During my trip to Paris, I really wanted to feel and taste every possible French sensation I could. And of course, to taste something Parisian or French, is to eat the best macarons in the world. There are two most popular macaron producers in Paris, being Pierre Hermé and Ladurée. Having tried both, not only did Ladurée take the cake (hehe get it?) in taste, it also beat Pierre Hermé from a full experience point of view as well.
We generally remember the restaurants, stores, places, that generated a good time from the second we walked in, to the second we walked out. I wrote about a Roman restaurant, Gli Angeletti, mainly because going there was an experience, and not about just having a meal.
This is why I chose Ladurée as the best macaron company of the world. I was lucky enough to go into the store on three occasions, one of which we sat at the Ladurée Bar (there is also a Restaurant).
Getting macarons (and other desserts) to go
If you simply just go inside the shop to take something to go, you can expect the best of service. They have at least 6 people ready to take your order, ready to offer you a variety of boxes and options, and ready to cash you out at the end. For me, a consumer who loves pretty packaging, Ladurée sure knows what they’re doing. They even ask you if the order in which they placed the macarons into the box is good for you (I’m sure they know about the pictures that you’re about to take). Never will you feel rushed by the workers to make your choice, and never will you notice any imperfections in either the macarons or the packaging. Walking out with a Ladurée bag, will make you feel like you just bought an expensive purse or pair of shoes.
Sitting down at the café/bar
You should expect that you will spend a buck or two to sit down at the Ladurée café on Avenue des Champs Élysées. Between three of us, we got 6 macarons, 2 cappuccinos, and 1 espresso, and it came down to about 30 euros. Worth it? By my standards and my values from an upscale café, yes. The place is beautifully decorated with the most interestingly designed walls. They make their own coffee, and they make your cup somewhere in a kitchen, as to not have those loud coffee machine noises disturb the bar. Before you know it, you have your beautiful coffee in front of you, with a Ladurée piece of chocolate, and your beautifully arranged macarons. After that, nobody bothers you, and you can take your time to enjoy your cup and bite. They put the bill in front of you as soon as they see you are done drinking and munching, and that’s the gist of it.
How does it taste?
If you have never tried macarons, I don’t suggest you start with Ladurée (especially if they are not easily accessible to you). To fully appreciate them, you need to have tried and experimented with some lower quality ones (but still good). Leave a comment if you are interested to know about Toronto places. Knowing what to expect and what to compare it to is half the battle.
Now, if you are a macaron and dessert junkie, you will experience heaven in your mouth. All I can say is: the flavours are great, the texture is great, and they literally melt as soon as you take a bite. Being a fairly emotional person, the world actually stops when I am eating one of these macarons.
So, if you are in Paris, make sure to enjoy the Ladurée experience, whether you take a couple boxes on the go, or you sit down to eat or have a cup of coffee.
Ladurée is not for everyone. If you are not into baked goods, if you are not appreciative of brand names, you may not enjoy it as much as I did. It’s like if you had no care for labels, and I bought you a Louis Vuitton bag. Know yourself enough to know if you will enjoy the macarons enough to spend the extra buck for them.