The Ten: Marvelous Macarons

Photo of DC Patisserie macarons courtesy of Nevin Martell

Photo of DC Patisserie macarons courtesy of Nevin Martell

So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.

No one does pastries like the French. Case in point are macarons, wafer-thin meringue-like cookies bookending flavorful fillings. These days, they’re so ubiquitous that we are officially crowning them The New Doughnut. Here are our ten favorite sweet spots to pick them up.

Olivia Macaron
This slender shop in Georgetown turns out some of the best macarons in town. There are plenty of excellently executed classic flavors, such as lemon, cassis and raspberry, but it is the sublime licorice that takes top honors.

DC Patisserie
The award for the most imaginatively flavored macarons in DC goes to this sweet startup. Think olive oil cookies with white chocolate ganache, pink peppercorn circles sandwiching pink grapefruit curd and s’mores. Trust us, these macarons rock the casbah.

Macaron Bee
There are plenty of traditional treats at this Georgetown shop. However, if you look to the seasonal specials you’ll find more unexpected offerings – chocolate yuzu, key lime, white chocolate raspberry and chocolate rum.

Café Dupont
Why mess with the classics? Here they don’t, offering spot on chocolate, pistachio and strawberry macarons.

Kafe Leopold
Located a level down from the hustle of M Street, this Austrian accented bistro offers top tier macarons. Recent flavors include banana-rum, basil-lime, blueberry-olive oil and tiramisu.

Pastry chef Serge Torres, a vet of New York City’s Le Cirque, knows how to craft a must-try macaron. Currently flavors include mixed berry, toasted coconut, lemon, pistachio and salted caramel.

These may be Parisian pastries, but they’re made with America’s love of supersizing in mind. The big-as-your-palm treats and are available in chocolate, pistachio and raspberry.

The Sweet Lobby
What’s better than a macaron? Oh, that’s right, a macaron on top of a cupcake, known at this Barrack’s Row patisserie as a MacTop. The bakery also does stand alone macarons in interesting flavor combinations – blackberry cabernet, chili chocolate and sweet potato pecan – and with savory accents, such as caramelized pear goat cheese, olive oil walnut pecorino and roasted apricot with rosemary and white balsamic vinegar.

Photo of Palena Market's macaron courtesy of Nevin Martell

Photo of Palena Market’s macaron courtesy of Nevin Martell

Palena Market
Pastry chef Aggie Chin conjures up fantastical macarons in out-of-the-box flavors. One of her more inventive creations recently was perked up with Tootie Fruities cereal.

Tout de Sweet
The glass cases of this Bethesda bakery feature more than a dozen different macarons every day. As eye-catching as pinwheels, the colorful rounds come in a rotating cast of flavors, such as guava, lime-basil, apricot, chestnut, PB&J and hibiscus, as well as limited-time-only seasonal flavors, like green tea with lychee, gingerbread and blueberry.


Is your favorite missing? Disagree with one (or more) of my choices? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @nevinmartell.

  • kat

    If you have not yet tried the macaroons at Bakeshop in Arlington, you should – they are amazing with traditional and non-traditional flavors. They even have macaroon ice-cream sandwiches.