The receding great cupcake wave has made way for other ascendant sweets, and macarons are still a rising star. Perhaps the delicate French treat is so of-the-moment because of its charming, Instagrammable looks. Maybe they're popular because their almond meringue is naturally gluten-free. Regardless, they're expensive — and addictive — and as a result, San Francisco bakers are churning out seemingly every imaginable flavor combo to delight macaron maniacs. Whether you're seeking standard chocolate and vanilla, a macaron with Szechuan peppercorn inside, or a macaron flavored with the wine trend of the day — rosé — these 11 spots are our favorites for the super-popular sweet.Read More
11 Delightful Macarons To Try in San Francisco
Chantal Guillon Macarons & Tea
In 2008, Chantal Guillon was founded in Hayes Valley, a prime market for beautiful, expensive things, expanding in 2012 to Palo Alto and SoMa in 2014. Chantal guillon offers standard flavors like coffee and Tahitian vanilla, but isn't afraid to get into some weirder offerings, like orange-olive oil or chocolate-bacon. They also serve fancy tea from fancy French brand Mariage Freres.
Serving Ferry Building tourists, Hayes Valley shoppers, and visitors to Oakland's Jack London Square, this candy shop and patisserie knows its macarons. Flavors rotate seasonally, with options like chocolate lavender and rose geranium. Miette, which is french for crumb, was born at the Berkeley Farmers' market, which probably explains the seasonality bit.
Tout Sweet Patisserie
This small shop located on the third floor of the Women's Macy's comes from Top Chef: Just Desserts winner Yigit Pura. His macaron flavors are as wild as the rest of his offerings: think chili-dark chocolate, bing cherry-bourbon, and ginger-sesame milk chocolate.
Le Marais Bakery & Bistro
Hazelnut, passion fruit, and raspberry-chocolate are among the compelling macarons on offer at this charming Parisian-inspired bakery with — count 'em — three locations. Their original location got a baking boost from their Ghirardelli Square (900 North Point Street) expansion, and their most recent (and adorable) location is at 498 Sanchez Street in the Castro.
L'artisan Gourmet Parisian Macarons
While this commercial bakery run by a French native doesn't have a cafe of its own, you can find its wares at Whole Foods and Gourmet & More. Flavors include lemon, chocolate mint, almond, and tiramisu. For those feeding a crowd, larger orders of macarons can be picked up at the Bayview facility.
Belinda Leong trained with French macaron master Pierre Herme, and it shows in her treats, which boast fun flavors like chocolate-cherry, strawberry-vanilla-cassis, and carrot. There's even a seasonally changing macaron tree in the back of the shop. But be warned: the time-intensive goodies are only available on the weekend.
This Fisherman's Wharf dessert spot has some out-there macarons, including the Dragon's Passion (Szechuan peppercorn and passion fruit) and the hazelnut-maple-orange. You can also sample Asian-inspired classics like sesame-green tea, or all-American red velvet.
Former Nopa pastry chef Amy Brown knows her sweets, and she occasionally has some pretty killer (and sizable) $2 macarons in the fully-stuffed case. Flavors rotate seasonally, but might include peach, milk chocolate-black pepper, and jasmine-lemon verbena.
House of Silvanas Bakeshop
If you love macarons, give silvanas a try. A popular treat in the Philippines, they're made of cashew meringue (instead of the French-style almond), with buttercream in the center, and are coated in cookie crumbs and served frozen. Ube, mocha, and mango are among the flavors offered here.
Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie
These French-trained farmer's market favorites only stock macarons once a month, but if they have them, definitely be sure to sample one. Flavors have included lavender milk chocolate, cherry black pepper, and coconut with smoked salt caramel. Order them online, if you want to be sure to get some
Sift Dessert Bar
2011 Cupcake Wars (Food Network) winner Sift (the trio Andrea Ballus, Jeff Ballus, and Corey Fanfa) have also won the Macaro game with a "rosé all day" wine macaron. Other flavors like churro and salted caramel — as well as plenty of other sweets — can be found at their shops in San Francisco and farther afield in Petaluma, Napa, Santa Rosa, and Cotati.