A- I’m obsessed with finding the best macarons because well, they’re my favorite cookies, maybe even dessert of all time. Anywhere I go, I’m constantly on the lookout for a new macaron place to try and I find myself comparing it to my all time favorite place here in SF. The dream is to one day get macarons from Paris and eat them, sitting on the lawn at the Eiffel Tower on a nice day... anyways back to the present, here are reviews of a couple places here in the Bay Area...
Paulette Macarons (San Francisco, Beverly Hills)- http://www.paulettemacarons.com/macarons.html
A- This is it, my favorite place. I found Paulette’s about a year ago while walking around the neighborhood where my mom worked and I was instantly hooked. These macarons are perfect... I wish I could make them like these, not gonna happen. Why are they so perfect? They taste the best and they’re the cheapest at $1.60 per macaron... the cookies have the classic glossy, smooth shell with the perfect combination of crunchiness and chewiness, not too hard but also, not too fragile where they’re easy to break. The ganache melts in your mouth and is extremely flavorful and not too sweet. The cookie and ganache compliment each other so well and did I mention that the macarons are all identical?... unlike some places where some are bigger than the other or some are deformed looking. each flavor is true to name... none of this pistachio tasting like almond business which has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves.
Flavors I recommend: earl grey tea, pistachio, vanilla, rose, almond
C- I can’t write much about this place because I’ve only tried two of their macarons. Even with just two, Paulette’s is the bar by which I measure other macarons. The almond was flavorful without being cloying.
Patisserie Phillipe (San Francisco)- http://www.patisseriephilippe.com/index.html
C-Patisserie Phillipe is adequate if you have an hour to wait before Caltrain arrives, or if you are having a macaron crisis upon arriving in the city. They aren’t bad but SF has much more to offer.
A- This place had such great reviews on yelp so I had high expectations. I was somewhat disappointed... why? The macarons weren’t very uniform and the shells were very tough, making it hard to bite into and some of the fillings weren’t true to flavor. But overall, not bad and they taste better the next day.
Flavors I recommend: espresso, hazelnut, rose
Pamplemousse Cafe (Redwood City)- http://www.pamplemoussecakes.com/macarons/index.html
C- You know it’s good because we used the pic for the background. Pamplemousse has some really nice flavors, deliciously offset by the creamy mousse in the center. When I first went in here, I tried an orange blossom, expecting it to be horrid (I don’t know why I try things when I expect them to be horrid...I just do). Luckily for me, the orange blossom macaron turned out to be fantastic and it’s one of my regular orders now.
This is about your only option if you’re down in the peninsula instead of in SF-proper. It’s a good thing the macarons are so great.
A- I found this place since it was close to school and the website listed all these interesting flavors so I was excited/intrigued. The cookies are a bit crunchier than they are at Paulettes but if you let them sit out in room temp for awhile, they soften a bit. These are quite chewy and the mousse is more creamy and not really like a ganache. I like these, but not as much as I liked Paulettes. I’m still waiting to try the chocolate earl grey one... both times I’ve gone, nada.
Flavors I recommend: pistachio, amaretto, hazelnut, coconut, rose
La Boulange (Market St.)- http://laboulangebakery.com/
C- The croissants here were yummy but this review isn’t about croissants. The macarons were horrible. I can make better macarons than these and my macarons are only just edible. I literally threw out the vanilla one. I never throw out dessert.
A- All I have to say is HORRIBLE. The vanilla didn’t even taste like vanilla... made me wonder what I was eating...