Ladurée, along with Pierre Hermé, are the two most famous bakeries for macarons in France.

There is much debate as to who makes the superior macaron. I am firmly in the Pierre Herme camp, but I still wanted to give Ladurée another chance on my most recent trip. I also had a few friends who had never experienced Ladurée so I wanted to bring some back for them.

After our stay in London, Mr. K and I took the Eurostar to spend one day and night in Paris. The trip wasn’t nearly long enough, but it gave us a chance to revisit all of our favorite spots from our vacation two years ago.

There are quite a few Laduree locations in Paris, many of them are full service restaurants where people come in for tea and meals. The bakery side offers rows and rows of macarons, towers of macarons, and many other delectable cakes and pastries. We debated whether to dine in, but nothing really struck our attention from the menu, so we ended up just picking up some macarons and pastries to-go.

The macarons are priced at 1.90€ (about $2.59) plus the additional cost for the boxes. During my visit two years ago, I felt the macarons were good, but not as memorable as the Pierre Herme and not superior enough to warrant the high price. After this visit, I left with the same impression. In fact, I was actually a little more disappointed with this visit.

Some of the macarons had shells that were crumbly and brittle, evidence that the macarons were no longer fresh or hadn’t been properly stored. (None of the macarons are made in-store. Instead they are made at a central facility and then frozen and shipped to different storefronts.) As a result, they also broke easily and many of them looked worse for wear by the time I finished carrying them back to San Diego.

The ones that were not brittle did have a good chewy texture, but I still didn’t feel like they tasted very special.

While there, we also picked up some croissants and other pastries.

Kouign Amann

My love affair with Kouign Amann is well documented here and here. It’s a Breton cake made with bread dough layered with butter and sugar. It tastes similar to a croissantbecause it has many light and airy layers. The exterior has a crunchy layer of caramelized sugar. I had wanted to try the one at Pierre Herme but they were sold out. The fact that Laduree still had ones remaining late in the afternoon was not a good sign, but I went ahead and bought one anyway.

This was quite disappointing. Dry, dense, and lacking the airy flaky lightness that makes Kougin Amann so delightful to eat.

We also got a giant croissant and a chocolate croissant

Both were pretty good though a tad expensive.

I know many people are big fans of Laduree so I don’t want to offend. The shops are a beautiful place to visit as they offer so many sweets, souvenirs and more. I just haven’t been very impressed with what I’ve tasted.

You can view all my Paris posts here.




12 Responses to “Laduree”

  1. Christian — June 20, 2014 at 3:52 am

    There are quite a few Ladurée locations in London too – there’s a sit-down restaurant in Covent Garden and they have them in Harrods, though I usually go to the one on Burlington Arcade (next to the Royal Academy of Arts).

    • Kirbie replied: — June 20th, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

      i knew there were laduree locations in London but since we were going to Paris, we didn’t visit the ones in London. It’s also in NY, which is nice. Wish Pierre Herme was more readily available.

  2. Eunice — June 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    I  love the way you take pictures. Always a joy to come to your blog! Food photography is still something I’m working on but I think upgrading to my lens would help… Im still stuck on the basic lens it my dslr came with. :(

    • Kirbie replied: — June 21st, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

      Upgrading your lens will def help. I never was fond of the default kit lens. You can read the ones I use on my photography tools page:
      Everything I learned was from reading blog posts of camera tutorials and just practicing. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m glad you enjoy my photos!

  3. caninecologne — June 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    I have to agree with you on the Pierre Herme which has much more interesting and intense flavor combinations. Thanks for the gift of BOTH PH & Laduree macarons from your recent visit. It was nice to be able to compare the two.  The Laduree macarons were not as “exciting”. One of the flavors was also kind of wierd to me, Lily of the Valley, which tasted like grass. 

    • Kirbie replied: — June 21st, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

      I’m glad you got to try both so you can compare. I feel the same. The Laduree ones aren’t as original. they are good macarons but they didn’t wow me. I had a Lily of Valley when I was in Paris, didn’t really think much of it. After you told me it had a grassy taste, i went back and tasted the one I had left and you’re right. haha!

  4. caninecologne — June 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Way back when, I was a bridemaid for my best friend and our bouquet was made of lily of the valley.  They are delicate and dainty little flowers but I wouldn’t think of eating them, haha.

    • Kirbie replied: — June 21st, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

      well, i guess now you know what they would have tasted like? hehehe

  5. J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats — June 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I really want to try Pierre Hermes macarons. Haven’t tried that many macarons and I think Laduree is the best I’ve tried but consistently hear PH is better. We got a few of the Laduree desserts in NY and it was very hit or miss, we didn’t even finish two of them. 

    • Kirbie replied: — June 23rd, 2014 @ 10:35 am

      I hope you get a chance to try PH! I really feel like they are very unique. They make some really interesting flavors and the flavors translate very well into the shells. they also are so pretty. The shell texture is also a little different. it’s on the softer side but still has a slight give and chew.

  6. Mary — June 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

    That’s too bad nothing’s made on site, but I suppose it makes sense since it sounds like they have a lot of locations. But too bad! The colors are so pretty. I spied that Strawberry Cake again in one of your photos that I saw on Sun Diego Eats post and it still looks so pretty, I wonder how it tastes.

    Also: I just love their boxes! :)

    • Kirbie replied: — June 24th, 2014 @ 10:52 am

      i was surprised it’s not made on site, but then I learned that’s the case for pretty much all of these type of stores, including PH too. I like the boxes but they are so expensive! I’d rather just buy more macarons or something

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