Ladurée macarons at Champs-Élysées, Paris

Ladurée Champs Élysées box

Ladurée is widely credited as inventing the macaron as we know it today! The double decker macaron with a ganache filling was first made by Louis-Ernest Ladurée (which the shop is named after). We actually tracked down their biggest tea room and bakery in Champs-Élysées and took the Metro right to the place before even visiting the Arc de Triomphe. :)

Ladurée Champs Élysées

Champs-Élysées is a very prestigious address in Paris, the equivalent of Fifth Avenue in New York (although it was Parisian culture which started the latter). It’s very expensive to maintain a presence here coz the real estate is incredibly desirable. Ladurée actually calls their branches as “houses” or “boutiques” even though they’re technically a tea room – that’s how seriously they take their heritage!

Ladurée Bakery Paris

Their restaurant, tea room and bakery at 75, Avenue des Champs-Élysées flies their famous green-and-gold Ladurée, Paris sign and is a huge old and stately building that has al-fresco seating during spring. This is the place that we’ve been looking for and we made a bee-line right into their bakery…

Ladurée queue

…to run into a long, slow-moving line of people.

Ladurée Paris

It was more than a queue, it was like watching the human equivalent of rabbits breeding! There are tourists, locals glaring at the camera toting tourists, and bemused passer-bys who got dragged in by the sheer force of the crowd swarming for Ladurée macarons. It was chaos, but organized chaos.

Ladurée menu

We were each passed a brochure listing their macarons, including the seasonal specials. My better half wanted to get ½ a dozen so I asked the patient and professional Ladurée wait staff for their recommendations. I only changed one and here’s our list:

Laduree macarons

  • Vanille (Vanilla)
  • Reglisse (Liquorice)
  • Fruits Rouges (Red Fruits)
  • Pistache (Pistachio)
  • Marie-Antoinette
  • Caramel Fleur de Sel (Salted Caramel)

Ladurée France

The blue Marie-Antoinette and the Red Fruits macarons are seasonal specials for Spring 2014!

fruit rouges macaron

The six (6) macarons are all awesome and there’s one thing I noticed about vanilla in France – no one uses vanilla flavoring, it’s like it’s a culinary sin! Every place we’ve been, from Michelin star restaurants to cafes uses real dried vanilla fruits (which is the second most expensive spice after saffron!) and it makes a lot of difference!

Ladurée macaron box

I quite liked some of the Ladurée macarons – the Marie-Antoinette, Salted Caramel and Vanilla are awesome but the best one is the one I switched to – Liquorice (swapped this for the recommended Lemon). The Liquorice macaron is black and when you bite into it, you get a mouthful of dry ash and acrid bitterness…and then the mild sweetness of the licorice filling hits you, for just a short while before it disappears and leaves a pleasant aniseed aftertaste in your mouth.

marie antoinette

It’s ephemeral and epitomizes the macaron perfectly. I’m not just trying to alliterate my words, but that’s how I felt about the Liquorice macaron. However, as for the others, I felt that Pierre Hermé macarons tastes better.

Champs Élysées

I’ll do a review of Pierre Hermé macarons soon – we tried both of the great French maracons and both were good! I know that both has branches here or close to us but they taste totally different. Macarons are supposed to be temperature controlled and eaten within 3 days and it doesn’t take well to importation or local ingredient substitution.

ladurée seasonal macarons

You can never get macarons here that’s as good as the ones in France and I’m glad we managed to eat these delicate French creations during our Europe trip! Oh yeah, our 2 Michelin star meal at Relais Louis XIII is coming up next! :)

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27 thoughts on “Ladurée macarons at Champs-Élysées, Paris

    • Yeah, it’s delicious! :)

      It’s about 18 Euros for 6 so slightly more than 2 Euros per macaron! That’s like almost RM 10 per macaron but it’s worth it.

  1. vanilla is one of my favourite flavours for any dessert, so i’m lusting after your vanilla macaron … i wanna reach into the screen and pluck it out for myself! :D thanks for sharing on this delicious part of your journey … happy to see your bright smiles too :)

    • Yeah, it’s really good eh! :)

      We wanted to get some of the dried vanilla beans over too, it’s cheaper over there!

      Thanks for the kind comments mate!

    • Me too! :)

      I love everything licorice and I even eat a lot of licorice Haribos but you’re right, it does have that effect. Haha!

      You have to eat a lot though.

  2. So far I only enjoyed one that my KL friend made, not so sweet, tasted great. Your dear would probably be able to guess who.but the one she had on another occasion wasn’t as nice…sweet.

    • Oh yeah, I heard about that! :)

      She said that the batch she got was different coz the temperature was off when it was made! It makes a lot of difference, a lot of simple things like that can ruin a macaron!

      This isn’t sweet, I don’t like the overtly sweet ones too, it’s like trying to cover up a bad macaron!

  3. My sister in law bought us a box of Laduree Macarons when she was in Paris and I agree with you that most of the macarons are quite normal in taste.

    My secretary who’s been to Paris also told me that the Pierre Herme ones and the Paul ones are better. I have Paul’s near my office here in Singapore and I think they make one of the best macarons I’ve tasted in Singapore.

    • Yeah, personally I prefer Pierre Herme macarons too! :)

      Laduree is run like a conveyor belt! There’s just so many people buying macarons at the Champs-Elysees flagship outlet.

      However, that makes all the macarons fresh though – have seen batches and batches come in to cope with the demand.

      I noticed one thing weird though – when we brought back and ate the macarons the next day, they don’t taste anywhere as good as if we had eaten it when we bought it!

  4. They have a store in CDG airport departure hall so when I was catching my flight I went in and got two boxes of 29s, expecting them to be as heavenly as my friends described.

    I could be too crude to enjoy these fine things in life, but they seemed just all right to me.

    • Nice! I wanted to get the Nina Ricci 29 pax box too! :)

      Did you eat them as soon as you got them?

      I noticed one thing weird though – when we brought back and ate the macarons the next day, they don’t taste anywhere as good as if we had eaten it when we bought it!

      It’s coz they don’t take well to temperature fluctuation, we put it in the fridge and it cracked a little. I think the faster you eat it the better!

      • I actually tried 3 or 4 pieces of different flavours in the store. Don’t know if it’s allowed, maybe the lady in there is quite fond of me lol!

        Maybe I forgot how good they were when I first tried them but you’re definitely right about the temperature fluctuation. I think the texture plays a big part in macarons, and they can only be appreciated fresh. It just gets worse once it gets into the plane cabin and fridge I guess.

        • I think the service will be better in the smaller shops! :)

          We went to a small Pierre Herme and was served well, while this Lauduree outlet in Champ Elysees is soooooo packed that it’s a lot like ordering fast food!

          Yup, macarons are best eaten when you get it, even the next day didn’t taste as good anymore.

  5. Can’t get it here as good as the ones in France? Hmm…..don’t be too sure about that. Am guessing somebody is experimenting now to make the perfect macarons to surprise you

    • Haha! Yeah, I’ll love it if she made some! :)

      We saw some French imported macarons in bsc when I bought her our anniversary lunch a couple of days ago. There’s actually an outlet in bsc (Bangsar Shopping Center) of another popular brand but it has been there for so many days after being imported from Paris and macarons are supposed to be eaten within 2-3 days.

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