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Dec 1, 2009 09:02 AM

Looking for the best macaroons

Where can I get the best macaroons in the DC/NOVA area? I thought Mother's Macaroons in Arlington would be the place, but they only sell the more "rustic" kind. I'm looking for the little ones that look like sandwiches in all different colors/flavors. Thanks for the help!

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  1. I've tried French macarons at two places here: ACKC on 14th Street and Cacao on Bethesda Row. I thought they were both very good.

    ACKC Cocoa Bar
    1529 14th St NW, Washington, DC

    1. ah, you want macarons, not macaroons. one letter makes a big difference here!

      two good choices are leopolds (cady's alley, georgetown) and patisserie poupon (upper georgetown/glover park)

      3 Replies
      1. re: kneelconqueso

        Really! I had never noticed the spelling difference. Thank you. I'm guessing one is the Italian version, the other is French. Great suggestions- I may just have to taste test them all over town.

        1. re: bhein

          The Italians make a macaroon that is close to the French macaron, but has no resemblance to the coconut macaroons commonly available in the US.

          The cookie Amaretti is a version of the Italian macaroon. Balducci's version looks exactly like the French sandwich-style macaron, but the former is available only in the basic almond flavoring. FWIW, Balducci's simply calls its version "Italian macaroons" although that clearly isn't its true Italian name.

          My favorite French macarons are from Praline in Bethesda.

          1. re: bhein

            Macaroons are typically coconut lumps, with vanilla and whatnot or the cans of coconut-based treats eaten on Passover.

            Anyhow, for macarons in DC, I highly recommend the ones made at Cafe du Parc in the Willard. They sell large and small ones and are very good.

            The best are the ones from Michel Patisserie. No storefront, but they drop off at ACKC some place in Restonr or they deliver. All are excellent.

        2. The ones at ACKC are quite good but make sure to let them warm to room temperature. I've also had good ones at Dean & Deluca.
          Supposedly Praline in Bethesda has very good macarons, but I've never tried them because it's not metro accessible.

          Hey woodleyparkhound, thanks for the info on Cacao. I noticed it the other week but didn't have the chance to try anything. Have you tried anything besides macarons?

          3 Replies
          1. re: hamster

            Macarons are the only thing I've tried at Cacao. However... a few weeks ago, I felt like something sweet and entered Bethesda Row from the side furthest from Cacao. I stopped for gelato at Dolcezza. After leaving there, I passed Cacao and saw that they were making Belgian waffles on the sidewalk outside the shop. I sampled the hot waffle and it was WONDERFUL. You could get it with chocolate sauce and a couple of other ways. These looked and smelled s-o-o-o-o-o good. I was really sorry I'd filled up on gelato before I saw these waffles! I don't know if it was a one-off thing, or if they do it with any regularity.

            1. re: woodleyparkhound

              Good stuff. I had the same problem when I saw Cacao: I was on a mission to get gelato so I couldn't afford to try anything on that visit! Next time...

              1. re: hamster

                I finally had the chance to try a chocolate macaron from Cacao. It was okay. The texture was definitely not right; it was all soft, with no crunch on the outside. Since the macaron experience is all about texture, this was not ideal.

                Happened to notice a bakery around the corner when I was there - appeared to be a lot like the Great Harvest concept, but it was called Spring Mill Bread. I got one of the multigrain loaves which included sesame and other nice seeds. It was really amazing, great flavor and satisfying chewy consistency. No crunchy crust, but that's okay. TONS better than what I buy at Whole Foods, and for the same price. If only Bethesda were more convenient for me, I would make this a regular stop.

          2. If you are looking for some quick ones to have around all the time. I just saw them at Trader Joe's in their freezer section (box of 10) for about 5 bucks imported from France. It is always reccommended you keep them in the freezer for freshness and long term keep.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Smiles2008

              The best I've ever had are at Praline Bakery in Bethesda. I live in D.C. but drive there every month or so for my hit. The pistachio and chocolate are perfect together. They have all the classics plus a few interesting fruit flavors. I'm usually a huge patisserie poupon fan, but theirs are too small and also overpriced. The ones at Praline are the closest I've ever had to those in France. It's worth the drive.


            2. Those most like Ladur'ee of Paris--
              I found to be Cafe' du Parc next to the Willard This is the one single treat I make sure to get each time I am in town... Best of luck to you.