Maison Laduree. The best find that I could have ever found! Mid-December, I went to New York City to visit my friend Kim, who is working for a non-profit in Manhattan dealing with immigration. It has been more than five years since I visited New York, back when I was an extra for four days for the Bollywood movie, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. I love to flip that fact out casually to my friend, it never fails to shock the hell out of them! 😀
I was so excited that I could take a vacation because it has been awhile and I was getting antsy from lack of travel! Thankfully I had some Delta skymiles that paid for my flight out there and my friend graciously invited me to stay with her.
We went all out and did some serious hustling to visit all of the typical things people see in NYC. I totally ran her down, I’m so lucky I have such a nice friend who was willing to run around New York City with me in search of my long list of must sees. 🙂
On the last day I was there, my friend got called into work (boo!), so she unleashed me on my own in Manhattan. She had mentioned to me before about a macaron place that had opened in October called Maison Laduree. Maison Laduree is a french bakery that is quite famous (if not the most famous) for super delicious macarons. They are also credited for inventing the “double-decker” macaron that is popular today. Until last October, it wasn’t available in the United States. Several times a week, macarons are flown in straight from Paris, France to sell in the store. Quite fancy, right?
Super fancy! I found the extremely tiny store in Manhattan and was lucky that the line did not extend outside the door, as warned by many on the internet reviews. However, inside the line was still extremely long and formed an “S” shape. I was a little worried, but figured it couldn’t be that bad and queued in the line.
I was so wrong! I spent an hour and a half in the line waiting to order and pay for my macarons at Maison Laduree. I spent some time snapping pictures and checking out their awesome trees made out of macarons. I wasn’t really impressed with the service in the store, the workers were not very efficient while dealing with customers and seemed to take forever to fulfill an order. Originally I was only going to buy two macarons to try because they are quite expensive, but after spending so much time in the line I decided to get myself six to reward my effort! A clever trick perhaps, after standing in line drooling over their beautiful displays of macarons for more than an hour, you are bound to up your order!
The macarons are priced at $2.70/each, which is actually quite cheap since macarons in my town retail for $3 and up at most places. For macarons flown in from Paris, it is a steal! When you order more than five, your macarons are placed in fancy boxes in quantities of 6, 8, 16, 24 and 48. Because of the boxes, they sell for a fixed (slightly higher) price. For an extra fee, they can also add fancy ribbons to the box to make it extra fancy if the macarons are being given as a gift.
There are a ton of flavors! The list inside of my box listed vanilla, coffee, chocolate, dark chocolate, pistachio, lemon, caramel with salted butter, liquorice, roses, orange blossom, raspberry and violet blackcurrant as permanent flavors with the seasonal options of red fruit, lemon with lemongrass, chestnut, praline, coconut, mint with anise, gingerbread, fig, green apple, chocolate with blackcurrant, and morello cherry with almond during different times of the year.
I decided to try the coconut, lemon, coffee, pistachio, salted caramel, and black currant with violet macarons. It is so true that when you taste the best, you can never go back. These were extremely delicious! The salted caramel and blackcurrant with violet were my favorite. The salted caramel had this rich, unbelievably delicious caramel in the middle that was out of this world. The blackcurrant had a similar fruit filling that was just beyond delicious.
Even though I had to wait in line for more than an hour, it was worth it. I am not in NYC often, so I don’t have a lot of chances to eat a delicious macaron from Paris. It was a special treat! While I was waiting, I noticed many people coming in and picking up orders, skipping the hassle of waiting in a long line. I’m not sure if there is a minimum for advanced pick up order, but if I ever go back to Maison Laduree again I will definitely be looking into that to save on time! By the time I left, the line was actually outside, so calling ahead will be a huge investment time-wise! The boxes that the macarons are packed in are very sturdy, beautiful and definitely reusable! I’m currently using mine to hold my hair clips. 🙂
Check them out! You can find them in the upper east side:
864 Madison Ave
(between 72nd St & 71st St)
New York, NY 10021