After creeping the Yelp page for Maison Ladurée for a while, I finally got the boyfriend to go with me. We usually don’t wander to the Upper East Side much so this was a bit of a trek for us. Maison Ladurée’s marcarons are supposed to be one of the best so I knew I had to try them. And considering how I can’t fly myself to France to try them out (maybe one day), I figured their branch in the UES was just as good.
We arrived around 4:45pm on a Friday afternoon. There was a line inside the store that went around it 3x in a ‘S’ shape. The wait wasn’t long since their system consisted of two workers packaging macarons and one worker manning the cashier. There were laminated menus for us to peruse while we were on line so we would be able to make a selection once we reach the counter.
Their pricing is 6 macarons in a gift box for $20 and 8 macarons in a gift box for $25. 8 macarons in a regular pastry box is only $21 so I opted for that option since it would give me two more macarons for only $1 more. I wanted to try as many as I could! The pastry box is just as nice and held my macarons safely until I got home that night. The packaging is super cute!
The macaron selection was so hard! They had so many flavors and I only had 8 spots. I would’ve opted for a larger box but I knew I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy each and every one since I would have been way too full to finish them all after dinner that night.
The colors of the macarons are delightfully pretty. They were so pretty that I almost didn’t want to eat it! From left to right:
- Rose Petal
- Orange Blossom
- Cherry Blossom
- Violet Blackcurrant
- Caramel with Salted Butter
Since I heard such great things about it, I tried the Pistachio first. The crust was so soft! When I bit into it, there was a slight crunch but it felt very pillowy. I was in love with the filling in this macaron. And I don’t even like pistachios! It was just the right amount of sweetness without being too overbearing. Definitely one of my favorites! Out of 3 stars, I would give it 3/3!
Next is the Violet Blackcurrant. It was very good but not my favorite. There is a blackcurrant jam in the middle, which my sister loved. I prefer my macarons with a crème filling so this was midrange for me. Out of 3, I’d give it a 2.
Next up was the Rose Petal. This macaron definitely fit my requirements for my favorite macaron. It had a very light crème filling that squeezed out when you bite into it. There was a very distinct flower taste, which I’ve never had before. I really liked this macaron and along with the pistachio, it was one of my favorites. This one gets a 3/3 for sure.
I decided to go along with the flower theme and try the Cherry Blossom next. Instead of a jam or crème, this macaron had a ganache filling. This is their macaron of the season and I was expecting a lot from it. I thought it was pretty good. The ganache was really sweet – a lot sweeter than the other macarons. The macaron had the great crust and pillowy softness but the filling didn’t really win me over. This one is probably one of my satisfactory macarons at 2/3 stars.
I’m going to move onto one of my other favorites before discussing the bads. One of my favorites out of my selection was the Coconut. Despite my favoritism of crème fillings, this coconut ganache was amazing. There was a grainy texture to it and I can almost feel the super ground up coconut shreds. This one was definitely one of the tops of the bunch – 3/3 for sure.
At first I didn’t really like the chocolate because I thought the filling was a little too bitter for my liking. But upon further tasting, I realized that I did in fact like the filling. The fact that it was a little bitter offset the sweetness of the cookie. The filling was not too creamy or gooey. 2/3 stars.
One of the “just okay” macarons in the bunch was the Salted Caramel. The caramel filling was quite delicious since it was gooey without sticking to my teeth. But the salty part of it didn’t really work that well with the sweet caramel – or at least in my opinion. 1/3 stars.
And now unto my least favorite of the bunch – the Orange Blossom. I really couldn’t taste any flowery component to it and there wasn’t much orange flavor either. I didn’t really know what flavors were supposed to be present and to be honest I didn’t really taste much flavor at all. It was also the least attractive macaron out of the bunch. No stars for this macaron.
Overall Maison Ladurée impressed me. I had three really amazing macarons and two pretty good ones. These five good macarons that I had was able to overshadow the three that I didn’t really like. There is a lot of hype involved with this bakery but there are also a lot of great pastries here. If I’m ever in the area I know I will be back to pick up some pistachio, rose petal or coconut macarons. I’m interested in trying out some of their other flavors as well so hopefully I can find my way back to this place.
I really do suggest going early to avoid the lines. When we arrived we were able to fit in the shop. By the time we left, there was already a line outside the shop and down the block. Never underestimate the power of these tiny cookies!