Macarons from la Maison du Chocolat, in a plastic holder, 4 different ones. A bag behind it from the store. Paris macaron walking tour
Food,  France

A self-guided Paris macaron walking tour

Paris is a fabulous city with so many activities that you can come back again and again and do something different each time. We’ve visited Paris several times, the latest visit was in 2019. That time we undertook a Paris macaron walking tour. Next to visiting the Eiffel tower and Disneyland Paris, this was the highlight of our visit to Paris. Macarons have become extremely popular the last few years, and with good reason. Paris is the place to sample macarons. There are several guided tours to take in Paris on which you get to taste macarons. We however did a self-guided macaron tour, which we loved.

Macarons

Before we go on a macaron tour through Paris. Let’s talk a little about what a macaron is exactly.

A macaron is a delicious cookie, which can be found all over France. It has spread all over the world. But for the best macaron and a true macaron tour you have to go to Paris. Although St.-Jean-de-Luz is a good rival.

A macaron has two delicate cookies, made from ground almonds, and are light. The 2 cookies are sandwiched around a soft filling. Think lemon curd, chocolate buttercream, raspberry jam or any other flavorful filling that makes the cookies stick together. They come in numerous different colors and flavors, one even more tasteful than the other.

A Pierre Herme macaron, of which a bite has been taken, a hand is holding it. It has different colors and layers.
A Pierre Herme macaron

The cookies are in basic made from ground almonds, egg whites and sugar. Flavor is added to the cookie in different ways. The macaron is not an easy cookie to prepare. It can easily become deformed or the crust will break during the baking process.

History of the Macaron

Macarons are known from France and as a distinctly French cookie. But looking into it, it’s believed, that the macaron was born in Italy. It has been produced in Venetian monasteries since the 8th century. These were still only simple cookies made of egg whites, sugar and almond flour.

Catherine de Medici, the French King’s (Henri II) Italian wife, is believed to have brought them over to France, around 1533. At the French court these simple macarons where further developed. The French word macaron is derived from the Italian word for fine dough, maccherone.

The first written recipe comes from the 17th century in French. A number of different recipes already existed, with different regions in France having their versions and adopting it as a local specialty.

The macaron seems to have gained in popularity and fame from the year 1792 on. Since in that year two Carmelite nuns in Nancy baked and sold macarons during the French Revolution to pay for their housing. These macarons however were still without filling.

The macaron as we know it today was introduced in the later part of the 19th century. At the Parisian confectioner La Maison Ladurée, Pierre Desfontaines, started sandwiching buttercream, compote, jam and ganache between two macaron cookies.

Laduree at the Champs-Elysees, a filled counter with macarons and more. Employees behind it. On the Paris macaron walking tour
Laduree at the Champs-Elysees

Although this is still how we know the macaron till this day, this doesn’t mean the macaron stopped developing. New shapes, flavors and colors have kept emerging ever since, reinventing the macaron again and again.

Paris Macaron Walking Tour

Here’s the self-guided macaron tour Paris I compiled for us and which we loved.

  • Go to the stop Bac street with the metro.
  • Follow the Rue du Bac until the intersection with the Rue de Grenelle, visit Dalloyau. Sadly it was closed due to vacation when we visited, but Dalloyau is one of the big names in the Parisian confectioner’s world, so should not be skipped on a tour.
  • Then follow the Rue du Bac, Sadly la Patisserie des Rêves closed its doors in November 2019. But Angelina Paris a bit further down the street is still there. They have delicious macarons in normal size and large ones (!) They also sell delicious chocolate.
  • Then take the Rue de Babylone, cross the Place la Corbusier and visit la Maison du Chocolat at Rue du Sèvres. This chocolate house, not only produces delicious chocolate, but also macarons.
  • Go back a little bit and follow the Boulevard Raspail, until you reach the Rue du Cherche-Midi. Visit À la Mère de famille here. This is Paris’s oldest sweet shop, they sell chocolates, all sorts of candies, ice cream and macarons.
  • Follow the Rue du Cherche-Midi further until you reach Rue Saint-Placide, where you head towards Maison Pariès. They sell Basque confections, among them delicious macarons.
  • Then head back a little bit until the crossing with the Rue du Cherche-Midi and follow the Rue Saint-Placide until the end, go further on the Rue de Vaugirard, cross the Rue de Rennes and continue on the Rue de Vaugirard. Visit Sadaharu AOKI, a Japanese-French inspired confectioner’s chain.
A large macaron at Angelina Paris Yuri is holding the macaron in a blastic package. Paul is standing behind him. We're still standing in the shop on our Paris macaron walking tour.
A large macaron at Angelina Paris
Sampling macarons from la Maison du Chocolat, Paul and Yuri are sitting down and Yuri is tasting a macaron, Paul's holding the other macarons
Sampling macarons from la Maison du Chocolat
Macarons from A la Mere de Famille, in a package, 3 pieces
Macarons from A la Mere de Famille
A macaron cake and a Matche cake from Adoroku AORI, in a white open box
A macaron cake and a Matche cake from Sadaharu AOKI

Break time

  • Turn around and take the Rue d’Assas until you reach the Jardin du Luxembourg. An excellent place for lunch. Which we had at Kiosk la Table inside the park. Sit down for a while, let your kids run around at the playground or if you don’t need a rest from walking, take a stroll around the park.

Further with Paris macarons

  • After your break exit the park again at the same entrance and take the Rue Vavin, and visit Jean-Paul Hévin. When we visited it was closed due to vacation. But this chain is renowned for its chocolate and pure flavors in the macarons.
  • Follow the Rue Vavin further, until you reach the Rue Notre Dame des Champs until the Boulevard Raspail. Take the metro here to stop Madeleine.
  • On Place de la Madeleine are 2 stores from Fauchon. One is a shop, the other is a restaurant. The shop is best for buying macarons and other deliciousness like jams and so on.
  • Take the metro again, and now to stop George V.
  • Stand in line at the famous Ladurée shop situated on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
  • Then walk towards the Arc de Triomphe. In the Publicis building is a Pierre Hermé Paris shop included. A not to be missed French pastry and chocolate house. This is the last Parisian confectioner on our tour.
Testing the macarons from Fauchon on our Paris macaron walking tour
Testing the macarons from Fauchon

Background information

Each confectioner’s house we visited has its own history, background and signature creations.

Dalloyau

Dalloyau is an independent, family run company, established in Paris. The brothers Dalloyau were working for Louis XIV in 1682 as “officiers de bouche” (top chefs), which was the highest French gastronomy distinction at the time. In 1802 the “Dalloyau, house of gastronomy” was founded in 1802 by Jean-Baptiste Dalloyau.

The main Paris shop is still at the Rue du Fauborg Saint-Honoré, since 1802. Although we visit Dalloyau for their macarons, their signature pastry is the Opera Cake. Cyriaque Gavillon invented this in 1955 at Dalloyau. A rectangular cake with 3 thin layers of almond sponge cake. It’s soaked in coffee syrup and in between alternating are layers of coffee butter cream and chocolate glaze topped with ganache.

Dalloyau shop from the outside
Dalloyau shop

La Patisserie des Rêves

La Patisserie des Rêves stands for the patisserie of dreams. Philippe Conticini founded it in 2009. He left in 2016, since November 2019 the chain has closed.

La Patisserie des Reves from the outside
La Patisserie des Reves

Angelina Paris

Anton Rumpelmayer and his son René founded Angelina in 1903. Named after his daughter-in-law. The tea house at Rue de Rivoli 226 quickly became the place to be for the elite. The biggest French fashion designers. Proust and Coco Chanel came together in this famous tea room Anton’s desire was that Angelina would become the ultimate gourmet temple and a symbol of the French way of life.

Signature dishes are the Mont-Blanc and the famous hot chocolate “L’Africain”.

Angelina Paris from the outside
Angelina Paris
Counter with chocolats at Angelina Paris
Counter with chocolats
Macarons at the counter at Angelina Paris
Macarons at the counter

La Maison du Chocolat

Robert Linxe founded the first la Maison du Chocolat in Paris in 1977. Linxe’s signature was adding ganache to his chocolates. This made it a silky blend of chocolate and fresh cream covered in chocolate.

La Maison du Chocolat from the front
La Maison du Chocolat
Boxes of deliciousness t la Maison du Chocolat
Boxes of deliciousness
Macarons from la Maison du Chocolat in see through package. 4 macarons
Macarons from la Maison du Chocolat

À la Mère de famille

Julien Merceron founded it in 1761, on Rue du Fauborg-Montmartre in Paris. It’s still located here (and on other locations) making it Paris’s oldest sweet shop. Not much has changed in those years. Signature are their ice cream in several flavors, chocolate specialties, candied fruit and calissons.

A la Mere de Famille from the front
A la Mere de Famille
So many goodies on display at A la Mere de Famille
So many goodies on display
Chocolates at A la Mere de Famille
Chocolates at A la Mere de Famille

Maison Pariès

Founded in 1895 by Jacques Damestoy in Bayonne. Bayonne is the chocolate Capitol. They sell gourmandizes Basques. Signature dishes are the Gateaux Basques and mouchou et macarons. They also have kanougas, confiseries, chocolats, tourons, cake and ice cream.

Maison Paries from the front
Maison Paries

Sadaharu AOKI Paris

Sadaharu Aoki, a Japanese pastry chef, opened his first store in 1998. He prepares French-style pastries, while using traditional Japanese ingredients and flavors.

Sadaharu AOKI from the front
Sadaharu AOKI
Macarons on display at Sadahara AOKI
Macarons on display
Beautiful cakes at display with matcha at the back and red and brown on the front
Beautiful cakes at display

Jean-Paul Hévin

Jean-Paul Hévin opened his first shop in 1988 at 16 avenue de la Motte-Piquet. He produces chocolate of high quality. His macarons have a low level of sugar, which makes that the flavors are pure and can express their strongness. They’re regularly awarded by the press.

Jean-Paul Hévin selects a cocoa every 3 months which he uses as inspiration to make 3 creations: a macaron, a chocolate candy and a chocolate bar.

Jean-Paul Hevin from the front
Jean-Paul Hevin

Fauchon

Founded in Paris in 1886. A French company made for gourmets and delicacies.

They sell deliciacies, macarons, tea, chocolates and sweets.

Fauchon during our Paris macaron walking tour with Yuri standing in the doorway
Fauchon
All those macarons! on display at Fauchon
All those macarons!
The large Fauchon store
The large Fauchon store

Ladurée

A French company for pastries founded in 1862 by Lousi-Ernst Ladurée. They made the first macaron as we know it today and remains one of the most popular spots for macarons in Paris till this day. They sell some 15.000 each day of their famous filled macarons. The shop on the Champs-Élysées opened in 1997 and is a restaurant, tea room and macaron specialist.

Laduree the tea room
Laduree
The long line at Laduree
The long line at Laduree
The business inside Laduree
The business inside Laduree
Display at Fauchon with chocolates
Display at Fauchon

Maison Pierre Hermé Paris

Pierre Hermé, a French pastry chef and chocolatier, founded Maison Pierre Hermé in 1998 together with Charles Znaty.

In 2005 they declared March 20 National Macaron Day.

Pierre Herme inside the department store
Pierre Herme
Macarons from Pierre Herme on display
Macarons from Pierre Herme
Macarons from Pierre Herme in a white box
Macarons from Pierre Herme

Our Experience

We all loved the macaron tour and the Paris macaron. We did the tour with the 3 of us, our son was 9 years old at the time. Paul and Yuri’s favorite was the yuku macaron from Sadaharu AOKI Paris. My favorite where the ones from Fauchon, such a delicious flavor. We bought some 21 macarons in total, which we shared, and some other pastries. It wasn’t cheap, we spent over €100,- in total.

It took us some 5,5 hours, lunch included to take the tour. This was longer than the guided tours, but we could sit down whenever we wanted and walk our own pace. Besides this we could let Yuri run around at a few parks we came across. The time could be shorter of your tour, depending on your speed of walking. We spend a lot of time at the parks, but if you don’t need this, you can take of almost 2 hours. We also took our time after each store to sample the macarons. Total walking time between shops would be about an half hour to an hour. Mind you this is without the added time of waiting and taking the metro twice during the tour.

The 3 of us near the Arc de Triomphe
The 3 of us near the Arc de Triomphe

Where to stay

We stayed at 55 Hôtel Montparnasse in 2019. A basic hotel, with lots of restaurants close by and a metro station. We’ve stayed at other great hotels in Paris before, as discussed in stopover hotels on the way South.

That’s a wrap on the Paris macaron walking tour

Hope you can take this fun tour!

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34 Comments

  • Taylor

    This is such a great guide! I LOVE macarons and would definitely enjoy trying more spots in Paris. I only went to the Lauderee in Champs Elysee (so touristy, I know), but I love their macarons. 🙂 The macaron cakes look amazing!

  • Emma

    This is my kind of tour. I love a self-guided walking tour and macarons are probably one of my favorite things so this is right up my (Parisian) street. I love all the colors and flavors and how deliciously delicate macarons are. Can’t wait for my next trip to Paris to do this

  • Krystianna

    I LOVE this post, definitely saving it for later because I’m a sucker for macarons. I was lucky enough to visit Paris two years ago and only got to eat macarons from two different places, but they were divine. 🙂

    • Rob + Ann @TravelLatte

      Wow. We have visited a lot of shops in Paris for macarons, but there are so many more! We love Ladurée, but Angelina’s is a favorite – hard to beat macarons and that hot cocoa! Hoping to be back in Paris this fall to go find more of these shops!

  • Krista

    That is such a fun idea for a walking tour! I think I only tried one or two macarons while I was in Paris and I’m not even sure they were good ones, so this is a self-guided tour I would love to try out.

  • Sarah McDonald

    Great idea for a walking tour! The last time I visited Paris was before macarons were famous and I had no idea they existed. I need to go back and explore some of these places. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jenn | By Land and Sea

    You are making my mouth water with these delicious treats! Admittedly, I have been to Paris twice and haven’t had an authentic macaron. Now I have yet another delicious reason to return. Your guide will be post helpful in finding the best ones!

  • Ashley

    Wow, so glad I came across this post. I’m planning a trip to Paris in November. Will definitely be checking out a few of these bakeries. Do you recommend Paris Disney?

  • Mayi

    You are making my mouth water and miss my home town. I have not visited as many shops as you but love the idea of a self-guided tour. I also love the macarons from Fauchon! Now, your next challenge (if you would like to take it) is to make your own macarons and compare them with those of professional chefs 🙂

  • Nina

    This is amazing! I did a guided walking tour of paris a few years ago that included chocolates and macarons. I love that you did one on your own and still hit the places we went!

    • Cosette

      So great they overlap. I looked up on the internet what tours recommended to visit and made my own tour based on that.

  • Julia Bocchese

    I’ve been to Paris, but I don’t think I had any macarons while I was there! I definitely need to have some the next time I’m there. And the history is so interesting, I wouldn’t have guessed that they were created in Italy!

    • Cosette

      No, the origin in Italy was a new one for me too. Hope you get to taste macarons the next time you’re in Paris.

  • Linda (LD Holland)

    I would definitely follow a self-guided macaroon tour in Paris. A tasty way to see the city and and enjoy these sweet treats. I would certainly make a stop at Maison du Chocolat and add chocolate to my day. With all these great stops, I am sure I could try many different flavours.

    • Cosette

      Yes, you can try so many different flavors on this tour. The chocolate is also devine, and I could make a tour on its own for chocolate in Paris.

  • Claire

    Thanks for including the history, I had no idea they are thought to have actually started in Italy! It’s crazy how one person can change the way we think about things, that it was one woman who brought it over to France and then it took off from there.

    French desserts are so aesthetically pleasing, they really know how to make you want to try something just from appearances. I know the macarons were your main focus, but I also got distracted by the chocolates in some of the photos haha. Man, no wonder I’ve always wanted to move there. Maybe subconciously it’s my sweeth tooth that’s driving all my goals lol.

    • Cosette

      Yes, it’s crazy that one person brings it to another country and then it all started. Yes, the other sweets were also distracting for us, but my two men just love macarons.

  • Cristina

    I can’t wait to go back to Paris! I love a good macaron, so this is the perfect guide for me. Thank you for sharing, I am saving it for the future 🙂

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