The 7 Best Macaron Makers in San Francisco
By Stephanie Garr.
The macaron may just be the perfect confection. Not too flashy or fanciful, this simple, bite-sized beauty feels hardly sinful (it’s even gluten-free!), yet is wholly satisfying upon hitting the sweet tooth. While the macaron is Italian in origin, the French came along to perfect it further, transforming the meringue cookie sandwich into the most delicate and dainty of desserts. Paris took the title for macaron mecca long ago, but there’s no need to travel 5,550 miles east to find some of the world’s best. Thanks to a bustling community of French expats and master pastry chefs, San Francisco has become a worthy home for mouthwatering macarons. Here’s where to get your fix—in every color (and flavor) under the rainbow.
- Miette: Ferry Building Marketplace; 449 Octavia Street
The French word for “crumb,” Miette is a rather modest name for one of San Francisco’s most revered pastry shops. Alongside gorgeous cakes, cookies, and Food Network-approved cupcakes, Miette creates a wide range of fresh, all-natural macarons made from coarsely-ground almonds and filled with buttercream or ganache. Along with classics like pistachio and hazelnut, they offer flavors that reflect the season, like chocolate-lavender or rose geranium in the spring. Pro Tip: Don’t miss their macaron happy hour, where you can buy them up at $1 a piece, weekdays from 6-7pm at the Hayes Valley location. Try a Miette macaron on our ULTRA Chocolate Tour!
- Chantal Guillon: 437 Hayes Street; 1309 Howard Street
Chantal Guillon has put their sole focus on the mighty macaron, meaning every piece on display is made with plenty of amour. Handmade daily at their SoMa location, the shop’s macarons are crafted from California-grown almond flour and whipped using the Italian meringue method, which yields a slightly crumblier cookie. Their flavors range from classic to quirky, including favorites like lavender blackcurrant, passion fruit, matcha genmaicha, and salted caramel dusted with 18k gold.
- L’Artisan Gourmet Parisian Macarons: Whole Foods Citywide
French-born and Paris-trained pastry chef Alexandre Trouan has built up quite the macaron empire in his adopted home of California. He uses all-natural ingredients, including the juice, zest, and puree of fruits, as well as various herbs, spices, and vegetables to help give the macarons their vibrant colors. His best-sellers include traditional flavors like lemon and salted caramel, but take a chance on his wilder varieties, too, like black sesame matcha, strawberry champagne, and birthday cake. Find the fruits of his labor at various bakeries and Whole Foods throughout San Francisco.
- Tout Sweet Patisserie: Macy’s Union Square, Geary Street Entrance
The brainchild of executive chef Yigit Pura, the first victor of the Top Chef: Just Desserts franchise, Tout Sweet has all the charm and decadence of a posh Parisian patisserie. The bright and brilliant rainbow of macarons on display are almost too pretty to eat—almost. Each macaron is made with local ingredients and requires three whole days to fully bloom. We love the playful flavors, including mangonada (mango, lime, and Thai chili), cookies n’ cream, peanut butter & jelly, and Guittard dark chocolate.
- Le Marais Bakery & Bistro: 2066 Chestnut Street; 900 North Point Street; 498 Sanchez Street
Named after the historical district in Paris, Le Marais may be as close as you can get to the City of Love in the City by the Bay. After filling up on a rich dejuener, freshly baked baguettes, and perfectly flaky croissants, save some room for one (or a half dozen) of their stunningly gorgeous macarons. Flavors are constantly rotating, from fruity faves like passion fruit to whimsical blends like honey lavender and raspberry chocolate.
- B. Patisserie: 2821 California Street
This Lower Pac Heights spot will also have you seeing visions of the Eiffel Tower upon sinking your teeth into their carefully crafted French delicacies. While you must get the knee-melting Kouign Amann any day of the week, head here on a Saturday or Sunday to grab a few macarons from their ever-changing selection. For a truly indulgent experience, try their Grand Macaron, the most elegant of vanilla-flavored treats, layered with rose crème mousseline, fresh raspberries, and rose petals.
- DeLise Dessert Cafe: 327 Bay Street
Find this sweet oasis along the fringes of touristy Fisherman’s Wharf. Along with cookies, cupcakes, and Four Barrel coffee, DeLise boasts a wide assortment of macarons with unique combinations like the Dragon’s Passion (featuring Szechuan peppercorn and passion fruit ganache) and the black sesame with green tea ganache. Owner Eloise also hosts macaron-making classes for those inspired to make their own—though after learning the intricate process, you may find it’s way easier just to buy them from an expert!