.

How about you? Do you like macarons? What's your favorite flavor? Have you bought macarons in Paris? Where is your favorite spot? Do tell!


Andi Fisher

I am married to a French man, lived in France for 3 years, and have been to Paris more than 50 times. I am always a tourist so the information, tip, and tricks I share are created to help you!

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stacked macaronsMacarons in a rowMacarons in a box
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  1. Chez Loulou says:

    Thank you for saying it. I’ve wanted to many times.
    I don’t like macarons either. Never have and can’t imagine I ever will.
    (Now that I’ve confessed, I might be banned from the club too!)

    1. @loulou, we can start are own club 😉

  2. Kasia Dietz says:

    Andi, personally I don’t like any of those flavors either. Have you ever tried the rose from laduree? SO good! And coffee. But then again if you’re not a fan, you’re not a fan. I will not look at you with disdain, I promise! 😉

    1. @Kasia, I tried to pick flavors that I like in general, but maybe that wasn’t a good strategy either. If I pass by again and think about it I will try the rose or the vanilla that Amy suggested as well.

  3. Wow, you opted for licorice right off the bat? You’re a brave soul! Can’t stand the taste. Macarons still are not my favorite. If I were to spend money on a dessert, it wouldn’t be that. But if they’re placed in front of me, I’ll nibble (or finish a box….). Strange though that all of a sudden your taste buds acquiesced, at least to the almond! What do you think did the trick this time you think? Put pistachio and salted caramel on my plate and you won’t even see them inhaled. Generally not a fan of the fruity flavors – but your choices were interesting!

    1. @Lindsey, I love licorice so I thought it would be okay. I can try pistachio, but the salted caramel I definitely don’t like, weird because I love that flavor in general.

  4. Sweet Freak says:

    Andi, as much of a Sweet Freak as I am, I would never make you feel badly for not liking macarons! I get it, trust me. And while it’s true I can put away dozens in the name of Pierre Hermé’s Macaron Day, I don’t crave them the way I do a chocolate chip cookie, chocolate bar or slice of cake. That said, in a last ditch effort to convert you, I’d recommend trying a good old vanilla macaron from Ladurée or Pierre Hermé!

    1. @Amy, I will try the vanilla along with the Rose that Kasia recommended. Seems like we crave the same things: eclair, chocolate chip cookie, a brownie, those chocolatey things are my passion!

  5. Paris Karin (an alien parisienne) says:

    LOL!!! The secret haters come out of the woodwork, hahahahaha! I love it, really love it. Hahahaha!

    Sorry, it’s the evil side of me coming out that just thinks this is hilarious. There are bunches ‘o’ Francophiles here that are professing the dislike of the holy macaron.

    Hey, you know the reason I eat them? They are the only damn gluten-free thing to be found in Ladurée, lol. Thank god there is now a new gluten-free pâtisserie open in Paris in the 10th: Helmut Newcake. I have had some of their cakes and tartes using butter (cream and other dairy products cause me problems, too). Options are good.

    I confess I actually do like the licorice ones, but then I am a fan of pastis, too.

    Vanilla usually is a safe bet, lol.

    Thanks for this post, Andi!

    1. @Karin, yep what can I say, never liked them, but not for lack of trying. I think there are a few more to try including re-trying the licorice as I love that flavor in general!

  6. Amber Myers says:

    Ooo I need to keep these in mind. I just love macarons and if all goes well I’ll be in France in 2025.

  7. We will be in Paris on macaron day. Can’t wait to taste different varieties and visit different patisseries to purchase. The choices are bit overwhelming, but a fun dilemma to have.

  8. These all look so amazing. I would love to go to Paris just to be able to try these.

  9. I tried macarons for the first time over the summer. They were good but obviously if I was eating them in Paris they’d be just a little bit better 😉

  10. I’ve tried various macarons and don’t love any of them, but if I’m going to eat one, it’d definitely be a pistachio flavor

  11. Melissa Cushing says:

    These are such pretty little delicacies… I love them and if I ever get to Paris I will for sure be on the lookout for these locations! The ones I tried were from New Orleans 😉 Delish!

  12. I would like to try some good macarons. And it would be a privilege to do it in Paris!

  13. Beautiful Touches says:

    A good macaron is so hard to make; this was a fun read!

  14. IceCreamnStickyFingers says:

    I haven’t ever had a macaron. I’ll have to try one once I find a bakery that makes them.

  15. Gervin Khan says:

    I love the colors of those macaroons. They are beautiful and look really delicious!

  16. Macarons look delicious! I would love to visit Paris and try these.

  17. LavandaMIchelle says:

    The combination of texture, flavor, presentation, quality ingredients, and cultural significance make macarons an irresistible treat for my while family.

  18. Everything Enchanting says:

    Love macarons! I will surely get them from the mentioned places when I’m in Paris 😍. Also, thanks for the tips ❤️