hours: 11AM- 9:30PM
$$$ (NT$98 for one small macaron)
Kid friendliness: kids might want a colorful confection too, but will eat it quicker than you can say NT$100
Visit reviewed: 10/21/2013 &11/13/2013
Two words- Salted caramel. If you were to get just one macaron from one of the two Laduree shops now in Taipei, go for the salted caramel. Of course, it's not as colorful as strawberry, pistachio, rose or lemon, but it's always my favorite.
When Laduree first opened up shop in Taipei at Breeze Center, my friend messaged me while waiting in a 2 hour line asking if I wanted a box. Everyone wanted a little piece of the famous French macaron, especially to gifts. "YES! Get me salted caramel!" I messaged back. And when he messaged me again that the person in front of him had just taken the last few, I was disappointed, until he wrote back a minute later that they had located a new batch in the back and so I'd have some by the end of the day.
But nowadays, you can walk up to the shop without a wait. This is a peek at the first floor shop at Xinyi Mitsukoshi. It's kind of weird because it's located where the makeup counters usually are, but is a good spot for luring customers who shop (or Instagram) in the high end mall. Squint your eyes at the mint green counter display with macaron trees and rows of macarons to pretend that you are buying them in Paris instead of Taipei (or wander upstairs to Paul for some napoleons and crepes. Haha!)
For first time Laduree macaron buyers, when you are at the counter, you should take a look at the color coded macaron chart as well as the boxes pricing list. Macarons are NT$98 per piece, but the price goes slightly up if you choose a gift box. It's definitely not cheap for such tiny pieces of sugar, but they are air shipped all the way from France. You could get a box of 12 Krispy Kremes for the prices of 3 macarons, but it depends on what your cravings are.
There's the typical flavors like chocolate, coffee, lemon, vanilla, pistachio, raspberry, rose, and more unusual flavors like gingerbread, marshmallow strawberry candy, orange blossom, blackcurrant violet or pink pepper.
The most expensive box is listed at NT$6860 for a 70 piece box (around US$230)! Crazy.
When buying the macarons, they'll usually ask if you are giving it as a gift or not. If you say yes, they'll encourage you get get a gift box which can extra, depending on which box you select. You can also get the free box (especially if it's for yourself), but you need to get a box of 8 (NT$784). The complimentary green box is more thin and flimsy than the gift boxes but works perfectly fine to carry them home. It's about the same cost as the box of six in the fancy box, but you only get six macarons instead of eight. (And pay NT$130 per macarons instead of NT$98. That's the Asian frugal part of me calculating). I've had friends who didn't know so they thought they had to get the fancy box so their macarons wouldn't get smashed on the way home, and got shorted a couple of bites.
If you're giving it as a gift, then there are lots of different beautiful boxes to choose from, and the cost will go up a bit and they charge different prices for different boxes. If you are just getting one or two to taste, then they will put it in a paper bag, so it's best to eat it right away. If you don't eat your macarons within a few days, you can put it in the fridge, or even better in the freezer to put them in "hibernation" until you are ready to eat them.
Previously, my first and only time tasting Laduree macarons was when I received them as a gift from a friend that visited Paris- in a Hello Kitty box no less! In the US, the only shops are in New York, and in Asia, there are shops in Tokyo, Nagoya, Hong Kong, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, and now Taipei and Taichung. So those of you visiting from LA might even find yourself taking some home instead of pineapple cakes.
My other favorite place in Taipei to get macarons for their flavors and adorable packaging is Patisserie La Douceur, but they stopped making a lot of my favorite flavors like wasabi and balsamic vinegar. Maybe one day I'll have a salted caramel macaron taste test from all the shops around Taipei. Haha!
Even Laduree jams, chocolates and souvenirs are available.
These pink and silver boxes of six were gifts to me. Actually for awhile, I was getting macarons from a number of friends! Thanks to my dear friends J & C, G and Vs for the sweets. It's a splurge for the treat, but costs about the same as the other macarons in town, so it's a fair price to pay for one of the best macarons in Taipei, if not the world.
No. 39 FuXing S. Road, Sec. 1