Caramel from Mille-Feuille
Mille-Feuille's caramel macaron comes speckled with tiny caramel shards all over the almond cookie's exterior. Certainly not classic, but incredibly delicious. (Handle carefully; this one is delicate and cracked a bit in its journey to the photoshoot.) Regardless, the caramel filling is smooth, decidedly buttery, and well-rounded, with just enough of a salty kiss for balance.
Chocolate from La Maison du Chocolat
Let's be clear, all of La Maison du Chocolat's macarons involve chocolate. Whether it be salted caramel folded into chocolate ganache, or raspberry puree, or the essence of coffee, chocolate backs up the flavors of them all. The Quito—their plain chocolate macaron—nestles silky dark chocolate ganache between two milk chocolate shells. Perfection.
Lemon from Macaron Parlour
Macaron Parlour has made some crazy flavors like Thai Chile and Bubblegum, but it's their lemon that stands out. Ever so slightly tart with the powerful aroma of fresh lemon zest, it's the perfect expression of citrus without the bracing acidity. Refreshing, in its own way.
Raspberry from Ladurée
At Ladurée the raspberry macaron is not filled with a raspberry ganache or buttercream, but instead, straight-up jam. We love it best this way, the itty-bitty seeds visible in the jam, which is glossy, vibrant, and just thick enough to hold shape. The shells for these macarons are extra-moist, so take care, as that translates into extra-delicate.
Pistachio from Ladurée
While you're at Laduré, be sure to pick up a pistachio macaron as well. The nutty shell gives way to a silky and not too sweet pistachio ganache. Though Laduré has been open stateside for nine months now—and we've been frequent visitors—this one still manages to drive us crazy.
Maple Bacon from Bosie Tea Parlor
As a whole, Bosie Tea Parlor's macarons don't live up to the quality of their other sweets (cf. the hazelnut Paris-Brest, which deserves a medal of valor). But the maple bacon is special. Sure, it's riding a trend that's more than played out, but the delicate sweet shell and smoky, slightly savory maple buttercream are great examples of the form. For the most part we're content to leave American ingenuity out of our classic French sweets, but this one gets it right.